July 12, 2015 |
FBI agents descended Friday on Reading City Hall - their second such raid on a Pennsylvania municipal building in as many weeks. Nearly a dozen investigators spent nearly three hours copying contracts and hauling boxes of documents and computer equipment from the offices of Mayor Vaughn Spencer, the city council, and other departments. By afternoon, they had moved on to Spencer's house and spent several hours there. The Berks County raid came eight days after agents conducted a similar sweep through Allentown City Hall, also looking for information on municipal contracts.
July 8, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski suspended his campaign for the Senate on Monday, four days after FBI agents executed search warrants at Allentown City Hall. In a statement, Pawlowski said he was pausing the campaign "to fully focus on assisting in the federal investigation of Allentown contracting practices both prior to his being elected and since. " He said he would reevaluate when he had a clearer picture of the investigation. The news came after agents raided the office Thursday, seized documents, and interviewed Pawlowski and city Managing Director Francis Dougherty, according to a source close to the investigation.
June 25, 2015 |
Edward J. Hanko, the FBI's top agent in Philadelphia, will retire next month after a 29-year career with the bureau, he announced to agents Tuesday. The Wilkes-Barre native has led the Philadelphia division - the bureau's eighth-largest office - since 2013, and oversaw an investigative force with an expanded focus on counterterrorism, cyber crime and public corruption probes. In an e-mail to colleagues, Hanko, 55, said he had accepted a position as "vice president [for] global security for a Fortune 500 company" and would leave his current post July 31 - two years short of the FBI's mandatory retirement age. Hanko did not respond to calls for comment Tuesday about his future position or his retirement, which had not been officially announced by the bureau.
May 29, 2015 |
After a surgical device spread an aggressive but undetected uterine cancer inside anesthesiologist Amy Reed in late 2013, she and her husband launched a campaign to ban electric morcellators. Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has gotten involved, according to Reed's husband, Philadelphia heart surgeon Hooman Noorchashm, and Sarah Robinson, a California woman whose cancer was also worsened by the device. Both said Wednesday that they have been interviewed by FBI agents, and believe the FBI is looking into whether manufacturers failed to report deaths and serious injuries to the Food and Drug Administration, as required by federal law. "I had been trying to get the FBI's attention for a very long time," said Noorchashm, a heart surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
May 13, 2015 |
Before DNA testing became the gold standard in forensic science, hair analysis was often a prosecutor's trump card. Developed by the FBI's vaunted crime lab, microscopic hair analysis - comparing a hair found at a crime scene with one from a criminal defendant - as described in polished, confident testimony by an FBI hair analyst, could seal a guilty verdict. Now, an ongoing FBI hair-analysis review - preliminary results were announced April 20 - recommends a wholesale look at cases in which testimony about microscopic hair analysis contributed to a guilty verdict.
May 6, 2015 |
AS 40,000 RUNNERS barreled down Broad Street, four law-enforcement officials were in a race of their own. The prize was more than a medal and bragging rights - it was a man's life. FBI Special Agents Erik Negron, Tom Powell and Brian Hoffman, as well as Philadelphia Police Officer Matthew Fleming, took action Sunday morning during the Broad Street Run, working together to revive a 35-year-old man, one of two runners who had gone into cardiac arrest, authorities said last night. It happened in a split-second, according to Special Agent J.J. Klaver, an FBI spokesman.
April 27, 2015 |
For four weeks, federal prosecutors have challenged the choices of six members of an elite Philadelphia police drug squad and accused them of pocketing drug money and trampling on suspects' rights. But as defense lawyers opened their case Friday, it was their turn to object to the FBI's methods. Moving through nine witnesses at a whirlwind clip, lawyer Jack McMahon left no decision made by federal investigators unquestioned. Why, McMahon asked, did agents wait until after indicting the officers to interview police supervisors who witnessed operations the FBI has since flagged as suspicious?
April 22, 2015 |
A former Philadelphia police officer who was acquitted last year of extending loans at illegally high interest rates was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison for attempting to obstruct the FBI investigation of his case. Gary Cottrell, 48, said that while he always felt confident he would be found not guilty of charges of making extortionate loans, the stress of the investigation surrounding his business had altered his judgment. He was found guilty in November of asking two people to whom he had granted loans to lie to agents about the interest they had been charged.
April 11, 2015 |
After seven days of testimony alleging that an elite Philadelphia narcotics unit routinely cracked skulls, pocketed drug money, and lied on police reports to cover up its crimes, the federal jury hearing the corruption case against six of its members could be excused for wanting answers to a few nagging questions. Among them: Where were these officers' bosses? And what did they have to say when the FBI showed up on their doorsteps? The answers, as FBI case agent John Hess testified Thursday, are complicated.