October 23, 2012 |
FEDERAL OFFICIALS announced on Monday a new public-corruption hot line aimed at rooting out wrongdoers in public jobs. "All corruption leads to an erosion on the public trust and a weakening of the city," said George C. Venizelos, the FBI's special-agent-in-charge in Philadelphia. Venizelos said the new tip line was not a response to any uptick in corruption cases. Rather, he said, the FBI has renewed its focus on finding and punishing anyone who would use public money or a public position to do wrong.
October 23, 2012 |
In the two years since George C. Venizelos took over the FBI's Philadelphia division, the North Jersey native has developed a sense of how corruption works here. The people and public officials are no more inherently corrupt than in other metropolises, according to Venizelos. But the government structure and history sometimes make the conditions ripe for graft. Take a densely populated area, add hundreds of agencies, departments, municipalities, and elected positions, and fold in a pay-to-play culture.
September 11, 2012 |
TRENTON - Federal agents arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city Monday on corruption charges, alleging that he agreed to accept bribes in connection with a proposed parking garage - actually a fake project created by authorities in a sting operation. Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, his brother Ralphiel, and Joseph Giorgianni, a Mack supporter who owns a Trenton sandwich shop and is a convicted sex offender, were each accused of a single charge: conspiring to extort the undercover informants who pulled them into the scheme.
September 8, 2012 |
A former Camden City police officer convicted of stealing cash and drugs, planting evidence, and lying to a grand jury was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler. Kugler also revoked bail for Antonio Figueroa, 36, and ordered the former member of an elite antidrug squad taken into custody. Kugler said Figueroa and three other members of the squad awaiting sentencing "had shattered the community trust" in law enforcement and "cast a pall" over hundreds of honest police officers working in the city.
September 2, 2012
The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took On the Mob, Fought Corruption, and Won By Herbert J. Stern Skyhorse Publishing. 560 pp. $29.95 Reviewed by Rich Aregood Every freshman law student learns that he or she is there to learn about the practice of law. If justice happens along the way, it's a happy coincidence. Herb Stern was in the business of increasing the frequency of those coincidences, prosecuting the well-connected bad guys despite frequent pressure from above, and tempering justice with intelligence and compassion.
August 29, 2012 |
THE VERDICT is in: Tom Hardy is officially Hollywood's go-to guy for hulking brutes who talk with their fists. He was the mixed martial arts goon in "Warrior" and the muzzled Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," and now - in "Lawless" - he plays the Spartan-tongued leader of a Virginia clan of mountain moonshiner men who repel an invasion of crooked gummint flatlanders. Hardy plays broad-shouldered Forrest Bondurant, a man who's survived so many threats to his life it's rumored he cannot be killed.
August 24, 2012
HARRISBURG - A Dauphin County Court judge on Thursday rejected former State Rep. Bill DeWeese's bid for a new trial on corruption charges. Todd Hoover's ruling clears the way for DeWeese's lawyers to appeal his conviction to Superior Court. The judge defended several trial rulings that DeWeese cited as justification for a new trial. He also turned down a motion to modify DeWeese's 21/2- to five-year prison sentence. DeWeese, 62, a Greene County Democrat, is incarcerated at Retreat state prison near Wilkes-Barre.
August 12, 2012 |
Rejecting the prosecution's case as "an unconvincing web of circumstantial evidence," a federal judge on Friday found former New Jersey State Sen. Wayne Bryant not guilty of corruption charges tied to a series of billion-dollar development projects proposed in Camden County and North Jersey. Prosecutors had argued that Bryant, a once-powerful Camden County Democrat, took bribes disguised as legal fees to do the bidding of a North Carolina developer that in 2004 had projects planned in the Cramer Hill section of Camden, on Petty's Island in Pennsauken, and in the Meadowlands.
August 10, 2012 |
The Yeadon council president has been charged with bribery and theft related to his position as a municipal official. John D. Holden was arrested and arraigned yesterday in district court in Delaware County, according to court documents. Holden, 46, was released on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was set for August 17 before Judge W. Keith Williams II. Details of the accusations were not released as of this morning. Check back for more developments. Holden has been a member of council since 2009.
August 9, 2012 |
Kerri Bizzell, a former Philadelphia Housing Authority manager, and her defense attorney on Wednesday blamed the PHA's culture of corruption for Bizzell's past criminal behavior in which she extorted $25,000 from two contractors. "Ms. Bizzell learned her behavior from those people who were in more senior positions than she," her federal defender, Elizabeth Toplin, told U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg at Bizzell's sentencing hearing. Bizzell, 43, said she was transferred from the construction department to her position managing contracts after she had an affair with "an executive" at the PHA. The affair began the downward spiral of her marriage and the executive became insulted, she said.