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NEWS
April 30, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Monday that she would turn over to Philadelphia prosecutors all evidence from the controversial canceled sting investigation. Spokesman J.J. Abbott said the case file would be transferred to District Attorney Seth Williams this week. Last week, Kane, who closed the case without bringing charges, said she would not turn over the files until certain legal issues were resolved. Among other matters, the attorney general said she was concerned that Williams might face a conflict in taking on the case because he had been endorsed by two of the five Philadelphia Democrats who sources say were caught on tape taking money or gifts.
NEWS
April 28, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN - A 28-year-old man was shot in Camden by officers after he fired at them several times Friday night, authorities said Saturday. Four officers from the Camden County Police Department arrived just before 10 p.m. at the intersection of South 7th Street and Sycamore Street, in the Bergen Square section of the city, in response to a report of a man with a gun in Chestnut Court. When they arrived, the prosecutor's office said, they found James Dickerson, of Camden, who officers said drew his gun and fired "several shots.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
James W. Staerk, 54, a longtime prosecutor for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, died of spinal muscular atrophy on Thursday, April 17, in Bluffton, S.C. Mr. Staerk grew up in Abington, where he lived until retiring to South Carolina in January. He worked for 27 years as an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County, where he led the forfeiture division and seized planes, cars, houses and other assets. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at age 4, Mr. Staerk was a quadriplegic and spent his life in a wheelchair, but "figured out how to do almost everything," said his sister Kathleen Allison-Earle.
NEWS
April 24, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
FEDERAL prosecutors in Philadelphia are awaiting a decision by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on whether the government should seek the death penalty for Linda Ann Weston. Weston, 54, is the accused mastermind of a decadelong scheme to kidnap and keep mentally disabled victims hostage - including four disabled adults found malnourished in a locked Tacony dungeon in 2011 - to bilk them of their Social Security benefits. At a status hearing yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Faithe Moore Taylor told U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe that the decision had not been made, but that her office had requested an expedited review.
NEWS
April 22, 2014
Like too many other motorists, Robert Landis didn't let a conviction for drunken driving keep him from drinking and getting behind the wheel again. For three decades, he did it with shocking regularity - until last spring, when he rammed his truck into a motorcyclist, killing him. Landis' admission of guilt has landed him a lengthy jail term that should keep the West Chester man off the road for many years to come. But the case against what one prosecutor called Chester County's worst drunken driver hardly stands as a victory.
NEWS
April 10, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia never deemed a sting operation that targeted public corruption as too weak to prosecute, according to District Attorney Seth Williams and law enforcement sources familiar with the brief federal review of the investigation. The sources and Williams say the prosecutors never came to a judgment about the investigation one way or another before the state attorney general asked them to halt their review. Their statements echo a declaration by the Philadelphia office of the FBI, which said it made no judgment about whether the case was suitable for prosecution.
NEWS
April 2, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - The lead prosecutor in an undercover sting investigation spent nearly two hours behind closed doors Monday testifying before the House Committee on Ethics about the now-shuttered case that captured four Philadelphia legislators on tape accepting money. Frank G. Fina's appearance before the House panel was the clearest indication yet that the chamber was moving to launch its own inquiry into whether the four lawmakers broke ethics rules or engaged in illegal activity when they accepted cash or money orders from the sting's undercover operative, Tyron B. Ali. Because the committee meets in secret, neither Fina nor the panel's chairman, Rep. Scott Petri (R., Bucks)
NEWS
April 2, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former Pennsylvania State University president Graham B. Spanier is asking a federal judge to halt his trial on charges that he helped cover up child sex-abuse by Jerry Sandusky, this time alleging misconduct by a prosecutor. In a lawsuit filed Monday against Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane in Harrisburg, Spanier accuses former Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina of violating his right to due process and acting in bad faith by bringing charges based on testimony from Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State's former top lawyer.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Three years into an undercover "sting" operation, the lead prosecutor urged the Attorney General's office to expand the inquiry into a "more aggressive" probe that would include setting up a fake lobbying shop in Harrisburg. In a July 2012 report, Frank G. Fina informed then-Attorney General Linda L. Kelly that the "Abscam-type" investigation mainly involved state legislators who had "accepted cash payments. " "These cash payments have gone largely unreported on the legislators' political contribution forms," Fina wrote.
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seven months before Jerry Sandusky's arrest, investigators believed they were on the verge of a bigger bombshell: that top officials at Pennsylvania State University had for years protected a serial sex abuser who assaulted young boys on campus. In a closed-door meeting, Deputy Attorney General Frank G. Fina asked a judge to let them get years of e-mails from officials, including coach Joe Paterno and President Graham B. Spanier. "It appears possible that quite a number of people at Penn State University either knew or suspected something untoward was happening," Fina said.
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