April 14, 2016
By Arthur Caplan, Lee Igel, and Dominic Sisti With one week to go in the NBA regular season, Sam Hinkie decided to step down as general manager and president of basketball operations of the Philadelphia 76ers. As Sixers fans know, Hinkie has deliberately had the team tanking for years. His departure has to do with the Sixers brass, at the behest of an aghast NBA, forcing him to share decision-making authority with newly recruited executive Bryan Colangelo. But mainly Hinkie's departure has to do with a failure of "The Process.
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.
February 26, 2016 |
Federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday that corrupt officials in the Chinese government financially supported and may have benefited from a scheme to steal trade secrets worth billions from a GlaxoSmithKline research facility in Montgomery County. But lawyers representing one of the five defendants accused of pilfering information from the British-based pharmaceutical giant's Upper Merion Township location called such claims a "fantastical assertion. " The dispute - which boiled over at a detention hearing in federal court in Philadelphia - struck at the heart of debate over the Justice Department's recent checkered history in prosecuting cases of alleged theft of trade secrets involving Chinese American scientists.
January 29, 2016 |
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Former Mayor Buddy Cianci, 74, the wisecracking political rogue who presided over the revitalization of Providence during two stints in office cut short by criminal charges and a prison sentence for corruption, died Thursday. WLNE-TV said Mr. Cianci was taping his weekly TV show, On the Record with Buddy Cianci , on Wednesday evening when he had severe stomach pains and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said he died Thursday morning.
January 23, 2016
"As it's been revealed over the last few years, and even the last few weeks, City Commissioner Anthony Clark's behavior is embarrassing and insulting to the voters and taxpayers of Philadelphia. His conduct also has serious and damaging consequences for Philadelphia's reputation in our state capital and around the country. At a time when the city needs political support from lawmakers from across Pennsylvania on important issues like school funding for our children, we can't afford the perception that we tolerate and reward elected officials who can't be bothered to show up for work.
January 15, 2016 |
Another former Allentown official is expected to plead guilty in an ongoing FBI corruption probe. Mary Ellen Koval, 64, who resigned last week as city controller, will plead guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Juan Sanchez in Philadelphia, her attorney said. "She is a very stand-up, very old-school individual," lawyer Eric Dowdle said. "She knows she did something wrong and is accepting responsibility for it. " Dowdle said he expected Koval to cooperate with the FBI. Koval, of Allentown, was charged Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office with one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud.
January 9, 2016 |
"Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. " - Louis Brandeis The impulse to ferret corruption from politics corrupts the criminal justice system when it causes overzealous prosecutors and judges to improvise novel interpretations of the law of bribery. Consider Robert McDonnell's case. Virginia's former Republican governor has been sentenced to prison for actions that he could not have reasonably anticipated would be declared felonies under a dangerous judicial expansion of federal law defining bribery of public officials.
December 23, 2015 |
An FBI probe into corruption in Allentown City Hall struck at the heart of the mayor's inner circle Monday, as prosecutors filed charges against the city's one-time finance director. Garret Strathearn, who resigned in May, is the highest ranking city official to be charged in an investigation that has already wrung guilty pleas from a prominent developer and a former city lawyer, and appears to lead to Mayor Ed Pawlowski's office. Identified in court filings only as "Public Official #3," Pawlowski has not been charged.
December 2, 2015 |
Two City Hall aides from Allentown and Reading became the latest to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in a widening public corruption scandal that has implicated the mayors of both cities. Monday, Eron Lloyd, 35, who works in the Reading mayor's office, and Dale Wiles, 48, an assistant city solicitor in Allentown, acknowledged their roles in pay-to-play schemes, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. Lloyd admitted arranging to deliver bribe money from a ranking city official described only as Public Official 1 to City Council President Francis Acosta in return for action on a bill to repeal a cap on campaign contributions.
November 15, 2015 |
Philadelphia Police Officer Michael Spicer, recently acquitted of corruption charges after being implicated in a wide-ranging federal investigation of police misconduct, was promoted to sergeant Friday in a special ceremony at City Hall. Sgt. Joseph McCloskey, who supervised Spicer and five other narcotics officers charged in the criminal case and testified on their behalf, was also promoted Friday to the rank of lieutenant. A law enforcement source said the Police Department had opposed the promotions, so the ceremony was held at City Hall and coordinated by Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison in lieu of a representative from the department.