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Special Counsel

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NEWS
February 1, 2003 | By Tina Moore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former assistant U.S. attorney who successfully helped prosecute two Philadelphia City Council members in a high-profile FBI investigation more than two decades ago has been appointed to lead a probe that could reach the governor's office. The Delaware County Redevelopment Authority said yesterday that Joseph M. Fioravanti would act as special counsel for the authority's fact-finding mission into a stalled application for a harness-racing track on the waterfront in Chester. The authority, made up of representatives from the Delaware County and Chester City governments, insists that Gov. Rendell unlawfully canceled a State Harness Racing Commission meeting at which the Chester Downs & Marina L.L.C.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2009 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C. won a victory in federal court yesterday when Judge Eduardo C. Robreno partially overturned a Bankruptcy Court order and said the company could hire special counsel to represent it in the investigation of an unauthorized recording. Robreno stopped short, however, of saying the owner of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com could hire Blue Bell law firm Elliott, Greenleaf & Siedzikowski P.C. to investigate the Nov. 17 taping of a meeting between the company and its creditors by Vincent DeVito, an executive with CIT Group Inc., a key lender.
NEWS
March 29, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A special counsel testified Wednesday that overzealous U.S. prosecutors were so intent on winning a corruption case against the late Sen. Ted Stevens that they intentionally withheld information they were obligated to give the defense. Henry Schuelke 3d told the Senate Judiciary Committee that high-level officials in the Justice Department's public integrity section failed to supervise the prosecution team, also a factor in the botched case that led a judge to dismiss Stevens' conviction.
NEWS
May 24, 1987 | By Anthony Gnoffo Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
The Rose Tree Media school board has approved a budget proposal that would raise local taxes by 18.9 percent and hired a special counsel in its recent superintendent controversy. At a meeting Thursday night, the board voted, 5-3, to advance the proposed budget, which calls for spending $20.4 million, a 7.5 percent increase over last year's budget of $18.09 million. A final version of the budget will not be adopted until June 28. A public hearing on the budget is set for May 28. Not included in the budget are some program proposals that were supported by many administrators and teachers in the district.
NEWS
August 11, 1995 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal bankruptcy judge yesterday approved the hiring of veteran securities litigator Harold E. Kohn as special counsel to the trustee overseeing the liquidation of the collapsed Foundation for New Era Philanthropy. U.S. District Judge Bruce I. Fox approved trustee Arlin M. Adams' request to hire Kohn to pursue lawsuits against New Era president John G. Bennett Jr. and Bennett's accountants and security brokerage. The ruling came in a hearing that drew no formal opposition. Jesse R. Ruhl, a lawyer representing Messiah College, a small Christian liberal arts school near Harrisburg that says it lost $2 million with New Era, had filed an objection to Kohn's hiring last week.
NEWS
December 3, 1986 | Daily News Wire Services
Since the Ethics in Government law was enacted in 1978, independent counsels have conducted six investigations but have not brought a single criminal charge against anyone. The secrecy of the investigations, which operate under the jurisdiction of a three-judge federal panel, and the lack of prosecutions have angered some congressional aides and have led to charges by veteran Justice Department criminal lawyers that the probes are "insults" to their ability to prosecute wrongdoers objectively.
NEWS
December 3, 1986 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau (The Washington Post contributed to this article.)
The swirling Iranian arms controversy is about to be handed over to an independent prosecutor, who will have enormous powers under federal law to ferret out any crimes committed by high-ranking officials and possibly others as well. But so far that law, a post-Watergate reform called the Ethics in Government Act, under which the prosecutor would be named, has not resulted in the filing of any criminal charges. Six special prosecutors - now officially called independent counsels - have been named since the law was enacted in 1978.
NEWS
January 13, 1994 | By Frank Greve, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU Aaron Epstein of the Inquirer Washington Bureau contributed to this article
The special counsel in the Whitewater affair will have to address numerous questions to determine whether the President, Hillary Rodham Clinton or their associates broke any laws or acted improperly. Here are some of the key questions: Question: Were depositors' funds diverted from Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan to help retire Clinton's 1984 gubernatorial campaign debt? Background: On April 4, 1985, at then-Gov. Bill Clinton's request, James B. McDougal, Madison's owner, held a fund-raising event in the thrift's lobby that raised $35,000 for Clinton.
NEWS
October 28, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Colleagues say Robert Byer practices law with the precision of a diamond-cutter: Disciplined, dispassionate, and led by keen intelligence. "Beyond brilliant," said his college roommate, Philadelphia lawyer Jeffrey Pasek. An appellate expert, Oxford scholar, and former Commonwealth Court judge, lawyer for Ford Motor Co., Columbia Pictures, and Travelers Insurance, he has now been appointed special counsel to the fractured and fractious Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Byer, 62, is the court's attorney, its legal representative and adviser at a chaotic moment when the justices have suspended one of their own, Seamus McCaffery, in an evolving scandal over e-mailed pornography.
