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Political Corruption

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 1992 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Somewhere in the middle of The Courage of Flies, Joseph P. Blake's new play at Bushfire Theatre, I was reminded of Les Atrides, the 9 1/2-hour marathon of four tragedies by Euripides and Aeschylus that closed over the weekend at the 14th Regiment Armory in New York. Blake's drama about political corruption in a place that resembles West Philadelphia doesn't run 9 1/2 hours, although there are moments when you're certain it will. Nor does it affirm the intertwined destinies of men and gods in formal, poetic language; its characters and its syntax are both resolutely down to earth.
NEWS
September 7, 2007 | By Maria Panaritis and Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The scene in Trenton yesterday had a distressing familiarity. U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, standing on the steps of a New Jersey federal courthouse, announcing that public officials had been arrested on corruption charges. Yet again. And, after that, politicians expressing outrage and disappointment in their colleagues. In the last five years, more than 100 public officials in New Jersey have been convicted in federal court, including once towering figures such as former Senate President John Lynch.
NEWS
January 24, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - He is nothing more than "a common thief," prosecutors argued. He is an innocent man framed by corrupt underlings, his defense attorney countered. Those were the two versions presented of Rep. Bill DeWeese, the onetime Democratic leader from southwestern Pennsylvania, at the start of his trial Monday morning in a Dauphin County courtroom just blocks from the state Capitol. DeWeese, 61, is charged with theft and other crimes in a political corruption case stemming from the state Attorney General's "Bonusgate" investigation.
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | By Bill Reed, Inquirer Staff Writer
A fourth Bucks County official charged in the political corruption case that rocked the Register of Wills Office was sentenced Tuesday to six to 12 months of house arrest. The sentence for the second deputy, Rebecca Kiefer, was less severe than the three- to six-month prison term administrator Candace Quinn received, although the two pleaded guilty to the same offenses of forcing employees to work the polls for Republican candidates, paying them with unauthorized compensatory time, and trying to cover up the practice.
NEWS
November 22, 2001 | By Maureen Graham and George Anastasia INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Investigators with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice seized records and computers from a Moorestown engineering firm yesterday as part of an expanding investigation into suspected political corruption in South Jersey. Investigators with a search warrant entered the offices of JCA Associates on North Church Street in the morning and began seizing files and equipment, said an attorney who represents one company official. Authorities also raided a facility in North Jersey where JCA stores other files.
NEWS
February 29, 2004 | By George Anastasia and Maria Panaritis INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A struggling rap star whose career was launched by mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino has been targeted by federal investigators as a source of information in the ongoing City Hall political corruption probe. Federal authorities have made at least three attempts to turn Tommy Hill into a cooperating witness. The most recent came Monday before a preliminary hearing in Common Pleas Court, where Hill faces cocaine-dealing charges. Hill said he rejected all three offers. After his latest rebuff Monday, federal authorities - as Hill's lawyer said they had threatened to do - lodged federal drug charges against the 28-year-old lead singer of RAM Squad, a now-defunct hip-hop group from North Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 3, 2007 | By George Anastasia INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An admitted drug dealer who became a major informant for the FBI in a political corruption investigation in Atlantic City was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison on cocaine-trafficking charges. Terry Jacobs, 42, a contractor from Pleasantville, faced 70 to 87 months in prison under federal sentencing guideline recommendations, but received substantially less time because of his work in the corruption probe. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Eicher, one of the prosecutors in the case, said Jacobs was "the most important cooperator" in an investigation that has already resulted in guilty pleas from three former City Council members in Atlantic City, a former Camden city councilman, and an Atlantic City businessman.
NEWS
March 19, 2005 | By Maureen Graham and George Anastasia INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The New Jersey Attorney General's Office has moved to block the release of tapes in a political corruption investigation, saying the case is now being reviewed by federal authorities. In papers filed yesterday in Superior Court in Burlington County, state authorities said the FBI had asked to review 330 hours of secretly recorded conversations, some of which involved powerful political figures. The tapes were made during an investigation of JCA Associates Inc., a politically connected Burlington County engineering firm whose principals subsequently pleaded guilty to minor tax offenses.
NEWS
December 17, 2001 | By Maureen Graham and George Anastasia INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A former company accountant accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from JCA Associates has emerged as a key figure in a South Jersey political-corruption probe that targets the Moorestown engineering firm. The accountant, William Hampton Jr., exercised his right not to incriminate himself and declined to testify before a state grand jury this year. But state investigators still hope to question him as part of an inquiry by the Division of Criminal Justice. Hampton, according to attorneys familiar with the case, is weighing two options: Remain silent and face a possible criminal prosecution for embezzlement, or provide information about JCA in exchange for having his potential criminal liability reduced or eliminated.
