Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Assault on black Philadelphia? Councilwoman defends State Rep. Dwight Evans

Days after the Inquirer reported that the nonprofit founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans allegedly misspent $12 million in state grants, City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, his political ally defended him today and slammed the article.

Assault on black Philadelphia? Councilwoman defends State Rep. Dwight Evans

Days after the Inquirer reported that the nonprofit founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans allegedly misspent $12 million in state grants, City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, his political ally defended him today and slammed the article.

Tasco delivered a lengthy speech at the end of Council's weekly session, at times quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"If you look beyond the deliberately misleading headline and the numerous inferences and innuendos, there is not much 'there' to their story. They reduced 30 years of Dwight Evans' hard work to revitalize this formally blighted community to a headline of indictments."

"If he were a white legislator and this was a white neighborhood, the Inquirer's headline would read, 'Committed State Legislator turns Neighborhood around after 30 years of hard work."

Evans, the former chair of the House Appropriations Committee founded the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation, a nonprofit that's under seige, and charged with misusing public dollars.

Tasco said "he was arguably one of the most powerful state legislators in the Commonwealth," adding that Gov. Corbett's audit into the nonprofit is an attempt to win reelection.

She said Evans helped to revitalized impoverished minority neighborhoods and that Philadelphians benefitted from the appropriations decisions Evans made. Councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Cindy Bass echoed similar sentiments.

"A confluence of shortsightedness, petty jealousies and animus lead to his tumble from the top perch of Appropiations Chair," Tasco said.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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