Katie LaPotin and Laura Byrne, Red Alert Politics, March 25, 2013
Punxsutawney Phil may be able to keep his job after all!
An Ohio prosecutor is reconsidering the charges he levied last week against Pennsylvania’s most famous rodent after Phil’s caretaker admitted that he was solely responsible for the false weather prediction he relayed on February 2.
“I’m the guy that did it,” Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle told Fox News. “I’ll be the fall guy. It’s not Phil’s fault.”
Deeley also added that he mistook Phil’s ”groundhog-ese” — whatever that is — for a sign that spring was coming, and that this is the second year in a row he’s failed to accurately relay Phil’s prediction.
Michael Gmoser, the prosecuting attorney in Butler County, Ohio announced earlier today that he is not only reconsidering the charges but he may even issue a full pardon to the rodent. Gmoser originally charged Phil with one count of “misinterpretation of early spring,” a charge that if convicted bears the death penalty.
Gmoser also called Phil “a cute little rascal, a cute little thing,” adding that “If somebody is willing to step up to the plate and take the rap, I’m willing to listen.”
But while Gmoser might be letting Phil off the hook, the groundhog is now wanted in Montgomery County, Md. for fraud. Police are still searching, but so far all they know is “he may be hiding in a hole.”
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Groundhog Day festivities, a Pennsylvania tradition since 1887, attracts visitors from around the world. The holiday was also the subject of the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray.
Sometime during the 1980s, New York City decided to get in on the action and created their own forecasting groundhog, Staten Island Chuck. It should be noted that he also predicted an early spring this year.
Gmoser’s original indictment can be read below: