June 18, 2013
Turkey may call on the military ISTANBUL, Turkey - The country's leaders are prepared to use the armed forces against protesters if they consider it necessary, the deputy prime minister said Monday, raising the threat of military intervention for the first time during the current unrest, in a country that has only recently moved away from its long history of army coups. With protesters and police continuing to skirmish in both Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara on Monday, the warning from Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc was a significant rhetorical escalation in the crackdown on antigovernment demonstrations that began last month.
April 29, 2013 |
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has quietly assembled an elite team of veteran prosecutors to investigate public corruption. To staff the effort, Williams has hired prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office who brought successful cases against senior political figures in both parties, including former House Speaker John M. Perzel. Earlier this month, Williams received court approval to create a new investigative grand jury, which allows prosecutors to subpoena documents and compel testimony.
April 2, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The new chief executive of the troubled Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says he's glad a scathing grand jury report is finally out, despite its damning allegations of political corruption and influence-peddling within the agency. "We all knew it was coming, so there is limited relief that it's here," Mark P. Compton said in his office overlooking the toll road, outside Harrisburg. "Now we can deal with it. " Supplied with the 85-page report, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane earlier this month filed criminal charges against eight men, including former State Sen. Robert Mellow (D., Lackawanna)
March 22, 2013 |
Marcus Hook Mayor James D. Schiliro was arraigned Thursday on charges he allegedly had a police officer bring a 20-year-old friend to his home, where he gave the minor alcohol and fired a gun in his house while drunk. Judge David R. Griffin set bail at $50,000 unsecured for Schiliro, 38, on charges of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years old, and official oppression. "We intend to fight these charges," said Michael Malloy, Schiliro's attorney.
March 17, 2013 |
AFEDERAL JUDGE on Friday strongly rebuffed U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger's attempt to end a long-running City Hall corruption case with a deal for lesser charges and no more jail time for the three defendants. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno said the new deal for Chris Wright, once chief of staff to former City Councilman Jack Kelly, and two of Kelly's political allies was too lenient and would send a signal that public corruption is taken lightly in the city. Wright, developer Ravinder Chawla and attorney Andy Teitelman now must decide whether to be retried, plead guilty to the original charges with no guarantee on sentencing, or file an appeal on what information prosecutors can use in a retrial.
February 24, 2013 |
CHICAGO - They elected a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar and ended up with a congressman convicted of having sex with an underage campaign worker. They voted for the son of a famous civil rights leader and got someone who illegally spent campaign money on everything from furniture to Bruce Lee memorabilia. Call it Chicago corruption at its worst or uncanny coincidence, but residents of Illinois' Second Congressional District haven't been represented in Congress in more than three decades by someone who didn't end up in serious ethical or legal trouble.
February 23, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - A jury delivered guilty verdicts Thursday on six of seven corruption charges against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Jurors convicted Melvin on theft and conspiracy charges. Her sister and codefendant, Janine Orie, was also convicted on all but one count of the charges against her. The sisters were charged with misapplication of state funds, theft of services, and conspiracy for using the justice's former Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of a third sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie, to work on Melvin's campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.
February 15, 2013
RE: "DEAD END: Traffic Court To Scrap Heap?" ( Daily News , Feb. 14). By no means am I for any type of corruption, but let's be fair and call a spade a spade. State Sen. Dominic Pileggi's bill calls for abolishing Philadelphia Traffic Court because of the alleged corruption of the judges. There are only two judges who pleaded guilty, therefore are guilty, and one of them is former Delaware County Senior District Judge Kenneth Miller. At the time Miller engaged in these corrupt acts, he was presiding in Delaware County, not Philadelphia; the clerk he helped was a Delaware County clerk, not Philadelphia.
February 15, 2013 |
THE STATE Senate gave Philadelphia Traffic Court a big push toward extinction Wednesday, voting unanimously to abolish the controversial court two weeks after all but one of its judges were charged with federal crimes in a massive ticket-fixing scheme. The eight state senators from Philadelphia - all Democrats - supported legislation from state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, a Delaware County Republican and Senate majority leader, to dissolve the court and change how traffic tickets are adjudicated in the city.
February 8, 2013 |
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice is on trial on charges of violating campaign-finance law, a city councilwoman has admitted using campaign funds to repay a personal loan, and nine past and present judges of Philadelphia Traffic Court have been indicted in a federal ticket-fixing probe. This might be a good thing. Far from signaling the imminent political demise of state and municipal government, former city and federal prosecutor Walter M. Phillips Jr. said the blizzard of corruption investigations is a sign of progress.