Claudia Vargas covers government and politics with a focus on accountability.

Latest Stories

How did Tracey Gordon oust a longtime incumbent? Don't know. Her story's apparently 'too big for local news.'

Gordon’s camp says she has “a national story.” to tell. But try getting her to show up for an interview.

City Council passes $5 billion budget for 2019-20. Spending has grown $1 billion in 4 years.

City Council approved a $5 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2020, a $1 billion increase from when Kenney took office.

Philly property owners get a break; city to increase homestead exemption to $45,000

The Kenney administration and City Council have agreed to increased the property homestead exemption to $45,000 as part of the fiscal year 2020 budget.

Register of Wills employees try to unionize following voters’ ouster of longtime boss

Employees within the Register of Wills office are trying to get full union protection from the Fraternal Order of Police in an attempt to save their jobs. A new boss will assume office in January and the at-will workers worry they will be fired.

Thousands of Philadelphia-area Acme workers, retirees at risk of losing their pension

Thousands of grocery store workers and retirees in the Philadelphia region are at risk of losing their promised pensions. Not only are the pension plans running out of money but so is the federal insurance agency that is supposed to save the failing plans.

Fire breaks out at a Center City Starbucks

A fire broke out at the Starbucks at Eighth and Walnut Streets.

Rochelle Bilal, who won Democratic nomination for Philly sheriff, finds the city’s politics ‘disturbing’

Rochelle Bilal, a former police officer who ran for Philadelphia sheriff on a reform platform, ousted the two-term incumbent Tuesday with little money and support. Here is her story.

How Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and two other entrenched Philly incumbents fell on primary night

Three longtime incumbents were ousted in Tuesday's Democratic primary, with varying causes but some commonalities in each race. For one thing, the winners all were younger women.

Tracey Gordon wins register of wills race, ousting 40-year incumbent Ron Donatucci

Tracey L. Gordon, a former deputy city commissioner, ousted longtime Register of Wills Ron Donatucci in the Democratic primary.

Rochelle Bilal wins primary election for Philadelphia sheriff in upset of Jewell Williams

Sheriff Jewell Williams, who has been plagued by three sexual harassment scandals, was ousted by former Philadelphia police officer Rochelle Bilal in the Democratic primary for sheriff.