Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA

Angela Couloumbis has covered government, politics, courts and crime for The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1996. She has reported on forest fires in the Rocky Mountains, riots in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, the mob’s effort to infiltrate city hall in New Jersey’s poorest city and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

For the past 13 years, she has focused on government and politics in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, shedding light on backroom dealing and corruption. She was part of a two-member reporting team that, in 2014, exposed a secret effort by the state Attorney General’s office to shut down an investigation into lawmakers who accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from an undercover government informant. The reporting led to a series of resignations and criminal convictions over several years. She has spent the past 18 months focused on investigative reporting on the #metoo movement in Pennsylvania. Her coverage has included projects on secret, taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements in the Legislature and state government.

Latest by Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA


Citing Spotlight PA/Caucus probe, top lawmaker pushes limits on campaign donations, stricter disclosure rules

Sen. Jay Costa is pushing sweeping campaign finance reforms that would set limits on political contributions, increase transparency and ban candidates from using campaign cash for personal benefit -- issues at the heart of a yearlong investigation published this week by The Caucus and Spotlight PA.
By Sam Janesch/The Caucus and Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA

She’s paid by taxpayers. So why is top Pa. Senate aide wining and dining on campaign credit card?

Shelly Brown is one of two taxpayer-funded staffers under Senate leader Joe Scarnati who have access to a credit card issued by the top Republican’s political operation, even though neither of them has an official role with the campaign.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Alyssa Biederman/The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pa. lawmakers abruptly abandon attempt to limit public access to campaign expenses

The proposed change to reduce oversight of their spending came just hours after an investigation revealed millions of dollars in hidden campaign expenses.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA

Mystery trip to Europe with ‘donors’ by Pa. state senators followed expansion of wine law

The senators gave differing explanations for the purpose of the trip and declined to disclose who joined them or exactly where they went.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus and Sam Janesch/The Caucus

Pa. lawmakers push for less oversight hours after investigation reveals millions in hidden campaign spending

Lawmakers quietly tucked a new provision into a bill that would reduce oversight and make it harder for the public to see how they spend their campaign cash.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Sam Janesch/The Caucus

How an investigation uncovered nearly $3.5M in dark spending by Pa. lawmakers

Pennsylvania lawmakers, operating under some of the weakest campaign finance laws in the country, obscured nearly $3.5 million in campaign spending from 2016 through 2018.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Brad Bumsted/The Caucus

Lavish dinners, sports tickets, and nearly $3.5 million other expenses by Pa. lawmakers you’ve never seen

A year-long investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA uncovered other purchases, too: foreign trips, limos, fine wines and liquor, country club memberships, and even a DNA test kit.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus, Paula Knudsen/The Caucus, Sam Janesch/The Caucus and Alyssa Biederman/The Caucus