Monday, July 6, 2015

Family Court deal needs independent investigation


Today, the Inquirer criticized Chief Justice Ron Castille's choice to investigate the failed Family Court development deal:

Castille has hired attorney William G. Chadwick, a longtime adviser and colleague, to trace the money. But Chadwick comes with his own conflicts.

He was Castille's top deputy in the 1980s, when the chief justice was the district attorney in Philadelphia. More recently, Castille gave Chadwick a $150,000 no-bid contract last year to determine how to improve the Philadelphia courts, which have come under scrutiny for their low conviction rates.


But will the public trust that Chadwick can conduct an impartial investigation, given his long relationship with Castille; his six-figure contract with the court; and the undisclosed amount he will get to investigate Family Court spending Castille has overseen?

The short answer here is a resounding "no." The problem, though, isn't with Chadwick. It's with with the chief justice. There is no way that any investigation started by Castille will be perceived as independent when its results could reveal mistakes or improprieties by his office.

Fortunately, the FBI has launched a criminal probe. As the Inquirer and the Daily News have both suggested, the state's auditor general or attorney general might want to get involved, too.

Follow us on Twitter and review city services on our sister site, City Howl.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

It's Our Money contributors

Tips? Comments? Questions?

Holly Otterbein:

It's Our Money
Also on
letter icon Newsletter