3 more Philly Dems facing bribery charges
Charges are expected today against state Reps. Michelle Brownlee and Louise Bishop and former representative Harold James.
TWO STATE representatives and a former one are expected to be charged today in the sting investigation that was buried by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and then resurrected by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
The current representatives are Michelle Brownlee, 58, and Louise Bishop, 81, a minister who hosts a weekday gospel-radio show. They allegedly were caught on tape accepting money from lobbyist-turned-informant Tyron Ali.
The former representative facing charges is Harold James, 64, who's also a former police officer.
The charges include bribery, conspiracy and related offenses, according to court records in Dauphin County. All three are Philly Democrats.
In December, Williams charged state Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown and Ronald Waters with bribery and related offenses in connection with the Ali sting. They waived their preliminary hearings.
The Inquirer has reported that Waters allegedly took $8,750, Brown $4,000, Bishop $1,500, and Brownlee $2,000.
"What do you need me to do?" Brown asked Ali after one payment, according to the grand jury.
Thomasine Tynes, former president judge of Traffic Court, pleaded guilty in December to a conflict-of-interest charge for accepting a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet from Ali.
The investigation was launched in 2010 by then-Attorney General Tom Corbett, but was terminated by Kane, who cited problems including shoddy police work and possible racial targeting. Brown is chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. The other defendants are also black.
Williams revived it last year and put it in the hands of a local grand jury.