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NEWS
November 4, 1988 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Housing activist Charles L. "Boo" Burrus said yesterday that he would soon be back in the business of seizing city-owned houses and rehabilitating them for the poor - and he plans to start with the dwellings the city has been sealing to prevent drug dealers from using them as merchandising centers. "Cinder block breaks under a sledgehammer," Burrus said, referring to the bricks and mortar that city workers have used to close up houses occupied by crack dealers. "Squatting is the only workable program to help homeless people, until the system changes.
NEWS
October 29, 1988 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two verdicts were reached yesterday in the trial of housing activist Charles L. "Boo" Burrus - the first convicted Burrus of stealing $53,000 in federal housing money, the second condemned the city administration for letting him do it. The jury delivered the verdict against Burrus. Everyone else - from the judge to the prosecutor to the defense attorney to Burrus himself - condemned the open-handed generosity with which city officials let federal money flow to the housing activist.
NEWS
January 22, 1992 | By Howard Goodman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Charles L. "Boo" Burrus, a longtime housing and political activist who was sent to prison for misappropriating federal housing money, died early yesterday at 41 of complications from a stroke. Burrus, who began serving a one- to five-year sentence at Graterford Prison in August, collapsed on Jan. 11 and was taken to Suburban General Hospital in Norristown, where he was diagnosed with cerebral bleed, a condition very similar to a stroke, doctors said. He died about 1:30 a.m. yesterday after the collapse of his heart and lungs, said one doctor who treated him at Suburban General.
NEWS
March 4, 1987 | By CYNTHIA BURTON, Daily News Staff Writer
Charles "Boo" Burrus was not surprised when the district attorney's office notified him this week that he was a target of a grand jury investigation. "If you only read the Inquirer and Daily News in September and August, you wouldn't be surprised," the head of the Inner City Organizing Network said yesterday. Burrus and his agency have been the focus of an investigation by the DA's office into what happened to nearly $550,000 in federal funds that the city gave ICON between 1983 and 1985 to help people fix up abandoned homes.
NEWS
October 26, 1988 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Housing activist Charles L. "Boo" Burrus took the witness stand yesterday to explain the financial relationship between his Inner-City Organizing Network (ICON) and the various housing agencies that funded it. During four hours on the stand, Burrus admitted he had spent money that had been withheld to pay employees' payroll taxes. Burrus is charged, among other things, with theft of about $40,000 in employee withholdings. The money, he testified, was used to pay his own salary and the salaries of other ICON workers after the city cut funding to the organization.
NEWS
April 16, 1987 | By CYNTHIA BURTON, Daily News Staff Writer
Charles "Boo" Burrus, the community activist arrested last week on charges of theft, forgery and operating his Inner City Organizing Network as a "corrupt organization," is broke. He's so broke, that his attorney, Anthony E. Jackson, said he can't handle Burrus' case. "He has a big legal fee coming up. This case is of such magnitude, I'm going to have to charge a fee," Jackson said yesterday. Jackson said he would represent Burrus at his preliminary hearing, but his law office isn't large enough for him to take the complicated case through a lengthy trial without getting paid for it. A preliminary hearing for Burrus was scheduled for this morning.
NEWS
October 26, 1988 | By Cynthia Burton, Daily News Staff Writer
Five years ago, mayoral candidate W. Wilson Goode gave a rousing speech at a fund-raiser for the Inner City Organizing Network, ICON leader Charles "Boo" Burrus, who is on trial on charges of stealing $113,000 from the city, testified yesterday. "He (Goode) gives good speeches. He talked about the need for change in Philadelphia, and what a great guy he would be and he wanted me to help him become mayor," testified Burrus, who had been one of Goode's campaign workers. Burrus has refused to comment in depth about his legal problems since the district attorney raided his West Philadelphia ICON office in June 1985 and seized records.
NEWS
November 4, 1986 | By Russell Cooke, Inquirer Staff Writer
Housing activist Charles L. "Boo" Burrus agreed yesterday to make repairs to a West Philadelphia house that city inspectors said was unsafe, but he contended that his squatters-assistance group failed to complete work on the house because of problems with the city's housing bureaucracy. City officials sued Burrus and his group, the Inner City Organizing Network (ICON), after inspectors found that the building in the 5300 block of Chester Avenue had no heat and a flooded basement.
NEWS
April 10, 1987 | By KITTY CAPARELLA, Daily News Staff Writer (Staff writers Cynthia Burton and Michael Days contributed to this report.)
It was 2:30 in the morning on Dec. 6, 1985, when Charles "Boo" Burrus, 38, approached a young woman standing on Locust Street at 15th and offered "some blow (cocaine) and some cash" in return for sex. Burrus suggested that he could get more cocaine if the woman would join him and others at a party for a convention of black elected officials at a nearby hotel, according to investigators. There was one problem. The woman was not a prostitute. She was Police Officer Doreen Johnson of the vice unit.
NEWS
October 28, 1988 | By Susan Caba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Charles L. "Boo" Burrus looked like Everyman on the witness stand, dressed in an open-collared shirt, shapeless sweater under a Navy pea coat and too-long gray workpants that rolled over his scuffed black loafers. In two days on the stand this week, he swung his foot, gestured with a laborer's callused hands and glanced often from the jury to the judge to his attorney to see how his testimony was being received. He talked of buying beans to feed a group of friends. He spoke of dropping out of school and enlisting in the service.
