April 18, 2015 |
He is a self-described dirty cop with a suicide attempt in his past and a history of poor job performance, emotional instability, and lying under oath. The question now before for a jury is: Can anything former Philadelphia Police Officer Jeffrey Walker says be believed? Walker - the government's star witness in the federal corruption trial of six of his former narcotics squad colleagues - finished his testimony Thursday after three grueling days on the stand. By the end, the 46-year-old was clearly exhausted, his shoulders slumped and his head in his hands.
March 30, 2015 |
Lawyers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Philadelphia have nearly doubled their use of the sparingly used prosecutorial discretion to close deportation cases this year, a new study shows. The trend, which grants relief from deportation to a larger pool of undocumented immigrants, won praise from some local immigration lawyers, and concern that it could end abruptly if President Obama's executive actions on immigration are nullified in the hotly contested federal court challenge playing out in Texas.
February 16, 2015 |
By all accounts, it was an accident. Cpl. Richard Schroeter had led countless classes in his 12 years as a Pennsylvania State Police firearms instructor. He had taught the same class several times that week, always carefully unloading his weapon and following "the four cardinal rules of firearms safety," according to Montgomery County grand jury testimony. But on Sept. 30, Schroeter told investigators, he "did not perform a safety check of his Sig Sauer" pistol. When he squeezed the trigger, the five troopers sitting around a conference table "saw a flash, heard a sound, and saw Trooper Kedra jump," the grand jury wrote.
January 25, 2015 |
A part-time toll collector at the Walt Whitman Bridge is suspected of stealing $3,200 this month, but he may not be prosecuted. Since the money will be repaid by the agency that hires part-time collectors, officials of the Delaware River Port Authority said they had not decided whether to seek the arrest and prosecution of the Philadelphia man suspected of stealing the money. "It appears a theft of that magnitude has occurred," DRPA chief executive John Hanson said Thursday. "No decision has been made about prosecuting.
January 19, 2015 |
At one point during his fraud trial last week, Don Tollefson wanted to testify about a Skittles-eating contest. The prosecutor objected. The judge sent the jury out of the courtroom. For nearly an hour, the former sportscaster delved into yet another tale about his charity for poor children. Tollefson, who is serving as his own attorney, told a story to the judge that involved kids from his charity catching Skittles in their mouths. Out of nowhere, Tollefson said, one boy spoke a few words and expressed a desire to play professional hockey some day. "It's one of the moments I'll cherish for the rest of my life," he said.
January 14, 2015 |
Federal prosecutors ended their case Monday in the racketeering conspiracy trial of Ironworkers Union boss Joseph Dougherty with another Local 401 business agent testifying that Dougherty clearly approved of vandalizing nonunion job sites. Sean O'Donnell, who comes from a family of union ironworkers, testified that no business agents sought Dougherty's approval before embarking on "night work" - union code for after-dark attacks on nonunion construction sites - because permission wasn't needed.
January 11, 2015 |
The prosecution in Don Tollefson's fraud trial rested its case Friday afternoon after scores of people testified that he had ripped them off through a sports ticket-selling scheme. The former Philadelphia sportscaster is already facing hurdles as he mounts his defense, which is expected to start Monday. Tollefson, who is representing himself, told a Bucks County Court judge on Friday that he could not afford the nearly $90 he will need to subpoena 25 of his witnesses. Those witnesses, who apparently have not agreed to willingly testify, include Howie Roseman, executive vice president of the Eagles.
December 19, 2014 |
The truth can be bent, obscured, or even, to use Attorney General Kathleen Kane's felicitous phrase, "half-assed. " But Kane's assessment of the case against five Democratic officials from Philadelphia could not have been more plainly untrue. In March, when The Inquirer revealed that Kane had aborted an investigation that caught the officials taking money and jewelry from an informant, the state's top law enforcer flatly declared the matter unprosecutable. Nine months later, however, it's being prosecuted.
December 18, 2014 |
DISTRICT ATTORNEY Seth Williams yesterday charged Philadelphia-area state representatives Ron Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown with bribery, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest in connection to a grand jury probe into legislators taking envelopes full of cash in exchange for political promises. Waters and Brown, both Democrats, were subjects of a grand jury investigation into the political dealings of various Pennsylvania elected officials that has already taken down some, including Sen. LeAnna Washington and former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes.
October 31, 2014 |
Vickson and Lorpu Korlewala are out of trouble - at least for now. The Liberian couple was arrested in April and charged with swindling two elderly women out of their life savings. Jailed and bailed, the Korlewalas had to surrender their passports pending trial. On Monday, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Charles Hayden ordered their passports returned after their charges were dismissed for lack of prosecution. "They had the wrong people. They should have known that from the start," Vickson Korlewala said Wednesday ahead of a planned gathering to thank their defenders for financial and moral support, "and their prayers.