Delaware County’s former top cops hired a public relations director to relay all media requests and email communications to them personally to dissect and decide what—if any—response it warrants from the county, according to the testimony of the county’s former public relations director, Your Content is first to report.
Chelsea Price, who served as Public Relations Director for the Delaware County District Attorneys Office was quizzed by defense attorney Norm Pattis her job functions when she spearheaded the communications department and she explained her duties were to simply pass all requests to her “superiors.”
“Your function as the public information officer or the acting public information officer was to assure that the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office point of view was articulated to the satisfaction of your superiors to media outlets here and nationwide, correct?” Pattis asked. “Correct,” Price said. “I provided the information to my superiors.”
Nik Tzimas Hatziefstathiou, otherwise known as ‘Nik the Hat,’ who was succeeded as Editor-in-Chief by the publication’s deputy editor, will remain CEO of Original Media Group Corporation for an undetermined period when the transition occured in mid-September.
Pattis circled back: “When a call came in, you’d speak to your superiors. How should I respond? Unless, it was a simple request, correct?”
Price testified that her superiors dictated all responses she could provide to members of the media and public, explaining: “At all times, I consulted my superiors when a request was received.”
Price said she did not have the authority to respond to media requests without prior approval of then-Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and the former chief of the county’s criminal investigation division, Joe Ryan.
“The process was that I informed my superiors when I received any type of communication,” Price said. “Again, I forward everything to my superiors at that time.”
“And one of your jobs was to be transparent, so I assume to inspire trust, correct?” Pattis asked. “In the interim while you were doing that job.”
“Correct, and forward everything to my superiors,” Price replied.
“I fielded all of the e-mails and the phone, yes, as I mentioned.”
Pattis asked the former public relations director if she forwarded an alarming email alleging official police misconduct and systemic racism to her superiors.
“I’m gathering that when you received information that said we obtained an audio clipping of a detective employed in Delaware County where he says: ‘Nik, do yourself a favor and shut the eff up while you’re in here. All right?’ That must have been a somewhat alarming communication to receive, am I right about that?” Pattis asked.
Price claimed to receive those sorts of “e-mail communications” frequently.
Pattis said: “You receive complaints daily that people say a detective says to somebody, do yourself a favor and shut the fuck up in here, you little smart-ass prick? That’s a routine communication in Delco?”
“I said I received e-mails on a routine basis.” Price responded. “Again, it was an e-mailed that I had received, and I informed my superiors anytime I receive an e-mail that has content.
“I would receive e-mails every day. So, it was not out of the norm to receive an e-mail with information in it.”
According to Price, county officials did not take any steps “to determine whether there was a Detective Williams employed by that department” when quizzed by Pattis.
“That would be out of the duties of mine at the time. Again, I fielded e-mails and phone calls and sent those to my superiors.”
“Who was your — what superior did you send the complaint that an officer had said to a journalist, you’re a smart ass little prick and until you fucking get it straight, we’re going to harass the piss out of you legally? Who did you send that to?” Pattis asked.
“My superior was, at the time, District Attorney Katayoun Copeland.” Price confessed.
“Did she direct you to do anything else with that?” Pattis asked Price. “I do not recall” she replied.
Pattis asked: “Did somebody direct you not to respond?” “No,” said Price. “Did they direct you to respond?” Pattis followed.
“No, no.” Price acknowledged. “So, in the absence of direction, you didn’t do anything conditionally, correct?” Pattis asked. “No, I did not respond to this e-mail.” Price said. “Again, I forward all communications to my superiors. I informed them and they allowed me to respond.”
“Do you know if—to your knowledge—is there such an audio clipping?” Pattis asked. “No, not to my knowledge. I don’t recall.” Price said, adding she “informed them (her superiors) and they allowed” her to “respond.”
“Who told you there were no criminal complaints with respect to the allegation of harassment against Detective Williams? Who told you that?” Pattis asked. “I asked District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and at the time, CID Chief Ryan, Joseph Ryan.” Price said.
Pattis continued: “Who told you there was no grand jury investigation?”
“I don’t — I don’t recall saying that.” Price responded. “Did anybody say, don’t respond to a complaint from Nik Hatziefstathiou?” Pattis asked. Price simply replied: “I don’t recall.”
“Do you know, as you sit here today, whether there is a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation of harassment of Mr. Hatziefstathiou?” Pattis asked Price, who responded: “I do not, no.”
