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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.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
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.
NEWS
December 18, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
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.
NEWS
November 6, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
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.
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