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NEWS
March 19, 2016 | By Mark Fazlollah and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
Prosecutors in the ethics case against former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin urged Thursday that the most serious charge against him be dropped, a step that would allow the justice to keep his $153,000 annual pension. The prosecutors with the Judicial Conduct Board also joined with Eakin in providing the judicial court with a common narrative about the content of his offensive emails in the Porngate scandal. Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, said Eakin and the judicial board now agree that there is no need for the former justice to face a public trial before the Court of Judicial Discipline.
NEWS
March 16, 2016
President Obama on Tuesday nominated the chief of appeals for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh to fill the sole remaining vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. If confirmed by the Senate, Rebecca Ross Haywood, 47, of Wexford, would become the first African American woman to serve on the Third Circuit. She would fill the seat vacated when Judge Marjorie O. Rendell took senior status in July. The recommended appointment is Obama's sixth nomination to the court, which hears appeals of federal cases from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
NEWS
March 9, 2016 | By Barbara Boyer, Staff Writer
SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Michael H. Robertson was sworn in Monday as acting Somerset County prosecutor, replacing Geoffrey Soriano, who was removed by Gov. Christie. Under Soriano, the office came under sharp criticism after ruling a year ago that Cooper Health System CEO John P. Sheridan Jr. killed his wife, Joyce, and committed suicide. The couple's four sons, friends, and numerous public officials have questioned the validity of the investigation, suggesting instead that someone killed both in their Montgomery Township home in September 2014.
NEWS
March 7, 2016 | By Barbara Boyer By Caitlin McCabe and Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER STAFF WRITERS
A new Somerset County prosecutor being sworn in Monday will have to decide whether to reopen the investigation into the 2014 deaths of former Cooper University Health System CEO John P. Sheridan Jr. and his wife. Independent experts interviewed by the Inquirer said there are reasons to reopen the case and reconsider whether John Sheridan fatally stabbed his wife, Joyce, and then committed suicide. But, they acknowledged, the case presents complex investigative challenges that may prevent authorities from ever knowing with certainty what happened to the couple.
NEWS
March 2, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Jonathan Tamari, STAFF WRITERS
WASHINGTON - When he was Philadelphia's district attorney, Ronald D. Castille signed off on a decision that would land Terrance Williams on death row for the 1984 beating death of a Germantown church deacon. Now, a role that Castille later played in the case as chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could prove key in efforts to fend off Williams' execution. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on whether Castille, the prosecutor who approved pursuing the death penalty against Williams, should have recused himself when the case came before the state's top court for appeal.
NEWS
March 2, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Staff Writer
The special prosecutor hired by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to examine the evidence in the pornographic email scandal says it is unlikely he will bring criminal charges against anyone involved. Douglas F. Gansler, in an interview Monday, said bringing charges under obscenity statutes would be far-fetched. Such prosecutions have become fairly rare nationwide, he said. As for the former or current officials who swapped pornographic or otherwise offensive emails on government computers, Gansler said their conduct might violate workplace rules, but was hardly criminal.
NEWS
February 25, 2016 | By Mark Fazlollah, Dylan Purcell, and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
The FBI and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office are investigating the confrontation in which Electricians union leader John J. Dougherty punched a nonunion contractor at a South Philadelphia worksite. Prosecutors took on the case Tuesday, accepting a referral by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. Williams said his "long-standing professional relationship" with Dougherty barred him from handling the matter. So, the Attorney General's Office will now decide whether to file criminal charges in the Jan. 21 brawl, in which the contractor said Dougherty swung first, hitting him in the face twice and breaking his nose.
NEWS
February 20, 2016 | By Barbara Boyer, Staff Writer
The Somerset County, N.J., prosecutor was replaced abruptly Thursday, one day after a group of highly influential political leaders criticized the county's investigation of the deaths of Cooper Health System CEO John P. Sheridan Jr. and his wife, Joyce. Geoffrey Soriano, who had served as prosecutor since 2010, will be succeeded by Michael Robertson, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, N.J. Robertson, of Basking Ridge, N.J., will start his new job March 7. The 2014 deaths of the Sheridans in their Montgomery Township home were ruled a murder-suicide, a conclusion that outside experts and Sheridan friends and family members have said was the result of a botched six-month criminal investigation led by Soriano.
NEWS
February 11, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
The Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday that the fatal shooting last July by Camden County Police officers of a man holding a BB gun was justified, a ruling that frustrated the man's family. The Prosecutor's Office said Oscar Camacho Jr., 33, pointed the weapon, which was black and had a brown handle, at an officer and ignored orders to drop it before the officer and a sergeant opened fire. Sgt. Keith Henderson, a 10-year veteran, fired 16 times, striking Camacho "multiple times," authorities said.
NEWS
February 5, 2016 | By Aubrey Whelan, Staff Writer
A federal prosecutor from Philadelphia has been named acting pardon attorney for the Department of Justice, the agency said in a statement Wednesday. Robert A. Zauzmer, who currently oversees appeals for the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will now review executive clemency requests sent to President Obama. Upon Zauzmer's recommendation and that of the deputy attorney general, Obama can decide whether to pardon or commute sentences for inmates serving time for federal crimes.
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