A little while back, a member of Pennsylvania’s state legislature directed a member of his staff to contact the Philadelphia Parking Authority to seek a job for a constituent. It was a curious thing to do, considering that the state representative didn’t even know the guy he was trying to help.
Didn’t know that the guy was a former Philadelphia police officer who, during his time on the job, had been accused 30 times – 30 times – of misconduct.
Didn’t know the guy was fired from his job as a police officer after twice shooting a fleeing suspect – in the back.
Didn’t know the guy will stand trial for third-degree murder.
When there wasn’t an immediate, positive response to the state legislator’s inquiry, the state legislator told his aide to try again.
This time the former police officer got an interview, after which he got the job.
When news of the job became public, the parking authority suddenly developed a conscience and fired the police officer.
The state legislator who helped the criminal defendant get the job is absolutely defiant in insisting he did nothing wrong, that all he was doing was helping a constituent who asked for his help.
And the parking authority, too, insists it did nothing wrong, that the police officer got the job after going through the normal hiring process, including a criminal background check.
But apparently, not a review of the applicant’s employment history.
Which might have revealed that the applicant has been accused of murder.
Which clearly didn’t mean anything to the state legislator who pulled strings to help his constituent get a job.
Which is just another sad example of political patronage, Philadelphia style.