News Briefing: Feb 10-16, 2017 

News Briefing: Feb 10-16, 2017 

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Police oversight board’s director resigns

Kelvyn Anderson has resigned as executive director of the city’s Police Advisory Commission, effective Feb. 3. Anderson served as executive director of the agency since 2013.

Anderson resigned to pursue other “business opportunities,” according to a spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney.

Anderson issued this statement: “I’d simply say thanks to everyone in the LGBTQ community who have consistently pressed for full accountability and openness in police-community relations.”

As of press time, an interim director of the PAC hadn’t been named.

The PAC investigates citizen complaints of police misconduct and recommends policy changes when appropriate. Between 2003-13, the PAC investigated the case of Nizah Morris, a trans woman found with a fatal head wound, shortly after a “courtesy ride” from Philadelphia police. In 2013, the PAC recommended state and federal probes of Morris’ unsolved homicide.

The PAC currently has three investigators, a public-relations specialist and a secretary. Its annual budget is about $200,000.

Lauren Hitt, a spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney, issued this statement: “I can confirm that Kelvyn Anderson has stepped down from the PAC to pursue other business opportunities. We will likely name an interim director as we search for a permanent [director]. We have not yet chosen the interim [director]. We would hope to name a permanent director by the summer.”

Settlement conference slated in AIDS case 

A settlement conference was scheduled for this week in a federal antibias suit filed by Dr. Emmanuella Cherisme against AIDS Care Group.

Cherisme, a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, worked at AIDS Care Group in 2013. 

However, Cherisme left her job after allegedly experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of her race, gender and national origin. 

Cherisme filed suit against AIDS Care Group in 2015. She’s seeking in excess of $150,000 in damages, along with the payment of her legal fees and costs. A jury trial has been requested.

A settlement conference was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 10 in Courtroom 3E of the U.S. Court House, 601 Market St., with U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski presiding.

AIDS Care Group, based in Delaware County, was formed in 1998 and serves as a comprehensive health-services agency for people with HIV/AIDS. It also receives federal HIV/AIDS-prevention funds.

— Timothy Cwiek

Comcast teams up with GLAAD

More than 100 LGBT-focused titles are now available on Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand.

The effort was made possible through a partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast and GLAAD, a national LGBT media-advocacy organization. The program opened Jan. 31, launched in conjunction with the unveiling of the nominees for the annual GLAAD Media Awards. This year’s nominees, as well as previous awardees, will now be featured on the Xfinity LGBTQ Film & TV Collection. 

The collection is accessible on TV, web and mobile devices. Customers with an X1 voice remote can say “LGBTQ” or “Pride” to bring up the collection, or “GLAAD Media Awards” for the new GLAAD additions.

“Through this partnership, we’re giving these LGBTQ storytellers access to a platform that has the potential to reach tens of millions of viewers,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We applaud Comcast for creating an experience that puts a spotlight on LGBTQ content and we’re proud to add our GLAAD Media Awards-related titles to their growing library of shows and movies.” 

— Jen Colletta

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