Nutcase Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Department Falsified Evidence, Killed Diabetic Woman By Denying Her Insulin And Medical Care – Deputies Told Victim “This Is Jail. Get Over It.”

September 15, 2012

MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA – Readers, please add Maricopa County, Arizona to your mental list of places not to get arrested in. Yes, white people, even you.

Deborah Braillard, age 46, was arrested and booked on a minor drug possession charge in January of 2005. Despite being a diabetic, Braillard was not given insulin or any other medication or medical care for four full days, until she was eventually brought to the hospital in a diabetic coma. She died 18 days later of complications from diabetes, and her family’s civil suit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is now proceeding at trial.

According to the pretrial deposition testimony of the guards and inmates who witnessed the incident, Braillard was constantly moaning and crying out in pain, asking for help, repeatedly vomiting, defecating on herself and having seizures.

“She would shake. Her body would stiffen up,” said Tamela Harper, an inmate in the jail with Braillard. “They never did anything to help her.”

Inmates testified that they begged officers to do something, but apparently prison guards in Maricopa County consider seizures, repeated vomiting, and pooping oneself simply part of the whole prison experience. Harper testified the prisoners alerted the guards to Braillard’s worsening condition, but the guards responded:

“’There’s nothing we can do about it. You just have to deal with it. This is jail. Get over it.”’

Harper added that officers said Braillard was “kicking drugs” and that she was “getting what she deserved.“

On Thursday, plaintiffs’ counsel called Dr. Todd Wilcox, a nationally renowned expert on correctional medical care and services, to testify against his former employer, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. (He eventually quit his job after he became so frustrated with the Sheriff’s Office’s unwillingness to improve training, conditions and access to medical care for inmates and detainees.) Wilcox told the jury that the Sheriff’s Office fostered a culture of deliberate indifference and secrecy.

In this instance, Wilcox testified the medical screening document that should have been created when Braillard was booked into the jail was missing. At trial, the Sheriff’s Office produced a document indicating that Braillard had — for some unknown reason — told jail staff during intake that she was not diabetic. However, the document is dated three days after the intake took place and hours after Braillard had already been rushed to the hospital in an irreversible diabetic coma. The family’s lawyers say the document is a fake. Wilcox explained this sort of thing is not unusual on Sheriff Joe’s watch:

“Many mysterious things happen on the Sheriff’s computer network… I remember going to lunch one day and coming back with my sandwich to find somebody controlling my mouse remotely and locating folders and documents.”

On a related note, Sheriff Joe is up for reelection this year, and he has already raised over $4 million for his campaign — a pretty obscene amount for a local sheriff’s war chest. The vast majority of donations are coming from out-of-state.
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Speaking of which… oh, hey, look what we found!! The campaign sites of Sheriff Arpaio’s opponents in the upcoming election, Paul Penzone (D) and Michael Stauffer (I). Go make a donation. (For the record, The Daily Dolt has no association with Arpaio, Penzone, or Stauffer. We’re just providing the links because we think Sheriff Joe is a dick.)

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House Oversight Chair Issa Predicts Disgraced US Attorney General Will Be Held In Contempt (But of course it will be civil, and less than a slap on the wrist…)

June 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The top Republican leading the House investigation into Operation Fast and Furious said Sunday he expects a “bipartisan” floor vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress this coming week.

“I believe they will (vote to hold him in contempt),” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told “Fox News Sunday.” “Both Republicans and Democrats will vote that — I believe it will be bipartisan.”

Issa kept his focus on the Justice Department, clarifying that he has no evidence the White House was involved in any Fast and Furious cover-up. But he repeatedly said Congress is trying to get to the bottom of why the Justice Department “lied” about the operation.

The comments underscored the apparent momentum among majority House Republicans behind the contempt push, following a committee contempt vote against Holder along party lines this past week. That vote proceeded after Holder and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement over subpoenaed documents pertaining to the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious discussions.

Issa said Sunday it’s possible the vote could be delayed or even “eliminated” if the administration produces the subpoenaed documents the House is seeking. He noted the entire schedule is at the discretion of House Speaker John Boehner.

“But we have to see the documents first,” he said.

Barring such a resolution, Issa and his allies are teeing up a major election-year clash this coming week between the Executive and Legislative branches, and between Democrats and Republicans.

