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PA House Ethics Committee looks into Philly4

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 07:20 PM CDT
Written by: Chris Papst

It’s been called the next great scandal to hit Pennsylvania. And CBS 21 News has confirmed the House Committee on Ethics has formed a bipartisan investigation into the so called “Philly 4.”  CBS 21 first broke this story on Twitter. 

It’s not often the House Committee on Ethics looks into its own members. But Capitol sources tell CBS 21 this is a case that simply could not be ignored.

These are the four lawmakers in question: Michelle Brownlee, Louise Bishop, Vanessa Brown and Ron Waters – all are from Philadelphia and all are Democrats

This story originally broke on Sunday.  We’ve learned starting in 2010, the Attorney General’s Office under Tom Corbett used an informant to offer the legislators cash, which they took but did not report. This is all on tape.  $20,000 in taxpayer money changed hands.

On Monday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she won’t charge the legislators because the initial investigation was flawed and possibly racially motivated (all legislators are African American).  Kane has faced harsh criticism from opponents who feel she dropped the investigation for political reasons.  We did speak to a spokesman from Governor Corbett’s office today about what he thinks should happen to the so called “Philly4”. 

 “The Governor feels the individuals that were allegedly on tape should face the appropriate justice,” said Jay Pagni.

The House Committee on Ethics is made up of eight members, four Democrats and four Republicans.  Under House rules, the members cannot comment on any investigation until it is complete. 

PA House Ethics Committee looks into Philly4


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