Tuesday, July 7, 2015

LeAnna Washington defense fund says her "character is unblemished"

A friend and political supporter of state Sen. LeAnna Washington is asking people to contribute at least $100 to help pay "mounting legal bills" in her criminal case.

LeAnna Washington defense fund says her "character is unblemished"

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Sen. LeAnna Washington posted this picture with Dr. J. Louis Felton in January 2013 after he served as guest chaplain in the state Senate´s chambers in Harrisburg
Sen. LeAnna Washington posted this picture with Dr. J. Louis Felton in January 2013 after he served as guest chaplain in the state Senate's chambers in Harrisburg Sen. LeAnna Washington's Facebook page
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A friend and political supporter of state Sen. LeAnna Washington is asking people to contribute at least $100 to help pay "mounting legal bills" in her criminal case.

Dr. J. Louis Felton, pastor at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, wrote in a letter last week that Washington's "character is unblemished and her reputation untarnished, though she has practically been tried and convicted in the press on unfounded charges."

Washington, charged in March with using state resources to pay for political fundraisers, "vehemently denies the allegations and is fighting the charges," Felton wrote.

Washington finished second in a three-way May 20 Democratic primary election for the 4th Senate District, which stretches from Logan in Philadelphia north to Willow Grove in Montgomery County.  She has served in the Senate since 2005 and also served in the state House from 1993 to 2005.

"As a public servant for the past 20+ years, Sen. Washington does not have adequate financial resources to fight the government alone," Felton wrote.

Washington's annual salary as a state senator is $84,012.

Felton, who has given Washington at least one campaign contribution, was invited by her in January 2013 to serve as guest chaplain in the state Senate's chambers in Harrisburg.

Felton also serves as third vice president of the politically active Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

Felton's letter lists attorney Michael Drossner as the "independent trustee" for the Senator LeAnna Washington Legal Defense Fund.  Drossner declined to comment about the fund.

Washington's defense attorney, Henry Hockeimer Jr., said he doesn't know much about the fund.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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