Morning Headlines: Bad Cops, No Subs, Late Budget, and More
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know:
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is leaving, but the war against bad cops rages on.
Under Ramsey, the homicide rate has plunged and Philadelphia has become a safer city. But his campaign to rid the department of corruption and rogue cops has been far less successful.
What gives? David Gambacorta reports for Philly Mag that a powerful array of forces — from the Fraternal Order of Police, to the city’s rules and regulations, to tepid political support — have thwarted Ramsey time and again, to the immense frustration of the retiring commissioner. Will his successor fare any better?
Superintendent William Hite sounds like he’s ready to replace the private company that’s not supplying enough substitute teachers to Philly classrooms.
Source4Teachers was supposed to supply replacements for 75 percent of all teacher absences in the Philadelphia district this year: It’s “topped out” about 20 percent, CBS Philly says, and Hite says he’s run out of patience. “We’ve been very disappointed with their performances to date. It hasn’t met our expectis terms in a ations,” he says.
“They’ve also been put on notice that their performance is not where we need it to be, and that it has to be corrected ASAP. And if not, then we have to think about other options.”
Gov. Tom Wolf says the state’s unending budget impasse is the GOP’s fault.
You may have heard that Wolf’s has been too stubborn in budget negotiations with Republicans, but Wolf said Wednesday that it’s the GOP — not him — that won’t make the concessions necessary to get a deal.
TribLive quotes Wolf: “I have actually conceded on things like liquor. I have conceded on things like pensions. I have not seen a willingness on their side to agree. So I don’t know how long this is going to take or whether we are making progress at this point or not. … We have a deficit that is not going to go away by just wishing it away.” House Majority Leader Dave Reed, however said “it won’t be much longer” before a budget passes.
City leaders may dream of transforming Philly into an “energy hub,” but environmentalists are joining forces in opposition.
StateImpact Pennsylvania reports: The new coalition, called Green Justice Philly, includes 20 community organizations and environmental groups that want to halt the expansion of the city’s fossil fuel industry and urge local action on climate change. The group launched with a rally near City Hall Thursday as supporters carrying banners chanted, ‘Philadelphia is not a sacrifice zone.’” The group wants City Hall to block any new permits for “serious violators” of water and water regulations.
Chip Fattah is about to go on trial. He’s acting as his own lawyer.
Fattah’s legal problems are technically unrelated to the charges faced by his father, Congressman Chaka Fattah, the Inquirer observes that prosecutors allege to the two “shared a similar flippancy when it came to spending other people’s money.”
“To hear them tell it, Fattah Jr. spun lie after lie about his professional life to keep business loans coming and to finance his flashy lifestyle: a BMW, cases of liquor, high-end clothing, and a $600,000 condo at the Ritz-Carlton,” the paper says. Chip Fattah’s response? “The government has built its entire case on a deck of cards.” The trial is scheduled to last four weeks.
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