July 31, 2016 |
A federal appeals court on Friday refused to throw out the bribery and fraud charges filed against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, clearing a hurdle standing between the New Jersey Democrat and a possible corruption trial. Menendez had sought to have his case dismissed, citing constitutional protections that shield the work of legislators from Justice Department interference. He is accused of accepting nearly $1 million in campaign donations and bribes from a South Florida eye doctor seeking help in disputes with the Obama administration.
July 21, 2016 |
A federal judge on Tuesday tossed out a defamation suit against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, saying even false remarks by her did not do enough damage to the plaintiffs for her to face a lawsuit. Even if Kane's statements defamed former state prosecutor Frank Fina, former State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, and three other former state officials, they were "mere speech" and the men did not suffer the concrete harm of being fired or disciplined, the judge ruled.
July 14, 2016 |
Temple University's board of trustees on Tuesday took a unanimous vote of no confidence in president Neil D. Theobald during a private session, and announced its intention to dismiss him. The board's action, announced by spokesman Kevin Feeley, came after a regularly scheduled meeting. News of the planned ouster came less than a month after Theobald removed provost Hai-Lung Dai from his post and blamed him for a $22 million shortfall in the university's merit scholarship program.
July 10, 2016 |
Lawyers for three former Penn State administrators accused of failing to report Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children filed motions last week asking that those charges be dismissed. The Pennsylvania Superior Court in January threw out the most serious charges against former Penn State president Graham B. Spanier, Gary Schultz, and Tim Curley, who were accused of conspiring to cover up Sandusky's abuse. But the men continue to face charges of child endangerment and failure to report suspected child abuse.
July 2, 2016 |
Some faculty at Temple University, including members of the chemistry department, are rallying to the defense of Hai-Lung Dai, the provost who was ousted this week with no explanation. Eric Borguet, a chemistry professor, has started a Change.org petition demanding to know why Dai, also a tenured member of the chemistry department, was abruptly relieved of his administrative duties as provost. The petition asks the board of trustees to scrutinize the decision by president Neil D. Theobald.
June 23, 2016 |
A Montgomery County judge has rejected Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's attempt to have the criminal case against her dismissed on the ground that she was a victim of vindictive prosecution. In a one-sentence order Monday that offered no explanation for the decision, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy denied Kane's motion. Kane's attorneys had argued in court motions that the charges against her should be dropped because her political rivals launched the criminal investigation to stop her from releasing information about them - including the exchange of pornographic emails on state computers.
June 19, 2016 |
Jurors in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal corruption trial were instructed to start over in their deliberations on Friday after one member of the panel was dismissed. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III offered no explanation for the dismissal after calling the jury back into the courtroom around 10 a.m. An alternate had replaced the missing member. Lawyers for the congressman and his codefendants declined to comment, saying that Bartle had instructed them not to discuss the matter.
June 17, 2016 |
A lawsuit brought by Autumn Pasquale's family accusing authorities of failing to properly search for the 12-year-old girl after she was reported missing, before she was found dead two days later, has been dismissed, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday. The suit, filed in October 2014 in Superior Court in Woodbury, said authorities organized a search of volunteers "miles from" Autumn's home, as opposed to the Clayton neighborhood where she was last seen. Her body was found in a neighbor's recycling bin near the home of Justin Robinson, then 15, who confessed to strangling her. The Prosecutor's Office - which was listed as a defendant in addition to Monroe Township, Elk Township, Clayton, and the New Jersey State Police - said there was a "voluntary dismissal" of the case May 31. It's unclear which side sought the dismissal.
June 10, 2016 |
Taking a step they had telegraphed, Bill Cosby's lawyers moved Wednesday to have the sexual assault case against him dismissed because prosecutors failed to present his accuser, Andrea Constand, at his preliminary hearing last month. By relying on detectives to testify and read Constand's 2005 statements to police instead of calling her to the witness stand, prosecutors denied Cosby "an opportunity to confront and cross-examine his accuser," the defense team wrote in a bid to have the charges dropped or receive a new preliminary hearing.
June 9, 2016 |
A federal judge this week dismissed a defamation lawsuit against former Mayor Michael Nutter and two top city law enforcement officials filed by narcotics officers who were acquitted in a high-profile corruption case. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond on Monday ruled in favor of Nutter, District Attorney Seth Williams, and former Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, writing in a 16-page memorandum that the officers' complaint "reads more like a news release than a pleading. " Six of the plaintiffs - Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, John Speiser, and Linwood Norman - were accused of a conspiracy to rob and extort money from drug dealers.