State briefs

Contractor admits to bid rigging in PennDOT corruption case

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania prosecutors say the president of an engineering and surveying services firm has pleaded guilty to bid rigging after they say his firm received thousands of dollars through improper and illegal contracts with the state Department of Transportation.

The Attorney General’s office says Christopher Czop pleaded guilty to the felony count on Wednesday. His sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

Czop is the president of the Norristown-based firm Czop Specter Inc.

Authorities say he befriended a PennDOT assistant district engineer to get inspection contracts and that the company massively overbilled by submitting bogus mileage and hours on them.

Authorities say millions of taxpayer dollars were lost in the scheme.

Eight others have pleaded guilty or been accepted into a first time offender program. Another has died and one defendant’s case remains pending.

Hundreds gather in Philadelphia to protest Trump win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hundreds of protesters, including parents with children in strollers, are protesting Donald Trump’s presidential win near Philadelphia’s City Hall.

About 300 protesters had gathered by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and the crowd was building. They held signs bearing slogans like “Not Our President,” ”Trans Against Trump” and “Make America Safe For All.”

Twenty-three-year-old Jeanine Feito held a sign reading “Not 1 More Deportation.” The Cuban-American Temple University student says she acknowledges Trump as president-elect but doesn’t accept it.

People passed Dixie cups holding candles in a vigil that organizers say is meant to provide a place to “mourn, grieve and be in community together.”

The crowd rallied with calls and responses, including “We must remember to love ourselves and each other” and “not our president.”

AG says computer tech used government Wi-Fi to spy on wife

HARRISBURG (AP) — The attorney general says a central Pennsylvania technical expert used spyware and the county’s Wi-Fi network to spy on his estranged wife.

Thirty-six-year-old David Maurer, of Susquehanna Township, doesn’t have an attorney listed in court papers nor a listed telephone.

He’s charged with three counts of violating the state’s wiretap act and other crimes for allegedly secretly installing the spyware on his wife’s computer so he could spy on her chats, emails and web browsing.

Investigators also determined he used Dauphin County’s wireless network to do that. The county district attorney referred the case to the attorney general.

Maurer allegedly sent computer screen shots from his wife’s computer to a child-custody evaluator assigned by the court.

Maurer faces a preliminary hearing Dec. 15. The county didn’t immediately comment on his employment status.

Authorities: Cop justifiably killed knife-wielding patient

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Authorities have ruled that police were “absolutely and unequivocally justified” in fatally shooting a knife-wielding hospital patient who threatened workers and then attacked responding officers.

Authorities say 64-year-old Dennis Kirk of Chambersburg became agitated last week, pulled out two knives and threatened to hurt a nurse at Chambersburg Hospital, about 50 miles south of Harrisburg. They say he then threatened responding law enforcement officers.

The Franklin County district attorney’s office on Wednesday said police had unsuccessfully tried to hit Kirk with a stun gun three times.

The office says one of the responding officers shot Kirk twice after he connected with another officer’s arm while holding a knife in a stabbing position.

Kirk died of his injuries.

No other patients, officers, visitors or staff were hurt.