In March, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub publicly demoted his second-in-command, Gregg Shore, after learning from a member of the public that the prosecutor had been driving for DoorDash during office hours. KYW Newsradio first broke the story, which was subsequently picked up by other local outlets, and the DA’s press conference announcing the demotion even garnered national coverage from the Washington Post.
“I don’t know why he did this; only he has the answer. And I’ll admit to you that I’m very angry and I’m upset. This shows a clear lack of leadership,” Weinstraub said during the press conference.
This accountability, even before the story hit the press, stands in sharp contrast to the way Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office has responded (or not) to members of his staff having their own ethical issues — including significant brushes with the law. At least five such employees are outlined below.
Broad + Liberty reached out to Krasner’s office to ask about these employees, but spokeswoman Jane Roh did not respond. Thus, it is unclear whether the misconduct of the employees are of any concern to the city’s lead prosecutor, or if any of them (with one exception) have been disciplined.
What we can gather is that unless an employee of Krasner’s office is found by the police with a dead prostitute, as one was, they are not likely to face much backlash from their boss.
1. G. Lamar Stewart, Chief of Community Engagement — Stewart’s name has been the most recent of Krasner’s employees in the news, as several sources told BigTrial that Krasner’s chief of community engagement used an unmarked police car to pull over a driver of a Chevy suburban that he believed had cut him off on the morning of June 11.
The driver, however, turned out to be an FBI agent who then asked Stewart for his badge — at which point Stewart allegedly fled the scene.
At a press conference last week, Krasner disparaged BigTrial for the report, but when reporters pressed for more information from the DA, he said, “I have no further comment on that.”
Unless an employee of Krasner’s office is found by the police with a dead prostitute, as one was, they are not likely to face much backlash from their boss.
But the break of the first story may have opened a crack in the dam. On Sunday, BigTrial reported that a female Philadelphia cop is now claiming Stewart also tried to use an unmarked car to pull her over while he was not in a uniform. And, as of late June, federal authorities may be investigating Stewart’s behavior in potentially unauthorized vehicle stops.
2. Anthony Voci, Chief of Homicide — Anthony Voci, Krasner’s hand-picked homicide chief, “lost nothing” according to WHYY after allegedly stalking a black motorist, following her home and having her car towed last September in a road rage incident.
After an alleged road rage incident on Kelly Drive, Voci followed the motorist and her passenger onto Lincoln Drive, and involved the police in an incident which ended with Khasandra Franklin being arrested and held in custody for 24 hours, before charges were dropped. Franklin is now suing Voci and a number of police officers involved in the incident.
Months after the allegations surfaced, Voci was reassigned to the economics crime unit, though as of late August, Voci’s LinkedIn still says he is Philadelphia’s chief of homicide. His salary remains at $159,566.
3. Dana Bazelon, policy advisor — Bazelon was arrested in May last year after leaving her toddler unattended in a car for at least half an hour in Mount Airy. She was later charged with endangering a child, and the case was referred to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro due to a conflict of interest at the Philadelphia D.A.’s office.
“Following her arrest, Dana Bazelon successfully completed [admission, review, and dismissal] conditions requested by the Commonwealth, including participating in parenting counseling and remaining arrest-free for six months,” an official spokesman for the attorney general’s office said in December, according to BigTrial. “As a result, the Commonwealth withdrew the charges against her.”
READ MORE — Philly D.A. Larry Krasner blames Pennsylvania Republicans for city’s spike in violent crime
4. Joseph Torda, Assistant District Attorney – An ex-girlfriend of ADA Joseph Torda accused him of a multitude of crimes a year ago.
“Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Joseph Torda just assaulted me in my own apartment building and stole my external hard drive,” Talia Satania tweeted in the early afternoon of June 16, 2020.
Satania, a “self-proclaimed stripper” was in an on-and-off relationship with Torda, according to BigTrial, which (it’s a pattern) first broke the news about the allegations.
“If bystanders on the street hadn’t seen him acting suspiciously outside my door in all black, force entry into my building once I opened the door and heard my screaming, I don’t know what would have happened,” she said. Later, Torda in turn accused Satania of harassment. The PA Attorney General’s office declined to prosecute either of the two.
5. DeVonté Douglass, Victims Coordinator (fired) — DeVonté Douglass is the only employee on this list to have been fired for his misdeeds. This unusual case of discipline is likely due to the extraordinary nature of the controversy — involving a victim coordinator shooting and killing a male prostitute whom he had solicited during work time.
Douglass served as a peer crisis responder in the office’s Crisis Assistance, Response, and Engagement for Survivors (CARES) program. He was alleged to have solicited a prostitute, Vernon Harris, at around 9:45 am the morning of Oct. 20. Douglass also sent a CashApp payment of $250 to Harris. Shortly after the two met in Strawberry Mansion, police were called to their location. They found Harris shot in the back.
Roh told the Inquirer in February of this year that Douglass was fired.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office cleared Douglass of murder charges, saying he acted in self-defense. But he was still charged with more minor offences, such as soliciting for prostitution and lying to investigators.
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