Hatziefstathiou was convicted in connection to the Your Content publication on October 24, 2021, becoming the first journalist charged and convicted in America while acting under the scope of his employment as an ‘international news correspondent.’ Everything Hatziefstathiou did, Pattis said, was legitimate, as was the probation department email he published. The entire prosecution, he said, was an attempt by Delaware County to get revenge on a reporter who “asks inconvenient questions to people in power.”
Hatziefstathiou, represented by defense attorneys Norm Pattis, Mark Much and Joseph Lesniak, has denied the charges and representatives for Your Content have stood by the story, which remained posted on the site until its removal on October 25, 2021.
“Information comes to reporters from sources who do not want to be disclosed, and reporters protect the identity of those sources, and seek to confirm or corroborate what those sources have told them,” Pattis said. “That is what Nik Hatziefstathiou did in this case.” It was learned over 3,000 emails containing the ‘n’ word exist on county servers in addition to 200+ with the keyword ‘gangbang,’ a revelation learned two years after authorities vehemently denied the existence of a single email ‘containing such language.’
Hatziefstathiou tapped Bruce Castor, the attorney who led for the defense of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, to join Norm Pattis as co-counsel for his appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts.
‘Fake News’ Arrest
On May 25, 2019, Your Content reported about an email it said it had obtained from an unidentified source. The email, allegedly sent by a supervisor with the county’s Adult Probation and Parole department, included racist language about African Americans, according to the story.
As a result of the explosive investigative report, authorities arrested Hatziefstathiou in July 2019 after executing a search warrant for his news gathering material on Jun. 24, 2019.
Hatziefstathiou, represented by defense attorneys Norm Pattis, Mark Much and Joseph Lesniak, has denied the charges and representatives for Your Content have stood by the story, which remains posted on Your Content. Attorney A. Charles Peruto, Jr. represented Hatziefstathiou for his preliminary proceedings regarding the ‘fake news’ trial and in prior contemptuous battles with local officials.
After Hatziefstathiou disputed that police were investigating the area where the drugs were purchased and questioned the cost of his prosecution, he was acquitted of all charges following a Aug. 2016 bench trial.
On Nov. 8, 2019, John Reilly, Jr., superintendent of George W. Hill Correctional Facility, was accused of misconduct by current and former employees, validating Your Content’s 2019 investigative report of systemic racism. At the time Hatziefstathiou was arrested, the county oversight board prevented the complaints of racism and abuse or power from becoming public, but Reilly faced new scrutiny from Delaware County’s incoming Democratic county council.
The Delaware County prison chief retired after the Inquirer investigation into allegations of racism on Nov 27.
Hatziefstathiou is scheduled for trial October 18.
Nik & Politics
According to 2016 public disclosures, Hatziefstathiou provided “political strategy services” to Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election. It is believed Hatziefstathiou’s methodologies and unique approaches flipped Pennsylvania, a Democratic-stronghold and swing state, in Trump’s favor.
However, Hatziefstathiou did not provide consultation services to any political candidates in the 2020 presidential election.
Almost a year and yes, we did it. When you let the people choose their candidate, they will rise up as one. I hope the Democrats realize his bad the decision to push Bernie Sanders out of the nomination was – not the citizens, the party leaders. We spoke to over 60,000 voters at their door and thousands more on the streets and at events; when I got word at 12:38 a.m. that we had won the presidency, I was surprised given the help the opponent had with Hollywood. It’s odd, whenever our team is involved, we seem to help prove the impossible is possible. Expect the unexpected. This is the third time we took down the power that conceived – most recently last year helping Judge Christopher Mattox win when they said we couldn’t do it, that it wasn’t possible and to give up. Thank you team, we made history by helping the “outsider” become Mr. President.
Following the heated election, Hatziefstathiou and his administration transformed a millennial operated political publication, Young Constituents, to a news organization targeting a unique national audience.
Your Content describes itself as a priority destination for affluent readers who love play-by-play content through the lens of those directly involved.
The vaunted brand is a trusted source that sparks conversations about pop culture with up-to-the-minute headlines and direct-from-the-source intel that speaks to our audience’s passion points.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy.
The brand’s currency and authority firmly positions Your Content as a leading voice in pop culture, scandals, entertainment and celebrity.
Additionally, there were changes in various organizations owned or operated by Hatziefstathiou—including news programs with the standardization of Your Content-like graphics, redesigned studios and office spaces, news-format changes, and the announcement of a new division called Midnight Society to be developed by Original Media Group Corporation.
According to the publication’s masthead, “Midnight Society is a division of investigative reporters at Your Content. The team uncovers useful information for our readers and locate potential sources of interest by trawling the deep web and harvesting information from typically inaccessible areas of the Internet such as the dark net.”
