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NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A longtime good-government activist filed ethics complaints Tuesday against leading Philadelphia Democrats ensnared in an undercover sting investigation by the state Attorney General's Office. The complaints by Gene Stilp, a former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and Congress, came in response to a report in Sunday's Inquirer that at least five public officials, including four state representatives, had been captured on tape accepting money or gifts. Stilp filed two complaints, one with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, another with the House of Representatives' Ethics Committee.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Monday that she believed leading Philadelphia Democrats ensnared in an undercover sting operation committed crimes, but that the case against them was so badly mishandled by her predecessors that it could not be prosecuted. Responding to a report in Sunday's Inquirer that five public officials, including four state legislators from Philadelphia, were captured on tape accepting cash, gifts, or money orders, Kane said she had no choice but to shut down the investigation.
NEWS
March 18, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Sunday lashed out at critics of her decision to shut down an undercover investigation that had captured leading Philadelphia Democrats - including four members of the state House delegation - on tape accepting money. Kane blamed "cowardly anonymous sources" for providing "an inaccurate and sensational version of the details" of the case, which were made public in an article in The Inquirer on Sunday. The paper reported that prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office had run a sting for three years that captured at least five city Democrats on tape accepting cash or money orders, and in one case a $2,000 bracelet.
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
March 14, 2014 | By Mark Fazlollah, Jonathan Tamari, and Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writers
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who has been contending with a long-running federal investigation, told Congress this week that federal prosecutors in Philadelphia had subpoenaed "certain documents" from his congressional offices. Following House rules that require such disclosure, the Philadelphia Democrat notified Speaker John A. Boehner of the subpoena in a letter dated Monday, saying that he believed some of the information prosecutors demanded was protected by congressional privilege and that he would fight to stop its release.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The School District of Philadelphia is investigating a 16-year-old Julia R. Masterman School student who, officials say, posted a threatening message about a teacher on Instagram. The boy, who was not identified, was already suspended when the school district's Office of School Safety received a report of the message and launched an investigation. His suspension came last week after being charged with drug possession, said Deirdre Darragh, a school district spokeswoman. The boy allegedly posted a photo of the teacher to his Instagram account with the caption: "$1,000 bounty, there's money on her head.
NEWS
March 10, 2014 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
THE VIDEO begins with the Route 66 bus rocking ever so slightly as its engine hums to life, heralding the start of a depressing two-person ballet. A young mother is hunched forward in her seat, facing the aisle. Her expression never changes: Her eyes are shut, seemingly trapped inside of an invisible fog, while her mouth hangs wide open. Her body droops forward, like a dying sunflower. A little girl's voice cuts through the din. "Mama," she says. "Mama!" She reaches across the aisle in her pink jacket and tries to use her tiny hand to prop up her mother's head.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
DEFENSE ATTORNEY A. Charles Peruto Jr. yesterday accused District Attorney Seth Williams of investigating state Rep. J.P. Miranda and charging him with a crime because they "were both dating the same girl at the same time. " A spokeswoman for Williams called that claim "ludicrous. " Peruto spoke after a preliminary hearing, in which Municipal Court Judge David Shuter held for trial three felonies filed on Jan. 27 against Miranda and his sister, Michelle Wilson. They are accused of using a "ghost employee" to funnel state payroll money to Wilson after Miranda was told he could not hire her to serve on his staff.
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