February 6, 2015 |
As corrupt police officers go, Jonathan Garcia was more brazen than most. Less than two years after joining the force, he was making illegal traffic stops and stealing cash seized from drug dealers. He sold heroin, often in uniform and in broad daylight, across the street from the 17th District station in South Philadelphia. And, as he explained to a federal Judge Wednesday, he did all of this thinking that was just the way the system worked in a city with a history of dirty cops.
December 19, 2014 |
TWO FORMER PennDOT managers and eight inspectors were arrested today in an overbilling scheme that defrauded taxpayers of more than $1.2 million, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced yesterday. Alexander Morrone, 50, of Norristown, and William Rosetti, 36, of South Philadelphia, both former permits managers for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, allegedly took kickbacks from highway inspectors in exchange for ignoring phony time sheets and mileage reports, Kane said.
December 18, 2014 |
DISTRICT ATTORNEY Seth Williams yesterday charged Philadelphia-area state representatives Ron Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown with bribery, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest in connection to a grand jury probe into legislators taking envelopes full of cash in exchange for political promises. Waters and Brown, both Democrats, were subjects of a grand jury investigation into the political dealings of various Pennsylvania elected officials that has already taken down some, including Sen. LeAnna Washington and former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes.
November 6, 2014 |
U.S. REP. Chaka Fattah coasted to an 11th term yesterday - despite an ongoing federal investigation and the recent guilty plea of his former chief of staff in a complex financial scheme that prosecutors say was initiated by the Democratic congressman. Voters didn't blink. Fattah, 57, a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, steamrolled Republican schoolteacher Armond James by a 9-to-1 margin in the heavily Democratic 2nd District that covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
November 1, 2014 |
IT'S OFFICIAL: "The f---ing senator" is f---ing guilty. State Sen. LeAnna Washington, who once referred to herself by that infamous title, pleaded guilty yesterday in Montgomery County Court to a conflict of interest charge, Senior Deputy Attorney General Susan Lynn DiGiacomo confirmed yesterday. Prosecutors dropped a theft-of-services charge lobbied against Washington. As part of her plea, Washington will avoid jail time and keep her pension, and agreed to cooperate with the investigation into her misappropriation of state funds, said DiGiacomo.
October 29, 2014 |
THOMASINE TYNES, the former Philadelphia Traffic Court president judge named as one of five local officials who allegedly took bribes in an aborted sting operation, yesterday became the first person charged criminally in the sordid affair. District Attorney Seth Williams, in announcing the arrest of Tynes, 71, proclaimed that the grand-jury investigation into political corruption is ongoing and that the former judge may not be the only one to face justice. He urged those with information about political corruption to come forward.
September 25, 2014 |
Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr., who has been under federal investigation for more than a year, has agreed to plead guilty to charges that he accepted illegal cash payments and fixed cases, people familiar with the plea negotiations said. Waters abruptly resigned Tuesday, and is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud and mail fraud in a scheme in which he allegedly contacted two other judges to influence a pending lawsuit and a gun-possession case. Unbeknownst to him, the calls he made to those judges were secretly taped by the FBI, a person familiar with the investigation said.
August 21, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - A top state prosecutor told a judge Tuesday that the Attorney General's Office was "breaking new legal ground" in using "a pattern of conduct" - and not explicit "quid pro quo" evidence - as the foundation for its ambitious corruption case against Pennsylvania Turnpike officials and several others. Special Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter said that the pattern would prove that a cozy and corrupt culture permeated the turnpike leadership, and that contractors plied officials with baseball tickets, golf outings, lavish meals, and campaign donations in return for contracts.
August 20, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Lawyers for six defendants charged with corruption in connection with Pennsylvania Turnpike contracts ripped into the state prosecution Monday in a last-ditch attempt to shut down or seriously weaken the case before a forthcoming trial. The lawyers said the indictment unfairly sought to criminalize the legal practice of dunning government contractors for campaign contributions. And the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, the defense lawyers said, had fallen far short in amassing evidence tying gifts and campaign money to specific contracts.
August 14, 2014 |
The lead prosecutor in the looming corruption and bribery trial of former top turnpike officials and vendors - a signature case for the office of Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane - plans to leave her position ahead of trial. Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter is expected to handle pretrial arguments in hearing next week, but then depart from the Attorney's General's Office Aug. 29, according to people familiar with her plans. The Attorney General's Office declined to comment on the reports of Brandstetter's resignation.