Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Controller Finds Flawed Procurement Process & Official Conflicts of Interest, But Won't Hold Up $29 Million Voting Machines Purchase

By Ralph Cipriano

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has concluded that the procurement process that led to the purchase of $29 million in new voting machines for Philadelphia was flawed, slanted to favor the winning vendor, and marred by official conflicts of interest.

But because the flaws were the fault of the city, Rhynhart says, she has "no legal justification to hold up this payment." So last week, the controller approved the first $7 million payment by the city to ES&S of Omaha, Nebraska, maker of the ExpressVoteXL. Rhynhart added that she will not block any remaining payments to the vendor on the $29 million deal.

"I'm really frustrated at this point," she said at the conclusion of a press conference today to announce the findings of a seven-month investigation into the purchase of the new voting machines, a deal that she had repeatedly threatened to block payment on.

"I'm frustrated with a process that wasn't done well," she said about the way the city purchased its new voting machines.

Judge Drops Blanket Of Secrecy Over Long-Running Msgr. Lynn Case

Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright
By Ralph Cipriano

The case was first tried seven years ago, and it's been litigated for a total of nine years.

There was a time when it was being monitored by the Vatican as well as covered by The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Rolling Stone.

But now that the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William J. Lynn is headed for a retrial, Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright is determined to keep everything about it a big secret.

She's slapped a gag order on the lawyers in the case, so they can't talk to the media. She's sealed pretrial motions so the public has no idea what's going on.

Even though the media, except for this outlet, has long ago lost interest in what happens to Msgr. Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy, who went to jail for endangering the welfare of a child.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Angry Mayor's Office Puts Philly Mag On Double Secret Probation

By Ralph Cipriano

In case you missed it, the thin-skinned mayor's office has responded to my latest DROP story published by Philly mag by placing all of the reporters and editors of that publication on double secret probation!

Victor Fiorillo of Philly mag is reporting that when he tried to find out some routine information about city regulations regarding recreational vehicles, he had to run through a gauntlet of three official city spokespersons before he was told of a new policy regarding all requests for information from anybody who works for Philly mag.


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