Community Briefs: Judge Rejects Temple’s Motion in Porat Case and More

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Moshe Porat
Moshe Porat (Photo courtesy
fox.temple.edu)

Temple’s Dismissal Motion in Moshe Porat Defamation Case Rejected

Temple University’s motion to dismiss one count of defamation filed by former Fox School of Business Dean Moshe Porat was rejected July 3 by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold News, The Temple News reported.

News did not explain his decision in rejecting a count alleging that Porat directly participated in falsifying rankings data.

Porat filed a defamation lawsuit on May 2 against the university and its president, Richard Englert, which seeks $25 million. He is challenging allegations that he knowingly submitted inaccurate data to U.S. News & World Report for its 2018 Best Online MBA Programs rankings.

Porat worked at Temple for 43 years, including 22 years as dean, and is still a tenured professor there, although he is not currently teaching.

Porat, who received his undergraduate degree and MBA from Tel Aviv University and his doctorate from Temple, is involved in several local Jewish organizations.

In his Temple bio, he is listed as a board member of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In June 2016, Hillel of Greater Philadelphia honored Porat for his campus leadership and advocacy for Israel.

Attorney Facing Wiretapping Charges Suspended by State

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania said July 18 that it suspended Montgomery County attorney Lawrence Jay Weinstein, who faces wiretapping and other criminal charges. The suspension is effective Aug. 17.

Weinstein, 45, and his girlfriend Kelly Drucker, were accused in October of taking sexually explicit photographs with spy glasses and a webcam of a woman they had gotten drunk in 2017, according to nbcphiladelphia.com. They were charged with false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, recklessly endangering another person, criminal conspiracy and violations of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act.

Weinstein is a former member of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors and formerly practiced law at Silver & Silver in Ardmore.

He also faces indecent assault charges from a separate incident. During the investigation, police found photos from 2012 on an iPad that showed Weinstein sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Jayson Stark Honored by National Baseball Hall of Fame

Philadelphia native Jayson Stark received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 20 “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.”

Stark graduated from Lincoln High School in 1969 then attended Syracuse University, according to mlb.com. He began his sportswriting career at the Providence Journal then worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer for about two decades before joining ESPN in 2000. He joined The Athletic in 2018.

“I really like people and I’m really interested in other people and their stories,” Stark told mlb.com. “I’m still doing something that I’ve done my whole career. When I walk into a clubhouse, I don’t need to know who the biggest star is. I need to know who’s the funniest guy in the room, who’s the smartest guy in the room. I don’t care if it’s the backup catcher. I don’t care if it’s the guy that plays three days a week. I want to talk to that guy.”

In 2017, Stark was also inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Lucy the Elephant Lease Renewed for 20 Years by Margate Board

Historic landmark Lucy the Elephant is staying put for at least the next 20 years in the heavily Jewish Jersey shore enclave of Margate, kywnewsradio reported.

Margate’s council approved a measure last week to renew the lease for the 65-foot, 138-year-old attraction.

“Every five years, the city and the Save Lucy Committee will sit down and meet and go over the previous five years,” Lucy CEO Richard Helfant said. “What’s been going on, what’s good, what needs to be addressed. And then it will renew itself for an additional five years. So in reality it’s a 20 year lease that never drops below 15 years.”

Heather Barbera Offers to Plead Guilty

Heather Barbera, who was charged last year with murdering her mother and grandmother in their Ventnor, New Jersey, condo, offered to plead guilty, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Her attorney, James Leonard Jr., made a formal offer for Barbera to plead guilty in exchange for a sentencing in the range of one first-degree murder charge, which carries a minimum of a 30-year sentence. He expressed a wish to resolve the case without a trial.

Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury set a deadline of Aug. 15 for consideration of the plea. He also set an Oct. 8 trial date.

Last year, Barbera was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and first-degree robbery in the deaths. Prosecutors allege she beat her mother and grandmother to death with a nightstick, then stole her mother’s credit cards.

“It’s obviously a very emotional and difficult case, and complex, with a lot of moving pieces,” Leonard said, according to the Inquirer. “She understands the severity of the situation, and she’s doing the best she can. By any measure, it’s a tragedy on both sides.”

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