San Bernardino County California Sheriff’s Department Hides Details After Off-Duty Huntington Park Officer Opens Fire On Four Men, Wounding Two

October 14, 2012

CHINO HILLS – The Sheriff’s Department is refusing to release any information related to an Oct. 4 officer-involved shooting at the Shoppes Lifestyle center in Chino Hills.

Sheriff’s officials have refused to name the off-duty officer involved in the shooting or any of the victims and have declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting, which they initially described as a “road rage” incident.

In refusing to provide the information, sheriff’s Lt. Brett Williams said providing any information would “endanger the successful completion of a criminal investigation and endanger the safety of persons involved in an investigation.”

Williams also noted that a law enforcement agency’s criminal investigative records are privileged for an indefinite period of time, and providing such materials would violate the privacy of involved police officers, witnesses and a victims.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, said the Sheriff’s Department is wrong to withhold all information.

“When someone who is an off-duty law enforcement official is involved in a public violent episode such as a shooting, officials can’t hide behind public confidentiality rules,” Scheer said.

“They need to explain the best they can to the public, and they can do that consistent with protection the civil and privacy rights of all people involved.

“They are certainly in the position to tell the public more than `no comment,’ and they have an obligation to explain the circumstances,” Scheer said.

“And if it turns out to be the case that the off-duty police officer at the time of the shooting is being investigated in his personal capacity … then the special confidentiality rules for police should not apply at all.”

Investigators confirmed the shooting had been sparked by road rage, but did not release who detectives believe was the aggressor or provide details on the incident.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the officer involved was considered an average citizen at the time of the shooting and was carrying a concealed weapon legally.

She declined to release his name.

According to sheriff’s officials, the altercation began on the 71 Freeway. Both drivers pulled off the freeway and stopped at the Shoppes.

The off-duty officer told investigators that the four men exited their vehicle and approached him. The officer said he saw objects in the hands of two of the four men.

The officer then opened fire, wounding two.

Sheriff’s officials have refused to identify the wounded or provide any information on their current condition.

Dozens of witnesses and shopping center patrons were stranded for several hours as sheriff’s homicide detectives conducted interviews and surveyed the scene.

Business resumed normally the next morning, with customers coming and going from various stores.

Little evidence remained of the previous night’s events except for vehicles from television news outlets.

No one has been arrested, leaving some puzzled and concerned.

Assistant Sheriff Ron Cochran said the Sheriff’s Department stands by its decision to withhold further information.

The off-duty Huntington Park police officer is a victim in this case, Cochran said, adding that it is still under investigation.

“We have no other comment at this time,” Cochran said.

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US Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Case Of Illegal Spying Against Americans By US Government And Nation’s Communications Providers

October 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court closed a 6-year-old chapter Tuesday in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s bid to hold the nation’s telecoms liable for allegedly providing the National Security Agency with backdoors to eavesdrop, without warrants, on Americans’ electronic communications in violation of federal law.

The justices, without comment, declined to review a lower court’s December decision (.pdf) dismissing the EFF’s lawsuit challenging the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program. At the center of the dispute was 2008 congressional legislation retroactively immunizing the telcos from being sued for cooperating with the government in a program President George W. Bush adopted shortly after the September 2001 terror attacks.

After Bush signed the legislation and invoked its authority in 2008, a San Francisco federal judge tossed the case, and the EFF appealed. Among other things, the EFF claimed the legislation, which granted the president the discretion to invoke immunity, was an illegal abuse of power.

The New York Times first exposed the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping of international phone calls to and from Americans in 2005. A former AT&T technician named Mark Klein later produced internal company documents suggesting that the NSA was surveilling internet backbone traffic from a secret room at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco, and similar facilities around the country. Klein’s evidence formed the basis of the now-dismissed suit, Hepting v. AT&T.

Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s legal director, said the group was “disappointed” with the outcome because “it lets the telecommunication companies off the hook for betraying their customers’ trust.”

