The August 2010 email, sent by a then-deputy attorney general to fellow state prosecutors, had the subject line "HOT GHETTO MESS!" and was filled with images, mostly of black people, with derogatory, hateful and racist remarks. The scandal now known as Porngate is becoming an even bigger mess for District Attorney Seth Williams, as City Council approved a resolution calling on him to fire three prosecutors embroiled in the controversy who now work for his office. Under the mounting pressure, Williams said he was transferring the attorneys -- Marc Costanzo, Frank Fina and Pat Blessington -- but has said he would not fire them. "When you have prosecutors who are looking at emails entitled 'Hot ghetto mess,' how do we reconcile with that as an African- American?" City Councilwoman Cindy Bass said. "How do I reconcile myself with the fact that [prosecutors] have circulated these sorts of emails, that [prosecutors] have pushed out this type of content and at the same time, [prosecutors] have a case file entitled 'Black Caucus' investigation and you are targeting African-American legislators and looking at them taking bribes?" Read more
The principal of Bartram High School has been reassigned after he allegedly pushed a student during a dispute. Philadelphia School District officials said Abdul-Mubdi Muhammad and a student began arguing over the young man's clothing: The boy had come to school out of uniform, and Muhammad wanted him to go home. "He got into a verbal altercation with the student, which resulted in him pushing the student, and the student pushing him back," schools spokesman Fernando Gallard said. Neither was injured. Muhammad has been temporarily transferred with pay to an office where he does not have contact with students while authorities continue to investigate. Read more
One of the victims in the San Bernardino shooting rampage used to be a health inspector in Cape May County. A friend also said Nicholas Thalasinos had posted on Facebook about receiving a threat the day before the mass shooting that left 14 dead. Thalasinos worked as an environmental health inspector in Cape May from 1988 to 2002, Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton said. "He was a hard working dedicated employee," he said. "He was an average Joe working guy, really cared for his family, spoke highly of his kids. I was somewhat shocked." Read more
Sen. Pat Toomey is again at the center of a national debate about gun laws. In the aftermath of the San Bernardino mass shooting, Democrats revived the bill to expand background checks that the Pennsylvania Republican cosponsored in 2013. The measure failed, but Toomey voted in favor of it. "If there's a sensible way to help keep the American people safer, I believe it deserves our support," Toomey said in a statement after the vote. Read more
The city and Comcast have reached a deal on the terms of a new 15-year franchise agreement. A City Council committee has approved the deal, which the full body will consider on Dec. 10. The agreement calls for more low-income Philadelphians to have access to affordable Internet and more high-school students to receive high-tech job training. "If this agreement is implemented the way that we have discussed, it will prove to the world that Comcast has put Philadelphia first, and that's what we want and what we demand," Councilman Bobby Henon said. Read more