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NEWS
June 9, 1987
The duplicity that underlay the Reagan administration's Iran-contra fiasco stared congressional investigators in the face Monday in testimony by Bretton Sciaroni, legal adviser to the White House Intelligence Oversight Board, that was both amazing and pitiful. Mr. Sciaroni, 35, testified that in the fall of 1985 he was the author of the secret legal opinion that the Boland amendment, cutting off military assistance to the Nicaraguan contras for 1984-86, did not apply to the National Security Council.
NEWS
November 20, 1998 | By Peter Nicholas and Tom Infield, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
City Controller Jonathan Saidel's former campaign treasurer and girlfriend, charged Wednesday with stealing money from his campaign fund, may face questions about her status as a member of the Philadelphia Housing Authority governing board. Diana Roca is one of Saidel's two appointees to the five-member board, which presides over 20,000 homes rented by the city's poorest residents. She joined the board in 1995 and is perhaps its most outspoken member, frequently goading PHA to improve living conditions for tenants and to spend the agency's $119 million operating budget more efficiently.
NEWS
September 23, 2010
The legal opinion that enabled elected officials to retire, collect a DROP payment, and return to office was provided by a previous city solicitor, and not by Shelley Smith, as indicated in an editorial Tuesday.
NEWS
June 13, 2007
YOUR ARTICLE "Josephs rues her vote for casinos" (June 9) again misreports that the state has sole authority to determine the location of the slot facilities in Philadelphia. This is not true. The law is clear. The city, not the state, has sole legal authority to utilize its zoning code and land-use controls to site the casinos wherever it wants. The removal of the referendum question from the primary ballot doesn't change a thing. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has offered no legal opinion as to why it removed the question, and therefore the city retains its authority as established by the Home Rule Charter.
NEWS
January 18, 1986
The Jan. 17 editorial "Red flag for the gravy train" suggests that the time spent by my office in rendering an opinion on the matter of the appointment of Harry Jannotti as executive director of the Veterans Advisory Commission was for the purpose of "waiting to see which way the wind is blowing. " I cannot allow this statement to go without response, for it is important that the public be aware of the duty of my office in rendering legal advice to the city. Our nation's struggle for human rights is rooted in the principle that our government is one of laws and not men. My determination that Mr. Jannotti is not eligible to serve in this capacity depended on several issues that required careful legal research and considered opinion.
NEWS
October 5, 2007
Torture is back. In fact, it never left the building. Often repudiated publicly by President Bush and his minions, the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists apparently remains well in fashion in the Bush administration. As revealed yesterday by the New York Times, it turns out that a 2004 directive from the Justice Department banning torture as "abhorrent" was reversed only a few months later. Then-newly appointed Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales - now gone, thankfully - approved a legal opinion that government officials described to the Times as "an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
NEWS
January 13, 2012 | By Pete Yost, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is publicly rebutting Republican criticism of the legality of President Obama's recess appointments of a national consumer watchdog and other officials. The department released a 23-page legal opinion Thursday summarizing the advice it gave the White House before the Jan. 4 appointments. GOP leaders have argued that the Senate was not technically in recess when Obama acted, so the regular Senate confirmation process should have been followed. Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz wrote that the president had authority to make such appointments because the Senate was on a 20-day recess, even though it had held periodic pro forma sessions in which no business was conducted.
NEWS
October 5, 1990 | By Anthony S. Twyman, Daily News Staff Writer
City Councilman Lucien Blackwell says he's undaunted by legal questions surrounding a proposal he introduced in Council last week to build a criminal justice center at 30th and Market streets. Blackwell, who has yet to schedule a Council committee hearing on the proposal, said he'll decide what to do with the plan after talking with City Solicitor Charisse Lillie. Lillie ruled yesterday that the proposal was illegal because it violates state and city laws that require competitive bidding on contracts.
NEWS
January 18, 1986 | By BOB WARNER, Daily News Staff Writer
City Solicitor Handsel B. Minyard says it's entirely up to the Fairmount Park Commission whether to permit use of parkland for a proposed African American Hall of Fame and sculpture garden. In a legal opinion provided this week to commission president F. Eugene Dixon Jr., Minyard said he sees no legal barrier to the project in a 1959 state law dealing with the use of publicly owned land. The opinion apparently clears the way for the Park Commission to reach a decision on the sculpture garden, originally proposed by civic leader Samuel L. Evans, to occupy 40 acres on Belmont Plateau, on the west side of the Schuylkill.
NEWS
October 24, 1986 | By Caroline Burns, Special to The Inquirer
The Runnemede Borough Board of Education might have broken the law Wednesday night merely by doing what is normal for school boards - hiring teachers. The way the board sees it, it had no alternative: Runnemede and other school districts in New Jersey are caught in a legal Catch-22. On Oct. 8, Gov. Kean signed legislation requiring a system of background checks in an effort to keep people with records of certain crimes from being hired to work at schools. The state police and the FBI must check the background of each applicant within a district to determine whether there is a record of any crime involving sexual abuse or child molestation.
