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Corruption

NEWS
February 23, 2013 | By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH - A jury delivered guilty verdicts Thursday on six of seven corruption charges against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Jurors convicted Melvin on theft and conspiracy charges. Her sister and codefendant, Janine Orie, was also convicted on all but one count of the charges against her. The sisters were charged with misapplication of state funds, theft of services, and conspiracy for using the justice's former Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of a third sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie, to work on Melvin's campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.
NEWS
February 15, 2013
RE: "DEAD END: Traffic Court To Scrap Heap?" ( Daily News , Feb. 14). By no means am I for any type of corruption, but let's be fair and call a spade a spade. State Sen. Dominic Pileggi's bill calls for abolishing Philadelphia Traffic Court because of the alleged corruption of the judges. There are only two judges who pleaded guilty, therefore are guilty, and one of them is former Delaware County Senior District Judge Kenneth Miller. At the time Miller engaged in these corrupt acts, he was presiding in Delaware County, not Philadelphia; the clerk he helped was a Delaware County clerk, not Philadelphia.
NEWS
February 15, 2013 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
THE STATE Senate gave Philadelphia Traffic Court a big push toward extinction Wednesday, voting unanimously to abolish the controversial court two weeks after all but one of its judges were charged with federal crimes in a massive ticket-fixing scheme. The eight state senators from Philadelphia - all Democrats - supported legislation from state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, a Delaware County Republican and Senate majority leader, to dissolve the court and change how traffic tickets are adjudicated in the city.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice is on trial on charges of violating campaign-finance law, a city councilwoman has admitted using campaign funds to repay a personal loan, and nine past and present judges of Philadelphia Traffic Court have been indicted in a federal ticket-fixing probe. This might be a good thing. Far from signaling the imminent political demise of state and municipal government, former city and federal prosecutor Walter M. Phillips Jr. said the blizzard of corruption investigations is a sign of progress.
NEWS
February 2, 2013 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite a plea for a lesser term, a former Camden police officer was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in federal prison for his part in a rogue drug-squad operation. Jason Stetser, 34, was the last of four defendants to learn his fate in a case that has resulted in payouts totaling more than $3.8 million to some of those arrested by the corrupt officers. Stetser's attorney, Frederick W. Klepp, asked U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler in Camden to impose a sentence closer to the 20-month term handed down last year to ex-officer Kevin Parry, who, like Stetser, cooperated with investigators.
NEWS
February 1, 2013 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
T HERE IS so very much to learn from Thursday's federal indictment of current and former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges, staffers and their cronies on corruption charges. Traffic Court is a place of graciousness Who knew the tenderness that existed between the former Traffic Court Administrative Judge Fortunato Perri Sr. and Eddie Alfano, strip-joint landlord and tow-truck operator? In return for Perri's willingness to toss tickets for Alfano and his friends, the feds say, Alfano frequently repaired, cleaned and towed Perri family cars - a Cadillac, a Taurus, a Ford Expedition and a Chrysler 300 - for free.
NEWS
January 16, 2013 | By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's leaders received a powerful one-two punch Tuesday as the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister in a corruption case and a firebrand cleric led thousands of protesters in a second day of antigovernment demonstrations in the capital. The events set the stage for renewed political crisis in Pakistan, a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic extremists. They sparked accusations that Pakistan's top judge and powerful generals were working to destabilize the government ahead of parliamentary elections expected in the spring, and possibly delay the vote.
NEWS
January 12, 2013 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
Taxpayers are going to pick up more than half of the $3.5 million payout to 88 people whose drug convictions were thrown out after investigators determined they had been arrested by a group of rogue Camden police officers. U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider, who oversaw the consolidated cases, ordered the city to pay the settlement by Feb. 15. Jason Williamson, a New Jersey ACLU lawyer, whose office represented one of the plaintiffs, said Thursday that lawyers were still working out how much each client would receive.
NEWS
December 13, 2012 | BY BARBARA LAKER & MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers lakerb@phillynews.com, 215-854-5933
ONE AFTER the other, 41 drug cases based on police work by narcotics officers that the District Attorney's Office will no longer use as witnesses were dismissed Wednesday. All the defendants had been in custody awaiting trial when Common Pleas Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper told their attorneys that the D.A.'s office was dropping charges. The defendants will be freed as long as they have no other outstanding charges unrelated to their arrests by this aggressive squad in the Narcotics Field Unit.
NEWS
November 26, 2012 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - The prosecutors who spent years building a sweeping corruption case against former State House Speaker John M. Perzel and other Republicans used a potent tool - granting immunity to those who cooperated. In all, 87 GOP aides got such a deal. Elmer Bowman was not among them, even though the former Republican staffer said he had information prosecutors needed as they investigated illegal taxpayer-paid campaign work. In a lawsuit filed last year, Bowman alleged that he was sacrificed by his own lawyers.
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