Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
Another day and more allegations of political corruption in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Corruption.
The state Attorney General's Office on Wednesday announced that criminal charges have been filed against three top former officials of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Democrats' former leader in the state Senate, two other turnpike officials and two turnpike vendors.
They're accused of bid rigging, bribery, conflict of interest, conspiracy and theft — you know, all the usual behavior we've come to expect from so many Harrisburg “public servants.”
The latest charges center on Bob Mellow, the former Democrat leader already in prison for campaign corruption. A grand jury alleges he directed an aide to help key supporters obtain turnpike contracts. That, allegedly, in return for cash, travel, entertainment and political contributions.
Also charged, a who's who of former Turnpike Commission muckety-mucks — former chairman Mitchell Rubin, former chief executive Joe Brimmeier and former chief operating officer George Hatalowich.
Mr. Brimmeier, you'll recall, was said to be the top pick of Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald to take over the Port Authority. And Mr. Rubin, you'll remember, was ousted and served time in another Harrisburg scandal involving convicted state Sen. Vince Fumo, also in the pokey.
At this rate, there soon won't be a Pennsylvania official not implicated in criminal behavior.
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