FOX 29 Investigates: Corruption Sting Lead Investigator Speaks - New York News

FOX 29 Investigates: Lead Investigator In Corruption Sting Speaks Out

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

The lead investigator in a corruption sting that entangled five leading Philadelphia Democrats is speaking out for the first time, and he's speaking only to FOX 29 News.

The public officials are accused of accepting bribes and gifts. However, the Pennsylvania Attorney General dropped the case and claims there are indications of racial targeting.

Claude Thomas says he rose from the streets of North Philly to become a top investigator in the offices of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and now with the Philly District Attorney's Office.

When asked why he decided to speak with FOX 29 he said,"To hopefully set the record straight. Unfortunately, because of Attorney General (Kathleen) Kane's statement, I have people calling me a racist."

The 26-year law enforcement veteran says he's heard the ugly taunt since the Philadelphia Inquirer broke the bombshell that four Philly-area state representatives and a former traffic court judge were caught on tape taking cash and a gift in exchange for votes and favors.

The man with the money, a confidential informant, had been sent in by the Office of the Attorney General in a corruption sting that was later shut down by new Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

"There are four reasons why we were unable to prosecute this case. One of them was, is that there were indications that there were racial targeting," Kane said.

Thomas was the lead investigator in the case.

He says claims of racial targeting are false.

"I am extremely outraged that not only is my name now being mentioned, but it's being mentioned just to be tarnished. No one would, again, ever suggest asking, ordering me to target members of my own race or any race. It just would not happen," Thomas said.

A Kane spokesperson, on the phone Tuesday, said the Attorney General stands by her statement that there were indications of racial targeting.

Thomas, who describes himself as the confidential informant's handler, giving him cash and wiring him for pictures and sound, says they approached politicians and lobbyists the informant knew, and they had contact with over 50 people.

"There was several members of both the House and the Senate, Caucasian as well as African-American, who requested a number of things. Some requested cash, some requested tickets, some requested that we sponsor events. Some requested that we meet with them within their district to discuss what we could do for them," Thomas said.

Thomas believes the now dead case could have done some good.

"It was probably the most significant public corruption investigation in the history of Pennsylvania and could have gone beyond. It could have been replicated in other states. Attorney General Kane is wrong. That case was not dead upon her arrival," Thomas said.

The four representatives and the traffic court judge have not been charged. Representatives Waters, Bishop and Brown have declined comment, and Brownlee has said she doesn't recall.

Former Judge Tynes has acknowledged she got a bracelet.

Next up is the possible release of investigative documents ordered by a judge.

  • Send A Tip To FOX 29 Investigates

    Have a tip for Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole and the FOX 29 Investigates team? Send it now!

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for submitting your tip!

  • Jeff Cole ReportsMore>>

  • Ex-top aide to Congressman Fattah pleads guilty

    Ex-top aide to Congressman Fattah pleads guilty

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:40:57 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A political consultant and former chief of staff to Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah has pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a pair of campaign finance schemes.Gregory Naylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI, concealing a felony and falsifying documents.Court documents say Naylor issued a phony invoice of more than $193,000 to a candidate in the 2007 mayor's race. Court documents don't name the candidate, but Naylor was a top adviser to Fatta...
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A political consultant and former chief of staff to Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah has pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a pair of campaign finance schemes.Gregory Naylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI, concealing a felony and falsifying documents.Court documents say Naylor issued a phony invoice of more than $193,000 to a candidate in the 2007 mayor's race. Court documents don't name the candidate, but Naylor was a top adviser to Fatta...
  • Police: Thieves Posed As Cops, Stole $100K From Distribution Center

    Police: Thieves Posed As Cops, Stole $100K From Distribution Center

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:50:10 GMT
    Police are investigating a six-figure robbery at a distribution center in the city's Fishtown section. They say two thieves made their way in posing as cops.It appears the suspects knew where the place was, and knew how the operation was once they got inside.Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters that police were called to the Kawa Food Distribution Center in the Fishtown section north of the city center shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday.Investigators said the center was preparing to open wh...
    Police are investigating a six-figure robbery at a distribution center in the city's Fishtown section. They say two thieves made their way in posing as cops.It appears the suspects knew where the place was, and knew how the operation was once they got inside.Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters that police were called to the Kawa Food Distribution Center in the Fishtown section north of the city center shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday.Investigators said the center was preparing to open wh...
  • FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:36 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:36:56 GMT
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices