PA Politicians Charged In Case Attorney General Called “Not Prosecutable”


Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to announce three more arrests today in a corruption case Pennsylvania’s attorney general said was “not prosecutable,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A grand jury recommended charges against State Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Michelle Brownlee and a former state representative, Harold James, all Philadelphia Democrats. Bishop and Brownlee have been identified as targets of Williams’ investigators, ever since he accepted a dare from Attorney General Kathleen Kane and reopened a “sting” probe that Kane said was “half-assed.”

They were among five elected officials in Philadelphia who the Inquirer reported last year had taken cash or, in one case, a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet from a lobbyist working as an undercover operative. With the expected action today, all five will have been arrested. One has pleaded guilty. Kane secretly ended the sting operation without bringing criminal charges and without notifying the state Ethics Commission that lawmakers had been taped accepting cash. She said the investigation was marred by “shoddy police work,” a lack of a clear quid pro quo for the payments, and the possibility that the selection of targets may have been tainted by racial prejudice. James and the other five officials are all African Americans.

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