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Philadelphia Mayor Probe Now Includes Mobile (Ala.)County Schools
Mobile Register ^ | 10-21-2003 | Rena Havner

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

10/21/03

By RENA HAVNER
Staff Reporter

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).


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: county; johnstreet; mayor; mobile; philadelphia; schools; street
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1 posted on 10/21/2003 5:58:41 AM PDT by blam
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To: Dog
ping
2 posted on 10/21/2003 6:03:57 AM PDT by randita
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To: blam
I'm not up on bond schemes. Can anyone explain what White is doing to personally benefit from being involved in the issuance of these bonds?
3 posted on 10/21/2003 6:04:39 AM PDT by randita
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To: blam
This is getting interesting. I can't wait for things to unfold.
4 posted on 10/21/2003 6:06:40 AM PDT by Snowy
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To: randita
The only thing I can think of is kick-backs.
5 posted on 10/21/2003 6:09:20 AM PDT by rightazrain
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To: randita
Commission on the placement of the $125 million is what he gets; or his firm does. Interesting that a Philadelphia lawyer had anything to do with the deal, since J.P.Morgan has bond experts galore in NYC. Look for a connection between someone in Mobile and Street and his crew. A VIG is in there somewhere, and the commision on the bond sale is not small change. Interesting that they saved interest by having the county, not the school system sell the bonds. Probably had the better rating than the school district. Someone engineered that. Probably sold the deal.
6 posted on 10/21/2003 7:28:07 AM PDT by JeanLM
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To: blam
This IS getting interesting. Now J.P. Morgan is involved.

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.

7 posted on 10/21/2003 7:32:27 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Owl_Eagle
Owl, I know how heart-broken you must be as we witness another example of the Feds trying to keep a good man down! Will the Feds stop at nothing in their quest to destroy this man? I mean, so he gave his brother a no-bid contract to build an airport...so what? Next, they're going to be saying that he's overrated as a mayor because he's black...
8 posted on 10/21/2003 7:49:49 AM PDT by HenryLeeII
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To: Miss Marple
"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.

9 posted on 10/21/2003 7:59:41 AM PDT by blam
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To: HenryLeeII
What's breaking my heart is that John Street has surged ahead in the polls DUE to this investigation.  This is one of the ugliest, clearly racist campaigns I've ever seen run.  Street is clearly trying to appeal to the basest instincts of the voters... and it's working.
 
The specter of what living in Philadelphia will be like under a lame duck Street administration is chilling.  I was speaking with my Ward Leader last night and she and I are both afraid that the crime, corruption, cronyism, graft and mismanagement that is Street's stock and trade will lower the value of our homes so drastically that we may be trapped in what only a short time ago were great neighborhoods.
 
Now we are the taxbeasts of burden for the openly racist Street administration.
 
Sigh...
 
 
 

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

10 posted on 10/21/2003 8:07:18 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("Fire can be our servant, whether it's toasting S'mores or raining down on Charlie")
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To: Dr. Scarpetta; Temple Owl; Tribune7; PA Lurker; Boog26; Ciexyz; brityank; Physicist; ...
Is there anywhere this guy isn't perpetrating graft, scams, and cronyism???
 
Two weeks to go for the Phila election ping list...
 
 
 

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

11 posted on 10/21/2003 8:10:37 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("Fire can be our servant, whether it's toasting S'mores or raining down on Charlie")
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To: randita
I'll ping you to a few things I found on the bond fraud issue.
12 posted on 10/21/2003 9:25:22 AM PDT by Dog
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To: randita; Mo1
Read this ... it was a similar case in Miami.

Bond Fraud

13 posted on 10/21/2003 9:36:13 AM PDT by Dog
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To: blam; Flurry; Laura Earl; CholeraJoe
So our corruption is your corruption...... Alabama ping.....
14 posted on 10/21/2003 11:34:13 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Down here in AL, we have more than enough corruption to go around!
15 posted on 10/21/2003 11:40:53 AM PDT by Laura Earl (March 27, 2004)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
We'll get the yankees back for the Civil War one way or the other.
16 posted on 10/21/2003 11:42:10 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Taglines are for the curious to read and the talented to write. Would someone write me one?)
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To: Laura Earl; Flurry
Well no once claimed our Mayor was bright - lol - the corruption is so bad it is leaking out of Philadelphia and dripping all the way down to Alabama..........lol

Shhsss Flurry - don't give away our game plan yet.......

17 posted on 10/21/2003 11:49:39 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
once = one.......geez....
18 posted on 10/21/2003 11:50:09 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Ooops, sorry I was just kidding.
19 posted on 10/21/2003 11:56:53 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Taglines are for the curious to read and the talented to write. Would someone write me one?)
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To: Flurry
Yea, he was just kidding....... war strategy meeting same time same place, right?
20 posted on 10/21/2003 11:58:49 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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