December 8, 2005
To some, the deals at issue in the widening Philadelphia City Hall corruption scandal have seemed a bit penny-ante: a printing contract here, an airport concession there, some bond work. The sleazy greed displayed on FBI wiretaps was distressing, to be sure. But, to some, the wheeling and dealing didn't seem to touch on the big-picture duties of a city government. Well, is Penn's Landing a big enough deal for you? Leonard N. Ross, former law partner of Mayor Street and head of his first transition team, has agreed to plead guilty to corruption and bribery charges.
May 11, 2005 |
Thanks to a once-obscure "renaming" law from 1992 and a year-old court ruling, every municipal government in New Jersey is empowered to declare virtually every business, home and acre a "redevelopment area" - the new 1992 term for "blighted area. " Then the government can take the property after a minimum of "due process," hand it over to a "redeveloper" chosen without competitive bidding, grant the redeveloper a tax abatement, and then top everything off by issuing bonds so that local taxpayers pick up the tab. The intent of the 1948 Blighted Area Law and constitutional amendment was to combat the "scourge of urban blight," a term descriptive of a "cancer on the public," of slums radiating outward to digest once-healthy areas, transforming them into centers of crime and rampant pollution.
May 18, 1995 |
Camden County Clerk Michael S. Keating was portrayed in court yesterday as a corrupt and greedy politician who betrayed the public trust by systematically bilking the taxpayers for more than a decade. Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Bozza said Keating took $213,000 in bribes in exchange for awarding two printers contracts to provide election ballots for Camden County. "This case is about corruption," Bozza told the jury in a Mercer County courtroom. "It's about 15 years of a betrayal of the public trust.
March 14, 2004 |
On the afternoon of March 27, 2003, Renee Bumb, a polished public-corruption prosecutor, rushed into her husband's office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Smith looked up from preparing a search warrant. His wife seemed troubled. The FBI agent in the room, Bob Sweeney, noticed it, too. Her eyes were cold, emotionally distant. "I need to talk to my husband," Renee said. The agent stifled an impulse to crack a joke, to bust on his friend for her unusual abruptness. After all, he knew of the power couple's private ordeal.
May 15, 1991 |
City Councilman James J. Tayoun, one of the most resilient forces in South Philadelphia politics, was indicted yesterday on federal corruption charges amid clear indications that he is likely to plead guilty. In a 27-page indictment that painted another seedy picture of corruption in Philadelphia, the well-known restaurateur and ward leader was accused of paying bribes as a consultant, accepting money for introducing legislation when he got on Council and then trying to obstruct the investigation.
October 25, 1989 |
A former police officer who was corrupt from his early days in the Philadelphia Police Department yesterday described a pattern of corruption in which he and his Five Squad colleagues stole money, drugs, diamonds and even casino chips. On the stand as a witness against six former squad members, Charles A. Hund 3d gave a history of his wrongdoing and suggested that he and other cops lived by an informal policy during his career: Take anything that isn't nailed down. He said that he encountered small-time corruption when he first joined the department, and that the corruption got worse and worse as time went on: Police officers took payoffs; they committed burglaries; they stole money; they used drugs; they stole drugs, and they sold drugs.
July 4, 2013
In the wake of a damning grand jury report in March about Pennsylvania Turnpike pay-to-play corruption, a three-person advisory committee will review the turnpike's procedures and policies. Turnpike Commission chief executive Mark Compton named John L. Gedid of Mechanicsburg, a retired law professor; Maureen Lally-Green of Cranberry Township, a retired Superior Court judge, and M.G. Patel of Harrisburg, a former construction company executive and retired chief engineer at PennDot.
February 21, 2011
THE CENTER FOR Public Integrity is starting an ambitious national project - believed to be the first of its kind - to identify risks of public corruption in each state based on laws on the books and how they're enforced. Pennsylvania will show itself to be at very high risk indeed. Right now we've got two former legislative leaders (Democrats Mike Veon and Vince Fumo) in prison; one former legislative leader (Republican Jane Orie) on trial; and two former legislative leaders (Republican John Perzel and Democrat Bill DeWeese)
August 4, 2004 |
Hudson County has a booming waterfront, a vibrant immigrant community, and a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline from the palisade overlooking the Hudson River. Hudson County also has a problem with misbehaving public servants. Of 55 significant corruption cases pursued by federal prosecutors in New Jersey during the last three years, 17 - nearly one-third - originated in Hudson County, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark. Now being deliberated by a federal jury is the fraud and extortion case of Rene Abreu, a former fund-raiser for West New York Mayor Albio Sires, who is also speaker of the state Assembly.
June 14, 1990 |
Former Roofers Union leader Stephen J. Traitz Jr., who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for racketeering, testified on Tuesday before a federal grand jury that was seeking information about city corruption, his attorney said yesterday. Defense attorney Robert F. Simone confirmed that Traitz had appeared before the panel for about 45 minutes, but he declined to disclose specific questions that had been asked of his client. "I don't want to comment on what he said," Simone said.