Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Peruto: DA went after state Rep. JP Miranda over a woman

Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. today accused District Attorney Seth Williams of investigating state Rep. J.P. Miranda because they "were both dating the same girl at the same time."

Peruto: DA went after state Rep. JP Miranda over a woman

State Rep. J.P. Miranda faces charges, as does the sister he is accused of hiring against House Democrats´ rules and trying to conceal the hire.
State Rep. J.P. Miranda faces charges, as does the sister he is accused of hiring against House Democrats' rules and trying to conceal the hire.

Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. today accused District Attorney Seth Williams of investigating state Rep. J.P. Miranda because they "were both dating the same girl at the same time."

A spokeswoman for Williams later called that claim false and ludicrous.

Peruto spoke after a preliminary hearing, in which Municipal Court Judge David Shuter held for trial three felonies filed on Jan. 27 against Miranda and his sister, Michelle Wilson.  They are accused of using a "ghost employee" to funnel state payroll money to Wilson after Miranda was told he could not hire his sister to serve on his staff.

"I think it's a vindictive prosecution that singled out J.P. Miranda because J.P. Miranda and Seth Williams were both dating the same girl at the same time," Peruto told reporters. "I think this is one way to eliminate your competition."

More coverage
 
Corruption charges against Miranda, sister held for court

Peruto declined to identify the woman, saying he did not want to "besmirch" her in the media. Peruto said he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges, citing the woman as a factor in the District Attorney's investigation.

"It's a selective prosecution, based on several factors," Peruto said. "That's just one factor. That's his motive for doing it."

District Attorney spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson responded to Peruto's claim with this email: "The evidence in this case, which includes video tape, text messages, bank statements and testimony by Miranda's own staff, speaks for itself, and the other comments by this defense attorney are not only ludicrous they are completely false."
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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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