Top 5 Live-WURD Friday August 7
1. Montco DA charges Attorney General Kathleen Kane
Charged in a criminal indictment Thursday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane remained defiant vowing to hold onto her office, even as others, including Pennsylvania’s governor, called upon her to resign.
Montgomery County prosecutors accused the state’s top law enforcement official of leaking grand jury material to strike back at political foes, lying about it to authorities and launching a cloak-and-dagger campaign to spy on her own staff and state investigators in an attempt to cover-up her purported crimes.
The charges – which include counts of perjury, official oppression and obstruction of justice – threaten the future of the state’s highest ranking female elected official and delivered a stunning blow to a political career that was once considered on a steep ascent.
But Kane, 49, sought to make one thing clear: She’s not planning on going anywhere.
“I am very disappointed the district attorney has made the decision to pursue this case. I have maintained my innocence from the day these allegations surfaced and I continue to do so today,” she said in a statement moments after the charges were announced. “I intend to defend myself vigorously against these charges.
2. Acquitted narcotics cop to be fired again
Perry Betts, one of the six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers who recently won back his job after being acquitted in a federal corruption case, is about to be booted from the force again.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the Daily News that Betts will be suspended on Monday for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.
Betts failed a drug test that was part of a medical exam required before he could rejoin the force.
“He will not be able to return,” Ramsey said.
John McNesby, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, said, “We’re absolutely, positively doing nothing for him. It is what it is, and levels are what they are. He’s no longer going to be a police officer.”
Betts and the other former members of his narcotics squad were indicted last summer on charges including robbery, racketeering, conspiracy and falsifying police reports.
3. One year later: Ferguson is still pumping out arrest warrants
A year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown sparked a firestorm in Ferguson, the city is still pumping out thousands of new arrest warrants and jailing people over minor offenses, according to an exclusive CNNMoney analysis.
This practice continues despite a scathing Justice Department report found that Ferguson’s police department and municipal court were unconstitutionally targeting low-income and minority residents with tickets and fines for minor offenses — often in pursuit of revenue. The report noted that there were more than 16,000 people (residents and non-residents alike) with outstanding arrest warrants as of the end of last year, equivalent to around 75 percent of the town’s population.
The DOJ slammed the city’s court for using arrest warrants to squeeze money out of the people least able to afford the fines. The DOJ says jail time is far too harsh a punishment for infractions that rarely pose a major threat to public safety.
4. California judge orders Bill Cosby give deposition in Judy Huth’s 1974 sexual assault case
At a California judge’s order, Bill Cosby will give a sworn deposition Oct. 9 in connection with a lawsuit filed by Judy Huth, who claims Cosby sexually abused her in 1974 at the Playboy Mansion.
Huth, who is represented by attorney Gloria Allred, will give her own deposition on Oct. 15. Previously, the California Supreme Court denied a petition from Cosby to review and strike down Huth’s lawsuit against him.
“We are pleased that we will be able to move ahead without further delay on Ms. Huth’s case,” Allred said
Initially filed in December, Huth’s civil lawsuit alleges that Cosby assaulted her in 1974 at the age of 15 during a visit to the Playboy Mansion. Huth claims that Cosby transported her to that location and made an attempt to “sexually molest her by attempting to [perform] a sex act … without her consent.”
Cosby has since countersued Huth, claiming that her lawsuit amounts to extortion after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office declined to pursue criminal charges against the comedian back in December.
5. GOP candidates mix it up in first debate
Donald Trump refused to rule out a third-party bid for president if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination, upending the first televised debate of the party’s primary season Thursday with blunt talk.
“I cannot make the pledge at this time,” Trump said in response to the first question. “I have to respect the person, if it’s not me.” Besides, he said, “I’m leading by quite a bit.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul pounced. “This is what’s wrong,” he said, noting that Trump had donated to the Senate campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and her family’s foundation.
“He’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying and selling politicians,” Paul
Throughout the debate, the other contenders mostly trod the fine line between attacking Trump for his excesses and acknowledging that he speaks to the conservative base’s frustration.
“Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country,” said Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He added: “For people who want to just tune him out, they’re making a mistake.”
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon