Skip to comments.Philadelphia Mayor Probe Now Includes Mobile (Ala.)County Schools
Posted on 10/21/2003 5:58:41 AM PDT by blam
Philadelphia mayor probe now includes Mobile County schools
Ronald White, close adviser of Street's, may have done work on construction bond
By RENA HAVNER
Federal investigators in Pennsylvania have subpoenaed Mobile County school records in conjunction with a probe that centers on Philadelphia Mayor John Street.
Officials with the Mobile County Public School System on Thursday were ordered to turn over documents pertaining to a $121 million construction bond managed by JP Morgan Securities Inc., Philadelphia attorney Ronald A. White and Georgia attorney Anthony Snell, said system attorney Bob Campbell.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that White is a close political adviser of Street's who has raised $250,000 for the mayor, who is up for re-election in November.
According to the newspaper, Street is the "subject" in an FBI probe, but federal investigators will not say why. Street, a Democrat, has alleged the investigation is a Republican trick meant to derail his election campaign.
The case received national attention earlier this month after the FBI admitted bugging the mayor's office as part of the investigation.
The Mobile County records were submitted to the U.S. attorney's office Friday. Campbell said school officials were told the information will be reviewed by a grand jury that will convene in Philadelphia starting today.
Besides issuing a subpoena for the Mobile County school records last week, the Philadelphia grand jury has ordered that personal financial records of Street, members of the mayor's family and White be turned over to authorities. The agency also has ordered copies of records pertaining to White's dealings with the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the Philadelphia International Airport, according to the Inquirer.
Campbell said no one in the Mobile County School System had heard of White or Snell until the subpoena was issued.
"We don't know what these people have allegedly done or have not done. We just responded to a subpoena," Campbell said. "As far as the facts and the basis for the investigation -- we have no knowledge at all. It appears there is some investigation into these men, not the Mobile County Public School System."
Preston Bolt, a Mobile attorney who worked with the school system to secure the bond, said White was not involved in the initial work. "It's possible he did some work for JP Morgan. I'm under the impression that there was no real connection to the school system."
Nancy Pierce, spokeswoman for the 65,000-student school system, said this bond is the first the school system had done by JP Morgan.
White and officials from JP Morgan did not return calls to the Mobile Register on Monday. On Saturday, White, who is black, told the Philadelphia Daily News that he believed the probe was racially motivated.
The school system's $121 million bond was issued through Mobile County in 2003 for such school projects as the new performing arts school to be built at the old Gayfers building in downtown Mobile, a stadium at Citronelle High School, an auditorium at Davidson High School, a new Council Elementary School and a new Alba Elementary School.
The county, not the system, took out the bond to save the school system $20 million in interest. The school system actually incurs the debt and has full say in how the money is used, according to officials.
Campbell said he has no reason to believe this subpoena is related to another subpoena the school system received in August. FBI officials in Mobile have seized construction documents from the past six years and will not comment on the investigation.
The school board will meet today to decide whether Volkert & Associates or one of five other companies will manage the projects. Volkert has overseen all school construction projects over the last few years but was abruptly fired in August.
(Staff Reporters Joe Dan born and Steve Myers con tributed to this report).
Do you suppose there was a national effort to run these bonds through certain people who provided money to certain officeholders? I wonder how far this will go.
No doubt politicians are involved. I hope they get all the way to the bottom of it. It wouldn't bother me in the least if they rounded up some of our county commissioners with this.
Guns Before Butter.
Guns Before Butter.
Shhsss Flurry - don't give away our game plan yet.......
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