Sunday, November 29, 2020

As Philly Hits 450 Murders, New Outlaw Chief Promotes Family Feud

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net


Over a bloody 48-hour period that included Thanksgiving, Philadelphia had 20 shootings, 9 of which were murders. 

The city's body count now stands at 450 homicides, the highest in 30 years.

With a month to go, at its current pace, the city could break the all-time record of 497 homicides set back in 1990. This year's homicide total represents a nearly 40 percent jump over last year, when there were only 356 murders.

Philadelphia's number of homicides is higher than that of New York City, which has five times the population, and only 416 murders so far this year. Philadelphia's homicide count is also higher than that of Los Angeles, which has 2 1/2 times the population of Philadelphia, but only 300 murders. The honor of having the highest homicide count in the country, however, still belongs to Chicago, which has more than 1 million more residents than Philadelphia, and a grand total of 716 murders so far this year. 

Meanwhile, with all the dead bodies piling up in Philadelphia, what was newly promoted Chief Inspector Altovise Love-Craighead of the Police Department's Community Relations Bureau concerned about? She sent out an email to more than 7,500 sworn officers and civilian personnel, advertising an upcoming "Audition for Family Feud! You could win up to $100,000 and a brand new car!"

"It was embarrassing to say the least," one senior commander said. "The entire department is laughing."

Friday, November 27, 2020

Forensic Destruction At The Delaware County Bureau Of Elections

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The Delaware County Bureau of Elections is now at the center of a national controversy over allegations of voter fraud in the presidential election.

On Wednesday, Gregory Stenstrom, who identified himself as a Navy veteran, forensic computer scientist and GOP poll watcher, made national headlines when he told a Pennsylvania state Senate hearing in Gettysburg that the entire election process in Delaware County was "forensically destructive."

"In all cases the chain of custody was broken,"  Stenstrom said. "It was broken for the mail in ballots, the drop box ballots, the election day USB card flash drives."

As a result, Stenstrom testified, he believed it was "impossible to verify the validity of about 100,000 to 120,000 votes" of the total of 330,000 votes cast by Delaware County residents.

Stenstrom's testimony echoes complaints in two written statements from poll watchers obtained by Big Trial that outlined numerous breakdowns in the chain of custody as ballots made their way from the 428 registered polling places in Delaware County to the Bureau of Elections. 

It's a story of Election Day chaos, corralled poll watchers, suspicious goings on, and one security lapse after another. The story ends with reluctance on the part of Trump's lawyers to go forward with their own case, before a judge threw that case out of court. Then, the state of Pennsylvania certified the election results, and an alleged victory for Joe Biden.   

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Philly D.A. Rolled Out Red Carpet For Accused Serial Rapist

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

He's a dreadlocked former Boston prosecutor and charismatic advocate for criminal justice reform who became a rock star after a 2016 TED talk that got nearly three million views. Now he commands up to $20,000 for a live speaking engagement.

So in February, 2018, when Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was kicking off his criminal justice revolution in Philadelphia, he invited Adam Foss to town to meet with his staff of young, eager and impressionable progressive prosecutors. Then, in September, 2018, Krasner brought back Foss in a bigger way, hiring Foss and his  nonprofit to lead a nine-week training session for new ADAs. 

Now, Adam Foss is under a criminal investigation announced by the county D.A.'s office in Boston where he used to work, after he was publicly accused by several women of being a serial predator and rapist who's knowingly spreading STDs. 

In Boston, the authorities are hot on Foss's tail. "I am aware of and troubled by the allegations that a former [Suffolk County District Attorney's Office] employee engaged in behavior that either was inappropriate, an abuse of his authority, unethical or illegal," declared Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins. "Every allegation will be investigated thoroughly."

But meanwhile, in Philadelphia, D.A. Krasner isn't talking about how much he paid Foss. Or whether he's launched an investigation to see if any of his impressionable young female staffers were abused and/or infected by Foss, when he was here in town, training prosecutors.  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Philabundance CEO Scammed Out Of $923,553

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On July 30th, Loree Jones, the newly-appointed CEO of Philabundance, came into the 1st Police District, and according to the cops, she was "visibly upset. For a good reason.

Jones told the cops "her email was hacked," and that somehow, she had been convinced to wire $923,553 from Philabundance's Citizens Bank account to a JPMorgan account that she subsequently learned was bogus.

Jones, according to the cops, was "very upset, agitated and rude. Clearly she knew she messed up big time." The case was subsequently transferred to the fraud division of the Major Crimes Unit. And as of last Friday, "We have no updated/further information at this time," said Police Officer Eric McLaurin of the Police Department's Office of Media Relations/Public Affairs."

A spokesperson for Philabundance took issue with the police report, saying that Jones's email "was not hacked," she "did not wire the money" and she was not "visibly upset" when she showed up at the 1st Police District. The spokesperson then released this statement:

"This past summer, Philabundnance was the victim of cyber theft. We have conducted an internal investigation and are collaborating with the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department in an attempt to identify the perpetrator(s) of this crime."