The Bush administration, and now the President Barack Obama administration, have neither admitted nor denied the spying allegations — though Bush did admit that the government warrantlessly listened in on some Americans’ overseas phone calls, which he said was legal.

But as to widespread internet and phone dragnet surveillance of Americans, both administrations have declared the issue a state secret — one that would undermine national security if exposed.

After six years of legal jockeying, the merits of the allegations have never been weighed in the litigation. But some portions of them still might.

That’s because litigation on the surveillance program continues. After U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker tossed the case against the telcos, the EFF sued the government instead. Walker dismissed that case, too, ruling that it amounted to a “general grievance” from the public and not an actionable claim. But a federal appeals court reversed, and sent it down to a trial judge in December.

Judge Margaret McKeown, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the EFF’s claims “are not abstract, generalized grievances and instead meet the constitutional standing requirement of concrete injury. Although there has been considerable debate and legislative activity surrounding the surveillance program, the claims do not raise a political question nor are they inappropriate for judicial resolution.”

A hearing on that case is scheduled next month in San Francisco federal court.

The Obama administration is again seeking it to be tossed, claiming it threatens to expose state secrets and would be an affront to national security. When the state secrets doctrine is invoked, judges routinely dismiss cases amid fears of exposing national security secrets.

On Monday, President Obama said that in the presidential contest with Republican challenger Mitt Romney: ”We haven’t talked about what’s at stake with respect to civil liberties.” One might say that hasn’t been heard in the courts, either, under Obama’s tenure.

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US Libyan Embassy Was Attacked And Threatened 13 Times Before 9/11 Terror Attack That Killed 4 Americans – Asked For More Security, But Was Turned Down By Obama Administration

October 2, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Two House Republicans say they have been informed by whistleblowers that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and threatened 13 times before the incident last month that killed four Americans.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter on Tuesday that detailed the whistleblowers’ allegations.

“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote. “It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest.”

The congressmen said the consulate asked for more security to deal with the growing threat but was turned down by the administration.
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Savage Black Beast Killed Victim For No Reason – Just Started Shooting In Mobile Alabama, Until His Clip Was Empty

October 2, 2012

MOBILE, ALABAMA -– The girlfriend of a homicide victim described the events leading up to the fatal shooting last year and pointed to defendant Kendramei Jones when asked if the shooter was in the courtroom.

Jurors heard a recording of the hysterical 911 call that Nicole Eldridge made after the shooting. She told jurors that the shooter knocked off her boyfriend’s hat and then shot him as he was making his way back to the car.

“Then the guy just started shooting,” she testified, “He shot until his clip was empty.”

Eldridge acknowledged under cross-examination, however, that she picked two other men out of a photo lineup despite telling investigators that she got a good look at the man who fired the shots that killed Willie Gunn at the Texaco station on Prichard’s St. Stephens Road in March 2011.

“They got the wrong guy,” defense lawyer Jason Darley said during his opening statement. “This is a very, very unfortunate case, obviously. But this is not the guy who did it.”

Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood told jurors in his opening statement that other witnesses did identify Jones as the shooter. One of those was Crystal Johnson, who was with Eldridge and Gunn on the night of the shooting.

Johnson testified in the navy blue inmate uniform of Mobile County Metro Jail, where she has been since Monday when she failed to honor a subpoena to come to court, prompting prosecutors to get a material witness arrest warrant.

Johnson testified that she had gone with Eldridge to the Trinity Gardens Mardi Gras parade the day of the shooting and then stopped at the gas station to pick up Gunn. She told jurors that she got into an argument with Gun in the parking lot.

“Next thing I knew, the shooter came out of nowhere,” she said, adding that she never had seen him before.

Johnson said she and the shooter got into an altercation that turned violent.

“I don’t remember what he was saying. I don’t remember why I slapped him,” she testified.

But Johnson testified that the shooter responded by slapping her and then pulling a gun and threatening to kill her. She testified that the shooter then walked toward Gunn, who reached for his pocket before the gunman opened fire.

