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Abscam

NEWS
December 2, 2008 | By Anthony R. Wood INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Raymond F. Lederer, 70, a quintessential Philadelphia blue-collar Democratic politician who lost his congressional seat after he was ensnared in the FBI's Abscam investigation, died yesterday of cancer in the Fishtown home where he had spent his childhood. Mr. Lederer had been diagnosed with lung cancer in June, said Richard Dickson, his former congressional intern and a close friend. "He was just a very decent guy, unassuming," said David B. Glancey, a former Philadelphia Democratic Party chairman.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2008 | By Chris Mondics INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The lawyer representing news anchor Alycia Lane in her battle with CBS3 has long experience handling high-profile cases where professional reputations and plenty of money are at stake. Paul R. Rosen also is known as a fierce advocate for his clients, stretching back to his days representing a defendant in the Abscam political-corruption case. He represented the Lower Merion Township Commissioners in their lawsuit against former Barnes Foundation board member Richard H. Glanton, who accused the panel of racism for opposing the Barnes' expansion plans.
NEWS
October 27, 2005 | By Michael Currie Schaffer INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
October 26, 2005 | By Larry Eichel INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's been more than 14 years since a member of Philadelphia City Council was indicted on criminal charges of any kind. By local standards, that's quite a while. Council's modern history is replete with indictments for taking bribes, attempting extortion, and taking more bribes. In fact, Rick Mariano, accused yesterday of trading favors for money, is the seventh sitting Council member since the mid-1970s to be formally charged with abusing his office. He joins a list of names that includes Isadore "Izzy" Bellis; the Abscam trio of George X. Schwartz, Harry P. Jannotti and Louis C. Johanson; Leland M. Beloff; and James J. Tayoun.
NEWS
July 20, 2005 | By Angela Couloumbis and Marcia Gelbart INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
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.
NEWS
November 16, 2004
Former Congressman Thomas M. Foglietta, who died unexpectedly Saturday at age 75, was an honest and gracious gentleman who was at his finest when championing Philadelphia. In a town still trying to live down its reputation for employing public officials who prompt federal corruption investigations, Foglietta was different. Quite appropriately, it was Foglietta, the former councilman, who in 1980 defeated U.S. Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers, a convicted Abscam crook. When his South Philadelphia district later changed to include primarily minority voters, Foglietta still won reelection, addressing urban issues important to city residents.
NEWS
September 25, 2004
The young John Street surely wouldn't have tolerated all the stonewalling the current mayor of Philadelphia is doing about a payment received in 1998 that appears to have been unethical, if not illegal. As a fiery young freshman councilman, John F. Street demanded answers from Council President George X. Schwartz, an FBI target in its 1980 Abscam bribery investigation. It didn't matter to Street that Schwartz and two other Council members eventually convicted in Abscam had not yet been charged.
NEWS
November 20, 2003 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Michael Francis Comerford, 70, who as night metropolitan editor of The Inquirer orchestrated the coverage of breaking deadline stories from Abscam to the murder of mob boss Angelo Bruno, died Tuesday at Hospice of Port Orange in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. Mr. Comerford suffered from heart disease. He retired in 1995 after more than 27 years at The Inquirer. Mr. Comerford, nicknamed "the Commodore," possessed a gnarly sense of humor and fierce news judgment that inspired loyalty among his reporters.
NEWS
May 11, 2003 | By Marc Schogol INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You can take the boy out of South Philadelphia, but you can't take South Philly out of the boy. Back in the '60s, '70s and '80s, Leland Beloff was a Pennsylvania state representative, a Philadelphia city councilman, and a Democratic power broker from that political hotbed. But then, like so many of his fellow pols from that time and place, Beloff did a little prison time, and while he was away for five years, his wife moved the family to the Main Line. So now Beloff - who as a city councilman was convicted in 1987 of conspiring with the mob to extort $1 million from a developer - lives in Gladwyne.
NEWS
January 20, 2001 | By Emilie Lounsberry, L. Stuart Ditzen and Peter Nicholas, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
It is a good deal for both sides, and perhaps for the nation as well. That was the consensus yesterday from a handful of legal scholars, defense lawyers and former prosecutors: The agreement that Bill Clinton revealed on his last full day in office spares him the perils of a criminal indictment - and spares the country a rerun of the most embarrassing scandal of his presidency. "It would be a very unpopular prosecution. The polls have shown that," said Donald J. Goldberg, a Philadelphia defense lawyer and a master plea negotiator.
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