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The Nation

Mayor Was Bugged, Cops Say

October 08, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police conducting a routine security sweep of Mayor John F. Street's City Hall office found a hidden listening device Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Street, who is seeking reelection, quickly sought to reassure city residents that his office was not the subject of an investigation.

"I have done nothing wrong," Street said at a news conference.

FBI spokesman Linda Vizi said the device was not connected to any campaign espionage, but she refused to say whether Street was being investigated or whether the FBI planted the device.

Police said officers inspect the mayor's office every three or four months.

Tuesday's discovery comes near the end of a mayoral campaign that pits Street against Republican challenger Sam Katz for the second time. Street defeated Katz four years ago by fewer than 10,000 votes in the city of 1.5 million, and polls show a neck-and-neck race again.

The Katz camp had nothing to do with the device, campaign spokeswoman Maureen Garrity said.

In August, someone tossed what might have been an unlighted firebomb through the window of a Katz campaign office, and Katz has accused a Street supporter of brandishing a gun and telling Katz and his wife, "You're going down."

Supporters of Street, who is black, have accused Katz, who is white, of race baiting.

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