Josh Shapiro

Matt Rourke / AP

A commission created by President Donald Trump asked him to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s opioid epidemic. Earlier this week, he declined. On Thursday, according to a White House pool report, he changed his mind.

The declaration would free the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to grant additional funding for resources, address leadership shortfalls and make changes to Medicaid coverage.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

For the first time since Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took office in January, his office has filed charges of drug delivery resulting in death against an Allegheny County resident.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The day after Pennsylvania, 14 other states and the District of Columbia sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its plan to delay implementation of new clean air standards, the EPA reversed course and says it will implement it on time.

PA Internet News Service

A drug ring that sold nearly $10 million worth of heroin and cocaine in Altoona and Johnstown is no longer operating following a bust on Monday.

Police arrested 16 people as part the “Dragon Heroin Pipeline,” which officials say were running drugs from Philadelphia to Blair and Cambria counties.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

As U.S. Senators passed a bill that would allow them to continue debating over a replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and other top Pennsylvania officials warned that the bill would leave hundreds of thousands in the state uninsured.

Retired Priest Accused Of Forcing Boy To Perform Oral Sex

Jul 25, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

A now-retired Roman Catholic priest was charged Monday with forcing a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy to perform oral sex on him while counseling the fourth-grader about misbehaving on a school bus.

The state attorney general's office accused the Rev. John Thomas Sweeney of committing felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse at St. Margaret Mary Elementary School in Lower Burrell during the 1991-92 school year.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro plans to announce criminal sexual abuse charges against a western Pennsylvania priest.

Shapiro's office says he'll be in Lower Burrell to announce the charges this afternoon.

It wasn't immediately clear if the priest serves at a parish in that area, and the priest has yet to be identified. Lower Burrell is about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

Toby Talbot / AP

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced plans to supply nearly 300,000 drug deactivation and disposal pouches to a dozen counties hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.

Everyone receiving a schedule II narcotic such as Percocet, oxycodone and fentanyl at a participating pharmacy will be offered a free Deterra disposal pouch, beginning August 1, Shapiro said.

“To be honest with you, at first I couldn’t believe it worked," Shapiro said of the drug disposal technology.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro has joined with fellow attorneys general from 19 other states to send a letter to Congress urging them not to pass the Financial Choice Act of 2017.

The bill is expected to pass in the House on Thursday, largely along partisan lines.

Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is looking for ways to reduce the recidivism rate among formerly incarcerated individuals in the commonwealth.

“When you have two out of every three prisoners recidivate, meaning they commit crimes once they’re released from prison and end up back in prison, I think it tells you we need a much smarter approach when dealing with these returning citizens,” Shapiro said.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A 72-year-old Pittsburgh woman has been arrested for her role in an international lottery scam.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Audrey Huff was responsible for collecting at least $295,000 from other seniors across the country and sending it to Jamaica through at least 300 wire transfers.

Huff was arraigned Wednesday on several charges including theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

Shapiro said it is unclear how, or if, Huff was benefiting by serving as a mule, but that she knew she was breaking the law.

Matt Slocum / AP

After a series of bomb threats against Jewish schools and day centers Monday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said President Donald Trump told a group of attorneys general from across the country that "the reverse can be true, meaning someone is doing it to make others look bad."

Shapiro said that's how Trump responded when asked how federal, state and local agencies can work to prevent further incidents while on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. The day school two of Shapiro's children attend was one of the locations threatened and evacuated.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor estimates that legal bills stemming from his convicted predecessor's actions cost about $3.6 million.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro told a state Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday that his staff had tallied the costs related to former Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Kane resigned last year after being convicted of leaking secret grand jury information and lying about it. She's been sentenced to 10 to 23 months, but is free on bail while she appeals.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A Washington County funeral director is expected in court April 21, charged with stealing $340,000 from elderly clients.

A criminal complaint against Lynn Taucher of the Taucher Funeral Home in Burgettstown alleges theft of amounts ranging from $600 to $11,000 from 49 individuals. 

