September 5, 1998 |
Less than three months ago, Harry P. Jannotti, a colorful ex-City Councilman snared in the Abscam scandals of the early 1980s, made a surprising comeback, winning election as a Democratic ward leader in his home neighborhood of West Kensington. Jannotti may have known what other pols did not, that it was his last hurrah. On Thursday, Jannotti, 73, died at Parkview Hospital, suffering from pancreatic cancer. Political friends said that funeral arrangements probably would not be announced until after the Labor Day weekend.
February 4, 1987 |
It's been almost two weeks since R. Budd Dwyer, the troubled state treasurer, convicted of mail fraud, racketeering and conspiracy and facing a lengthy jail term, called a press conference, ostensibly to resign his office - only to again proclaim his innocence and then kill himself. I saw it all on videotape, and I won't soon forget what I saw. I have grown accustomed to the day-to-day violence that is the general fare of television, but, my God, this was the real thing. A desperate man shot and killed himself at a press conference, a news forum that is part of the American culture.
July 2, 2012 |
The House Judiciary Committee's rejection of the most recent bill calling for the merit selection of judges caused me to reflect on our system of electing judges in Pennsylvania, and why I have chosen not to put myself through the ordeal that candidates for the state judiciary have to endure in order to take a place on the bench. It also made me think back to a swearing-in of a Common Pleas Court judge I attended in Philadelphia several months ago. The swearing-in was for a successful candidate in last fall's election, an attorney with 25 years' experience in the District Attorney's Office, someone who is bright and honest, and exercises good judgment; in other words, someone who deserves to be on the bench.
February 20, 1992 |
Some late suggestions for a new Philadelphia slogan (from LEN ROSEN): Philadelphia, where Camden really starts. The city in debt up to its armpits. Philadelphians don't mind living there but they wouldn't want to visit. Where crooks either get shot or elected. The city that gave ABSCAM the Welcome Mat. The city that builds high-rises to get away from it all. The city of teaching hospitals and plenty of reasons to die. The city of Catch-22s and catchers who hit .222.
January 30, 1986 |
Michael Wald, best remembered locally as the FBI agent who posed as the dapper middleman for a make-believe sheik in the Abscam probe, has auditioned for another role - chief of Philadelphia's county detectives. Wald, reached yesterday in Miami, where he is assigned to the U.S. Justice Department's major narcotics task force, confirmed he discussed the job last week with District Attorney Ronald D. Castille. The county detectives assist the DA's office with investigations. The 17-year FBI veteran said he was in Philadelphia to testify in a prison- guard bribery case in which he played an undercover role when he met with Castille.
July 20, 2005 |
Just how tough was the 10-year sentence given former Philadelphia Treasurer Corey Kemp? Tough enough to surpass those meted out in recent memory to many local and national public officials swept up in public corruption scandals. Take ex-Camden Mayor Milton Milan. In 2001, he was sent to federal prison for seven years for taking payoffs from the mob and laundering drug money. He's in prison in Loretto, Pa. - also the temporary home of former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, who is serving one year for accepting $107,000 in charter flights and vacations, in exchange for access.
April 28, 1986 |
A major Philadelphia development company is expected this week to announce plans to begin construction of a $54 million office tower in the downtown business district, the first significant office construction here in half a century. An 18-story building to be called the Atlantic Metroplex will start to rise next month on a vacant Atlantic Avenue site betweeen North and South Carolina Avenues, according to state Sen. William Gormley (R., Atlantic). Construction is expected to be completed by November 1987.
April 11, 1986 |
When Earl F. Mingen crouched in the basement of a German house 40 years ago and aimed his bazooka through a window, he didn't know if the blast would do more harm to him or the tank sitting a mere 20 yards away. As it turned out the tank got the worst of it, and Mingen got a Silver Star. The 63-year-old court clerk now shuns conversation about his World War II decorations, but he is eager to talk about his latest martial honor - an impending appointment as executive director of the city Veterans Advisory Commission.
October 27, 2005 |
Twenty-five years ago, when Philadelphia City Council President George X. Schwartz was caught up in the Abscam bribery sting, a freshman councilman was his most vocal critic. "Why'd you take the money, George?" John F. Street demanded, jabbing his finger at the tainted pol. Under pressure from Street, Schwartz stepped down from the presidency upon indictment. He quit entirely when he was convicted. Today, with another councilman accused of taking bribes, the reaction is startlingly different.
March 11, 1987
We'd say that Harry P. Jannotti had a lock on this week's "Shameless Thirst for Power Award. " But the competition's tough in Philadelphia and the week is still young. You remember Mr. Jannotti, of course. He's the Kensington taproom owner still smarting from an Abscam conspiracy conviction that lost him a seat on City Council and sent him up the river for five months. This week he filed to run for his old seat again. Since he was convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion, not bribery per se, his lawyers argue, state law doesn't clearly forbid his return to public office.