Archive: February, 2009
Chris Wright, City Councilman's former chief of staff, is convicted on federal corruption charges, along with two of Kelly's closest political allies. And we learn why a juror was booted from the case two weeks ago.
In other political news from the federal court, a prosecutor has blistering words for former state Sen. Vince Fumo.
We just got a White House press release which details the folks who will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the President's speech on the economy tonight. Among them is one of Philadelphia's finest, Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth.
From the release:
Richard G. DeCoatsworth, Police Officer (Philadelphia, PA)
We had a lot of creative entries into our Friday PhillyClout contest. As you remember, the challenge was to write a haiku about the city's potential trash collection fee.
After careful consideration, we agreed that the best and brightest entry came from Burt Rublin. Congrats! Email us to arrange to get your prize.
And here is Burt's masterpiece:
The federal jury in the case of Chris Wright, City Councilman Jack Kelly's former chief of staff, has started day six of deliberations. The corruption trial, originally projected to last two weeks, is now into its fifth week, astounding defense attorneys who had predicted this would all be over by now. Wright is accused of taking bribes from Kelly's one-time campaign treasurer, attorney Andy Teitelman, and developers Hardeep and Ravinder Chawla.
Prosecutors say Wright received $1,000, a rent-free apartment and free legal services to help Teitelman and the Chawla brothers, Kelly's most generous political donors, with city agencies and officials on real estate, zoning and tax issues. Defense attorneys say Wright was given gifts by friends who had no need to bribe him because they had direct access to Kelly.
Check back here today for trial updates.
President Obama set to give budget talk tonight.
Dave Davies notes that the stimulus package will do little for cash strapped local governments.
During his closing argument in former State Sen. Vince Fumo's corruption trial, the prosecutor calls Fumo a man with a "royalty complex."
City Director of Sustainability Mark Alan Hughes is taking on an additional title – chief policy advisor to the mayor.
Hughes, who served as policy director for Nutter’s mayoral primary campaign, said that his chief responsibility will be to coordinate the policy work of the four deputy mayors. Hughes said he will continue to work on the city’s sustainability agenda.
“There’s a lot of overlap between sustainability and policy in this administration,” he said.
Here's the press release:
PHILADELPHIA SELECTED BY EPA AS NATIONAL WATER SAFETY MODEL
AWARDED AT LEAST $2 MILLION IN FUNDING
Philadelphia, February 23, 2009 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected Philadelphia as one of five cities in the nation to serve as a national model for drinking water security. As part of this pilot program the City will receive $2 million in funding for the development of a “Contamination Warning System.” The money will be used to enhance the City’s existing online water quality network and develop a consequence management plan. This is the first installment of a potentially much larger grant.
The race for controller is heating up. Republican Al Schmidt said today that he wants Controller Alan Butkovitz to ready for a fight.
We reported several weeks ago that the former executive director of Republic City Committee was considering getting in the controller's race for the GOP. Following Butkovitz's announcement that he plans to run for re-election, Schmidt today put out a press release about his campaign. Check it out:
“Had Enough, Philadelphia?”
City Government Breaks Social Contract with Taxpayers