Philly lawmaker's ghost worker case sent to trial

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A state lawmaker and his sister will face trial over a ghost worker plot allegedly designed to get around a ban on employing her at his Philadelphia office.

The defense argues that freshman Rep. J.P. Miranda is being selectively prosecuted because so many other state representatives violate the nepotism ban.

But Common Pleas Judge David Shuter says that doesn't make it legal, and upheld perjury, conspiracy and other charges at a preliminary hearing Friday.

A grand jury indictment says the 28-year-old Miranda put a ghost worker on staff and ordered him to steer some of the salary to his sister, Michelle Wilson.

Employees say the 34-year-old Wilson largely ran the office, but wasn't on the payroll.

The alleged ghost worker says he performed work as both a driver and bodyguard.