President Obama intervened this past week, invoking executive privilege to protect the documents in question, but Republicans dismissed the claim and proceeded with the contempt vote. On the sidelines, minority House Democrats are pleading with Republicans take a step back and work out the document dispute without the threat of contempt. At the same time, both sides are antagonizing each other at the dais and in the press over what Democrats claim has become a political “witch hunt.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, R-Md., ranking Democrat on the oversight committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that the confrontation was entirely avoidable.

“I think it’s extremely unfortunate,” he said. “The attorney general has made it clear that he is willing to work with this Congress.”

Cummings called on Boehner to intervene and try to reach an agreement with Holder that involves turning over some documents while also halting the contempt proceedings.

“I think that we have a duty … at this critical moment to get the documents,” he said. “I know we can get them. It’s just a matter of sitting down and talking to Holder.”

Cummings suggested the course of the committee’s investigation has lost sight of one of the major reasons for the probe — the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose murder scene included weapons from the Fast and Furious operation.

But Issa defended the escalation, saying the committee is trying to obtain critical documents to help explain why Congress was initially told — incorrectly — in February 2011 that the government did not knowingly let guns “walk” across the U.S.-Mexico border. The department later issued a correction to that statement.

“We, in fact, are simply trying to get to the truth when we were told a lie,” Issa said. “It’s about the cover-up.”

“Ultimately, Justice lied to the American people on February 4 (2011), and they didn’t make it right for 10 months.”

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Secret Documents Prove Obama’s Disgraced US Attorney General Eric Holder Is Full Of Shit – Hid Department’s Documents On Operations That Armed Criminals And Mexican Drug Cartels

June 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – With the help of a mole, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has turned the tables on Attorney General Eric Holder.

Issa has long been exasperated with Holder, claiming that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been withholding information on a controversial gun-running operation. But through an anonymous source, Issa has obtained information about the initiative that is under a federal court-ordered seal.

Giving such information out is a federal crime, raising the question of whether the Justice Department will seek to prosecute what Republicans are calling a whistleblower.

Issa has asked the DOJ for the documents — wiretap applications it used in the botched federal gun-tracking Operation Fast and Furious — for months. The California lawmaker has taken preliminary steps to move contempt-of-Congress citations against Holder, but it remains unclear if GOP leaders support that move. This new controversy could help Issa attract more Republican support for a contempt-of-Congress resolution.

If Holder does launch an investigation into where the leak originated, the powerful Republican could paint the move as an attempt by the DOJ to hide the documents’ contents. It would also raise the possibility that DOJ investigators will seek information from Issa, who has been trying to determine who approved the “gun-walking” tactics used in Fast and Furious along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On the other hand, not launching a probe would mean turning a blind eye to a criminal breach and could lead Issa’s source and others to reveal other information sealed by a judge.

Issa told Fox News on Wednesday that he has no intention of shining the light on his source: “We’re not going to make our whistleblower available. That’s been one of the most sensitive areas, because some of the early whistleblowers are already feeling retribution. They’re being treated horribly.”

Asked earlier this week where he got the wiretap applications, Issa told The Hill, “You can ask, but you should have no expectation of an answer. By the way, if I asked you where you got yours, would you give me your sources?”

Of course, there is some political risk for Issa. The Obama administration could point out that he is stonewalling federal authorities after complaining throughout this Congress of being stonewalled by DOJ.

As the lead congressional investigator of Fast and Furious, Issa says the documents show top-ranking DOJ officials signing off on the condemned “gun-walking” tactics used in the failed operation. Senior DOJ officials have repeatedly denied that they approved the botched initiative.

The documents have not been made public, and Issa has apparently broken no laws by being given the information.

Regardless, the DOJ is not pleased.

“Chairman Issa’s letter makes clear that sealed court documents relating to pending federal prosecutions being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California have been disclosed to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in violation of law,” wrote Deputy Attorney General James Cole to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Issa this week.

“This is of great concern to us,” the letter added.

A spokesman for the DOJ declined to comment about whether it was planning to launch an investigation into the leak.

Democrats say that Issa is exaggerating what he has. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on Issa’s panel, reiterated this week that top-ranking DOJ officials didn’t personally review any of the six wiretap applications related to Fast and Furious. Issa sent Cummings the information he received from his source.

In the past, the DOJ has justified not turning over the wiretap applications to Issa by saying that doing so could jeopardize the current criminal cases it is prosecuting.

