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Investigation

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 Laura McCrystal and Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writers
His colleagues knew that Lee Silverman carried a gun, a pistol so small it slipped indiscernibly into the psychiatrist's pocket. And Richard Plotts had a deep history with guns - one that even felony convictions wouldn't stop. Four days after the two men clashed in a shootout at a Delaware County hospital, authorities on Monday continued to investigate the violent office visit that left caseworker Theresa Hunt dead and both men injured. Plotts was still hospitalized, awaiting his first court appearance on murder and other charges.
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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