City Councilman Jack Kelly, attending his first weekly session since his former chief of staff, Chris Wright, was convicted on federal bribery charges Tuesday with his one-time campaign manager and a political donor, made it very clear to reporters that he is finished speaking about that case.
"I am greatly relieved that the trial is over," Kelly said. "I’ve known Chris for over 25 years. I only wish him and his family the very best. I think now I have to get back and do the people’s business. And by that I mean I have to work and we’re hoping to attain I think some fiscal stability in the city. I hope and I plan to work with my colleagues and this administration to not only provide a balanced budget but a budget that’s going to give a high level of services to the people of Philadelphia."
Kelly cut off questions about Wright, saying, "I just want to say right now that that’s all I’m going to say about that incident. Now I have to get back and do the people’s business. And by that, I mean those distractions are over. Now I have to concentrate on what’s best for the citizens of Philadelphia. Thank you for your consideration."
Still a reporter asked if the Wright case had tainted Kelly's office. The Councilman turned and walked away. Kelly secretly recorded for the FBI conversations with Wright and campaign donor Ravinder Chawla in June 2007. He testified during the recent trial that he didn't think Wright had done anything wrong but then backtracked significantly, suggesting that his staffer had been involved in potential conflicts of interest and ethics violations.