June 21, 2016 |
The dismissal last week of a juror in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal corruption trial came after the panel told a federal judge it had hit a snag just hours into its deliberations, according to an audio recording obtained by the Inquirer. The exact contents of the jury's note Thursday to U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III remain undisclosed. But in a sidebar conversation with the judge that afternoon, lawyers in the case referred to trouble in the jury room, and discussed whether the panel should be read the instructions typically given to jurors who report that they are deadlocked.
June 19, 2016 |
Jurors in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal corruption trial were instructed to start over in their deliberations on Friday after one member of the panel was dismissed. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III offered no explanation for the dismissal after calling the jury back into the courtroom around 10 a.m. An alternate had replaced the missing member. Lawyers for the congressman and his codefendants declined to comment, saying that Bartle had instructed them not to discuss the matter.
March 17, 2016 |
A federal judge on Wednesday rejected U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's bid to have his corruption case dismissed by relying on a congressional privilege meant to protect lawmakers' independence from interference from the executive branch. The decision clears the way for the Philadelphia Democrat's trial on racketeering conspiracy charges to proceed May 2. In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III said none of the allegations in the indictment against Fattah violate the "speech and debate" clause - a constitutional provision that bars federal prosecutors from questioning lawmakers or holding them criminally responsible for their legislative acts.
March 16, 2016 |
A federal judge allowed U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's original legal team to withdraw from his corruption case Monday, nearly two months after the lawyers first requested to drop the congressman as their client, citing a payment dispute. In a one-paragraph order, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III dismissed lawyers Kevin Mincey, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Riley Ross III, and Shabrei Parker from the racketeering conspiracy case. Bartle had previously refused to let them withdraw, despite their contention that Fattah had not fully paid them in months.
March 13, 2016 |
A federal judge eviscerated arguments Friday from U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's new legal team, which sought dismissal of his corruption case, citing a congressional privilege typically used to protect lawmakers from executive branch interference. Though he has not yet issued a ruling on the request, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III left little doubt that he viewed with skepticism their claims that the "speech and debate clause" should shield the congressman from his May trial on racketeering conspiracy charges.
February 5, 2016 |
Matthew T. Amato, who helped Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. scam thousands of dollars from area banks, and later helped the U.S. Attorney's Office convict the son of U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah, was sentenced Wednesday to two years of probation for his part in the scheme. Amato, Fattah's onetime roommate at Drexel University and later in Roxborough, took out $65,000 in loans from four banks in 2005 in the name of Chaka Fattah Jr. & Associates, a shell company he and Fattah Jr. concocted. In the summer of 2005, Amato received loans from Wachovia Bank, PNC Bank, and Sun National Bank on the strength of their bogus claim that their company had $140,000 in sales the previous year.
February 4, 2016 |
Before being sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million restitution to the clients and banks he defrauded, Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. told the court that the government had gotten it wrong. That argument clearly went nowhere. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III ordered that the congressman's son be immediately taken into custody. He was hauled away while his father, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), his mother, and a sister sat in the gallery.
January 29, 2016 |
A federal judge on Wednesday called U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's decision to prioritize fund-raising for his reelection campaign above paying his lawyers "particularly unfair" but denied a request from his defense team to withdraw from his corruption case. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III said that though the lawyers had not been fully paid in months, they were aware of the time and financial commitments when they signed on to Fattah's case. They ran a risk when they did not require the Philadelphia Democrat to pay their legal fees up front, Bartle wrote in an opinion.
January 28, 2016 |
A federal judge on Tuesday urged U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who says he is more focused on raising money for his reelection campaign than on his corruption trial, to rethink his priorities. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III issued the warning as Fattah's lawyers sought to be removed from his case, saying he had not paid their legal bills in nearly five months. "I think you need to take this matter seriously and think hard and fast about your priorities," the judge told the Philadelphia Democrat.
January 23, 2016 |
Lawyers for U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah have asked a federal judge to dismiss them from representing him in his forthcoming federal corruption trial because, they say, they are not getting paid. They also asked U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III that their request, made Wednesday, be handled confidentially because of "sensitive" communications that "should be protected from public scrutiny. " Bartle disagreed, making them public Thursday, the same day that nine leaders of the city Democratic Committee, including U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, and City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, endorsed the 11-term Democratic congressman's bid for reelection.