D.A. Wants Parents’ Names, to Crack Down on Truancy

CBS Philly says D.A. Seth Williams wants to contact the parents of chronically truant students in order to end their chronic truancy, natch, but is stymied by a problem: The district won’t hand over the names of those students and their parents, citing federal privacy concerns.

“The letter writing, Williams said, would be the start of his office’s effort, and he said the pressure on parents who willfully ignore warnings of truancy would ramp up, escalating in a worst case to felony charges against the parent,” CBS Philly reports. But a district spokesman told the station that the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act is an obstacle to such cooperation.

Kathleen Kane Just Turned The Abandoned Sting Case Into a Double-Dog Dare

The abandoned sting case — and it’s going to be with us awhile, now, clearly, so let’s come up with a clever name for it — just took a delightful turn: Attorney General Kathleen Kane basically just dared District Attorney Seth Williams, one of her loudest critics in the matter, to prosecute the case if he thinks it’s so great.

We have video:

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10 Burning Questions About Kathleen Kane’s Abandoned Sting

We’re not sure we’ve often seen a story reported in such close detail as the Inquirer’s series of stories about the sting operation that targeted Philly Democrats with under-the-table cash payments, along with Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s decision not to prosecute any cases resulting from that operation. While the framework has stayed the same, each story — drawn from case summaries and interviews — has added a new layer of detail.

Still, we have questions, some of them prompted by the political aftermath, some by the reporting itself.



 

Kane Still Battling Sting Critics

Lots of developments over the weekend in the political fallout from revelations that Attorney General Kathleen Kane abandoned a sting operation that caught Philly Democrats taking undisclosed cash. The Inquirer printed two new stories expanding our knowledge of the details of the operation without offering much in the way of additional news — the same Democrats still caught on tape taking the same money, only at a granular level. Frank Fina, a Philadelphia prosecutor who started the sting operation while in the A.G.’s office, wrote an Inky op ed challenging Kane’s decisions. So did Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. Kane offered her own op ed —but not in the Inquirer, which she may sue: She went to the Patriot-News instead.

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Philly D.A. Running for Penn State Board

The Inquirer reports that Philly D.A. Seth Williams is running for a seat on the Penn State Board of Trustees. “Elected last fall to his second four-year term as D.A., Williams acknowledged his Philadelphia job is time-consuming. But he is undeterred by the time and travel he would have to put in as an unpaid trustee of the State College-based school. The board holds two days of meetings at least a half-dozen times a year, and there are additional sessions, such as last week’s meeting to hire a new president. ‘They say if you want something to get done, give it to a busy person,’ Williams said.” There are three open seats on the 32-member board.

Seth Williams, Lynne Abraham Still Feuding

The Daily News reports that former D.A. Lynne Abraham and current D.A. Seth Williams apparently haven’t smoothed over their rocky relationship. Williams’ remarks about the arrest of Rep. J.P. Miranda — saying prosecutors “will no longer abdicate our responsibility to investigate” political corruption — were interpreted as a swipe at Abraham, his predecessor and onetime mentor.

Who was not impressed:

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