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Investigation

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NEWS
September 13, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is investigating the embezzlement of $210,000 from the region's publicly funded marketing agency and, in the process, reviewing how the agency dealt with the matter when it was uncovered two years ago. The money had been used to pay for personal purchases by Visit Philadelphia's chief financial officer, Joyce Levitt, who was permitted to resign rather than face criminal charges when she made restitution....
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city's state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned. Yet no one was charged with a crime. Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when Republican Tom Corbett was attorney general. After Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down. In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.
NEWS
May 9, 2014 | By Michael Boren and Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writers
They were mothers, sons, sisters, and cousins, selling drugs in one of Camden's most dangerous neighborhoods, authorities said. The heroin, cocaine, and crack reached into Camden and beyond, spilling into Lindenwold, Gloucester City, and Sicklerville. It was sold out of Sheridan and Liberty Streets. On Wednesday - after three years of investigation - authorities launched what they called the biggest FBI drug takedown in Camden in a decade. They charged 22 people after using wiretaps, confidential informants, and tracking devices hidden on vehicles driven by suspects.
NEWS
June 18, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Friends and relatives recalled Craig Berner - a Moorestown patrolman fatally struck by a truck while off duty - as one of the good guys, who would help even a turtle in need. Berner, a member of the township police department for 26 years, died nearly a year ago on his way to a store when he was thrown from his motorcycle and struck by a pickup truck. Several dozen people gathered Monday evening at Memorial Field on South Church Street for a candlelight vigil to honor Berner and garner support to reopen a criminal investigation into Berner's death.
NEWS
May 21, 2012 | By Mark Fazlollah, Joseph A. Slobodzian, and Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writers
The police squad repeatedly swooped down on bodegas and smoke shops, saying they were searching for the small plastic bags often used to package drugs. But merchants complained that the officers made off with cash and merchandise after disabling security cameras to mask their conduct. The actions of the Narcotics Field Unit - in one case graphically captured by a camera with a backup hard drive - triggered a major scandal in the city in 2009. The result was an FBI investigation of the officers, dropped charges against some defendants, and numerous federal civil right lawsuits filed by people who said they were abused or framed by the squad.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Stephanie Farr, Daily News Staff Writer
A member of the Colwyn Police Department is under investigation for repeatedly Tasering a juvenile while the boy was in a holding cell last week, according to borough officials and sources. The 17-year-old boy was allegedly arrested for fighting on April 24, charged with disorderly conduct and placed in a holding cell, according to sources. The officer allegedly Tasered the boy up to nine times, sources said, for reasons that are still unclear. The juvenile was allegedly Tasered once in the head and may have been handcuffed, sources said.
BUSINESS
August 28, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former FBI director Louis Freeh, now chairman of the Center City law firm Pepper Hamilton, was seriously injured Monday in the town of Barnard Vermont when the SUV he was driving swerved off the road and collided with a tree. Vermont State police responded to the scene at 12:16 p.m. and Freeh was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire for treatment. There were no other injuries, police said. Stephanie Brackin-Dasaro, a police spokeswoman, said the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
NEWS
July 21, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis and Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Former top officials at Pennsylvania State University did not fully cooperate with state investigators in the Jerry Sandusky case, Gov. Corbett said Thursday, and are likely now the focus of an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office. The governor, who as attorney general launched the child sexual-abuse investigation into Sandusky in 2009, said investigators had subpoenaed e-mails of top university officials, but did not receive critical exchanges until after Sandusky was charged last fall.
NEWS
November 17, 2012 | By Bill Reed, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Walter Meyerle, the tattoo artist convicted of sexually assaulting 15 children over more than a decade, is under investigation for possible witness tampering, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said Friday. "My office is looking into the question of whether he or his agents may have sought to do illegal things to influence the proceedings against him," Heckler said. "It is an ongoing investigation; county detectives are involved. " Heckler declined to say when the investigation started and whether a county grand jury is investigating Meyerle.
NEWS
October 6, 2011
A 7-month-old girl died after being found unresponsive at a Center City day-care center late Wednesday afternoon, police said. The infant was reported to be unresponsive in a crib at 4:27 p.m. at the Apple Blossom Learning Tree Day School at 1601 Lombard St., police said. She was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and pronounced dead at 5:01 p.m., police said. The death was being investigated by the Special Victims Unit. The day-care center did not immediately respond to a voicemail message seeking comment.
