Catholic Pediatrician Says City Fired Her for Refusing to Prescribe Contraceptives


After moving to the United States from her native India, Doris Fernandes worked as a pediatrician at Philadelphia’s District Health Center at 4400 Haverford Avenue for 35 years. But now, the Roxborough resident claims that the city fired her in November 2013 because she refused to prescribe contraceptives like Depo-Provera and the morning-after pill to the young women in her care. Read more »

Norman Mailer Mistress Sues Mailer Estate, Biographer for Libel


Carole Mallory has led quite the life. Though the 72-year-old woman now lives quietly in Norristown, Pennsylvania, her earlier years were nothing short of exciting.

In addition to being a Pan Am stewardess (back when they were actually called stewardesses), actress (she was in Looking for Mr. Goodbar and The Stepford Wives), scantily clad model (she graced the covers of Newsweek, Cosmopolitan and New York magazine), and, oh, fiancee of Pablo Picasso’s son, she also played the paramour to an impressive roster of famous men.

Mallory’s conquests reportedly included Robert DeNiro, Peter Sellers, Rod Stewart, Warren Beatty, Richard Gere and Norman Mailer, and it is her eight-year affair with Mailer that is the subject of a just-filed lawsuit in Philadelphia’s Federal Court. Read more »

School District Sues Ex-Webmaster Christopher Akers for Fraud, Theft

christopher-akers-lawsuit-school-district-linkedinBack in 2008, just a few months after Arlene Ackerman’s reign as Queen Bee of School District of Philadelphia began, Christopher Akers, seen here in his LinkedIn profile, was hired as the district’s full-time webmaster at a salary of just under $50,000. Well, six years later, Ackerman is gone (as in literally gone: she died in 2013) and Akers is being hauled into Philadelphia’s Federal Court by the cash-strapped district, which is alleging that he spent his taxpayer-funded time there developing apps for his own business. Read more »

Contractor: Building Owner Was on Site at Time of Collapse

The owner of the former Hoagie City building at 22nd and Market was on site when it collapsed last year onto an adjacent Salvation Army store and killed six people, a building contractor charged with murder in the incident says.

A lawyer for the contractor, Griffin Campbell, told owner Richard Basciano was on site with his wife Lois when the collapse happened, but left immediately after.

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Pennsylvania Defending Lawsuit by Blaming Woman for Her Own Rape

A 24-year-old was working at the Rockland state prison in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania prison as a typist when she was attacked and raped by an inmate. Omar Best was convicted of her rape. The victim has sued the state of Pennsylvania, which is defending the lawsuit by claiming that her actions “in whole or in part contributed” to her own rape.

Kathleen Kane’s office was flooded with calls yesterday after the Centre Daily Times initially reported the lawsuit response. The Attorney General’s office says Kane didn’t know about this response to the lawsuit when it was filed, even though her name is on it. Kane spokesman David Tyler talked to the Centre Daily, which explained, “Kane’s name is attached to hundreds of documents every week, most of which she did not author and might not have read.” (I guess “It’s my first day!” or “The dog ate my copy of the filing” sounded worse.)

“This initial filing should not necessarily be interpreted as meaning this defense will be pursued throughout the entire case,” Kane’s office said in a statement sent to media outlets. “Attorney General Kane is disappointed that she was not made aware of this matter prior to the filing, and was saddened to learn that the filing implied that the victim somehow contributed to this crime.”

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MGM Lawsuit Threat to Force Rocky 50K to Change Its Name

Rocky runners get ready in South Philly

How long does a grass-roots DIY run last before it gets co-opted by The Man? Based on recent evidence, about a year.

Last year, I wrote a piece mapping Rocky Balboa’s training run in Rocky II. By connecting the scenes in a montage, I discovered Rocky ran a shade under 31 miles. About three hours after the piece went up, I got an email from Rebecca Schaefer, a Philadelphia resident who runs in ultra races, asking if she could attempt to organize an actual 50K roughly tracing the course I drew. It’d be a “fat-ass” run: Lightly organized, with no entry fees, awards or road closures. “It’d be small, for sure,” she wrote.

