SEPTA’s Tab for Pope Visit? $4 Million
Good morning, Philadelphia, and happy National Chocolate Day. Here’s what you need to know today.
SEPTA ended up spending $4 million on the pope’s visit — and hopes the feds will pick up at least part of that tab.
“Spokesman Andrew Busch says Septa paid $2.3 million in overtime on the pope weekend and another $1.6 on materials and equipment for planning and crowd control,” CBS3 reports. “Bush says even though ridership on many regional rail lines was five times higher on pope weekend than a normal weekend, it was more than offset by a drop on city transit.” The agency hopes the Department of Homeland Security will pay some of the bills.
Sen. Anthony Williams wants Pennsylvania’s latest “Porngate” justice to leave office.
Williams, a Philadelphian on the Pa. Senate’s Law & Justice committee, called for Justice Michael Eakin to step down, days after several dozen naughty sent and received by Eakin were made public. “Williams said he’s not willing to stay mum about messages that reportedly contain racial and misogynistic humor,” NewsWorks reports. “I waited for about a week to hear the ‘timber’ moment, where people would be appropriately outraged and driving him from the court,” said Williams. “And I frankly don’t think we’ve had one.”
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, in trouble for leaking grand jury secrets for political gain, now has two of her agents digging around in old grand jury files.
“The focus, according to sources, is on grand juries overseen by Senior Judge Barry F. Feudale and prosecuted by a former deputy attorney general, Frank Fina, with whom she has feuded and blames for her legal problems,” the Morning Call reports. Feudale on Tuesday accused Kane of improperly obtaining some of his emails and peddling them to news outlets. Kane’s spokesman confirmed that old grand jury cases — 32 in all — are being reviewed. He said it had nothing to do with her defense against criminal charges in the leak case.
A man died after being Tasered by a SEPTA cop this week. Are the “stun gun” devices actually dangerous?
“By Amnesty International’s count, more than 500 people died after being shocked by a Taser between 2001 and 2012. But whether or not those deaths were due to the actual Taser, or to other factors, is a matter of considerable dispute,” Philly Mag’s Patrick Kerkstra reports. But SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel isn’t ready to review his force’s Taser policies after the latest incident. “Too much is unknown at this point and any action in response to something that happened two days ago would be an irresponsible knee jerk reaction,” Nestel says.
The man accused of killing a Philadelphia trans woman during a robbery has a court date today.
“Pedro Redding will face a judge today during a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 am. He has been the lone arrest in the murder case of Kiesha Jenkins, the trans woman who was gunned down earlier in October,” G Philly’s Bryan Buttler reports. “Redding is allegedly one of several men who brutally attacked Jenkins on October 6 before one of them shot her,” but no other arrests have been made in the incident. The killing drew national attention, but police say they believe the motive was robbery — and not a hate crime.