"It is no secret that Mr. Tollefson has an addiction problem. On that note, it should be no secret that Mr. Tollefson has been working on a daily basis to fight that addiction and remain in recovery," Abaza said.
No apology was offered.
Tollefson, 61, who has fought an addiction to alcohol and prescription painkillers, is accused of defrauding sports fans and charities by selling ticket packages and failing to deliver. He said he is separated from his wife and is living in a North Philadelphia apartment.
"We're just trying to get our money back from Don Tollefson, that's all, and make sure justice is served," said alleged victim Cindy Moffitt, who was prepared to testify yesterday. "We looked up to him and now we can't trust him and it's a little bit heartbreaking."
Deputy District Attorney Ryan Hyde said he had planned to call 10 witnesses and provide video evidence. He said the investigation remains open.
But Magisterial District Judge Daniel Finello spoke to Tollefson as if he'd already been convicted, calling him a revered TV sports personality who used to give his viewers some solace after a hard day.
"This whole affair, this whole mess was a big disappointment for everyone in the Delaware Valley," Finello said.
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