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PA Senator Acquitted; Rex Tillerson Now Secretary of State; Decades of Abuse At Bucks Co. School
 
  by: blogue40 - Phoenixville, PA
started: 02/01/17 10:05 pm | updated: 02/01/17 10:05 pm
 
A federal jury acquitted Pennsylvania senator Larry Farnese on Wednesday, after he was under investigation on charges that he spent $6,000 of campaign money as bribes to help him win a Democratic Party ward leadership election in 2011. The acquittal comes after 5 days of testimony from Farnese. Farnese was accused of bribing a city committeewoman, because the $6,000 was spent on a college study aboard program for the committeewoman's daughter. Defendants argued that the payment was a "good deed" for a deserving constituent and was entirely legal.

The US Senate has now confirmed Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's Secretary of State. Tillerson had been in question for the position because of his ties to Russia and his stand on sanctioning Moscow. The Republican-led Senate voted 56-43 in favor of Tillerson being Secretary of State. Majority of the Democrats in the Senate were opposed to Tillerson's nomination, which angered Republicans who feel Tillerson is highly qualified for the job. Some Democrats believe that Tillerson will be a "yes man" and would not be able to prevent Trump from pursing any misguided foreign policy.

A Bucks County grand jury found that a school just outside of New Hope has been covering up sexual abuse cases between teachers and students for nearly 50 years. The grand jury released sexual offense cases at Solebury School that took place from the 1950s through 2005. The grand jury heard from 6 former students ranging in age from 27 to 77. They stated that the sexual actions with faculty and staff members took place both on and off campus, many of them saying that it was enabled by the school's relaxed boundary environment. The victims stated that they had spoken to multiple headmasters throughout the years about the sexual contact, but nothing was ever reported or investigated. The grand jury named nine individuals that could have been prosecuted, but the statue of limitations bars all the cases except for one. The victim in that case does not want to press charges. The grand jury has recommended major reforms at the school, many of them have already been put in place.

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