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NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Miriam Hill and Amy Worden, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A City Council-passed bill that would add $4 to the cost of a parking ticket in Philadelphia has yet to become law because it has been waiting for Mayor Nutter's signature since late June. Nutter has not yet signaled whether he will sign the legislation, but on Tuesday his spokesman, Mark McDonald, said the city solicitor does not believe it complies with state law on how revenue from the Philadelphia Parking Authority must be allocated. "The bill would in fact redirect revenue in ways contrary to state law," McDonald said.
NEWS
January 13, 2012 | By Pete Yost, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is publicly rebutting Republican criticism of the legality of President Obama's recess appointments of a national consumer watchdog and other officials. The department released a 23-page legal opinion Thursday summarizing the advice it gave the White House before the Jan. 4 appointments. GOP leaders have argued that the Senate was not technically in recess when Obama acted, so the regular Senate confirmation process should have been followed. Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz wrote that the president had authority to make such appointments because the Senate was on a 20-day recess, even though it had held periodic pro forma sessions in which no business was conducted.
NEWS
March 26, 2011 | By Scott Bauer, Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin officials could not agree Friday about whether an explosive law taking away nearly all collective-bargaining rights for public workers was about to take effect, after a nonpartisan bureau published it despite a court order blocking its publication. The Legislative Reference Bureau's action was noted on the state Legislature's website Friday, sending confused lawmakers and legal experts scrambling to determine what's next for the law that has brought chaos to the state since Gov. Scott Walker first proposed it. Bureau director Steve Miller insisted that the action did not mean the law would take effect Saturday.
NEWS
March 10, 2011
City Councilman Frank DiCicco says a political cartoon showing pigs eating at the DROP trough pushed him to end his reelection bid. DiCicco also happened to be facing a hotly contested primary battle and voters who are angry not only about DROP, but also about two years of tax hikes. While DiCicco may be upset about leaving his six-figure job, he will manage to survive. Upon retirement, the councilman will receive a nearly $425,000 lump-sum pension payment on top of a generous monthly pension check.
NEWS
October 13, 2010 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
This city has an enormous challenge: Politicians charged with Philadelphia's stewardship must decide whether to cling tenaciously to the past, the status quo, or embrace change and move toward progress. Consider DROP, the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. I know, you'd rather not. I'd rather not. We would all rather the program go away along with all members of City Council who have signed up for this bloated perk. And there's the problem. The people who love DROP and will walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits are the very officials empowered to determine its fate.
NEWS
September 23, 2010
The legal opinion that enabled elected officials to retire, collect a DROP payment, and return to office was provided by a previous city solicitor, and not by Shelley Smith, as indicated in an editorial Tuesday.
NEWS
October 5, 2007
Torture is back. In fact, it never left the building. Often repudiated publicly by President Bush and his minions, the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists apparently remains well in fashion in the Bush administration. As revealed yesterday by the New York Times, it turns out that a 2004 directive from the Justice Department banning torture as "abhorrent" was reversed only a few months later. Then-newly appointed Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales - now gone, thankfully - approved a legal opinion that government officials described to the Times as "an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
NEWS
June 13, 2007
YOUR ARTICLE "Josephs rues her vote for casinos" (June 9) again misreports that the state has sole authority to determine the location of the slot facilities in Philadelphia. This is not true. The law is clear. The city, not the state, has sole legal authority to utilize its zoning code and land-use controls to site the casinos wherever it wants. The removal of the referendum question from the primary ballot doesn't change a thing. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has offered no legal opinion as to why it removed the question, and therefore the city retains its authority as established by the Home Rule Charter.
NEWS
October 18, 2005 | By Maureen Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Washington Township nightclub owned in part by a confidant to Mayor Paul Moriarty will be required to undergo a township planning board review it had previously avoided. Planning board chairman John Boyer announced last night that the Renaissance Room, a former banquet hall, would be put on notice today that it must receive a board review if it intends to remain a nightclub. The announcement came after Township Council President Frank Scarpato told the board that two legal opinions given last month allowing the nightclub to escape board scrutiny did not have the force of law. "It's important to know that solicitors can offer opinions, but no one can override the zoning officer," said Scarpato, a planning board member.
NEWS
January 29, 2005 | By Dwight Ott INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
State Sen. Wayne R. Bryant has been a rainmaker in Camden for more than two decades. "He's a person who gets things done," said the city's state-appointed chief operating officer, Melvin R. "Randy" Primas Jr., who owes his $175,000-a-year job to Bryant's legislation. Yet Bryant's practice of siphoning off some of the rain for himself and his law firm is causing increasing questions in Camden as the city tries to move ahead with the five-year, state-funded recovery act he authored.
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