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NEWS
October 30, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a surprising turn, the lead investigator in the federal case against Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. testified Wednesday that he tipped off an Inquirer reporter in 2012 to FBI raids at Fattah's Ritz-Carlton condo and offices at Logan Square. Under questioning from prosecutors, FBI Special Agent Richard Haag said he contacted reporter Martha Woodall during the investigation to learn more about Fattah's work at a for-profit education firm. In exchange, he said, he gave Woodall limited information about the federal probe.
NEWS
October 25, 2015 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal prosecutors made a sharp turn Friday afternoon in the bank- and tax-fraud trial of Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr., portraying him as a budding executive being groomed as the "right-hand man" of a Philadelphia School District contractor. Earlier in the week, government witnesses focused on his throwing huge Super Bowl parties, enjoying fancy clothes, and spending afternoons lounging on his couch, eating pizza and watching Law and Order . But on Friday, government witness Mattie Thompson told the jury of his managing school budgets, finances, grants, and banking for Delaware Valley High School Inc., a now-defunct for-profit network of schools for students with disciplinary problems.
NEWS
September 13, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
A special team of FBI agents arrived in Chester on Friday evening to investigate the killing of a suspect during a raid by federal agents executing a warrant in a child pornography investigation early Friday, officials said. Such an investigation typically takes about two months, said a spokeswoman. As of 5 p.m. Friday, the FBI evidence response team was on the scene, and its shooting incident review team, an independent group of senior FBI agent-inspectors, had just arrived from Washington, she said.
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Chris Palmer and Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writers
An FBI public corruption probe that has entangled at least two cities in eastern Pennsylvania - and has Philadelphia ties - netted another conviction Thursday, when a contractor admitted trading campaign contributions for preferential treatment from the Allentown mayor. In a hearing in federal court in Philadelphia, Ramzi Haddad of Bethlehem acknowledged raising more than $21,000 this year for Ed Pawlowski's failed bid for the U.S. Senate after the mayor had agreed to intervene and help Haddad with building-inspection issues.
NEWS
August 24, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
ONE WEEK. If we could just go one week without a local politician becoming the focus of a cringe-worthy controversy . . . In the meantime, we welcome District Attorney Seth Williams to the ever-growing club of elected officials who have either been indicted or named as the target of a grand jury investigation. For Williams, it's the latter. Federal investigators are probing his finances to determine if he improperly spent campaign funds, a law enforcement source told the Daily News yesterday.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Even as she contends with state criminal charges, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane is also facing scrutiny by the FBI, The Inquirer has learned. In recent months, agents have questioned at least three people about several issues, including Kane's role in negotiating a new contract with the union representing narcotics agents in her office, according to people familiar with the matter. The agents sought information about whether Kane suggested to union officials that she would look favorably on their contract if they supported her embattled chief of staff, sources said.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | By Caitlin McCabe and Cat Coyle, Inquirer Staff Writers
The body of an unidentified male was found Wednesday in Delaware County, the FBI said, not far from where a missing 11-year-old was last seen. However, the agency would not confirm whether the body discovered in Prospect Park was that of the missing boy. He was last seen riding his bicycle Monday in nearby Folcroft. Folcroft police declined to comment. The FBI said Laquan "Quan" Lattimore, a student at Sharon Hill Elementary School, was possibly with a group of children when he was last spotted in the area of King Avenue and Chester Pike about 3 p.m. Monday.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The next person to lead the FBI's regional office is a Philadelphia native with a Villanova University degree, and a background in public corruption and terrorism investigations. William F. Sweeney Jr. was named special agent in charge of the bureau's Philadelphia division last this month. He began his new job Monday, replacing Edward J. Hanko, who retired after two years in the post and 29 with the bureau. A 17-year veteran of the bureau, Sweeney started his career in 1998 in Newark, N.J., where he directed an investigation that led to the bribery conviction in 2002 of Robert C. Janiszewski, an influential state Democrat and Hudson County executive who wore a wire to bring down several former associates.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia office, still smarts when he remembers a federal jury's rejection of the corruption case his agents had spent years building against six narcotics officers. "That one hurt," he said, recalling the day in May when the verdict was read. The case had been particularly hard-fought. Lawyers for the indicted officers had challenged the competence of Hanko's agents and accused them of ignoring justice for the sake of an indictment.
NEWS
July 12, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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