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District Attorney

NEWS
June 16, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman was a political superstar when she ran for reelection in 2011, with such a sterling image and strong popularity that Democrats did not put up a challenger. The next year, Ferman stepped into a star-studded spotlight in New York City, as the L'Oréal Women of Worth awards' national honoree for her work on behalf of abused children. Her name often ended up on short lists of prospects for higher office. But Republicans and Democrats are now talking, or at least whispering, about the political damage Ferman may have suffered from botched investigations in two high-profile prosecutions - the rape case against former Montgomery County GOP chairman Robert Kerns, and a theft case against a contractor that ended with a Ferman apology and a $1.6 million payout to the man. Ferman still has ardent supporters.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IN LIGHT of recent events, Stephanie Amato's Facebook activity is a little disconcerting. "Fun with these kids!" the 30-year-old teacher posted Tuesday with a picture showing her chauffeuring a group of smiling preteen boys. Another picture, posted later that night, shows her standing with the group. Its caption proclaims, "My fav students. " Both photos went online hours before Amato turned herself in to police amid allegations that she had sex with one of her special-education students.
NEWS
May 29, 2014
MEDIA Delaware County on Wednesday will unveil the latest addition in its fight against crime, SWAT One. The black 2014 Lenco "BearCat" ballistic-engineered armored response vehicle will be displayed beginning at 1 p.m. at Rose Tree Media Park, 1671 N. Providence Road, Media. The county's SWAT team will show off the new vehicle's capabilities and special features. The state-of-the-art armored car can carry 10 people and withstand a hit from a 50 caliber projectile. It has night-vision optics and a battering ram, said Emily Harris, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a bitter three-way race that involved some of the city's most powerful political players, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione cruised to a surprisingly easy victory in the Democratic primary Tuesday. She collected slightly more than half of the vote in the Second Senatorial District, which stretches from Kensington to Fox Chase, besting Daniel Savage, a former City Council member, and Tomas Sánchez, husband of Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez. The rough-and-tumble race featured big money, prominent endorsements, and plenty of attack ads. The district also was one of the hottest areas in the city for complaints of election shenanigans, said Ellen Mattleman Kaplan of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
LAMAR RAYSON, who has lived in federal prison since 2007, wasn't going anywhere for decades. But yesterday, he learned that he's likely to die behind bars. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Alice Dubow sentenced him to 37 1/2 to 75 years in state prison for a 2004 Christmas Eve home-invasion robbery and rape in Wissinoming, Pa. Rayson, 29, will begin serving that sentence after he completes a 32-year sentence in federal prison that he received for his role in five armed robberies of city businesses in 2005, and a 2006 armed carjacking in Germantown.
NEWS
May 10, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST CHESTER An East Bradford Township man is suing the Chester County SPCA and the District Attorney's Office, alleging that two shelter staff members falsely represented themselves as authorized humane officers during a raid at his house in which more than 20 of his animals were confiscated. Larry Woodward of Bridge Road contends that his rights were violated when SPCA officials Christina Cain Pelosi and Craig Baxter, along with two police officers, came to his home April 22 with a search warrant.
NEWS
April 28, 2014
Who is this person? That's the question being asked by many Pennsylvanians who wonder why Kathleen Kane's actions too often don't match their expectations in electing her attorney general in 2012. Kane stuck another pin into her credibility last week when, having challenged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to take over a bribery investigation involving four city legislators, she pivoted and refused to give him the case files. An e-mailed letter from Kane to Williams' office reportedly alleged that the district attorney has an apparent conflict of interest because at least two of the Democratic legislators accused of taking money from an informant endorsed Williams for election in 2009.
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
For Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, it was a bold maneuver - a way to regain command of the narrative amid the furor over her decision to end a sting investigation into political corruption. It may have also been too much of a risk, political and legal analysts say. Two weeks ago, Kane challenged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to take over the case - after Williams emerged as the biggest critic of her decision to shut down the sting. This week, Kane appeared to take a step back, writing Williams a letter suggesting he had political conflicts that might impair his ability to prosecute.
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said Friday that it would review sexual-abuse allegations against a narcotics officer accused of assaulting women during drug raids. The officer, Thomas Tolstoy, was one of four officers at the center of a 2009 Philadelphia Daily News series on police misdeeds titled "Tainted Justice. " The series detailed how three women said Tolstoy sexually assaulted them. Fraternal Order of Police lodge head John McNesby, who has been speaking on behalf of the officers, said he was looking forward to defending Tolstoy.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG Two weeks after state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane challenged Philadelphia's district attorney to take over the sting investigation she shut down, her office said Wednesday that she would not turn over the case file until certain legal issues were resolved. In a letter to Williams, Kane raised "potential conflicts" Williams faced in handling the case, her spokesman J.J. Abbott said. He also cited, without elaboration, concerns about privacy provisions of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act. Abbott would not release the letter, saying it contained confidential information about the case.
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