The last few weeks of his presidency. Although I disagree with some of his policies, he inspired me to go above and beyond my expectations. His speeches inspired millions – and millions to come. My history teacher at Marple Newtown High School taught me to appreciate and understand words spoken by a president. A lesson I’ll never forget & one I’ll pass on. President Obama crossing Pennsylvania Avenue headed to the White House. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
Hatziefstathiou assisted both Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania campaigns since 2014, including but not limited to Judge Anthony D. Scanlon (R), Judge Leon Hunter (R), Judge Christopher Mattox (D/R), Judge Harry Karapalides (R), Judge Paul Bizarro (R), and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D). Despite Hatziefstathiou’s public image as a staunch Republican, he is a registered Democrat who asserts: “When it comes to politics, we are hated by both sides. Republicans arrest us for documenting their actions & Democrats sue us. So, we really have no reason to be in favor of one party over the other. We support candidates for morals, not parties. It’s 2020.”
Hatziefstathiou advised over a dozen political consultation firms and their representatives leading to successful political bids for the likes of Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA), President Donald J. Trump (R-NY), Attorney General Kathleen Kane (R-PA), Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan (R-PA), Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer (D-PA), and assisted former President Barack Obama (D-PA) with post-presidency millennial outreach.
Leroy Evans Controversy
Some people in the political left and right criticized Hatziefstathiou for his consulting work and criminal justice reform advocacy.
“Mr. Stollsteimer and his campaign must release his emails and texts with ‘Nik the Hat,’” Delaware County Republican Party Chair Tom McGarrigle said at a Jul. 20, 2019, press conference. “Voters deserve to know if he ever tried to get the facts, like a true prosecutor would have.”
Actor Billy Baldwin informs Cameo he wants to provide Hatziefstathiou and Your Content support in regard to Leroy Evans at no cost.
Then-Delaware County Councilman county council Chairman John McBlain, a Republican, characterized the timing of the story, subsequent calls from Harrisburg regarding the email and the press conference 11 days later as “obvious coordination, political coordination,” the Daily Times previously reported.
“Nikolaos Hatziefstathiou is a registered Republican who has made a name for himself by attacking Democrats,” wrote Trevor Maloney, campaign manager for Stollsteimer and other countywide Democratic candidates, in an emailed response. “But now that he has been charged with crimes, the Republicans want us to believe that the Democrats are behind this? It’s ironic that supposed leaders in the Delaware County Republican Party are engaging in the same shameful tactics they are indignantly condemning.”
Martin Luther King Jr. once said; “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thank you @FINALLEVEL for joining the fight – @DaKATCopeland – stop ignoring the voice of those you took an oath to protect & serve, test the DNA! #JusticeForLeroy
Hatziefstathiou rallied celebrities to appear at multiple political functions to expose illegal tactics and shed light on a suburban Philadelphia county in dire need of an independent investigation.
David Sheppard should have been reunited with his family, but he remains in custody and must appear in court on Monday in Delaware County 6:30 PM · Dec 6, 2019
The slew of celebrities who joined Hatziefstathiou in his political endeavors included but were not limited to Taylor Swift (2018), Anne Hathaway (2016), Katy Perry (2016), Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen (2016), Billy Baldwin (2019), Hailey Baldwin Bieber (2019), Tony Goldwyn (2016), Kim Kardashian (2019 + 2020), Ice-T (2019), Snoop Dogg (2019), Lady Gaga (2016), Selena Gomez (2015), Toby Keith (2016), Kenny Chesney (2016), Good Charlotte (2019), Dog the Bounty Hunter (2019), Cee Lo Green (2015), and Demi Lovato (2021).
In 2016 Kenny Chesney told thousands of fans at Lincoln Financial Field, where he was performing, that Folcroft Borough Police Officer Christopher Dorman, who was shot seven times in the line of duty, had died.
Dorman, 25, a huge fan of Chesney, had planned to attend the concert, but instead found himself in a local hospital recovering, ABC World News previously reported.
Hatziefstathiou, a Delaware County native, reached out to his friend who happened to be the country mega-star’s manager to arrange a face-to-face conversation with Folcroft Officer Dorman.
The Folcroft PD sent Action News video of Officer Dorman speaking to Chesney on the phone.
“It was a great conversation, just in typical Chris fashion took it in stride, was laughing about things. They made some arrangements with each other,” Folcroft Police Sgt. William Bair told Action News in 2016.
Chesney confirmed the phone call on his Twitter account.
“@FolcroftPD He’s doing great. Told him we’d watch an Eagles game & have beers one day. Here’s to a speedy recovery!” Chesney said.