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Ethics complaint filed against 'Philly Four'

Updated: Tuesday, March 18 2014, 06:47 PM CDT
Written by: Chris Papst

An ethics complaint has been filed against the so called “Philly 4”.  This comes one day after Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she won’t reopen an investigation into four state lawmakers that took money from a lobbyist. 

This ethics complaint involved lawmakers taking money and jewelry and not reporting it.  It was filed by local activist Gene Stilp who calls this the next big scandal to hit Pennsylvania.
"This is the scandal for the second decade of the 21st century." Activist Gene Stilp hopes to spark an investigation. 

On Tuesday, he filed ethics complaints against four state representatives Michelle Brownlee, Louise Bishop, Vanessa Brown and Ron Waters – all from Philadelphia.  This after Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced yesterday that an investigation into the four will not be reopened, even though they were caught on tape taking money from a lobbyist, who was an undercover operative.

"Any money that was taxpayer money that went from the taxpayer to the Attorney General's office to this informant to the state officials, that should all come back plus interest," said Stilp.

"It was taxpayer money,” said Kane at her press conference, yesterday.  “The only way we could authorize it to come back to the state or force it to come back to the state would be through a restitution agreement and that would have to be through a guilty plea or a guilty verdict."

Kane admits more than $20,000 changed hands and she has evidence a crime was committed. But she states she can’t bring charges because the initial investigation was flawed and possibly racially motivated – each lawmaker is African American, and Democrat.   CBS 21 went to every Representatives office today, but none were willing to comment. 

"I guess every decade needs its scandal. We are starting a new one right here," concluded Stilp.

The Ethics Commission has one year to finish its investigation.  If it determines a crime was committed, charges can be referred to the Attorney General. 
Ethics complaint filed against 'Philly Four'

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