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NEWS
April 17, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
His cross-examination should have been brutal. Defense lawyers had called Jeffrey Walker everything from "an amoral creep" to a "despicable, rotten liar. " On the witness stand, he called their clients bullies and fellow rogue cops. But as the 46-year-old disgraced narcotics investigator turned star government witness withstood intense questioning from the defense Wednesday, he responded with a surprisingly honest admission. "I was a thief and a liar before," he said of his time on the Philadelphia Police Department's Narcotics Field Unit.
NEWS
April 7, 2015 | By Sarah Smith, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years before he was one of Philadelphia's dirtiest cops, Jeffrey Walker was a hero. In fall 1998, Walker specialized in drug busts for West Philadelphia's 16th Police District. On the streets, his aggressive work as an undercover cop and his appearance - tall, fit, with dreadlocks - earned him a nickname from drug dealers: Batman. Like any Batman, Jeffrey Walker had a Robin: his partner, Officer Brian Reynolds. In the tough Mantua neighborhood Batman and Robin patrolled that fall, three dealers found an easy way to get rid of the duo. One of the three would get $4,000 to kill them.
NEWS
April 4, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Responding to one of the longest-awaited indictments in the annals of political skulduggery, Sen. Robert Menendez declared this week that federal prosecutors "don't know the difference between friendship and corruption. " But the charges suggest it's Menendez who has trouble with that distinction. The New Jersey Democrat's indictment on bribery and other counts depicts his relationship with a Florida eye surgeon, Salomon Melgen, as so mutually lucrative that it does not fit any commonly accepted definition of mere friendship.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) was indicted on 14 counts of federal corruption Wednesday, accused of using his office to help a donor who had lavished him with gifts, including numerous flights on a private jet, a stay in a five-star Paris hotel, and vacations at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. In exchange, Menendez, 61, allegedly pressed high-ranking federal officials on issues important to the business and personal affairs of the donor, South Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday shed another problematic witness against six Philadelphia narcotics officers accused in gang-style beatings and robberies of drug suspects, prompting renewed calls from defense lawyers that the entire case should be tossed. Citing "contradictions" in his story, prosecutors withdrew all charges stemming from the grand jury testimony of Christian Cirigliano, a South Philadelphia man who said the accused officers kicked in his door and stole $3,200 from him on March 7, 2010.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writers
It was one of the more stunning allegations in an indictment filled with tales of eye-opening bad behavior by a group of six Philadelphia narcotics officers accused of trampling on the rights of drug suspects for years: In 2011, the group, allegedly led by Officer Thomas Liciardello, savagely beat machine shop owner Warren Layre after forcing their way into his West Mount Airy storefront. Liciardello, prosecutors say, kicked in Layre's teeth, and other officers shoved their feet in his groin and hit his head with a steel bar - all before stealing nearly $30,000 from him that they failed to report as seized.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once a Democratic fund-raising wheeler-dealer who counted mayors and congressmen as friends, Samuel G. Kuttab took a hit to his reputation when a 2002 tax-evasion case sent him to federal prison for two years. His political fortunes appeared poised to sink further Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to charges involving the use of his influence to sway a civil lawsuit in his favor. In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez Jr., Kuttab, 55, said that in 2011, he enlisted the aid of then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. to fix the case.
NEWS
February 10, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Walter M. Phillips Jr., 76, a tireless prosecutor whose efforts to root out public corruption in the 1970s shook the foundations of Philadelphia's Democratic politics, died Saturday, Feb. 7, of complications from earlier open-heart surgery. His career as a city, state, and federal prosecutor pitted him against New York mobsters and politicians such as former Pennsylvania State Sen. Henry J. "Buddy" Cianfrani. His drive to pursue graft at all costs at times laid him low, such as when he turned his investigative zeal on officials close to the administration that appointed him - and later fired him - as a state special prosecutor charged with rooting out police and political corruption in the city.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
A man who coaches basketball in the West Chester schools and teaches English in Coatesville was arrested Thursday night on charges of having had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student in 2008. Mark V. Hostutler, 35, of East Goshen, an assistant boys' basketball coach at West Chester East High School and an English teacher at Coatesville Area High School, was charged with four counts of corruption of minors and four counts of endangering the welfare of children. The victim told police that when she was a student in the Coatesville district, Hostutler gave her alcoholic drinks - Amaretto mixed with cola - and had sex with her on three occasions in June 2008 at his home.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
  A man who coached basketball in West Chester and taught English in Coatesville was arrested Thursday night for having a sexual relationship with his 17-year-old student in 2008. Mark V. Hostutler, 35, of East Goshen, an assistant boys' basketball coach at West Chester East High School and an English teacher at Coatesville Area High School, was charged with four counts of corruption of minors and four counts of endangering the welfare of children. The victim told police that as a 17-year-old student in the Coatesville school district, Hostutler gave her alcoholic drinks - Amaretto and Coke - and had sex with her three different times in June 2008 at his home.
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