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Delco jail boss accused of racism, abuse of power; How shootings involving children impact Philly police | Morning Newsletter

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John Reilly Jr., Superintendent of George W. Hill Correctional facility speaks during an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer in Thornton, Pa. Wednesday, November 6, 2019.Reilly has been accused of racist and sexist behavior in his decade-long tenure
John Reilly Jr., Superintendent of George W. Hill Correctional facility speaks during an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer in Thornton, Pa. Wednesday, November 6, 2019.Reilly has been accused of racist and sexist behavior in his decade-long tenureRead moreJOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer

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John Reilly, Jr. is no stranger to complaints. But the Delaware County jail boss’ alleged actions did not take place in a vacuum. An investigation by The Inquirer and the Caucus sheds light on the claims and the system in which the alleged actions took place. Also, a collection of recent Philly shootings involving children has shaken families and neighborhoods. But how does it impact those who are often first to the grisly scenes?

And you might want to grab a jacket and gloves before you head out this morning. The Philly region is in for a serious winter preview.

— Ray Boyd (@RayBoydDigital,

For years, complaints have been levied against John Reilly Jr., the superintendent behind Delaware County’s big privately owned jail. The complaints against him were no ordinary workplace gripes.

Now it appears that Reilly did not operate in a vacuum. The county’s Board of Inspections was supposed to oversee the superintendent of the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. But instead, it kept his alleged misconduct from ever becoming public, an investigation by The Inquirer and the Caucus has found.

A whistle-blower letter in 2014 accused Reilly of calling black corrections officer by the N-word, referring to Latino workers as “tacos," and once saying he hoped a pregnant female employee would have a child with birth defects. Reilly on Wednesday denied those claims.

At least six shootings in a matter of weeks in Philly have involved children, some infants. The sites have stretched from West Philadelphia to the Northeast, leaving behind a trail of despair for families and neighborhoods.

But what about police officers? How are those who are often first to these scenes coping?

Reporters Oona Goodin-Smith and Anna Orso tackled that question by speaking with law enforcement professionals and trauma experts about the impact of constant exposure to these gruesome scenes, especially when they involve kids.

Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and fellow Phillies great Larry Bowa will sleep outside in Center City this month to raise money and awareness for homeless children.

Manuel didn’t grow up homeless in Virginia, but he was one of 11 siblings living in a cramped home. “We had poor times,” Manuel said. He played junior-high basketball in bare feet because his family couldn’t afford sneakers.

Inspired by his humble beginnings, Manuel began to work with children at a Germantown homeless shelter in 2011. His passion for that work has led to this. “If I can help someone from sleeping on the streets who comes from a broken home or doesn’t have parents, that’s touching to me,” Manuel said.

What you need to know today

  1. In the wake of an Inquirer report that detailed allegations of sexual misconduct at the Curtis Institute of Music, the school has hired a Philadelphia law firm to investigate.

  2. A new veterans group’s ad has a request for Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick: “Stop putting politics ahead of our country” and “hold the president accountable.”

  3. The campaign to gain historical designation for a small West Philly neighborhood has been long and contentious, pitting neighbors against preservationists. A vote on the fate of Overbrook Farms is upcoming.

  4. A study by Drexel researchers has debunked a deep-rooted belief that you probably had about your houseplants.

  5. Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris wants to alter the school day to align it with work schedules. But what would her plan mean for Philly-area schools and their efforts to reform the schedule?

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Wow. Philly looks so pretty in pink 😍. Thanks for this one, @kslouf!

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. As the debate around whether college athletes should be compensated rages on, a former Villanova football player is suing the NCAA for not paying student-athletes.

  2. Former Eagle Cris Carter is no longer on the payroll at Fox Sports after reports of behind-the-scenes turmoil surfaced.

  3. MSNBC host and Northeast native Chris Matthews spoke to The Inquirer about his recent cancer diagnosis and surgery, saying he considers himself “lucky.”

  4. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Contemporary Craft Show is this weekend, and my colleague Grace Dickinson has rounded up what you can expect (and buy) from the nation’s top master crafters.

  5. Philly’s Hungry Pigeon is no longer an all-day cafe. They’re giving up one meal of the day because chef Scott Schroeder says, “I want my life back.”


“So what is the future Chinese model? Academics here are debating that question with the same intensity Americans are debating where our country is headed. A main question: Whether China’s success was built by socialism or capitalism.” — Columnist Trudy Rubin, writing from Beijing, examines China’s future.

  1. Emergency physicians Richard Hamilton and Arvind Venkat applaud Pennsylvania’s legislative efforts to address huge, unexpected medical bills. But they warn that the latest approach could cause more harm than good for patients and doctors.

  2. In their latest edition of Pro/Con, our opinion team talked to experts on both sides of this debate: Should Facebook and social media sites regulate political ads?

What we’re reading

  1. The Ringer examines whether Jimmy Butler can be the Miami Heat’s version of Kawhi Leonard, even though he didn’t fit into the Sixers’ plans.

  2. Anyone else out there planning a wedding? You might want to read this. Philadelphia Magazine caught up with a local bride who thrifted her way down the aisle — including spending just $15 on her dress.

  3. Writing for the Atlantic, journalist Tom Junod recalls the relentless kindness of his friend Fred Rogers and touches on why the world needs Mister Rogers now more than ever.

Your Daily Dose of | Safe & Sound

In October, a two- to three-month-old Shiba Inu puppy was stolen from the PSPCA’s North Philly headquarters. Officials say the puppy has been found safe and the tipster that led them to the pup could be in line for a reward.