Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday December 23
1. Pa. House relents, prepares to pass budget deal
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday reversed course and positioned itself to vote on the $30.8 billion budget plan long touted by Gov. Wolf and Senate Republicans.
The shift came just a day after the Republican-controlled House had proposed its own alternative budget against the wishes of Wolf, who was threatening to veto the plan if it ever reached his desk.
House members suddenly abandoned that so-called stopgap proposal by a 100-99 vote, moving instead to consider the larger annual budget the Senate has already passed.
2. Ramsey: State police should investigate when Philly police shoot suspects
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Tuesday that he wants the Pennsylvania State Police to conduct the investigations when city officers shoot suspects.
His remarks came during a news conference in which the Justice Department said Philadelphia has made “significant progress” in changing its practices after a spike in police-involved shootings.
Details on the role the State Police would have are still under discussion, said Ramsey, who is retiring in January.
3. New trial ordered for Msgr. Lynn, chief defendant in Phila. clergy abuse case
A state appellate court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Msgr. William Lynn, overturning for a second time a verdict that resulted in the first conviction of a Catholic Church official for covering up child sex abuse by priests.
A three-judge Superior Court panel found that Lynn’s 2012 conviction had been tainted by prosecutors’ presentation of nearly two-dozen examples of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s historic failure to handle pedophilia within its ranks. Lynn, however, had only been charged in connection with his supervision of two priests.
4. Pa. Supreme Court Justice Eakin suspended over “Porngate”
The state’s judicial ethics tribunal on Tuesday suspended Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin for his involvement in Porngate, saying his continued presence on the bench harms the public’s trust in the judiciary.
The Court of Judicial Discipline said Eakin’s crude email messages, some that contained images of naked women and jokes mocking minorities, women and others, have “tainted the Pennsylvania judiciary in the eyes of the public.”
5. Grand jury decides against indictments in Sandra Bland case
A grand jury has decided not to indict anyone in the case of Sandra Bland, whose death in police custody raised questions of race and excessive force.
“After reviewing all the evidence in the death of Sandra Bland, a Waller grand jury did not return an indictment in the death of Bland, nor were any indictments returned against any employee of the Waller County Jail,” said Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor handling the case.
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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