May 2, 2015 |
A scathing inspector general's report and congressional testimony have revealed a Veterans Affairs bureaucracy more interested in protecting itself than serving those who served their country. This region has felt the brunt of the failures. Of all the nation's regional VA offices, "Philadelphia is the worst," department official Danny Pummill told the House Veterans' Affairs Committee last week. The magnitude of the agency's culture of indifference is difficult to overstate. The office handles benefits for 825,000 veterans in Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware.
July 28, 2014 |
GAIL SKINNER said it was about 6 a.m. yesterday when she first heard the screams. "I was ironing, and I heard my neighbor hollering 'Help, help!' " the South Philadelphia woman recalled. When Skinner, 67, and her daughter went outside to investigate, they were greeted by clouds of thick black smoke. "So much smoke and flames, and it was coming out the window," she said, referring to a home up the street now completely black, its charred contents strewn about the sidewalk.
July 12, 2014
The Pennsylvania legislature has gone on an unearned summer vacation without addressing the Philadelphia schools' funding crisis or any of the other major issues before it this budget season. Editorial, A18.
May 12, 2014
HE DIDN'T . Oh, yes he did. Billionaire Bigot Donald Sterling, in a conversation with a friend that reeks of a pre-planned leak, not only denies being a racist, but offers his Jewish religion as a sort of defense. If he expects the Jewish community to rally to him, he's nuts. Half of his high school classmates were black, 40 percent were Hispanic, he said on the latest recording. "I was the president of the high school there," he said. "I mean, and I'm a Jew!" Not my kind of Jew. Even if we ignore his racist remarks, we can't get past his racist deeds . He paid millions to settle lawsuits that alleged he discriminated against minority renters.
March 28, 2014 |
"AN HONEST mistake" is how disgraced ex-cop Jonathan Lazarde yesterday described the extortion scheme he undertook last year that ended his career and resulted in his pleading guilty in January. "It was the worst decision I ever made," Lazarde, 28, added during his sentencing hearing in Common Pleas Court. "I'm still stuck on 'an honest mis-take,' " Judge Robert P. Coleman said after Lazarde spoke. The judge told Lazarde misconduct like his leads to distrust of police and makes it harder for prosecutors to win convictions.
March 14, 2014 |
RICHARD DeCoatsworth was once called a hero cop after surviving a shotgun blast to the face. Now the disgraced ex-cop is more like a drama king - one who really annoyed Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich yesterday. Rather than plead guilty to promoting prostitution and related counts - as was expected - the jailed DeCoatsworth instead accused a city prosecutor of spewing lies about him, attempted to justify ignoring Ehrlich's order to submit to a presentencing mental-health exam and apparently decided to withdraw his guilty plea after all. DeCoatsworth, 28, in a blue business suit, his bullet-scarred lower face covered by a thick growth of beard, stood and claimed that Assistant District Attorney Ashley Lynam had told "lie after lie after lie" about him. He said he refused to take the mental-health exam because his lawyer had been barred from being with him. But Ehrlich said that that was not true, and that arrangements had been made for DeCoatsworth's lawyer to attend the testing session earlier this week.
February 27, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Seven years ago, Richard DeCoatsworth was called a hero after the Philadelphia rookie cop survived a shotgun blast to the face and chased his attacker for blocks. On Tuesday, after 10 months in prison on high bail following a chaotic May 18 armed standoff with Philadelphia police, DeCoatsworth reluctantly pleaded guilty to simple assault, a drug count, and promoting prostitution. His plea came after years of drug use and emotional turmoil. "His brains were scrambled.
January 10, 2014 |
Bill Conlin, a Daily News sports columnist whose writing sparkled with incision and erudition, but whose career ended in the disgrace of child-molestation accusations, died yesterday in Largo, Fla. He was 79. Conlin resigned from the Daily News on Dec. 20, 2011, shortly before the publication of stories in the Inquirer about accusations that he molested seven children in the 1960s and '70s. The revelations hit colleagues and acquaintances with a shock wave that has yet to subside.
December 9, 2013 |
TWELVE DRUG CASES that involved disgraced ex-Philly cop Jeffrey Walker were dismissed yesterday by the District Attorney's Office. The move came just a month after Common Pleas Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper overturned 53 drug-related convictions that dated back to 2002 because of Walker's involvement with the cases. Walker, 44, was caught allegedly stealing $15,000 from a drug dealer's rowhouse in Kingsessing in May as part of an FBI sting. Authorities have said Walker first planted 28 grams of cocaine in the dealer's car and then stole a key to the man's house.