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Corruption

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.
NEWS
November 25, 2012 | By Denis D. Gray, Associated Press
KOH KONG, Cambodia - A Thai force dubbed the "Rambo Army" couldn't stop the gangs, armed with battlefield weaponry, as they scoured the forests. Neither could a brave activist, gunned down when he came to investigate. Nor, apparently, can governments across Southeast Asia. The root of the conflicts and bloodshed? Rosewood. The richly hued, brownish hardwood is being illegally ripped from Southeast Asian forests, then smuggled by sea and air to be turned into Chinese furniture that can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
NEWS
November 11, 2012 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
The federal judge in the case of 88 people suing Camden after their drug convictions were tossed out because of police corruption is giving them until Dec. 5 to decide whether they want to take part in a proposed $3.5 million settlement. In an order issued Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider gave the plaintiffs' lawyers until Dec. 10 to inform the court which of their clients did not respond and which elected - or declined - to participate. But lawyers for both sides cautioned that while the framework of a settlement was in place, the price tag was not fixed and another major obstacle must be overcome before any deal can be finalized.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
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