During cross-examination, Darley picked apart at inconsistencies between Johnson’s testimony and statements she made to investigators. For instance, Johnson described the shooter as having a caramel complexion, which in fact is skin color is quite dark.

Johnson’s account also differed somewhat from Eldridge. Whereas Eldridge reported that the assailant put his gun against her friend’s head, Johnson testified that he did not.

Later today, Blackwood told jurors, law enforcement officials will testified that they found five shell casings at the gas station that ballistics experts determined came from the same 9mm handgun. He also told jurors that the defendant’s behavior follow the shooter points to his guilt. He was hiding when police arrested him, Blackwood said, and he already had changed his appearance by shaving his head.

As for Gunn, Blackwood said, he simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time and did nothing to justify the murder.

“He was a quiet, laid-back guy,” Blackwood said. “He was shot down by a man he never met. He was shot down in cold blood for no reason.”

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Massachusetts Pedophile Who Impregnated 14 Year Old Girl And Received A Tiny Slap On The Wrist From Norfolk Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire Now Demands Visitation With Resulting Child

September 26, 2012

MASSACHUSETTS – A Massachusetts man who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old in 2009 is now seeking visitation rights for the child he fathered — a sensitive case that could force the victim to maintain contact with her rapist.

That possibility has left the teen mother in an emotional tailspin, according to Fox 25 Boston, and she doesn’t want to interact with the man — a then-20-year-old she had met through the same church.

“She got raped at 14,” the victim’s mother told Fox 25. “She decided to keep her baby. And now she has to hand her baby over for a visit with her rapist?”

“He threatened me,” the girl said of the rape. “He told me that he could make my life upside down, and I wouldn’t have anybody and he would pin it all on me. So I was scared.”

The victim’s rapist, who was not identified by Fox 25, was sentenced by Norfolk Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire to 16 years probation in 2011.

Prosecutors were seeking three to five years in prison for the man, who pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory rape of a child, Fox 25 said.

But the probation was part of an arrangement in which he had to acknowledge he’s the baby’s father and follow probate and family court rules, according to the station.

That requires him to pay child support — but also gives him the chance to seek visitation.

An attorney for the man wouldn’t comment about visitation requests but said the initial relationship between the victim and his client was consensual.

But an attorney for the victim told the Daily News she filed a motion Aug. 1 asking the Superior Court judge to amend the sentencing conditions: Instead of child support, he would pay “restitution,” which would prevent him from gaining access to the child through family court.

“What was the criminal court judge thinking punishing the man with the privilege of parental rights?” attorney Wendy Murphy asked Wednesday. “That’s way past irony.”

By allowing the rapist access to family court, he would theoretically have a say in the child’s education, where she lives and her religious beliefs, she added.

“This family has been very clear from the beginning that they want nothing to do with this guy,” said Murphy, who teaches classes on sexual violence at New England Law-Boston.

“What legal system requires a toddler to have a relationship with the man who raped her mother?”

A Georgetown Law Study from 2010 found that 16 states have protections for women who’ve been raped, either prohibiting the rapist from visiting the child or allowing the victim to terminate the other parent’s rights.

Massachusetts is not one of those states.

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Dickhead Clover South Carolina Code Enforcement Officer Joe Funderburk Goes Out Of His Way To Target Elderly Man Who Is Only Trying To Keep His Home And Pay For Medication That Keeps His Disabled Wife Alive – Faces A Month In Jail If He Can’t Pay $500 Fine

September 21, 2012

CLOVER, SOUTH CAROLINA — The Town of Clover court has rescheduled a contempt of court hearing for the 79-year old Clover man who was scheduled to appear in court Monday and potentially faces 30 days of jail time for not cleaning up his yard.

Patty Ramsey, wife of John Ramsey, said Friday afternoon that police hand-delivered a new summons to Ramsey that changed his court date to October.

John Ramsey, a Korean War veteran, was convicted in January of having too much junk in his yard, and ordered to clean up the yard or face jail. In August a judge found him in contempt after town officials argued the clean up was not satisfactory. Ramsey had used the junk he collected for resale to pay household bills.

