Skip to comments.PA: Philadelphia city councilman indicted (Rick Mariano)
Posted on 10/25/2005 8:08:47 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
PHILADELPHIA - A city councilman under the pressure of a federal investigation went up to the City Hall observation deck to "clear his mind," not to kill himself as authorities feared, his spokesman said Friday.
At no time did Councilman Rick Mariano consider suicide, said the spokesman, Frank Keel. He said Mariano sought psychiatric care at a hospital after the incident.
Mariano's trip alone to the enclosed deck, 500 feet above street level, had caused a suicide scare, drawing police, fire trucks and ambulances to the landmark building.
Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson escorted him down about two hours later. Officials said Mariano did not have a weapon and could not have jumped because the observation deck is encased in glass. However, the panes were able to open as recently as July.
Mariano, 50, had just learned that his attorney, James Becker, could no longer defend him in an investigation of his financial dealings, Keel said. He said the councilman went to the observation deck to "clear his mind in a quiet place where he could look out over the city."
Keel would not comment on the reasons for Becker's withdrawal, citing attorney-client privilege. Becker did not return a call for comment Friday.
Mariano, a 10-year councilman, had told reporters before the scare that he expected the city to stop paying his legal expenses if he is indicted, and that he would have problems paying those bills.
He and some businessmen friends received target letters this summer from federal investigators looking into the councilman's finances. Authorities are reportedly looking at whether a scrap metal company paid Mariano's credit-card bills in exchange for his help getting a tax-friendly designation in a state enterprise zone.
Rich Manieri, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, declined comment Friday.
In a telephone interview Friday, Mariano told The Philadelphia Inquirer he had been collecting his thoughts on the observation deck and trying to get his camera to work.
"The next thing I know, the mayor's standing right next to me. He says, `What are you doing?' I say, `I'm looking at this great city,'" he told the newspaper.
He said he told the mayor, "'I'm not going to jump. How can I, anyhow? There's Plexiglas here.'"
Mariano told the newspaper he had left the hospital and was staying with a relative. Keel had earlier said the councilman was expected to remain hospitalized through the weekend.
Philadelphia City Council member Rick Mariano speaks in council chambers, Thursday, March 17, 2005, in Philadelphia. Mariano came down from the observation level of city hall, possibly after contemplating suicide, his spokesman said. 'We don't know if he was just morose or whether or not this was contemplation of suicide,' Frank Keel, Mariano's spokesman said. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
No mention of his party affiliation, so in conformity with the rules, I am assuming he's a Democrat.
And .. the democrats "culture of corruption" continues!
Somebody get the smelling salts for Pelosi!
Do you really think that Pelosi would be embarrassed by this? She's angry that he would be indicted. Afterall, it is Philadelphia. What on earth does the prosecutor think he's doing?
No, I don't think this would embarrass Pelosi - or anybody in the democrat party.
Your assumption is correct. You can assume that any politician connected to Phila. is a demonCRAP. The Rats have been running the city for about 50 years now and the CORRUPTION gets worst by the year. The mayor leads the pack in this regard.
I was in Philly recently and a reporter thrust a mike into this guy and asked "Have you done anything that can be deemed outright illegal." His reply "I cant answer that. My lawyer will release a statement".
Talk about typical criminal behaviour.
It would have been pretty tough for Mariano to have killed himself from City Hall Tower, what with the observation deck being totally enclosed with plexiglass.
If it were possible, I belive that Street would have pushed him.
Channet 10 tonight reported that the investigation on Mariano was set off last year by two anonymous letters, one to Street and one to Council President Perna - Perna sent hers to the DA and the Feds - Street claims he did the same, but apparently the reporter wasn't able to confirm this......
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