It started as a plea arrangement between a lobbyist arrested for fraud and the Republican attorney general of the state of Pennsylvania. And it ended not with a bang but a whimper by the new Democratic attorney general, who shut down the investigation without filing a single charge.
Philly.com quotes Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who took office in 2013, as telling the Inquirer that the investigation was “poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.”
The undercover sting, begun three years ago by Kane’s predecessor, Republican Tom Corbett, captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four local members of the state’s House delegation, on tape accepting money. The lobbyist who agreed to wear a wire and tape officials reacting to offers of cash and/or gifts is Tyron B. Ali, 40, who was arrested in a $430,000 fraud case.
“Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments,” said the Inquirer.
Four state lawmakers took money, the sources said. State Rep. Ronald G. Waters accepted multiple payments totaling $7,650; State Rep. Vanessa Brown took $4,000; State Rep. Michelle Brownlee received $3,500; and State Rep. Louise Bishop took $1,500, said people with knowledge of the investigation.
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