A week after an FBI bug was found in the office of Mayor John Street, Republican challenger Sam Katz says Street encouraged a corrupt culture in the city. “I would like to suggest that the conditions we find ourselves in today are exactly the product of John Street’s making,” Katz said today in a debate KYW-AM.
Street said he was not a “target” of the investigation but rather a “subject.” He added, “There could literally be hundreds of subjects of this investigation. I’m not a target and that’s the thing that’s most important to me.”
AP noted that Street was a freshman city councilman during the FBI’s “Abscam” investigation. Street called colleagues “nothing but thieves and crooks” and shouted at indicted – later convicted – council President George X. Schwartz, “Why’d you take the money, George?”
The Abscam sting, which began in 1978, led to indictments against three of Street’s fellow councilmen and two Philadelphia congressmen. Street has said he was approached during Abscam by a man claiming to represent wealthy Arabs seeking to invest in low-cost housing. Street recalled that as a new councilman, he was “naive” and failed to recognize being set up for a bribe.