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NEWS
January 28, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's order curtailing government seizures of property from people never accused of a crime should be a signal to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. His aggressive use of civil forfeiture laws has been not only unjust, but also oblivious to the growing outrage over unfair confiscations. Over the course of a decade, Williams' office has taken $60 million in cash, homes, cars, and other property from thousands of people, including parents whose adult children were charged with selling drugs in or near their houses.
NEWS
January 20, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a typical year, last week's announcement that Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards would leave to become the state's next transportation secretary would qualify as a political bombshell. But 2015 is shaping up as anything but typical. Richards' departure brings the number of high-level elected vacancies in Montgomery to seven, unleashing a political feeding frenzy as dozens of prospective candidates swarm for the chance to run for commissioner, district attorney, judgeships, and row offices.
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
A GROUP OF former staffers of the shuttered Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School is "contemplating" a class-action lawsuit against the district, the group's leader said yesterday. The 18 former staffers say they are owed paychecks for all of December, as well as vacation and sick pay. They discussed the claims with school district officials yesterday. "They are also responsible for what is taking place as well, because the Charter School Office had oversight of this particular school," said Sultan Ashley, who was the school's community relations and partnership development director.
NEWS
January 12, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Now it is Risa Vetri Ferman's time to decide whether a case against a public official is good enough to prosecute. Ferman, the Montgomery County district attorney, has been handed a high-stakes assignment: Sources say a grand jury has recommended that she prosecute the state's highest law enforcement official. She must decide whether to bring a criminal case against Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who sources say the grand jury concluded broke the law by leaking secret investigative material in a bid to embarrass a political foe. Ferman must decide whether to adopt a criminal case that she did not begin or build.
NEWS
January 12, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
A lawyer for embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Saturday that she would not resign if charged with leaking confidential grand jury information to a newspaper. Lanny J. Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, said Kane was being subjected to a "one-sided, biased investigation. " "This railroad train seems to me to be driven by some men with grudges, men who are bitter and angry at being exposed and professionally embarrassed - men who have political agendas to railroad Kathleen Kane out of office and destroy her career," he said.
NEWS
January 9, 2015
A story Thursday about Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr.'s plans to run for district attorney gave the wrong office for one of his previous campaigns. In 2004, Castor unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for attorney general. A caption Thursday with a story about Martin Luther King's Birthday misspelled the name of former Sen. Harris Wofford, for whom the Active Citizenship Award is named.
NEWS
January 1, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Delaware County officials have identified a man who they said sped away as police were attempting to pull him over for a traffic violation Monday, then crashed head-on into another car, killing himself and critically injuring the other driver. Mark Eric Anderson, 25, of Chester, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the District Attorney's Office, which is investigating the incident. Around 4 p.m. Monday, a Folcroft police officer attempted to stop the white Nissan that Anderson was driving near Chester Pike and Primos Avenue after he saw what appeared to be a counterfeit inspection sticker.
NEWS
December 24, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The incompetence of the Coatesville school board rivaled that of those it empowered to run Chester County's poorest school district. A grand jury report suggests that the board allowed former Superintendent Richard Como to run the district as a petty dictatorship, bullying employees who would dare question him as he allegedly stole public funds and hired unqualified relatives, friends, and felons to work with children. Several of Como's hires had a record of drug, weapons, assault, and child endangerment offenses.
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The truth can be bent, obscured, or even, to use Attorney General Kathleen Kane's felicitous phrase, "half-assed. " But Kane's assessment of the case against five Democratic officials from Philadelphia could not have been more plainly untrue. In March, when The Inquirer revealed that Kane had aborted an investigation that caught the officials taking money and jewelry from an informant, the state's top law enforcer flatly declared the matter unprosecutable. Nine months later, however, it's being prosecuted.
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THE CIVIL forfeiture "money machine" run by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams may be getting shamed into submission. Quietly yesterday, Williams' office agreed to dismiss civil-forfeiture proceedings against two Philadelphia families whose homes were in jeopardy of being seized because a family member was accused of selling drugs at the properties. "If they don't have anything against you, they're supposed to [dismiss the case]. I didn't do anything wrong," said Somerton homeowner Christos "Chris" Sourovelis, 52. Doila Welch, 47, whose South Philadelphia rowhouse is also home to her three children, brother and sister, was pleased.
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