By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s second casino — still on the drawing board — would be allowed a larger building and bigger signs, under a bill introduced in city council this week. The bill’s sponsor has promised the project will get plenty of scrutiny at public hearings.

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Councilman Kenyatta Johnson says he knows there are a lot of concerns about the project and the public will have a chance to air them, but he went a step further and, in a statement during Thursday’s council session, sought to explain his relationship with the casino developer, Cordish.

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“The Cordish company has been operating in the second councilmanic district since 2012,” Johnson says. “And so just as a prudent councilman would operate with any other business out of the second councilmanic district, obviously you will develop a working relationship.”

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Critics of the casino project raised concerns about Johnson’s relationship with Cordish after he scheduled a fundraiser for later this month at Xfinity Live, a Cordish-owned property. Johnson declined to comment beyond his statement, but the fundraiser has been moved.