The Balderston Case
New Hope Gazette Editorial – October 7th, 1976 Page 4,
New Hope Borough Council President D. Joseph Balderston has been acquitted of charges that he threw another person into the Canal. There are some people in New Hope who are unhappy with the acquittal, but we dare say that even those people will join with those who are happy about the verdict in agreeing that one of the many glories of America is our court system – our system of justice that assures that no man may be convicted if there is a lack of evidence against him, if there is insufficient or tainted evidence against him. Another factor to be considered is the impeccable reputation of District Judge Clyde C. Leaver, Jr., who heard the Balderston case. Seasoned Court House reporters tell us that Judge Leaver’s opinions seldom are appealed by the prosecution; the higher courts have upheld his decisions too often for that.
Balderston has been subjected to a lot of criticism during the past several months, and -being young, exuberant, often impulsive – he’s the kind of person who lays himself open to criticism almost all the time. But the time has come now to look at the good points of Joe Balderston, and they are many. He’s been a hard-working member of Council (and anybody to work hard if he assumed the responsibilities of a Councilman); he’s been a member of the Eagle Fire Company for more than half of his 34 years of life, and he’s gone without sleep many a night to help save somebody’s property; he. and Rut Cos11er organized the Jaycees in 1974; he has helped the Community Association in many activities, especially the Auto Show.
Balderston has been an officer of the Eagle Fire Company, a member of the board of directors of the Bucks County Boroughs Association, a delegate to the Bucks County Firemen’s Association, and a deacon of the Presbyterian Church. He lives zestfully, and zestfulness often is risky. Now, it would seem, the time has come to bind up the wounds that have afflicted us for many weeks. Let us all accept the decision of the court and devote our attention to positive action in other fields. Let us put an end to rumor; if anybody has evidence of wrong-doing by elected officials, let him present that evidence to the District Attorney or, if he prefers, the Attorney General. There now is a citizens group in existence through which such action could be taken. Let us remember also that this is, or should be, a nation based -on law and individual rights – something to remember, this 200th year of our birth.