Saturday, August 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ex-Council aide gets pension status back

The Board of Pensions Thursday voted to restore the pension status of former City Council staffer Christopher Wright, who had been disqualified after he was convicted of corruption in 2009.

Ex-Council aide gets pension status back

The Board of Pensions Thursday voted to restore the pension status of former City Council staffer Christopher Wright, who had been disqualified after he was convicted of corruption in 2009.

Wright’s sentence was tossed out earlier this year by a federal appeals court after a U.S. Supreme Court decision narrowed the scope of the “honest services” law, which was used to convict Wright -- a former chief of staff to ex-Councilman Jack Kelly -- and two others.

Wright, Ravinder Chawla, a Kelly political donor and Andrew Teitelman, Chawla's attorney, were convicted in 2009 by a jury of conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud and related mail-fraud offenses. Prosecutors alleged that Wright had received a rent-free apartment from Chawla and free legal services from Teitelman in exchange for official acts. All had been free on bail since July 2010, pending their appeals. Prosecutors have said they’ll review whether to retry the case.

Wright had been disqualified from receiving a pension because his sentence met the city criteria for pension forfeiture. But because Wright’s sentence had been vacated, he again qualifies to be part of the pension fund, said Pension Board Executive Director Fran Bielli. Wright is not yet age-eligible to collect a pension. His salary when he lost his city job was $91,179 and he was a city worker for just over 20 years.

About this blog
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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