Wednesday, August 09, 2006 A Wealth of Excuses, A Lack of Results reports frightening math.

The number of murders in the city is up this year while the number of murderers being caught by police has dropped, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

The number of homicide victims reached 239 Tuesday... At the same time, the percentage of murder cases solved so far this year is 58 percent, down from a high of 82 percent in 1991.

Johnson said Philadelphia, like other big cities, is struggling with problems of drugs, violence and a lackluster economy. He also blames cultural change, saying increasing numbers of people have been unwilling to come forward and testify for fear of being labeled a snitch.

Inquirer: “It Was Wrong…. I Did It Anyway”

Philadelphia Inquirer depicts City Hall corruption – Part 22.

Leonard N. Ross' corruption had already cost him his wife, his law license, his assets, his reputation, and his friendship with Mayor Street. Yesterday, it cost him his freedom.

A federal judge ordered Ross to prison for 2½ years for corrupting the city's 2003 effort to redevelop the Penn's Landing waterfront.

Ross is the 22d person convicted in the City Hall corruption investigation. He used his post as chair of the Penn's Landing makeover effort to extort developers and provide inside information to a lobbyist who helped get him a sweetheart loan.