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NEWS
September 17, 2014
Police spokeswoman Officer Jillian Russell said special-victims investigators found no evidence of physical or sexual assault, and the girl doesn't recall any assault. Instead, they suspect she had "some medical issue" that made her collapse unconscious in the park as she walked in the area, Russell said. A man walking on the sidewalk along the northbound lanes of Roosevelt Boulevard near Brous Avenue about 7:45 p.m. spotted the girl, who was wearing a school uniform, lying unconscious in brush about three feet inside a guardrail, police said.
NEWS
September 13, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is investigating the embezzlement of $210,000 from the region's publicly funded marketing agency and, in the process, reviewing how the agency dealt with the matter when it was uncovered two years ago. The money had been used to pay for personal purchases by Visit Philadelphia's chief financial officer, Joyce Levitt, who was permitted to resign rather than face criminal charges when she made restitution....
NEWS
September 9, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
JOEY MERLINO insists that he's gone legit, but the number of people who actually believe him is dwindling. Sort of like the mob. The former South Philly mob boss - or current boss-in-exile, some law-enforcement officials would say - is facing a new round of legal troubles. Merlino, 52, will have to travel from his home in South Florida to Philadelphia in the coming weeks to face allegations that he violated the terms of his probation by associating with two felons and a member of La Cosa Nostra in mid-June.
NEWS
September 1, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
For a private boarding school that prides itself on being progressive and close-knit, it was a jarring admission. In a letter mailed to alumni and posted on its website, the Solebury School for the first time acknowledged and apologized for sexual abuse of former students at the hands of faculty from the 1950s to the 1970s. Administrators said that the claims surfaced only in the last two years, and that they hoped their announcement would help the victims while holding the small Bucks County school to its own standards.
NEWS
August 30, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Temple University has concluded its investigation of an altercation on campus last week in which a student said he was punched and called anti-Semitic names after a verbal exchange with students manning a table for a pro-Palestinian group. The university will soon turn over its findings to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Temple spokesman Ray Betzner said. It will be up to the district attorney to decide whether the incident constituted a hate crime and what, if any, charges may be filed, he said.
BUSINESS
August 28, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former FBI director Louis Freeh, now chairman of the Center City law firm Pepper Hamilton, was seriously injured Monday in the town of Barnard Vermont when the SUV he was driving swerved off the road and collided with a tree. Vermont State police responded to the scene at 12:16 p.m. and Freeh was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire for treatment. There were no other injuries, police said. Stephanie Brackin-Dasaro, a police spokeswoman, said the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
NEWS
August 27, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
The president of Temple University assured Jewish students and others Monday that the university was conducting an investigation after a student was allegedly attacked and called anti-Semitic names last week. Neil D. Theobald addressed the issue while answering written questions from students at the Student Center during the school year's first meeting of student government. "There is no place on a university campus for violence," Theobald said when asked what the university was doing to prevent similar incidents and why no one had been arrested.
NEWS
August 6, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
AS PERVASIVE a problem as sex trafficking is in the Philadelphia region, experts in the field say that gaps in services for victims and local funding make handling the tough cases even more challenging. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan, who prosecutes sex-trafficking cases in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, said she and her colleagues are constantly faced with the daunting question of how to help victims during their abusers' trials and postconviction - and too often, there is simply no place to send them for the help they need.
NEWS
August 4, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writers
Chris Conolly had just left his martial-arts class in South Philadelphia when his car was pulled over by narcotics officers. He was surrounded by men in hooded sweatshirts, jeans, and Timberland boots - with one holding what looked like a gun. Conolly feared he was being carjacked. He asked one of the men to call the police. "Are you kidding me?" the man replied, cursing. "We are the cops. " The encounter ended with Conolly under arrest, charged with resisting arrest and fleeing police.
NEWS
July 30, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Gideon Bradshaw, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - A Harrisburg activist has asked the state Ethics Commission to investigate if an adviser to Gov. Corbett is earning his keep. In a complaint filed Monday, Gene Stilp asked the commission to determine if Ron Tomalis, Corbett's onetime education secretary turned special adviser, "was actually working for his government salary . . . and all the related state benefits," according to a copy of the complaint. Stilp also asks the agency to examine "the character and the nature of the work that is actually being done, and whether or not the required amount of work time . . . has actually been utilized for actual work.
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