Archive: July, 2010
UPDATE, 6:50 pm: Lisa Mathewson, attorney for Chris Wright, said the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of Wright, Chawla and Teitelman late this afternoon.
Chris Wright, the former chief of staff to City Councilman Jack Kelly, is expected to be soon released on bail from federal prison along with two of his former boss' top political supporters. Wright was convicted in February of using his official post to help Ravinder Chawla [one of Kelly's top campaign donors] and Andrew Teitelman [Chawla's attorney and Kelly's campaign treasurer] on real estate, zoning and tax matters. In exchange, the jury found, Wright got a rent-free apartment near Rittenhouse Square and free legal services.
The U.S. Attorney's Office on Thursday told the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that it does not object to Wright, Chawla and Teitelman being released on bail while they pursue their appeal, which is based on ruling last month by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down part of the federal "honest services fraud" law. The three were convicted on conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services fraud and mail fraud.
In the PhillyClout Friday column, former City Councilman Rick Mariano reaches out from federal prison for help fighting the city over his pension payments. Also, Sheriff John Green isn't ready to say when he will step down the Republicans are still fighting over ward elections.
U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak takes on critics, trying to have attack ads pulled from television. Is he playing right into their hands?
The residents of one city street try to fight the blight but could use more help from City Hall.
Listen yourself here.
Here's the latest on who's getting tickets in the mayor's boxes. Seems like there's less interest in shows at the Mann Music Center. No one was in city seats for Regis and Joy Philbin narrating Peter and the Wolf.
Other tidbits: It looks like Mayor Nutter took wife Lisa and daughter Olivia to see Maxwell and Jill Scott at the Wachovia Center. And lots of tickets are going to local high schools.
Check out the names here.
Will Bunch explains the Shirley Sherrod situation.
More violence strikes the city's "towing wars."
DRPA safety head suspended for improper EZ-Pass use.
Check out our first video interview with Mayor Nutter:
Mike Joyce, the chief public safety officer for the Delaware River Port Authority, has been suspended for three days and had to pay the agency $600 for using in his family car the E-ZPass unit assigned to another agency official. The action by DRPA Executive Director John Matheussen comes after John Dougherty, a local union leader and DRPA board member, repeatedly raised questions about that and other issues. See today's story on that here.
Matheussen said Joyce confirmed to him that he had been using the E-ZPass unit assigned to John Lawless, a former Pennsylvania legislator who served as the DRPA corporate secretary. Lawless, who is still on the payroll, was escorted from the building in April for reasons that remain unclear. Matheussen said Lawless was not using his E-ZPass unit and offered it to Joyce, who has been using it since October 2008.
"There could be some room for interpretation but in my opinion at the end of the day it did not sustain good judgment between the two of them," said Matheussen. DRPA employees below the rank of executive director are allowed 100 free trips per year across one of the four bridges the agency maintains over the Delaware River. Matheussen said the $600 payment, which Joyce made to the DRPA last week, represented a year and a half of free trips.