Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ten Years Ago, A Bugging At The Mayor's Office Shook Philadelphia

Craig R. McCoy and Mark Faziollah at the Philadelphia Inquirer offer a look back at the bugging of the mayor's office.

Before it all blew up, the FBI's bugging of Mayor John F. Street's City Hall office went off without a hitch.

... In perhaps the most audacious act by law enforcement in recent Philadelphia history, the FBI and federal prosecutors chose to rig Street's office with listening devices as the climax of a "
pay-to-play" investigation weeks before before Street was to stand for reelection.

It was all for naught. The FBI would not pick up a single conversation, incriminating or otherwise, before someone leaked word of the bug to the Street administration. A top aide to the mayor then instructed the police commissioner to sweep the office for listening devices.

Ten years ago Monday, Philadelphia police pulled down the small bug from the ceiling of Street's office, revealing the massive federal investigation.

The news was a bombshell. It rocked the electorate and triggered a tumultuous week rivaled for governmental chaos in recent memory only by the aftermath of the MOVE bombing. The furor grew as FBI agents fanned out across the region, raiding city offices, businesses and homes and handing out a blizzard of federal subpoenas.

You can read the rest of the story via the below link:

You can also read my Crime Beat column on the subject via the below link:

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