Another day in Pennsylvania. Another day of misconduct charges facing officials and representatives. The Inquirer investigated claims of sexual misconduct against a man who rose to the level of chief inspector in the Philadelphia Police Department and found that systemic flaws shielded the man from consequences for 15 years, until he was charged with sexual assault this fall. And, a state representative from West Philly was charged yesterday with stealing over a half-million dollars from her own nonprofit and will resign.
In brighter news, the Phillies made a big splash by signing a new starting pitcher from a rival team. Also, did you know that a city library card can now get you into some Philly attractions free?
State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Democrat from West Philly, will resign after being charged yesterday with perjury, theft, tampering with public records, and related crimes. She took office in March following a special election.
Johnson-Harrell stole from her nonprofit to spend on real estate, vacations, luxury clothing, and her bid for the legislature, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The nonprofit’s original goal was to assist poor people struggling with mental illness, addiction, and homelessness.
Carl Holmes was able to rise to the rank of chief inspector in Philadelphia while allegedly assaulting three female cops. And his alleged misdeeds were well known to officials in the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and City Hall.
While the 54-year-old has long denied ever forcing himself on any officer, District Attorney Larry Krasner charged Holmes with sexual assault and related offenses in October. The charges came based on the recommendation of a grand jury that heard testimony from at least three of Holmes’ alleged victims.
My colleagues at The Inquirer took a deep look into Holmes’ conduct. Their findings reveal systemic flaws that shielded him and other top police officials. It also illuminated the city’s procedures for handling sexual misconduct complaints.
The move would lead to about 140,000 people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey losing their benefits. That includes about 38,000 Philadelphians. The new rule will go into effect in April. It will tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture argued that the decision would encourage people to be less reliant on a government safety net, while anti-hunger advocates worried that the move would increase food insecurity.
When viewing the city might be better than viewing the football team that plays there, it’s not a good sign. Anyway, nice shot, @ana.mus!
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!
“So here we are with our half-measures. Our unopened windows. Our promises for change that feel a little empty when you look at what’s happening across the river. It was a day that could never have been happy, but one that’s more cause for celebration than Pennsylvania’s long road ahead.” — columnist Mike Newall writes about the contrast between how New Jersey and Pennsylvania have handled victims of sexual abuse.