Two former prosecutors for the DOJ, who were not familiar with the details of this article, independently told The Hill that defense lawyers could use an instance of documents being leaked in violation of a court-ordered seal to justify seeking a mistrial.

It is unlikely that the DOJ, if it does investigate the leak, will have grounds to go after Issa for accepting the documents. In past instances of court-ordered seals being broken, it is the actual breaker of the seal who is held responsible, which in this case could mean criminal contempt proceedings and possible jail time.

The battle between Issa and the DOJ has escalated over the past month, with House Republican leaders writing a letter to Holder asking him to hand over information about who was responsible for Fast and Furious. The letter also asked whether the DOJ misled Congress on when officials, including Holder, became aware of the program.

Issa is set to square off against Holder on Thursday when the attorney general is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. The Republican lawmaker will appear on a panel to discuss oversight of the DOJ.

Under the now-defunct Fast and Furious initiative, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is under the DOJ, authorized the sale of firearms to known and suspected straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels, but lost track of many of the weapons. Some of those guns might have contributed to the December 2010 shooting death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

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Disgraced US Attorney General Eric Holder – Full Of It – Questioned About His Department’s Operation That Supplied Guns To Criminals And Mexican Drug Cartel

June 6, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC  – Attorney General Eric Holder claimed during congressional testimony today that internal Justice Department emails that use the phrase “Fast and Furious” do not refer to the controversial gun-walking operation Fast and Furious.

Under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who read excerpts of the emails at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department oversight, Holder claimed that the phrase “Fast and Furious” did not refer to Fast and Furious but instead referred to another gun-walking operation known as “Wide Receiver.”

However, the emails refer to both programs — “Fast and Furious” and the “Tucson case,” from where Wide Receiver was launched — and reveal Justice Department officials discussing how to handle media scrutiny when both operations become public.

Among three of the emails, the second, dated “October 17, 2010 11:07 PM,” was sent by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein to James Trusty and it states: “Do you think we should have Lanny participate in press when Fast and Furious and Laura’s Tucson case [Wide Receiver] are unsealed? It’s a tricky case, given the number of guns that have walked, but it is a significant set of prosecutions.”

In the third email, dated Oct. 18, 2010, James Trusty writes back to Weinstein: “I think so, but the timing will be tricky, too. Looks like we’ll be able to unseal the Tucson case sooner than the Fast and Furious (although this may be just the difference between Nov. and Dec).”

“It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F [Fast and Furious] case,” reads the email, “but we have Tucson [Wide Receiver] and now a new unrelated case with [redacted] targets. It’s not any big surprise that a bunch of US guns are being used in MX [Mexico], so I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like ‘Finally, they’re going after people who sent guns down there.’”

Operation Wide Receiver was run out of Tucson, Ariz., between 2006 and 2007 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a division of the Justice Department.

In his testimony, Holder said that the emails only referred to Operation Wide Receiver.

Holder told the committee: “That refers to Wide Receiver, not to Fast and Furious. The e-mail that you [Rep. Chaffetz] just read [between Trusty and Weinstein] – now this is important – that email referred to Wide Receiver, it did not refer to Fast and Furious. That has to be noted for the record.”

Chaffetz, after a long pause, said, “No, it doesn’t. It says Fast and Furious. ‘Do you think we should have Lanny participate in press when Fast and Furious and Laura’s Tucson case [Wide Receiver] are unsealed?’ It’s specific to Fast and Furious. That is not true, Mr. Attorney General. I’m happy to share it with you.”

Brian Terry, border agent

U.S. Border Agent Brian A. Terry, shot and killed on Dec. 14, 2010, near Rio Rico, Arizona, while trying to catch bandits who target illegal immigrants. (AP Photo)

Operation Fast and Furious was carried out by the ATF. It began in the fall of 2009 and continued into early 2011, during which time the federal government purposefully allowed known or suspected gun smugglers to purchase guns at federally licensed firearms dealers in Arizona. The government did not seek to abort these gun purchases, intercept the smugglers after the purchases, or recover the guns they had purchased.

In some cases, as the government expected they would, the smugglers delivered the guns to Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Two rifles sold to a smuggler in the course of Operation Fast and Furious in January 2010 ended up at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

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Senate Wants Travelers To Pay More For Mistreatment By TSA Agents

May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday moved forward with legislation to increase airline passenger security fees, beating back a GOP attempt to keep them at current levels.