He says he does not have $500.

In January, the town of Clover successfully prosecuted Ramsey for the misdemeanor offense of keeping too much junk in his yard. Ramsey collects everything from washing machines to bricks and wood, then cleans, fixes, strips and sells what he can.

That money pays for lights, running water and the medications to keep his disabled wife alive.

But keeping that stuff on his property was against the law of this town of about 4,000 people.

Last month in court, Ramsey was found in contempt because his cleanup efforts were deemed not good enough. He was fined $500 and given two weeks to pay it.

On Wednesday that deadline passed, so Ramsey, who lives on $898 a month in Social Security and veterans benefits, went to the Clover Police Department to turn himself in and “go to jail.”

But he was told by Clover town officials that he has a show-cause hearing Monday on the contempt of court charge. That has since changed to October.

Municipal Court Judge Melvin Howell will decide if Ramsey should spend a month in jail if he does not pay his fine.

On Thursday, Ramsey pointed to a fence that is under construction that he said will keep his bricks and other stuff from view. He is asked who is building the fence and digging the post holes deep in the earth.

“Me,” said Ramsey. “Ain’t got a dollar to pay fines; I sure ain’t got money to pay nobody.”

Ramsey said he has cleaned up much of the junk. All the washing machines and some of the other items are gone. Remaining stuff, such as windows and bricks, are neatly stacked.

Still, Ramsey will be back in court Monday because in Clover, rules are rules – even if only one set of eyes has ever complained of a problem.

No neighbor has complained to the town, court testimony showed in January. Nobody has ever complained about John Ramsey’s property except the code officer.

But the law is clear, the courts have ruled. Not once but twice.

Ramsey claimed in January, and claims now, that he bothers no one and his property is not unsightly except to one town official.

That’s why he went to trial in the first place.

In January, Ramsey was the world’s most honest defendant. He was so honest he admitted everything. He admitted he had junk, he even called it “junk” in court several times.

His lawyer at the time, spirited Judah VanSyckel from the York County Public Defender’s office, argued the town law was vague and illegal, that Ramsey was supporting his family in a way that should be cherished and not prosecuted, and that he was singled out by a rogue town department looking for violators.

A jury of six people was instructed by Judge Howell to follow the law only. In the time it takes to order coffee, Ramsey was found guilty. The judge gave Ramsey months to clean the place up, or face alternative punishment of 30 days in jail.

An appeal of Ramsey’s conviction by VanSyckel, the public defender, went nowhere.

Clover’s law states: “It is illegal for occupied and vacant lots upon which building materials, glass, wood, discarded and unused products and machinery, junk, or other matter or debris which is unsightly or detrimental to public health, sanitation, or safety is allowed to accumulate.”

Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III ruled in July that law prohibited Ramsey from collecting and keeping the junk on his property.

The law provided Ramsey with “fair, reasonable and clear notice” of what is prohibited in Clover, Hayes wrote, noting “the artful contention” by VanSyckel and Ramsey that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and “one man’s garbage is another man’s art.”

The problem, Hayes wrote, was facts.

“The facts of this case render these proverbs inapplicable,” he wrote.

Hayes added how the state Supreme Court has ruled: “One to whose conduct the law clearly applies does not have standing to challenge it for vagueness.”

So with an appeal denied, Clover’s code enforcement officer, Joe Funderburk, said that at the Aug. 27 hearing, he showed Judge Howell pictures and told the court that Ramsey’s progress was not adequate.

The judge ordered Funderburk to go back out to Ramsey’s property and take more pictures and bring them to him, Funderburk said Thursday. The judge looked at the pictures and ruled Ramsey was in contempt of his order to clean up his property.

The town has “bent over backwards” to give Ramsey every opportunity to comply with that order, Funderburk said Thursday.

“Mr. Ramsey has failed to do what the court ordered him to do,” Funderburk said.

