May 15, 2015
REPUBLICAN at-large Council members could be pitied for holding some of the loneliest jobs in City Hall. That said, the two slots for Republicans on Council can be important, not just to carve out issues that might otherwise be ignored, but as loyal opposition to follow-the-leader members of the majority party. The current incumbents, David Oh and Dennis O'Brien, alas haven't provided that role when it was most needed: calling for public hearings on the proposed PGW sale to UIL. They fell in with their colleagues in letting the deal die without explanation or full airing of the issues.
May 11, 2015 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's own personnel office has recommended she fire her newly appointed chief of staff after two female employees alleged he made unwanted sexual advances toward them, according to people with knowledge of the advice. The Human Resources section sent the advisory memo to Kane shortly after she named Jonathan Duecker to the top post last month, recommending his termination for violating both the office's internal policy on sexual harassment as well as state rules governing such behavior, the sources said.
April 24, 2015 |
A Philadelphia grand jury has recommended criminal charges against a caseworker who allegedly let an autistic client wander out of a Center City department store 13 months ago, a day before the client was found dead in the cold in West Philadelphia, authorities said Wednesday. Hassanatu Wulu, the caseworker, allegedly took Christina Sankey, 37, into Macy's around 2:25 p.m. last March 6. Within minutes, according to a statement from District Attorney Seth Williams, Sankey, who was born with severe disabilities, had walked out of the store by herself and crossed Broad Street.
April 1, 2015 |
Three candidates at the top of the ballot for city judgeships this year received endorsements by the Democratic Party but were not recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association, including one who has been penalized by the state disciplinary board. Lawyers Scott DiClaudio, Tracy Brandeis Roman, and Sharon Williams-Losier, all drew top three positions on the ballot for Common Pleas or Municipal Court judge, secured party endorsements Saturday, but were rated "Not Recommended" on a list the Bar Association released Monday.
March 26, 2015 |
Warning of a liquidity crisis through 2015 and a revenue decline "a lot more severe" than they had anticipated, Atlantic City's emergency managers on Tuesday recommended $10 million in budget cuts, hundreds of layoffs, and mediators to negotiate with casinos and unions. The 60-day interim report by Kevin Lavin and Kevyn Orr, appointed by Gov. Christie, highlighted a $101 million budget shortfall for the city and a $47 million shortfall for the school district, but was short on details of how the city's long-term financial woes can be solved.
March 25, 2015
THE long-awaited, 174- page report on the Philadelphia Police Department from the Department of Justice released yesterday - which concludes that the department has great deficiencies when it comes to policies and training, especially around the use of deadly force - is thorough, prescriptive . . . and somewhat depressing. We don't necessarily find the department's problems detailed within the report depressing, nor even the fact that during a period when Philadelphia violent crime has decreased, police-involved shootings have increased.
February 20, 2015 |
A California judge has recommended that state regulators approve Comcast Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., a first for the megadeal by a major government entity. But the recommendation comes with a list of conditions that would tighten regulation on the Philadelphia cable-TV giant and expand its discounted broadband service for low-income families. Comcast's $10-a-month discounted service, available nationally in Comcast cable franchise areas, is now restricted to poor families with schoolchildren.
February 20, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The investigation into alleged leaks of confidential information by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was conducted legally and should be allowed to proceed, the judge who oversaw the case argued in legal papers Wednesday. "The truth is crying to be heard," Montgomery County Court Judge William R. Carpenter wrote of the case against Kane. Carpenter's filing comes as Kane is asking the state Supreme Court to throw out criminal charges that a statewide grand jury recommended against her late last year.
February 11, 2015 |
Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey on Monday slammed the judicial-evaluation process of the Pennsylvania Bar Association as "unethical, unprofessional, and less than forthright," contending that she was being pressured to drop her run for the state Supreme Court. Covey, of New Hope, said in a letter to association president Francis X. O'Connor that as a consequence of her treatment, Robert Morris, chairman of the Judicial Evaluation Commission, should resign. "I will not be a victim and I will not remain silent regarding the unethical and unprofessional activities I experienced with the . . . JEC," Covey wrote.
February 4, 2015 |
The Nutter administration has put a price tag on fixing the Department of Licenses and Inspections: $13.9 million, which would cover 110 new city employees and their equipment. The department has about 300 employees and an annual budget of $27.6 million. Under the changes outlined in a draft report titled "L&I 2015 Plan for a Safer City," the agency would gain 83 employees. An additional 27 would go to other city agencies, including the Fire Department. The report is the administration's response to recommendations made by mayor's special independent advisory commission, which in October suggested 37 steps for reforming L&I. The commission - created in response to the 2013 Center City building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 - found that L&I was underfunded, had too many responsibilities, and would better operate as two agencies: a Department of Buildings and a Department of Business Compliance.