Inquirer Editorial: Probe Turns Heads Toward Phila. School District

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, March 5, 2012

A federal fraud investigation that seems to have almost inadvertently put the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) under the FBI's microscope may be more important for its revelations about a company with a lucrative contract with the Philadelphia School District.

The office and home of Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. were searched Wednesday as part of a continuing investigation of Philadelphia lawyer Mikel Jones, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.). Jones was convicted in November of defrauding a New York venture capital firm. No allegations of wrongdoing have been made against either of the Fattahs.

Jones told FBI agents that he had hired two companies run by Fattah Jr. to do consulting work, American Royalty and 259 Strategies. The latter firm has been paid $450,000 as a subcontractor for a for-profit company called Delaware Valley High School, which has a $4 million contract with the School District to educate students with disciplinary problems.

The president of Delaware Valley High School isn't an educator, nor is he a childhood-behavior expert. He's David T. Shulick, a very successful personal-injury attorney, who also may be one of the most politically connected people in Philadelphia. Translate that to mean he can be counted on for political donations.

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