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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.
NEWS
December 18, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
In announcing two more arrests in the resurrected sting investigation on Tuesday, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams made clear that he expected convictions. State Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown and Ronald G. Waters, who are accused of taking money from an undercover operative, admitted their guilt when questioned by a grand jury, Williams said. Brown, 48, and Waters, 64, both Democrats from West Philadelphia, "fully - and I repeat, fully - admitted to knowingly taking illegal cash payments," the district attorney said.
NEWS
December 18, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane made repeated false statements to justify shutting down an undercover sting, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Tuesday as he announced bribery charges against two lawmakers in the corruption case he revived. Williams said Kane had irresponsibly and without evidence claimed that the investigation had been marred by racial targeting. In fact, the district attorney said, a Philadelphia grand jury marshaled testimony and documents from within Kane's own office showing that her top aides rejected the idea that racial prejudice affected the case.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2014
YO, HAVE YOU seen District Attorney Seth Williams lately? The 47-year-old looks lean and buff. He's dropped 45 pounds - and he did it in just 100 days. One hundred days. Insert head shake here, because that's a whole lot of fat to slough off a body in such a short time. I caught up with Williams last week at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue, where he's been spending considerably more time lately. As we talked about his recent weight-loss results, his voice had the enthusiastic zeal of a recent fitness convert.
NEWS
December 15, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
A CITY COP repeatedly ignored subpoenas to testify against her husband, a former police officer who was charged with assaulting her last year, and the woman's absence resulted in the man's acquittal yesterday, according to the District Attorney's Office and courtroom statements. James Timms, a 14-year veteran of the department who was stationed at the 35th District at Broad Street near Champlost, had been accused of punching his wife and slamming her head on the floor of their Germantown home on Jan. 2, 2013.
NEWS
December 13, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A North Philadelphia man who in 2012 had been on probation for just 10 days before killing Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder. After a four-day nonjury trial, Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart found that Rafael Jones, 25, was the gunman who with Chancier McFarland accosted, robbed, and shot the 19-year veteran officer, who was walking to a bus stop after his night shift as turnkey in North Philadelphia's 22d District.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Maurice Gibbs said he was playing cards with friends outside a Bartram Village apartment on Aug. 20, 2012, when a childhood friend, Rafael Jones, walked up. Gibbs said the only thing more surprising than seeing a friend he had not seen in almost seven years was what Jones said after drawing him aside: that he had killed a police officer. "Did you see or hear anything about a cop killing on the news?" Gibbs said Jones asked him. "I said, 'No, I don't watch TV,' " Gibbs said.
NEWS
December 8, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AND ON THE second day, the city said, "Thou shalt not go to trial. " Yesterday, the District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against local icon Philly Jesus, his attorney said. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the DA's Office, confirmed that prosecutors decided not to pursue the two summary offenses lobbied against the roving preacher. The announcement came two days after Philly Jesus - a/k/a Michael Grant, 28, a recovering heroin addict who now lives to spread the Gospel - pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, charges stemming from his arrest in LOVE Park on Nov. 14. Charles Gibbs, Grant's attorney, said his client was "ecstatic" at hearing the DA's decision.
NEWS
November 23, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Coatesville Area School District has suspended its assistant superintendent and a custodial supervisor. Officials would not discuss the suspensions of the assistant superintendent, Angelo Romaniello, and supervisor Matt Como, but the moves come as the Chester County district continues to grapple with the fallout from investigations - both internally and by the district attorney - into its management. Romaniello served as interim superintendent last year after the resignation of Superintendent Richard Como in the wake of the discovery of racist and sexist text messages on his district-issued phone.
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