Watchdog Podcast: In Our Backyards — Small town nepotism and an open records battle

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Accountability, Ethics, Local Government, Pennsylvania, Podcast, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments

In-Our-Backyards47

Eric Boehm chats with Watchdog reporter Andrew Staub, who authored a multi-part investigative series on nepotism in the small town of Throop, Pennsylvania.

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Close enough for government work: This town reveals the problem with family and politics

By   /  April 23, 2015  /  Commentary, Ethics, Open Records, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse, Transparency  /  No Comments

SECRETIVE ABOUT SALARIES: Throop officials tried to keep salary records under wraps, but the state Office of Open Records ruled against the borough.

Watchdog.org was able to muster the resources to see the project through — including lawyers familiar with the ins and outs of open-records laws, the money to pay them and a reporter who simply refused to give up. But it shouldn’t take determined reporters, skillful lawyers and months of back-and-forth to get the public basic information about how their government works.

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Steven Donziger gets another university invitation as court hears appeal

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Ethics, National, News  /  No Comments

AP file photo

Controversial lawyer Steven Donziger was invited to speak at a prestigious university for the second time in less than a week.

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Throop’s struggles filling jobs pays off for councilwoman’s family

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  Ethics, Local Government, Local News, News, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse  /  No Comments

Shutterstock Image

When Throop ran into obstacles filling two borough jobs, Councilwoman Charlene Tomasovitch twice had a relative who was available and qualified, she said.

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Council nepotism leads to small town government, one big family

By   /  April 20, 2015  /  Ethics, Local Government, Local News, News, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse  /  No Comments

Photo from Throopboro.com

A PA Independent investigation found that family members of at least five of the seven Throop council persons have worked for the borough within the past five years.

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Harvard Law mum on invite to controversial lawyer

By   /  April 16, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Ethics, Judiciary, National, News  /  No Comments

AP file photo

Controversial lawyer Steven Donziger will appear as a panelist Friday at Harvard Law School.

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