PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (YC) – At a federal hearing in May of 2016, Cosby accuser Andrea Constand’s civil attorney, Dolores M. Troiani, admitted that she had worked with Kevin R. Steele when he was the acting Deputy District Attorney of Montgomery County, supplying his office with documents stored in her basement. YC obtained the court transcripts from a proceeding held on May 11, 2016.
Troiani told Judge Eduardo C. Robreno that Steele visited her in July of 2015, asking for a copy of the Cosby file that had been used in the criminal investigation and civil suit.
Just a few months later, a federal suit would be filed against Bruce Castor just ten days before the election. Oddly, Kevin Steele, the opponent, received $45,000.00 from his brother just as the suit was filed. This money was allegedly used on television ads, many of which, according to the documents, pertained to the poorly run investigation of Cosby by Castor.
Troiani stated that she had approximately ten boxes in her basement and she handed them over to Steele. Troiani didn’t know exactly what she handed over to Steele, according to her court statements. “Can I recreate what I gave the D.A.’s Office? No.,” Troiani told Judge Robreno. “I have no idea.”
It’s unusual for a civil attorney to work alongside detectives and prosecutors investigating a criminal case. It’s even more peculiar that Steele relied on information provided by a civil attorney representing Constand, who had used that information in a civil suit against the entertainer.
The burden of proof in a civil suit is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning the Plaintiff, or accuser in this case, must prove that there is a greater than 50% chance, based on all the reasonable evidence, that the defendant did the wrong that caused the damage. Whereas in criminal cases, the prosecution must prove that the accused did the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Using evidence from a civil suit to build a criminal case is tough given the different burdens of proof. This was perhaps the reason behind the jury not being able to come to a conclusion after ten days of deliberation.
“So, basically, what they took was their own file back. I believe I gave them the depositions. I don’t think — I gave them some investigative things that we had done,” Troiani said. “There was information from Jane Doe witnesses, other witnesses who had been assaulted by Cosby.”
This raises a question as to why the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office lost pieces of the Cosby file, relying on the file of a civil attorney who was actively representing Constand in a civil suit against Castor, the former district attorney and represented her in the 2005 civil suit against Cosby.
Troiani also stated that the file was returned to her at a later date “in far better shape than I had it — when I had it.” Does that mean additional items were entered into the file that were not around before? Troiani’s argument was that Castor was only entitled to documents that were available to his office in 2005, not what developed after he left the district attorney’s office.
The oddities begin to add up; why did so much more information come available over ten years later?
MS. TROIANI: There was about ten or so boxes in my basement. They were in no particular order … The District Attorney came to see me in July I believe of 2015 — well, the then Deputy District Attorney [Kevin R. Steele] — and asked for the file in brief. There was a letter from the D.A. to our office. I met with detectives. I did not keep a log of what I gave them, but, basically, it was my impression that what had occurred was that the — their police reports were not in the possession of the D.A. from ten years ago. So, basically, what they took was their own file back. I gave them some investigative things that we had done. There was information from Jane Doe witnesses, other witnesses who had been assaulted by Cosby who were not available in 2005 when Bruce Castor was D.A. They had the file for a number of months.
(Q) THE COURT: So there are — there are two files in a sense? The original file that was in your basement with all the boxes. Some of that left and went to the D.A.’s Office — but some remained back in your office.
(A) MS TROIANI: Correct.
Castor’s attorney, Justin A. Bayer, was able to finally confirm that Steele met with Constand’s civil team prior to the new charges being filed in an effort to get files that his office either misplaced or never had possession of. “But we now know there was a meeting in July of 2015 where certain records were sent to the District Attorney’s Office,” Bayer told the court.
Furthermore, this shows that Constand was in communication with Steele before he became the elected district attorney and that he had a social interest in the case against Cosby, as the race for district attorney kicked into gear.
“After discussions between you and your client and then with First Assistance District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, we have now reopened the investigation,” a letter from the Montgomery County District Attorneys Office addressed to Troiani states.
Constand had visited the courthouse law library frequently prior to filing the civil suit and prior to receiving the letter from then Deputy District Attorney Steele about reopening the investigation, sources told YC. This lasted for nearly one year.
It is not known who Constand met with or what she was doing in the courthouse during that period of time, but her consistent presence was confirmed by various sources.
» The Campaign for District Attorney
According to the deposition of Castor, there was pollster data of a poll that had been commissioned in 2015 when he was running for District Attorney which was the effect of the Cosby issue on his campaign.
MS. KIVITZ (Representing Constand): Mr. Castor testified that there was pollster data, that there had been a poll that had been commissioned in 2015 when he was running for District Attorney which was the effect of the Cosby issue on his campaign. We were told we would receive that data; we never did.
(Q) THE COURT: And what’s the point of that? What does that prove?
(A) MS. KIVITZ: Because we believe that he believed it was an issue that would affect his campaign, his decision earlier not to have prosecuted Cosby, and that motivated the defamation.
(Q) THE COURT: You mean the poll was taken before he made the statements?
(A) MS. KIVITZ: The poll was taken when Mr. Castor decided to run for District Attorney in 2015.
THE COURT: Okay.
MS. KIVITZ: As a consequence of deciding to run, he had a poll taken because it was apparently in his mind that that could be a factor in his race.
Both Castor and Steele felt that this topic would help their campaign, if worded right.
Just days before the filing of the civil suit, Steele spent $60,783.00 in television ads. 3 days before the filing of Constand’s suit, Steele’s brother, J. Rodman Steele Jr., sent Steele $25,000.00, according to campaign finance reports.
One day following the filing of Constand’s suit against Castor, District Attorney Kevin Steele received a donation of $35,000.00 from his brother, J. Rodman Steele Jr., in Florida. That same day, his ad spending for television commercials went up 171.1%.
The civil suit was filed just in time to gain national media attention, giving Steele the opportunity to purchase television ads as the campaign was just ten days away from coming to an end — Steele spent $164,783.00 in television ads in that short period of time.
One day after the suit was filed, Steele ramped up his ad budget — dropping $50,000.00 on 10/27/2015, $51,000.00 on 10/30/2015 and $3,000.00 on 11/2/2015. That adds up to $104,000.00 in television ads alone in that 6 day period.
In total, Steele spent $164,783.00 in television ads within that ten or so day period.