James R. Matthews, the Republican commissioner of Pennsylvania's Montgomery County and brother to sputtering blowhard Chris Matthews, was arrested this morning on perjury charges. Yes, Chris Matthews' brother is a Republican politician.
UPDATE: While initial reports had the indictment related to "Breakfastgate," a small-time imbroglio about Matthews' regular breakfast meetings with fellow pols that may have violated Pennsylvania's open meetings laws, it turns out to be more serious. Matthews is accused of lying to a grand jury investigating his business relationship to a title company that he allegedly directed county business toward. "Matthews lied with such ease and frequency that he acted as though, as chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners, he is above the law," the indictment reads.
James, who lost his reelection bid this year and is due to step down in January, was indicted for lying under oath during a state investigation into something called "breakfastgate," which is an awesome way for your political career to go up in flames. Breakfastgate was launched by the
Norristown Times Herald, a local Pennsylvania paper, which accused Matthews and another local politician of discussing county business at weekly breakfast meetings.
That violates the state's sunshine and open meetings laws, which requires prior notice and public access for any meetings where government business is on the agenda. How did the
Herald know that Matthews was breakfasting over official business? "
Reporter Jenny DeHuff allegedly overheard the elected officials discussing county business over breakfast on at least two occasions at an East Norritown diner."
So a budding family empire is brought down because a small-town reporter overheard him talking shop over has corned beef hash. Big mouths, the Matthews have.
[Images via Getty]