August 19, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah fired back at federal prosecutors Monday, saying the officials who have leveled racketeering charges against him used "unconstitutional and unlawful" threats and questionable motives to build their case. The five-page letter represented Fattah's most forceful response yet to the charges brought against him in July, and offered hints at how he will battle the allegations in public and perhaps in court. In particular, Fattah, a Philadelphia Democrat, ripped Paul Gray, the assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia handling his case, writing that Gray has said congressional "earmarks were corrupt" and that Fattah was "guilty of something.
August 8, 2015 |
Feeling under attack from reporters and political enemies she believed were out to end her career, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane saw the conflict in stark terms. "This is war," she declared in an e-mail to an adviser in March 2014. Nine days later, prosecutors said, she deployed an office spy. Patrick Reese, her driver and the chief of her personal security detail, set in motion a cloak-and-dagger campaign that prosecutors said was designed to expose her enemies and snoop on state authorities as they built a criminal case against her. Now he faces criminal charges alongside her. Reese, a former police chief of Dunmore, a tiny borough outside Scranton, was described by prosecutors as one of Kane's "closest confidants" - a man Kane once said she trusted with her life.
August 7, 2015 |
IN THE tit-for-tat world of politics, where smear campaigns are an art form, Pennsylvania's top law enforcer yesterday found there is a limit to how far you can go in feuding with a foe. Attorney General Kathleen Kane, as well as her driver, former Dunmore, Lackawanna County, police chief Patrick Rocco Reese, were indicted in a scheme to discredit her political enemies by leaking confidential investigative information to the press and then later lying...
July 24, 2015 |
When ex-Eagle Irving Fryar needed money in 2008 and 2009, a financial adviser now serving time in federal prison told him about a scheme they could use to defraud banks, New Jersey Deputy Attorney General John Nicodemo said in opening arguments at Fryar's trial in Mount Holly on Wednesday. By applying for multiple mortgage loans in quick succession, and using one property as collateral, the two men could obtain money that banks normally would not approve, Nicodemo told the jurors.
July 19, 2015 |
After denying a motion to have high-powered defense attorney Jack McMahon removed from the case, a judge on Friday told state prosecutors that he had doubts about whether evidence was sufficient to support a $20 million fraud case against the Risoldi family, the politically connected Bucks County clan accused of defrauding insurers. In particular, said Chester County Judge Thomas Gavin, he was unsure whether prosecutors could credibly charge all four family members and a coconspirator with being part of a corrupt organization, the most serious allegation in the case.
July 17, 2015
WHATEVER THE situation, it seems we can always count on Attorney General Kathleen Kane to make the wrong decision. The latest involves an investigation, led by the Montgomery County district attorney, into allegations that Kane leaked secret grand jury information about an investigation to newspaper reporters, then lied about it. If indicted, she could face charges of perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction of justice....
July 14, 2015
YOU'D HAVE thought a rock star was in the ballroom, from the way female members of the NAACP had their camera phones out at the Loews Hotel yesterday. There was a star, actually. Only, Marilyn J. Mosby isn't your typical superstar. She's a big-city prosecutor who in May became an overnight sensation after announcing that Freddie Gray's death had been ruled a homicide and that charges had been filed against six officers in his death. A native of inner-city Baltimore, her bold and decisive actions quelled the street unrest that had dragged on for days in the Charm City, fueled by outrage over the death of Gray as well as those of other black males around the country - Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice.
June 26, 2015 |
PROSECUTORS yesterday withdrew charges of intimidation and terroristic threats against a former Philadelphia police officer in connection with a murder last year on Easter Sunday. But whether David Wade Howard, 51, will later be charged with murder in the April 20, 2014, shooting death of William Blount, 48, is a question authorities are not ready to answer. "I don't know what's going to happen," Assistant District Attorney Gail Fairman said after she withdrew the intimidation charges before Judge Patrick Dugan in Municipal Court, where Howard was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing.
June 17, 2015 |
The lawyer representing the family of Brandon Tate-Brown - the 26-year-old man shot by police late last year - on Monday called for the district attorney to reopen a criminal investigation into the Frankford man's death. Brian Mildenberg said differences between initial police accounts of the incident and an internal report on the shooting made public last week warranted a second look at the case. District Attorney Seth Williams said he did not plan to reopen the investigation. "What happened was tragic, but not criminal," he said in a statement Monday afternoon.
June 4, 2015 |
A PROSECUTOR told a Common Pleas jury yesterday that a "neighborhood fixture," a man who was known and beloved by everybody on his North Philly block, was killed four years ago because he just happened to be in the line of fire of a gunman aiming to kill another man. James Hall, 57, died on Sept. 9, 2011, on York Street near Fairhill, on the block where he lived. Charged with murder and weapons offenses in his death is Calvin Atkerson, 23. Assistant District Attorney Alisa Shver said in her opening statement that Atkerson was aiming to kill Jasper Washington, then 21, that September day. The two had been arguing and there was bad blood between them, the prosecutor said.