Activist Brings “Private” Charges Against Lawmakers in Sting

Gene Stilp will carry on where Kathleen Kane wouldn't.

Gene Stilp carries on where Kathleen Kane wouldn’t. PennLive reports:

Self-styled political activist Gene Stilp filed a private criminal complaint Tuesday against three sitting state lawmakers implicated in an aborted public corruption investigation.

Stilp has alleged misdemeanor violations of the state Ethics Act by Reps. Ronald Waters, Vanessa Lowery Brown, and Michelle Brownlee.

According to investigative files that have been shared with PennLive, all three Philadelphia Democrats were taped accepting cash gifts from a government informant posing as a lobbyist for the state Attorney General’s office from late 2010 through early 2012.

The Inquirer, of course, broke the story last month that Attorney General Kathleen Kane had abandoned the sting, finding fault with an investigation that used a confidential informant and seemed to disproportionately target African-American lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Inquirer reports that Claude Thomas, a lead investigator on the case says Kane should not have shut it down:

Thomas, who worked for the Attorney General’s Office for more than 25 years, said the sting was “ripe for continuation upon [Kane’s] arrival.”

“We were prepared to expand the case,” Thomas said Tuesday of the now-shuttered sting. “We were meeting our objective and our goal.”