The new version of FEMA trailers may be available in hues of rose and peach, include cozy front porches and full-size kitchen cabinets, but the cosmetic touches can’t mask a question: Are there enough to dispatch to Florida in the event of a major hurricane? (via)
Philly Board of Revision of Taxes member fired -
We did an extensive series about this a little while ago.
Those meddling kids tend to keep an annoyingly close eye on the federal purse strings.
“Contractors helped shape the (federal) stimulus package and are lined up to get the work, including many that have been cited for serious safety violations and costly mistakes.” The Washington Post, Monday, May 18. (via)
Miami Herald: FBI joins probe of Guatemala lawyer's death -
U.S. officials have confirmed to The Miami Herald that the FBI has joined the investigation of a murdered Guatemalan lawyer who — in a postmortem video — accused President Alvaro Colom of ordering his death. (via)
Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Inga Saffron criticized the city in her architecture column for building an unadorned span to replace the old South Street Bridge.
Within days, the city reversed course and will incorporate decorative elements.
More results from newspaper investigative reporting…
“Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry demonstrated “stupidity” by running a real estate business out of his chambers, but it did not rise to the level that the state should strip him of his robe, his attorney argued yesterday. …
The state Judicial Conduct Board accused Berry of disrepute in January after an investigation by The Inquirer found that for more than a decade he had run a real estate business out of his judicial office and used his taxpayer-paid secretary to assist him with that work.”
Sometimes, it’s not a glib feel-good story.
“Philadelphia Academy Charter School founder Brien N. Gardiner, under federal investigation in connection with his management of the school, committed suicide yesterday afternoon, police said. … Gardiner founded Philadelphia Academy in Northeast Philadelphia in 1999; he also opened the Northwood Academy Charter School in 2005, and at one time was chief executive of both charters.
He later became a consultant at Philadelphia Academy. That contract was terminated last spring, after The Inquirer disclosed that the Philadelphia School District inspector general was investigating allegations of financial mismanagement, nepotism, and conflicts of interest at the school.
A federal criminal investigation … was launched later last spring.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 2009.
Loans to cities escape scrutiny -
A Tennessean investigation into the loan program has found that despite touting itself as a “nonprofit governmental” entity, the fund doesn’t play by the rules of government. It won’t disclose how much Seivers is paid, nor the details of his outside consulting business and potential conflicts of interest. (via)
“Girl wasted away under DHS care,” The Inquirer, October 2006.
“Mother sentenced to 40 years in death of Daniel Kelly,” The Inquirer, April 2009.
“Two plead guilty to perjury in Daniel Kelly case,” The Inquirer, May 2009.