Sisters: Act II

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice–Convicted (along with her sister). Though the governor (or the court itself–it’s been done both ways in the past) gets to appoint someone short-term whenever Judge Melvin lets go or is let go (a conviction alone won’t do–a judicial finding of unsuitability for the bench or legislative impeachment must finalize things), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will have to get itself another elected judge, who ought to take care not to use staffers as campaign workers.  Maybe the new judge will be good at Philadelphia Traffic Court oversight.

Uncontrolled Comptroller: 53M/20 Years

One year for each 2.5 million the esteemed Dixon, IL comptroller stole from the city. Wonder if anyone who doesn’t get sentencing guidelines now thinks stealing 200K is only worth a month in jail.  Seriously, the real moral is that no one handling finances should ever be spared serious, regular audits and heathy oversight skepticism.

Philly Ticket Fixing Breaks

This report, commissioned by the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, set the stage for recent indictments of Philadelphia Traffic Court judges.  The Chief Justice, however, will no longer be commissioning traffic court reports.  His fellow justices assigned his oversight role to another judge in part, some suspect, because the report un-collegially cited the “consideration” shown a fellow Justice’s wife by Traffic Court functionaries. 

A Billion Arrivederchi

So, as the world’s financial system teetered on the brink and with Bear Stearns about to drop like the canary in the coal mine, an august Italian bank ponies up $12 billion to buy a bank that changed hands for $8 billion just months before, a sweet 50% premium.   You’d think this is about Italian bankers except that Bank of America pretty much did the same thing with respect to Countrywide Finance at the same time. Without study of decision-making in the executive suite that is neither indictment nor testimonial,  such bad bets will be no less likely to occur in the future.

March 7 Update: Bank Exec Leaps to Death; Then Covers Himself with Tarp; + Update 2