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Investigation

NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
PAULSBORO A federal agency has agreed to investigate the presence of a little-examined but toxic contaminant in Paulsboro and nearby towns, just as the state appears poised to take on the issue. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry indicated it would investigate the presence of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a type of perfluorinated compound (PFC), in the South Jersey area, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network announced Tuesday. The group filed a petition in August asking for the examination.
NEWS
March 28, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
  HARRISBURG - Republicans and Democrats in the state House of Representatives have joined in calling for legislation banning lawmakers from accepting money from lobbyists and others with a stake in state business. On Wednesday, the Republican and Democratic chairs of the House State Government Committee said they would introduce legislation to prohibit public officials and employees from accepting cash gifts from individuals, including lobbyists and the principals they represent.
NEWS
March 27, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
TOM WOLF, the front-runner in the May 20 Democratic primary for governor, yesterday criticized everyone involved in a controversial corruption probe run by the state Attorney General's Office. On Sunday, Wolf's four primary competitors declined to second-guess Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision - reported a week earlier by the Inquirer - to shut down an investigation that secretly recorded four state representatives from Philadelphia and a local Traffic Court judge allegedly taking money or gifts from a lobbyist.
NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Dismayed at reports that their colleagues in the House took cash from an undercover informant, Republican and Democratic state senators are proposing legislation to ban lawmakers from accepting cash gifts. Reforms that closely mirror each other are being drafted by two Republicans - Lloyd Smucker of Lancaster County and Lisa Baker of Luzerne County - and a Democrat, Daylin Leach of Montgomery and Delaware Counties. The GOP proposal would prohibit lawmakers from accepting monetary gifts, including cash, money orders, checks, and gift cards, from lobbyists or anyone else with a stake in the legislative process.
NEWS
March 25, 2014 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
In October 2010, after promising to show state investigators the corrupt core of Pennsylvania politics, Tyron B. Ali set out to deliver some results. As his first step, he approached his friend David Krain, a city worker and Democratic political activist. According to interviews with Krain and official case summaries made by investigators from the covert tapes Ali made, Krain promised to introduce him to the connected. Not long after that, Ali gave Krain a cash-stuffed envelope, according to the tape summmaries.
NEWS
March 25, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
FOUR OF THE FIVE Democrats running for governor declined yesterday to question state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's controversial decision to shut down a corruption investigation that reportedly captured four Philadelphia legislators and a judge accepting cash or gifts from a lobbyist. "It's very hard to second-guess the statements that have been made about the prosecution, whether it could have gone forward or not," U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz said about the case. The Inquirer first reported earlier this month that Kane ended the probe that started in late 2010, near the end of Gov. Corbett's time as the attorney general.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired one of the most feared litigators in the region, Richard A. Sprague, to represent her in possible defamation suits arising from accounts of her decision to end an undercover investigation that taped at least five Philadelphia Democrats accepting cash or gifts. Sprague said he would launch an investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors who ran that sting operation, which began in 2010 before Kane took office. She has said the case was mismanaged, possibly tainted by racial profiling, and far too weak for any prosecutions.
NEWS
March 21, 2014
LATELY, we've been hearing a lot about women and "bossiness. " There is this entire movement, spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama and noted third-wave feminist Beyonce, to ban the use of the word "bossy" in connection with young women, since it's somehow supposed to stunt their growth as proud, independent human beings. Personally, I'm not so sure about that. As the oldest of five kids, three of whom were strong-willed boys, I was on the receiving end of "bossy" for a good two decades and it certainly didn't stop me from becoming opinionated.
NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
  Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane may be "a prosecutor, not a politician," as her campaign slogan claimed, but she is learning anew that it can be hard to separate politics from law enforcement. Kane's decision to drop a criminal investigation that captured at least five Philadelphia Democratic officials taking money or gifts not only raised legal questions, but also questions about her possible political motivations. At the least, some political strategists and analysts said Tuesday, the move could lead to the perception that Kane went easy on fellow Democrats to help herself.
NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage and Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writers
From the outside it looks like a slam-dunk case: four Democratic state lawmakers from Philadelphia and a city judge captured on tape as they accept money or gifts from an undercover informant. Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision to drop the investigation deeply troubled some former prosecutors, who want to know more about how that determination was reached. But it does not surprise defense lawyers, who say even an expertly run sting can be difficult to prove. "This could be a perfectly prosecutable case - or this could be a case that should not be brought," said veteran Philadelphia defense lawyer Robert E. Welsh, who worked six years as a federal prosecutor.
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