DAILY NEWS: CITY COUNCILMAN Jack Kelly secretly recorded for federal investigators conversations with his chief of staff and a generous campaign contributor, according to documents obtained by the Daily News. Former chief of staff Chris Wright goes on trial Jan. 27 for corruption charges along with brothers Ravinder and Hardeep Chawla and their attorney, Andrew Teitelman. In an August indictment, the U.S. attorney accused Wright of using his City Hall post to help real estate development companies run by the Chawla brothers and Teitelman, who was also Kelly’s campaign treasurer. In exchange, Wright got cash bribes, free legal advice and a rent-free apartment in the city’s tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, the indictment charged. Kelly helped federal investigators record a telephone conversation with Wright on June 12, 2007, and wore a recording device for a face-to-face meeting with Ravinder Chawla three days later. MORE
CLOUT: Here are some out-takes from a transcript obtained by the Daily News of Kelly’s June 15 meeting with Chawla in Center City pizza parlor: Kelly laments that Wright was accused in a letter by his estranged wife of “all this crap” with Chawla’s company and later notes that “She knows all our shit.” He also worries that reporters might soon pick up on the story. Kelly was running for re-election for his at-large Council seat at the time. “Well it’s the wrath of women,” Chawla responds.
“It kills us, it kills us,” Kelly frets. “Well my picture will be on the front page of the Daily News. No. And Chris will be buried in stories he’ll be but it’ll be my office.” Kelly then thanks Chawla for a bottle of champagne. “You did send me that,” Kelly says. “And it’s…and that’s fine…believe me…a mere bottle of champagne.” MORE