Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

State Rep. Angel Cruz: Not my idea to fire sister from staff

The arrests last week of state Rep. J.P. Miranda and his sister in an alleged ghost-employee scam prompted the state House Democratic Caucus to have two staff members review the status of more than 700 employees. Their quest: determine if any House Democrats have family members on their staffs.

State Rep. Angel Cruz: Not my idea to fire sister from staff

Rep. Angel Cruz (left) says the Democratic leadership in the state House fired his sister after criminal charges were brought against Rep. J.P. Miranda (right) and Miranda´s sister in an alleged "ghost employee" scam. (File photos)
Rep. Angel Cruz (left) says the Democratic leadership in the state House fired his sister after criminal charges were brought against Rep. J.P. Miranda (right) and Miranda's sister in an alleged "ghost employee" scam. (File photos)

From today's Clout column:

The arrests last week of state Rep. J.P. Miranda and his sister in an alleged ghost-employee scam prompted the state House Democratic Caucus to have two staff members review the status of more than 700 employees.

Their quest: determine if any House Democrats have family members on their staffs.

State Rep. Angel Cruz's sister, who had been on his payroll for nearly a decade, got her walking papers after the Miranda bust.

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody "suggested" the firing, according to Dermody's spokesman, Bill Patton.

Cruz, who didn't return our calls last week or this week, went on the Spanish-language El Zol-1340AM last Friday to counter that claim. Cruz said the Democratic leadership fired his sister due to the "chaos" that Miranda's arrest caused.

Cruz also suggested that other House Democrats were having relatives fired in the same way.

Patton said House Democratic rules prevent members from hiring spouses, children, siblings or parents. So far, no other relatives like that have been found, said Patton, adding that the review would be finished today.

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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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