Pennsylvania law requires that money pre-paid for funerals go into a special, individual escrow account.

Matt Slocum (L), Mel Evans (R) / AP

Two of Pennsylvania’s top elected office holders used their first few days in office to address ethics-related issues by asking employees to sign pledges.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro distributed his code of conduct to every employee and he said they all voluntarily signed the document.

Chris Knight / AP

The three top state row officers—all Democrats—have taken their oaths of office in separate ceremonies.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is beginning his second term, while Treasurer Joe Torsella and Attorney General Josh Shapiro are new to their respective offices.

Thanks in large part to the last elected Attorney General—Kathleen Kane, who has been convicted of perjury and obstruction—Shapiro’s election to the office has had the highest profile.

Pennsylvania AG Settles With Law Firm Over Email Review Bill

Jan 11, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office says it's settled a dispute with a Washington, D.C., law firm over its bill for reviewing explicit and objectionable emails on the agency's computers.

The office said Wednesday it will pay an additional $1.4 million to BuckleySandler, about $400,000 less than the firm had sought. That's on top of about $380,000 already paid to BuckleySandler.

Attorney General Bruce Beemer says the deal will help in the transition to a new attorney general, Josh Shapiro. He'll be sworn in next week in Harrisburg.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

One year ago, Margaret Pietz was almost the victim of fraud when a man claiming to be a lawyer called her and said her grandson owed $4,000 in car repairs related to a traffic accident. He even put a young man on the phone who addressed her as “grandma.” 

Pietz started to realize something was up when she was asked to send the funds in the form of Target gift cards and to not tell anyone else in the family.

“He thought he was calling a gullible grandma,” Pietz said. “The more I thought about it, the more I knew it was a scam.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 FM WESA

When Pennsylvania Attorney General Elect Josh Shapiro takes the oath of office Jan. 17 he will be moving into an office that has been racked by controversy.  The last elected Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, was sentenced in October to 10 to 23 months in prison on charges of perjury and abuse of her office.

Shapiro said he believes he as a track record of acting ethically and will instill that in his staff.

Matt Slocum / AP

 

 

Democrat Josh Shapiro became Pennsylvania's next Attorney General in a close win over Republican opponent John Rafferty.

 

Shapiro, of Abington, is the chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and was a member of the State House from 2005-12. Rafferty, of Lower Providence, spent three years as a deputy attorney general from 1988-91 and has served in the state Senate for 16 years.

 

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The candidates looking to become the state’s next attorney general met for their third and final debate in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Ad War Emerges In Race For Pennsylvania Attorney General

Oct 4, 2016
NewsWorks and AP file photos

 

In the race to replace disgraced former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, voters will choose between a self-styled government reformer and a state senator -- both from Montgomery County. With just over a month until Election Day, the TV ad war has begun.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Two lawyers from Pennsylvania's Montgomery County will face off in November to replace Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Democratic contender Stephen A. Zappala, who won 74 percent of his home county but only 37 percent of the state overall, said he goes back to work Wednesday as Allegheny County District Attorney.

"We’re not going to win this race," Zappala said, conceding. "We’ve got too much ground to make up. I’ve called the commissioner, and I’ve congratulated him on what happened tonight."

Attorney General Candidates Run On Reform

Apr 1, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The state has an entire agency dedicated, at least in part, to the men and women who have served in the military.

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs boasts 22,000 military and civilian personnel. It manages veterans homes and administers a variety of veteran benefits and outreach initiatives.

But for Joe Peters, Republican candidate for state attorney general, “it’s simply not enough.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Out of the growing number of candidates running for Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro believes he's the best at cleaning up messes. As chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Shapiro says his past reforms are proof that he’d succeed as the Commonwealth’s leading lawyer.

“I inherited a mess in Montgomery County,” Shapiro tells Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer. “We turned things around. I can do the same thing in the Attorney General’s Office.”