NEWS
March 5, 1997
It's one sleazy espisode after another. As the evidence of wrongdoing by Democratic politicians and fund-raisers keeps building, it gets harder and harder for Attorney General Janet Reno not to name a new, independent counsel to investigate. The latest embarrassment hits Vice President Al Gore - who was seen as an Eagle Scout in an ethically challenged bunch. He did a chore even President Clinton refused - dialing fat cats to raise millions. It is unseemly for the vice president of the United States to be phoning donors all over the country, putting the touch on them for $50,000 and $100,000 a pop. A vice president has too much power to be easily rebuffed, especially by someone who does business with the government.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
November 4, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin's emails were "juvenile and repugnant," and offensive to women and minorities, but any discipline for his conduct should be left to the Judicial Conduct Board, a special counsel to the high court has concluded. The special counsel's 25-page report, however, left unanswered a key question: whether two previous reviews of the justice's messages had failed to flag the offensive content, and if so, why. The report released Monday found that Eakin, using a personal email account, exchanged messages containing crude jokes between 2008 and mid-2014 that "would be offensive to women, African Americans, immigrants, and other groups.
NEWS
October 23, 2015
SURE, STATE Attorney General Kathleen Kane may not be able to practice law these days, now that the Supreme Court has temporarily suspended her law license. Getting arrested has consequences, even for the highest-ranking law-enforcement officer in Pennsylvania. But Kane assured us yesterday - just hours after the suspension went into effect - that she can still dish smutty emails with the best of 'em. Her staff was handing out raunchy discs to reporters in Harrisburg like it was a one-day doorbuster at Venus Video adult superstore.
NEWS
October 14, 2015
ISSUE | CHILD ABUSE Blame Second Mile, not Penn State A coin toss is often used to resolve a dispute. The Penn State-Army coin toss on Oct. 3 did just that, but the dispute was far from the playing field. When news broke that Bruce Heim - a former board member of Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's nonprofit, Second Mile - had been chosen to participate in the pregame coin toss, Penn State supporters voiced disapproval. The invitation was revoked. However, as a result of Heim's public acknowledgment that he had been made aware of the Sandusky scandal, a dispute was resolved: There was no Penn State cover up. In several recent reports, Heim indicated that he decided to keep the Second Mile board in the dark in 2001 when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley notified then-Second Mile CEO Jack Raykovitz that Sandusky had been seen showering with a boy in Penn State's football building.
NEWS
October 3, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy, Angela Couloumbis, and Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writers
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Thursday she had evidence that a sitting Supreme Court justice - quickly identified by her staff as J. Michael Eakin - had sent and received "racial, misogynistic pornography" on state computers. Kane said she had given the state Supreme Court, the Judicial Conduct Board, and the state Ethics Commission more than 1,500 Eakin emails to review. Her spokesman said he could not say how many contained offensive material. One email, Kane said, contained "a joke about a woman who was beaten by her husband, and the punch line is that she should just shut up. " She said another noted that 30 percent of female murder victims were killed by husbands or boyfriends.
NEWS
October 28, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Colleagues say Robert Byer practices law with the precision of a diamond-cutter: Disciplined, dispassionate, and led by keen intelligence. "Beyond brilliant," said his college roommate, Philadelphia lawyer Jeffrey Pasek. An appellate expert, Oxford scholar, and former Commonwealth Court judge, lawyer for Ford Motor Co., Columbia Pictures, and Travelers Insurance, he has now been appointed special counsel to the fractured and fractious Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Byer, 62, is the court's attorney, its legal representative and adviser at a chaotic moment when the justices have suspended one of their own, Seamus McCaffery, in an evolving scandal over e-mailed pornography.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
WE ALL know how Washington crises usually unfold. A problem erupts. Politicians trample each other to express outrage and allocate blame. Scapegoats are sacrificed, legislation emerges and money gets appropriated. And then the issue fades from view. That's the course the scandal over veterans' health care has followed so far. A few weeks ago, everyone in the capital was in a fit over revelations that veterans were suffering and even dying while waiting weeks or months for appointments.
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before a divided crowd of 90 residents, the Evesham school board first voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegedly anti-Semitic remarks by board member Rosemary Bernardi. The vote came just minutes after the start of the special session, before the public and Bernardi - who arrived late - were allowed to speak. But after 30 residents addressed the board and Bernardi apologized for her "poor choice of words" at the May 23 board meeting, the board took a second vote, postponing the formal hiring of a counsel until it meets in regular session June 27. The board could then vote to reverse its decision to hire a counsel.
NEWS
January 18, 2013 | By Steve Young
Well, one thing is for sure: Lance Armstrong won't be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame - at least not on the first ballot. Most of those not currently in a coma couldn't have found the cyclist's confession to Oprah Winfrey any more shocking that Jodie Foster's acknowledgment at the Golden Globes that she is . . . "single. " The question is what Armstrong does now. Can he rise from the ashes of his Nike sponsorship? For some people, "breaking good" is motivated by a desire for inner peace.
SPORTS
December 3, 2012 | Daily News Wire Reports
TRADITIONAL labor talks have done little to make progress in the ongoing NHL lockout, so the league and the players' association are going to try something different in an attempt to save the season that is slipping away. A crew of six owners will meet with a handful of players on Tuesday in New York - 1 day before the league's board of governors meeting - without commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr. Bettman proposed the unique meeting on Wednesday when talks broke off following 2 days of negotiations with federal mediators, and it wasn't agreed to until Sunday.
SPORTS
November 6, 2012 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
Both sides said progress has been made in the NHL's labor dispute, but the lockout is far from over. Representatives from the NHL and the players' union met Saturday night at an undisclosed location and did not end their session until 1 a.m. They did not come close to a settlement, but at least they are negotiating. It was their first face-to-face meeting in 16 days. The sides reportedly will meet again Tuesday in New York. Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, and Steve Fehr, special counsel for the NHL Players' Association, were at Saturday's lengthy session.
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