April 19, 2014
Though it's human to err, admitting it doesn't come as naturally to the species - much less hiring someone to ferret out our mistakes. But that's exactly what the best government agencies do, setting up inspectors general, internal affairs departments, and the like to review and reconsider their work. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams deserves credit for his newly announced plan to correct some of his office's mistakes, which can have the serious consequences of putting innocent people in jail and letting guilty people go unpunished.
April 18, 2014 |
Update: Tiffany Goldwire surrendered at Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon. Earlier Story Police say Tiffany Goldwire knew that her boyfriend had left a cocked and loaded .357-caliber revolver on top of the refrigerator in her West Philadelphia home one morning this month. And police say she knew the gun was later put under a bed in the master bedroom, where she left her four young children to play alone. The children found the gun and began playing with it. At one point, police say, her 2-year-old son took the gun in his tiny hands and pointed it at sister Jamara Stevens, 11. The bullet struck the girl in her arm and passed through her chest, fatally wounding her. On Wednesday, the District Attorney's Office announced that prosecutors had charged Goldwire with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children, and weapons offenses.
April 11, 2014 |
At less than 5 feet tall, Zaria Estes could have been mistaken for a middle-school student in court Thursday. She seemed unsure about the meaning of the word "waive" - as in waiving one's right to a preliminary hearing. But Estes, 15, who was arrested along with two of her friends last month, is the one accused of using a brick to attack a female Temple University student who was walking with her boyfriend on Norris Street near 17th, the District Attorney's Office said. During the March 21 attack, the Temple student was battered with the brick numerous times, causing extensive damage to her face and mouth, authorities said.
April 5, 2014 |
COATESVILLE Thomas Hogan, the Chester County district attorney, is accusing the Coatesville school board of trying to intimidate a witness and hinder his office's investigation into district finances, according to a scathing two-page statement released Thursday. Hogan issued the statement in response to the Coatesville Area School District's news release Tuesday that it had suspended its assistant superintendent. Hogan said that unlike some district employees, assistant superintendent Angelo Romaniello was cooperating with his investigation.
March 27, 2014 |
MOST Philadelphians know that I served as our district attorney for eight years (1978-86), but few would remember that I was appointed by Gov. Milton Shapp to be a special prosecutor and deputy attorney general to investigate public corruption in Philadelphia (1976). I have watched the recent controversy regarding Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision not to revive a public-corruption investigation that had been effectively abandoned by her predecessors many months before she was sworn into office.
March 23, 2014 |
In unusually barbed criticism of a fellow prosecutor and fellow Democrat, Philadelphia's district attorney rebuked state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Friday, saying she had needlessly killed a solid corruption investigation - and besmirched the prosecutors who built the case. In an op-ed to be published in The Inquirer on Sunday, Seth Williams faulted Kane for shutting down a "sting" operation that caught at least five Philadelphia Democrats, including four state representatives, on tape accepting money or gifts.
March 19, 2014 |
ON THE second day, Attorney General Kathleen Kane fought back. Pennsylvania's Democratic top prosecutor was on the defensive yesterday after a front-page story in Sunday's Inquirer - with a PEARL-HARBOR-BOMBED-size headline - suggested that her office had botched a probe in which five Philly pols were caught taking cash or gifts from a lobbyist. Kane said at a feisty Harrisburg news conference that the case she was handed when she took office last year was unwinnable. "We believe that certain legislators were taking money, and that's a crime," said Kane, who pointed out that federal prosecutors and the Philadelphia district attorney also have been unable to find a way to press charges and that a GOP district attorney in Dauphin County has concurred.
March 14, 2014 |
SOME MEMBERS of a Philadelphia jury answered the prayers yesterday of a Philadelphia Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s. After deliberating 4 1/2 days, an unknown number of jurors refused to convict the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57. Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright declared a mistrial after the jury forewoman reported that the nine women and three men were hopelessly deadlocked on five of the seven charges. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp announced that her office intended to retry McCormick, and Bright set a scheduling hearing for April 28. During jury deliberations - which began last Thursday - McCormick at times was spotted in the courthouse hallway praying with other priests, nuns and supporters.
March 14, 2014 |
For nearly a decade, the complaints against Philadelphia Police Officer Kevin Corcoran just kept coming. There's one for allegedly entering a man's house in South Philadelphia without permission, and breaking his face with punches and kicks. There's another for allegedly slamming a man headfirst into a newspaper box in Old City, beating him bloody after the Phillies' World Series parade. The nine-year veteran has been sued four times for excessive force - with the city twice settling for undisclosed amounts.
March 13, 2014 |
When Pennsylvania legislators legalized casino gambling in 2004, they created numerous pots of money - some big, some small - that are fed by gamblers' losses. Among the smaller funds is the Local Law Enforcement Grant Program, which started with $5 million a year from slot machine revenue but was reduced to $2 million a year in 2010 because there was too little demand for money that could only be used to fight illegal gambling. Even after that reduction, the Local Law Enforcement Grant fund, administered by a unit of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, has built up a surplus of $8.5 million.