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Details of the FBI’s probe of Kenyatta Johnson; Philadelphia police inspector faces sexual assault charges | Morning Newsletter

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Kenyatta Johnson (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )
Kenyatta Johnson (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )Read more

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Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has been under the watch of the FBI for years. The investigation into his tenure has mostly gone on behind closed doors. But details are beginning to emerge. Meanwhile, Carl Holmes, a former Philadelphia police chief inspector, was arrested Thursday in connection with sexual assaults on officers.

Also, we take a look at the career and resumé of the new manager of your Philadelphia Phillies: Joe Girardi.

— Ray Boyd (@RayBoydDigital,

For three years, Kenyatta Johnson’s tenure representing parts of South and Southwest Philadelphia has been under FBI scrutiny. That investigation has mostly been behind closed doors, but details are beginning to emerge.

Sources familiar with the probe told The Inquirer that it dives into everything from Johnson’s involvement in the bargain-rate sales of city-owned land to the work of his wife, Dawn Chavous, as an education consultant, campaign adviser, and charter school advocate.

Both Johnson and Chavous have denied any wrongdoing. But the investigation — led by many of the agents and prosecutors who secured corruption convictions against former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah — continues.

A longtime Philadelphia police chief inspector was arrested Thursday. Carl Holmes faces charges of sexually assaulting three female police officers.

An investigating grand jury alleges that Holmes used his power to present himself as a mentor to young officers before eventually taking advantage of their trust in a number of ways.

Holmes was largely protected from any meaningful investigation as a chief inspector — a position second-highest after deputy commissioner. His arrest could be very significant for a department that critics and female officers have long argued tolerates sexual harassment.

Joe Girardi’s Yankees ripped the World Series title away from the Phillies in 2009. Now, a decade later, Girardi will try to make up for that. Girardi’s hiring by the Phillies marks the first time the team has brought in a manager with a World Series championship on his resumé.

Girardi also interviewed with the Cubs and Mets — two teams with which he has history.

Extreme focus and intensity are two things that Girardi is well-known for and traits that apparently began to wear on the Yankees clubhouse. Now, we’ll find out if the Phillies can handle it.

What you need to know today

  1. A month ago, damaged asbestos was found in a North Philadelphia elementary school gym. Reporters Kristen A. Graham and Wendy Ruderman examine why it’s still there and look at the School District’s lack of urgency in the matter.

  2. Shelly Brown is the top administrator in the Pennsylvania Senate. Paid by taxpayers, she earns $162,000 a year to make sure employees get their parking and paychecks and avoid personnel problems. So, why is she wining and dining with her boss’ campaign credit card?

  3. A third group wants to open a shelter in the Philly area to house undocumented youths. Bethany Christian Services says its mission is solely to help children, but efforts to open these kinds of shelters have been hugely controversial.

  4. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have received a multimillion-dollar grant that will allow them to study the relationship between brain injuries and dementia symptoms.

  5. Penn researchers have also released findings that show the impact and influence that alcohol has on our brains.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Well, I know what my lunchtime plans are for today. Thanks for the inspiration, @hsw_philly.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. The changing color of the leaves is quite the spectacle in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. But in recent years, some have been disappointed to see muted colors and a later fall arrival. Is climate change to blame?

  2. If you’re a Spongebob Squarepants fan, you can now soak up the fun at Nickelodeon Universe. The largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere opens today in New Jersey.

  3. If you and the kids are looking to step up your trick-or-treating game this year, we suggest you visit these Philly-area Halloween haunts.

  4. Eagles fans’ worst nightmare for this weekend: a third straight loss. The Birds will try to avoid that fate against the Bills, and my colleague Paul Domowitch has the full scouting report.


“President Trump ripped open a nearby scab of America’s tortured racial history when he tweeted that his predicament has become ‘a lynching.’ ... The grotesque comparison smacks of willful ignorance.” — Columnist Will Bunch examines the racial history of America that you might not have learned about in school.

  1. Diana Lind, executive director of the Arts and Business Council for Greater Philadelphia, writes that despite all the reasons people leave Philadelphia, there’s one factor that the city must fight to maintain if it wants people to stay.

  2. Columnist Jenice Armstrong shares the story of two men from completely different worlds who have managed to become friends: a former drug dealer and the Camden County cop who saved his life.

What we’re reading

  1. Over the offseason while home in Australia, Sixers star Ben Simmons said he experienced a racist incident at a casino. With the season underway, it’s still weighing heavy on his mind and he opened up about that with the Undefeated.

  2. Philadelphia’s experimental street sweeping program has some street cleaners concerned about the health hazards they’re swirling into the air around them. PlanPhilly has the story.

  3. Face transplants are still a very rare medical procedure, with the first one being performed in 2005. Time shares the story of a recent procedure that is expected to have ripple effects on future cases — the first one performed on an African American.

A Daily Dose of | Phish

Famed jam band Phish is headed to Philadelphia in December. While in town, they’ll play the smallest venue the group has played in nearly two decades.