Judge to hold pretrial review for ex-city council leader
WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge has scheduled a meeting with attorneys in advance of a trial for a former council president in Delaware’s most populous city accused of using his government position to secure a city grant for himself and a nonprofit he founded.
The judge scheduled Thursday’s case review as a trial date nears for Theopalis Gregory, the 67-year-old former Wilmington City Council president who was indicted last year on charges of profiteering and official misconduct. He was succeeded as council leader by Hanifa Shabazznt.
Investigators have said Gregory revived an entity called Student Disabilities Advocate shortly before the 2016 election after it had been dormant for 18 years. Because SDA lacked non-profit status at the time, Gregory allegedly used the Police Athletic League of Wilmington as a pass-through for $40,000 in city grant in funds.
The grant, approved by Shabazznt in January 2017, included in its budget a $20,000 payment to Gregory, who authorities said has publicly acknowledged receiving at least $15,000 personally.
A State Auditor’s report and an independent investigation both found that Gregory’s actions violated several provisions of Wilmington’s city code. Gregory admitted last year to the Wilmington Ethics Commission that his actions violated city code.
Democrat wins special election in West Philly
A West Philadelphia Democrat who has worked most recently as a union business agent won a special election Tuesday to fill a vacant seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Roni Green beat employment agency owner Wanda Logan, a Republican, to finish the final months of former Democratic Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrellm’s term in office.
Johnson-Harrell, who had herself won a special election last year, resigned in December after being charged with stealing from a charity she ran. She pleaded guilty last month to charges she spent the nonprofit’s money for personal items and was sentenced to three months in jail.
Green and Logan will also appear on the April primary ballot. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Three other House vacancies will be filled during March 17 special elections for seats held most recently by Reps. Tedd Nesbit, R-Mercer, Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, and Justin Walsh, R-Westmoreland. All three were elected to other offices.
—Compiled from Tribune Wire Services