"The wire fraud was a one-time event and involved a loss of $923,553. While this is a considerable sum of money, we have appropriate insurance coverage and sufficient cash reserves to ensure that there is no disruption of our day-to-day activities due to this crime."

Thursday, November 19, 2020

City Officials Blame Faulty Algorithm For Dead People Voting

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

For the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to get a straight answer out of City Hall about why voting records stored in an official city database showed that a parade of 22 dead people, led by Smokin' Joe Frazier, voted in past city elections. 

First, I tried emailing all three members of the Board of Elections, especially Al Schmidt, a Republican who briefly became a star on CNN by proclaiming the sanctity of the vote count in Philadelphia for the presidential election. But neither Schmidt nor his Democratic colleagues on the board ever responded.  

On Sunday, a day after the city abruptly shut down that database, I finally got a dialogue going with Kevin Feeley, who had defended Philly election officials in an interview with snopes.com. Feeley's a PR guy who formerly flacked for Ed Rendell and the Democratic National Committee. According to the website for his PR firm, he specializes in "issue management" and "crisis communications."

That's great, because as far as Big Trial is concerned, records showing 22 dead people voted constitutes a crisis of confidence in city government. But when I sent Feeley a list of follow-up questions, Feeley was benched, and replaced by Andrew Richman, chief of staff in the city solicitor's office. Richman came forward to float a possibly credible alibi about a dormant database and a faulty algorithm that's been responsible for a flood of false data.

I ran the city's explanation past three computer experts, and they all said that Richman's alibi was plausible, but if true, it amounted to a damning indictment of the city's general incompetence and dysfunction. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Meet The New Boss; Same As The Old Boss

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In case you missed it, three local media outlets have appointed new bosses.

The Philadelphia Inquirer just named a  new and suitably diverse top editor, Gabriel Escobar, who, unlike the long line of white male bosses who preceded him at the paper of record, was born in Colombia.

Philly Mag just hired its first female editor, Kate Dailey, and its first black editor at large, Ernest Owens.

And Philadelphia Weekly just named Jenny DeHuff as editor of the "brand new PW," a paper that now has a new conservative/contrarian bent.

So with all those diverse big changes, are readers ready for some fresh viewpoints and daring muckraking exposés? As opposed to the usual drivel from the progressive Democratic media that typically promotes left-wing talking points, while covering for the progressive Democrats who are running this town straight into the ground? 

The short answer is don't hold your breath.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

City Shuts Down Database That Showed Dead People Voted

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A funny thing just happened to "Voter Inquiry Menu," the internal city of Philadelphia database that showed  dead people voted.

This morning, without any prior warning, the city abruptly shut it down. City employees who tried to log on to the database found a note across the bottom of their computer screen that said it had been "disabled and cannot be used."

Meanwhile, officials at the Board of Elections, such as Al Schmidt, the GOP elections commissioner who's been called a RINO by President Trump, has plenty of time to do interviews with CNN, where he proclaimed that no dead person voted in Philadelphia. But Schmidt has repeatedly declined, by email and on Twitter, to answer Big Trial's questions about the 22 people who, according to the database compiled by his own office, have voted in prior elections.

As Big Trial has previously reported, city employees who logged into the "Voter Inquiry Menu" database discovered a parade of 22 dead people, led by former heavyweight champ Smokin' Joe Frazier, who miraculously came back to life to vote in past Philly elections from 2015 to 2019. 

Since all the information stored on that "read-only" database emanates directly from the Board of Elections, in corrupt and contented Philadelphia, did the city have to shut it down for some urgently needed "housekeeping?"

Friday, November 13, 2020

Man Confesses To Theft Caught On Video; But D.A. Won't Prosecute

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It was a slam-dunk criminal case, complete with a suspect caught on video, and a confession.

But it wasn't enough for the District Attorney's office to prosecute under Progressive Larry Krasner.

On Oct 8th, cops from the 26th Police District apprehended Joseph Scott after a foot chase. They showed Scott a surveillance video capturing him and an associate trying to steal a catalytic converter. 

Scott waived his Miranda rights and gave a statement saying yes, that was him on the video. He was the guy behind the wheel of a Honda at 5 a.m. on Oct. 4th, who transported Michael Soder to 2600 Coral Street, so Soder could unsuccessfully attempt to cut the catalytic converter off of a 1993 Ford E250 van. The cops charged Scott, 35, of the 2000 block of East Letterly Street, with theft, criminal mischief, and criminal conspiracy. 

Scott had a rap sheet featuring six arrests, including three thefts, two aggravated assaults, and one bust for narcotics. He's also been charged previously with illegally carrying firearms. He was out on bail after being arrested for stealing another catalytic converter just two months earlier, and was due in court on Nov. 18th.

But when Scott's most recent arrest on Oct. 8th went to the district attorney's office for prosecution, Assistant District Attorney Joo Kim declined to prosecute the case, saying there was insufficient evidence.

The cops were furious. But frequently under District Attorney Larry Krasner, this is how the criminal justice system works under Krasner's so-called "reforms." The criminal goes free, the cops get treated like the enemy, and the victim is an afterthought.