The 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill would increase one-way fees for passengers from $2.50 to $5 in order to close a budget shortfall at the Transportation Security Administration.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the $350 million in funding would otherwise come from taxpayers and argued it is better to stick passengers who rely on TSA with the bill.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) sponsored an amendment to strip out the fee increase and offset the loss of revenue with cuts to state and local grants, emergency food and shelter funding, and dropping $89 million in funding for a new highway interchange leading to the Homeland Security’s new headquarters in southeast Washington, D.C. Hutchison noted that the Senate had decided not to increase the fees in the recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.

That amendment was defeated on a 15-15 vote. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined Republicans in supporting the measure to strip out the fee increase.

Hutchinson joined Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in voting against the DHS bill as a whole. Johnson and Moran have been voting against non-defense 2013 appropriations bills because they support the House GOP position that the spending caps in last August’s debt ceiling deal should be lowered. The other Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee have all voted to support the August debt ceiling deal levels.

The committee on Tuesday also approved the 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill, traditionally the least controversial of all 12 annual spending bills. The vote was 30-0.

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Former Talbotton Georgia Police Chief Michael Howard Pleads Guity To Lying To Federal Agents For A Slap On The Wrist

May 12, 2012

TALBOTTON, GEORGIA – A former Talbotton, Ga., police chief convicted of lying to federal agents during a corruption investigation was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison.

Michael Howard, 43, pleaded guilty in January to providing false statements to the FBI. He was one of five law enforcement officers arrested in a federal corruption sting that involved deputies extorting or taking bribes from people they believed were drug dealers.

Prosecutors said Howard, the son of former sheriff Herman Howard, lied about an encounter he had with an undercover informant. That informant, who posed as a drug dealer, told Howard he had $15,000 and would be traveling through Talbot County to buy drugs.

The informant asked if Howard would be interested in providing cover. Howard said he was, but declined the offer because he wasn’t in uniform at the time and couldn’t be of assistance, a plea agreement states.

Howard, however, told the FBI he hadn’t been shown the drug money.

“This is about making a statement to the officers,” said defense attorney Richard Hagler on Tuesday.

Noting his client’s minor involvement, Hagler suggested home confinement as a punishment. U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land then asked about Howard’s job at the time he lied.

Attorneys told Land that Howard was the police chief and also served as a part-time deputy.

“I do not think a sentence at the bottom of the guideline range is appropriate,” Land responded.

Howard faced up to six months in prison. In addition to sentencing Howard to six months, Land also ordered he pay a $1,000 fine and serve three years’ probation.

Three other former law enforcement officiers implicated in the sting have been sentenced. Former part-time deputy Charlie Stephens was sentenced to just less than three years in prison. Jeff P. Sivell and Alvin K. Malone each were sentenced to about 3½ years in prison.

The case against Michael Gamble, a county jailer the Georgia Bureau of Investigation accused of accepting bribes, remains open.

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Dumb As Dirt Los Angeles California Deputy Sheriff Det. Anthony Shapiro Suspended After Lying In Court About Reading Miranda Rights – Charges Dropped After Officer’s Purjury Attempt – Arrest Was Filmed By Reality TV Show

May 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — A reality show meant to catch would-be catch car thieves in the act landed a Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective in hot water when he allegedly lied about reading a suspect his Miranda rights.

As part of the TruTV show, undercover police officers park a car rigged with cameras along the side of the road with the keys still inside.

Then a camera crew waits nearby for someone to take the bait and try to steal the car.

But in a recent segment filmed in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a department detective wound up in trouble instead of the Regular Joe who took the bait.

Footage shot for the show showed suspect Keenan Alex, 28, find a Cadillac Escalade with the keys in the ignition and the engine running.

He got inside and drove off, but deputies quickly pulled him over and slapped handcuffs on him.

Detective Anthony Shapiro later said in court that he read Alex his rights before the suspect made incriminating statements.

But unedited video shows that Shapiro did not read Alex his rights, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“You watch TV. You know your rights and all that?,” the video shows Shapiro telling Alex.

Because Alex’s Miranda rights were violated on tape, prosecutors could not press charges against him in court and the case was dropped.

Shapiro has been placed on paid leave for testifying under oath that he read Alex is rights when he did not, according to department officials.

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