It wasn’t. The article attracted a bit of attention. Schaefer’s run was widely covered; more than 100 people showed up to run at least part of it. Runners collected sneakers for Back on My Feet. A woman who ran it pregnant last year named her son Rocky.

And now MGM has threatened Schaefer with a lawsuit, sending her a cease-and-desist letter over the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run. “To be honest, I was shocked it hadn’t come sooner,” Schaefer, the run’s organizer, says. She’s changing the name of the Rocky 50K for its second edition on December 6th, a run that’s become much larger than she ever imagined. The soon-to-be-renamed Rocky 50K has no entry fees or actual sign-up list; Schaefer makes no money on the event.

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Chaka Fattah Jr.: Why I’m Fighting the IRS


Guest Commentary: Chaka Fattah Jr. is suing the IRS for $10 million. He is the President of 259 Strategies, LLC, and the son of Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.).

Thanks to the federal government ruining my life, I have had 30 months to spend time determining what will ultimately be the story of my life. After much reflection, I have come to a simple conclusion: My life story will be a good one.

In the past two weeks, a federal judge issued a ruling allowing my $10 million dollar lawsuit against the IRS to continue to trial. The lawsuit, Fattah v. United States, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in February 2014.

This coming after much hard work by both myself and an experienced lawyer, Christopher D. Belen, a tax division attorney who is representing the government in the civil action. Mr. Belen works at what political insiders refer to as Main Justice, the Washington D.C. office of the U.S. Department of Justice. While I can’t speak to the time Mr. Belen dedicated to this matter, I have personally reviewed over 2,000 pages of research using resources such as the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

As a taxpayer, it’s ironic that some of my tax dollars are going to pay to defend cases such as this, where the government has clearly violated the fundamental principles espoused in the U.S. Constitution.

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Parents Sue Over Philadelphia School Conditions


Seven Philadelphia parents and the Parents United for Public Education group are suing over the conditions of Philadelphia’s public schools. The petitioners are represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

In the suit, to be filed against acting Pennsylvania education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, the parents say the state has failed in its constitutional mandate to “receive and investigate allegations of curriculum deficiencies.” Parents United says it delivered 825 complaints about school conditions to Dumaresq that were not followed up on.

Per the lawsuit, the allegations included “overcrowded classrooms, the lack of classes such as art, music, foreign language and physical education, cancelled programs for the mentally gifted, the absence of facilities such as libraries or school materials such as textbooks that resulted in loss of instruction for students, shortages of staff … and unsafe or unsanitary conditions that interfered with students’ ability to respond to the curriculum.”

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Lawsuit Filed in Philly Court Has New Abuse Allegations Against Jerry Sandusky


2012 AP Photo

2012 AP photo

Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and the second mile charity are facing yet another lawsuit (below) stemming from the child sex abuse scandal. Late last month, a lawyer for alleged victim “D.F.” filed suit. The lawyer, Bret J. Southard, told the Centre Daily Times his client’s lawsuit involves new allegations not previously brought forward when the scandal broke.

The lawsuit says that, in 2008 or 2009, Sandusky took D.F. on a shopping spree that also involved oral sex. The suit also says Sandusky raped the boy after Penn State’s football opener in 2008.

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Chaka Fattah Jr. Talks Gambling, His Congressman Dad, the IRS


It’s a crazy time to be Chaka Fattah Jr. He’s facing federal charges for tax evasion. He’s suing the IRS for $10 million (complaint below). And his dad, Congressman Chaka Fattah, is under investigation, too (as is his inner circle). We got the younger Fattah on the phone to talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of blackjack.

What is the status of your $10 million lawsuit against the IRS?

I am very happy to report that the court just issued a ruling allowing my case to proceed. The primary claim — which is a media leak to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Times — the court allowed that claim to go to trial. What this means for me is that they will have to turn over discovery documents, and there will be a trial over this media leak. They damaged my reputation, and I am claiming that they owe me millions of dollars in damages.

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