January 27, 2014: The District Attorney’s Office today charged 34 year old Jose P. Miranda and his sister, 28 year old Michelle Wilson, with Conflict of Interest, Perjury and Criminal Conspiracy. Jose P. Miranda is a State Representative who represents the 197th Legislative District in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Public Corruption Task Force investigation into Jose P. Miranda began in May of 2013 after the local Fox news station aired a story about Timothy Duckett. The Fox news cameras captured Duckett working at his auto repair shop on the days he was supposed to be working in Miranda’s legislative office.
An investigating Grand Jury found that Miranda hired a “ghost employee” to run his legislative office in order to secretly pay his sister. That “ghost employee”, Timothy Duckett, was hired by Miranda in December of 2012 as a Legislative Assistant after Miranda attempted to hire his sister as Chief of Staff for his legislative offices. The House Democratic Caucus of the Pennsylvania General Assembly notified Miranda that pursuant to the Caucus’ rules and ethics code he could not hire a relative to work for his office. That is when Miranda contacted Duckett to work for him with the sole purpose of funneling money to Miranda’s sister. Duckett was told the he did not have to work 40 hours a week for Miranda’s legislative office, and he was also directed to give a portion of his pay to Michelle Wilson. Miranda also told Duckett that he would only be expected to drive Miranda to different locations when called upon to do so. Duckett was also informed by Miranda that he did not need to sign into or out of the office on sign-in sheets as was required of the other employees.
“In 1903, after a long investigation into the political culture of Philadelphia, Lincoln Steffens wrote ‘Philadelphia was Corrupt and Contented,’ said District Attorney Seth Williams. “Thankfully times have changed, and I am proud to stand in front of you today to report the findings of a lengthy grand jury investigation. I would first like to thank the members of the grand jury for their commitment to justice, attention to detail and service to our city.”
“I must also thank the prosecutors and investigators of my Public Corruption Task Force for their tenacity and fearless search for the truth. I am proud that this office and grand jurors are not content to sit back and allow corruption to continue in Philadelphia.”
“I am proud of this office,” continued the DA. “For a long time it appeared that these types of cases would not be investigated nor prosecuted, but that is no longer the case. We will no longer abdicate our responsibility to investigate and prosecute corruption to other authorities. This grand jury, the District Attorneys Office of Philadelphia, and the good people of the City are no longer contented with political corruption.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police for their help in the investigation into Jose Miranda and Michelle Wilson. The DAO would also like to thank the Democratic House Caucus for its cooperation in this investigation.
Jose P. Miranda and Michelle Wilson are expected to surrender to authorities in the next few days.