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NEWS
December 29, 2008 | By KITTY CAPARELLA, caparek@phillynews.com 215-854-5880
Top officials of the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union are monitoring the serious mail problems in Philadelphia. But William Burrus, national president of the APWU, warned of an even worse problem on the horizon than "just the delay of the mail. " With a nearly $3 billion loss in fiscal '08, and a projected deficit of up to $5 billion in the current year, the USPS is "close to not being able to sustain a national postal-service system to the public," Burrus said.
NEWS
November 20, 2001 | By Acel Moore
I was pleased to learn that the late Charles "Boo" Burrus was remembered last Saturday when a new computer literacy lab for troubled youth was dedicated in his name. The computer lab is part of the House of Umoja, a complex in West Philadelphia that provides living and skills training as well as counseling to boys 15 to 18 who are having social or legal problems. Burrus, a former community housing activist and gang-intervention worker, died nine years ago in prison at 41. He had been convicted of misappropriating $55,000 in federal housing funds that were funneled through a housing agency he ran. He was sentenced to one to five years in Graterford State Prison in a case many people felt was an example of malicious prosecution.
NEWS
April 7, 1994 | By ACEL MOORE
This Father's Day, June 19, a cabaret party and fund-raiser will be held for two men who really made an impact in their community - Robert "Fat Rob" Allen and Charles L. "Boo" Burrus. Organizers hope to raise enough money for two $1,000 scholarships for college-bound seniors at West Philadelphia High School in the men's names. Both Allen and Burrus were raised in poverty in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia in what was once probably the most blighted and neglected community in the city.
NEWS
January 28, 1992 | By Kimberly J. McLarin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Charlie "Boo" Burrus was buried yesterday, after a funeral at which defiant friends stood one by one to reclaim their lost hero from the notoriety of his final years. Charles L. Burrus, 41, died last week of complications from a stroke. He had collapsed earlier this month while serving a one-to-five-year term at Graterford Prison for misappropriating federal housing money. He was an ardent and outspoken housing activist and leader of the squatters movement that claimed abandoned housing for poor people in the early 1980s.
NEWS
January 24, 1992 | By ACEL MOORE
There are two views of the life of Charles L. "Boo" Burrus, the rough- hewn housing activist who died this week at 41 of complications from a stroke. There is the public view of Burrus, and it is not complimentary. Unfortunately, that image is one that is shared by most of the public and by people who never met him and who knew him only through the latest news stories about his life. That view is of a loud-mouthed political and housing activist who led demonstrations and broke into abandoned houses to operate an illegal squatters' program.
NEWS
January 23, 1992
You don't hear many judges talking from the bench about "governmental arrogance and incompetence up and down the chain of command. " But Common Pleas Judge Thomas D. Watkins used those harsh words in 1989 after listening to a litany of testimony about how and why Charles L. "Boo" Burrus ended up in trouble with the law. Burrus was a rebel who desperately wanted to help his fellow man. He took over vacant houses to help the homeless, probably breaking...
NEWS
January 22, 1992 | By Howard Goodman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Charles L. "Boo" Burrus, a longtime housing and political activist who was sent to prison for misappropriating federal housing money, died early yesterday at 41 of complications from a stroke. Burrus, who began serving a one- to five-year sentence at Graterford Prison in August, collapsed on Jan. 11 and was taken to Suburban General Hospital in Norristown, where he was diagnosed with cerebral bleed, a condition very similar to a stroke, doctors said. He died about 1:30 a.m. yesterday after the collapse of his heart and lungs, said one doctor who treated him at Suburban General.
NEWS
January 22, 1992
When he flashed his broad smile and spoke in that "aw, gee, shucks" manner of his, Philadelphia housing activist Charles L. "Boo" Burrus was as charming a con man as the city streets ever produced. For a while, he conned even official Philadelphia - prying huge chunks of money from the city bureaucracy to operate what was once an illegal squatters organization. And while he proved, eventually, to be "a thief and a forger," in the unsparing words of the prosecutor who got Burrus convicted of embezzlement, the man's rap sheet didn't quite do Burrus justice.
NEWS
February 12, 1991 | BY ELMER SMITH
A brief history of the rise and fall of Charles "Boo" Burrus would go something like this: He was one of a group of housing activists who arose out of a need, and used their unique talents to get a job done. Their talent was for transmitting a sense of urgency, which stood in stark contrast to the sleepwalking ways of a whole class of bureaucrats who got paid to tell people why things couldn't be done. They met inaction with action and confronted the immovable object of programmatic paralysis with the irresistible force of persistence.
NEWS
February 7, 1991 | By Joanne Sills, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writer Paul Maryniak contributed to this report
City housing activist Charles "Boo" Burrus, convicted two years ago of embezzling federal housing money, is illegally placing squatters in abandoned houses owned by the government, federal officials say. Burrus, still facing a 1- to 5-year prison term, heads the Prevent Homeless Coalition, the group that placed squatters in a vacant Ivy Hill house where three members of a family were killed in an accidental fire Monday. Burrus denies doing anything illegal. He said his group is taking advantage of federal and city housing programs for the homeless.
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