An-Li Herring

Government & Accountability Reporter

An-Li became a reporter while completing her law degree at Stanford. In law school, she wrote about housing affordability, criminal justice and economic development, among other topics. She also served as the intern to NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, helping Ms. Totenberg to cover the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal matters. Originally from Pittsburgh, An-Li interned with the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before joining 90.5 WESA in August 2017.

She can be reached at 412-315-6767 or at

Courtesy of Lamar Davis

Leon Ford rose to national prominence after he survived a police shooting in Pittsburgh nearly seven years ago. He became a leading voice for improved police-community relations, and even launched a campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

Marc Levy / AP

Efforts to overhaul probation in Pennsylvania may be complicated by six recent murders believed to have been committed by parolees. Nevertheless, the reforms continue to draw bipartisan support.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Having a criminal record can make it harder to find work and housing, but a new local study asks whether it helps to have your record expunged.

Courtesy photo

More than 5,000 people are serving life sentences in Pennsylvania prisons, without the possibility of release. Ralph “Malakki” Bolden is one of them. He was convicted of first-degree murder after killing a man during a robbery in 1994.

Courtesy of Corry Sanders

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons recommended a pardon Wednesday for a local man whose criminal record has stopped him from holding public office.


Members of Pittsburgh City Council met Wednesday to discuss a ballot measure that would raise $10 million a year for the city’s 165 parks. 

Courtesy of George Trudel

One night in 1986, a fight broke out at a party in Philadelphia. George Trudel was 20 years old at the time and saw the brawl, between his friends Bobby and Kaz, unfold. A knife fell from Kaz’s coat, and Trudel remembers rushing to get it away from him.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvanians sentenced as adults to life in prison without parole can only be released if the governor commutes their sentences. For most of the past 25 years, that's happened no more than once annually.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

People with criminal backgrounds can get help clearing their records at an event in Wilkinsburg Tuesday evening.

Attendees at Pathways 2 Pardons can receive free background checks and talk with state troopers about whether to ask the governor for a pardon. Attorneys from Duquesne University’s Civil Rights Clinic are also set to help attendees explore the possibility of clearing their records through expungement.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

All across the country, students are returning to school, and in Pittsburgh, that includes youth housed at the Allegheny County Jail. The jail runs a full high school for juveniles charged as adults.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

A proposal to create an independent civilian police review board in Allegheny County has failed. County council rejected the measure in a 9-6 vote at its meeting Tuesday evening.

Marc Levy / AP

A string of homicides allegedly committed by five Pennsylvania men following their release from prison prompted an investigation by the state’s corrections department last month. The five parolees were charged with committing a total of six homicides over a two-month period, the Associated Press reported.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny County Council committee held a hearing Wednesday on a proposed civilian police review board. Councilors will vote on whether to create the board at their meeting next Tuesday.

The board would lead independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct, though municipalities would not be required to participate.


The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office reportedly pursues more insurance fraud cases than any other agency in the state. An investigation by BuzzFeed News found that the office gets evidence and money from insurance companies to handle claims filed by customers.

Matt Rourke / AP

In recent years, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has built an extensive network of surveillance cameras. The office says it’s crucial to solving crimes, but the technology has raised concerns about privacy and cybersecurity.

The Caucus newspaper reported Tuesday that, in the last five years, District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office has spent $1.5 million on more than 1,000 cameras.


Pittsburgh-area lobbyist Joseph Kuklis was accused Tuesday of defrauding his clients out of more than $100,000. He turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning, after the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office charged him on four counts of theft by deception, six counts of deceptive or fraudulent business practices, and six counts of forgery.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Days after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, claimed 31 lives, scores of people gathered in Squirrel Hill to rally for an end to gun violence. More than 15 speakers addressed the crowd, which blanketed the lawn and steps in front of the Sixth Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh Thursday evening.

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Lisa Middleman launched her independent campaign for Allegheny County District Attorney pledging to reform a justice system that incarcerates people of color at disproportionate rates.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David Cashman has stepped down from his position as chair of the county’s Jail Oversight Board. The judge submitted a letter of resignation to County President Judge Kim Clark Friday afternoon.

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Public defender Lisa Middleman, of Franklin Park, will formally launch her campaign for Allegheny County District Attorney Thursday. Her official campaign kickoff will be marked with a gathering at Mr. Small’s Theater in Millvale.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

A group of Republican state senators has urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reject an attempt to overturn the death penalty. 

90.5 WESA

It took four years, but many more employees in Pittsburgh are now poised to earn paid sick leave. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a city law that requires employers to give time off for illness.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A periwinkle frog with geometric markings crouches in a sea of red, its toes splayed out as it prepares to leap. The painting now hangs in Dwayne Drummond’s Homewood apartment. But he remembers when he found it in somebody else’s trash.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A house stands quietly on Homewood’s Monticello Street. All the windows are boarded up. Shingles pop off the eaves. And if you look closely, you can see graffiti beneath a fading layer of white paint. The graffitti is blue, the signature color of the Crips gang.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

A bipartisan team of state lawmakers are leading an effort to ease Pennsylvania's probation rules. State Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington County) and Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) introduced a bill early this year to shorten probation terms and limit punishment for probation violations.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

If an on-duty Pittsburgh police officer shoots someone and causes serious injury or death, Allegheny County Police take charge of the criminal investigation of the incident. This arrangement is meant to ensure the integrity of the probe – to prevent city police from investigating their own – according to Pittsburgh deputy police chief Thomas Stangrecki.

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Long-time Allegheny County public defender Lisa Middleman said Monday that she plans to run as an independent for district attorney in November.


Pennsylvania spends over $100 million annually to incarcerate people for technical violations of probation and parole, according to a new report. That’s about one-third of the total amount the state spends to house people who have violated the terms of their release. 


It has been one year since Antwon Rose, a black, unarmed teenager, was fatally shot by white police officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld fired at the teen as he fled a car that had been involved in a drive-by shooting.


Two state House members, from opposite sides of the aisle, have drafted legislation to abolish the death penalty in Pennsylvania.