NEWS
January 29, 1993 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Not too long ago, former Philadelphia deputy sheriff James Passio Jr. told an associate he'd rather run away, to avoid prosecution for drug dealing, than turn "rat. " Passio also suggested he'd be willing to don one of his old sheriff uniforms so he could get close enough to kill an ex-pal who ratted on him. But attitudes change, and Passio was no exception. Passio did what to him had been despicable - he, too, became an informant. "I don't think he (Passio) can ever go back to his roots in South Philadelphia," defense attorney Joseph P. Capone told U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner yesterday.
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NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THOMASINE TYNES, the former Philadelphia Traffic Court president judge named as one of five local officials who allegedly took bribes in an aborted sting operation, yesterday became the first person charged criminally in the sordid affair. District Attorney Seth Williams, in announcing the arrest of Tynes, 71, proclaimed that the grand-jury investigation into political corruption is ongoing and that the former judge may not be the only one to face justice. He urged those with information about political corruption to come forward.
NEWS
July 22, 2014
While men and women of note may be displayed in gilt frames and careful poses, the usual suspects have to settle for harsh lighting and height markers. The conventions of a portrait gallery, in other words, differ from those of a police lineup. The trouble with any sizable collection of Pennsylvania politicians' likenesses is that it is likely to be both. Take the pantheon of past legislative leaders whose images hang in the state Capitol: No fewer than four of the men depicted went on to pose for their mug shots.
NEWS
April 29, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has quietly assembled an elite team of veteran prosecutors to investigate public corruption. To staff the effort, Williams has hired prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office who brought successful cases against senior political figures in both parties, including former House Speaker John M. Perzel. Earlier this month, Williams received court approval to create a new investigative grand jury, which allows prosecutors to subpoena documents and compel testimony.
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | By Bill Reed, Inquirer Staff Writer
A fourth Bucks County official charged in the political corruption case that rocked the Register of Wills Office was sentenced Tuesday to six to 12 months of house arrest. The sentence for the second deputy, Rebecca Kiefer, was less severe than the three- to six-month prison term administrator Candace Quinn received, although the two pleaded guilty to the same offenses of forcing employees to work the polls for Republican candidates, paying them with unauthorized compensatory time, and trying to cover up the practice.
NEWS
January 24, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - He is nothing more than "a common thief," prosecutors argued. He is an innocent man framed by corrupt underlings, his defense attorney countered. Those were the two versions presented of Rep. Bill DeWeese, the onetime Democratic leader from southwestern Pennsylvania, at the start of his trial Monday morning in a Dauphin County courtroom just blocks from the state Capitol. DeWeese, 61, is charged with theft and other crimes in a political corruption case stemming from the state Attorney General's "Bonusgate" investigation.
NEWS
January 16, 2012
THE CASE OF state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin comes with layers and tentacles that could create a multilevel political nightmare. The justice, as reported last week by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , is a recipient of a target letter from an Allegheny County grand jury, usually a prelude to criminal charges. Two of her sisters, state Sen. Jane Orie, R-Allegheny County, and Janine Orie, an aide to Joan, already are charged with using public offices and employees for campaign purposes, including working to elect Joan to the court in 2009.
NEWS
August 18, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
HARRISBURG - Two former aides to onetime state House Speaker John Perzel yesterday entered the first Republican guilty pleas in a legislative-corruption case that revolves around the alleged illegal diversion of millions of taxpayer dollars into political campaigns. At a hearing in Dauphin County court, Samuel Stokes, Perzel's brother-in-law, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and conflict of interest. Former Perzel campaign aide Don McClintock pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy.
NEWS
September 21, 2010 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Zane David Memeger was sworn into office Monday as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in a ceremony attended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey. President Obama nominated Memeger in April, and the Senate confirmed him in May. Between stints in private practice, Memeger was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1995 to 2006, and he was part of the team that prosecuted former Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino. Memeger said the office under his direction would focus on terrorism; "quality-of-life" crimes involving guns, drugs, and violent robberies; white-collar financial crimes and fraud; and political corruption.
NEWS
September 20, 2010 | By Troy Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Zane David Memeger was sworn into office Monday as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in a ceremony attended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Robert P. Casey, Jr. President Obama nominated Memeger in April and the U.S. Senate confirmed him in May. Between stints in private practice, Memeger was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1995 to 2006, and he was part of the team that prosecuted former...
NEWS
August 11, 2010
Leonard Pitts Jr. is way off base in "Keeping faith, losing religion" (Sunday). He critiques organized religion in general and Christianity in particular in the easiest but most unfair and unbalanced way. If you want to discredit something, cite a long list of its failures without mentioning any of its positive features. For example, Pitts makes the sweeping statement that Christianity "has traded moral authority for political power. " It has become "a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.
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