So now Ramsey waits.

Ramsey is a former Ku Klux Klansman who once was convicted of burning a cross on the front lawn of the former police chief in York. Ramsey served time in prison before the conviction was later overturned on appeal, and Ramsey has maintained he took the fall for two other guys.

Ramsey said he is now reformed, that all of that is in the past. He flies American flags in his yard – yes, there are Confederate flags on his old 1993 truck with 300,000 miles on it, too – and a Mexican flag flies in the yard on a pole.

“My neighbors, Mexicans, they are the nicest people in the world and they asked me to fly it on my flagpole and I said I sure will,” Ramsey said. “All they do is work.”

His front yard is filled with rocking horses and even a miniature carousel of horses that he lets neighbor kids play on. The grass is cut and neat. There are plants and flowers, artwork, and the classic Southern painted plywood board staple of an old woman bending over with her bloomers showing. A sign that reads “Merry Christmas.”

To complete the picture of Southern-ness, there is one old dog of unknown lineage and another old pit bull held at bay by links as thick as a ship’s anchor chain.

“Johnny doesn’t bother nobody,” said Wendy Christopher, a neighbor of 12 years. “I don’t know what the big deal is for this town. You can’t see what he has on the other side.”

Inside the mobile home is Ramsey’s wife, Patty.

“They want to put my husband in jail for trying to help his family,” Patty Ramsey said.

Ramsey has one grown son in Afghanistan, on his fourth deployment to war. Ramsey’s own left leg, wounded in Korea 60 years before, requires a special orthopedic shoe paid for by veteran’s benefits.

“They tell me I gotta wear sandals in the jail, can’t wear my shoe,” said Ramsey.

So between now and October, John Ramsey will likely continue to build a fence. He will dig the post holes himself. He will wave to the neighbors and offer them a drink. He will take care of his wife.

And then, Ramsey will go back to court to see if he has committed such grave acts against his hometown of 20 years that he deserves a month in jail.

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High Profile Detroit Michigan Attorney Anthony Chambers Accused Of Leaving 2 Clients High And Dry And Subject To Arrest On Warrant For Not paying Child Support

September 18, 2012

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Anthony Chambers is nationally recognized as one of the premier criminal defense attorneys in Michigan.

His list of high-profile cases includes the Underwear Bomber and one of Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson’s business partners in a bid rigging trial.

But now he’s having some legal troubles of his own. The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission accuses him of leaving two clients high and dry. And an Oakland County judge issued a bench warrant authorizing his arrest after his wife accused him of owing more than $7,000 in child support.

Chambers told the Problem Solvers last week that he did not know about the bench warrant. He denies the other charges and says that, even though he earned the fees he was paid, he will send back some of the money.

That’s not good enough for David Root, who hired him help his son with a drug charge.

Root lives in New York and hired Chambers after asking around for one of the best lawyers in town. According to documents Root submitted to the Attorney Grievance Commission, he hired Chambers Jan. 29th, 2011, wired a $10,000 retainer on Jan. 31st, had his last phone conversation with Chambers on Feb. 3rd. and got no calls, texts, or emails after Feb. 24th.

“How could he have left my son dangling out there with a warrant served for his arrest?,” Root wrote in an email he submitted to the grievance commission.

Even Root’s New York attorney, the guy who recommended Chambers, couldn’t get in touch with him. He emailed Chambers, saying, “Anthony, You’re making me look bad. Send me and update, please.”

Root says he hired another Michigan lawyer for peanuts, and his son got probation.

Shannon Williams wasn’t so lucky.

Williams, tried in Nebraska for dealing weed, says Chambers flew out to see him three times. He says Chambers never forgot to take home his pay. But he did forget one crucial detail: he was supposed to try getting Williams out of jail.

Williams also complained to the grievance commission. In his statement of fact he claimed Chambers pocketed $53,000.

In a letter replying to the complaint Chambers countered that Williams never paid him 53 grand, “nor did anyone on his behalf.”

He says he dropped Williams as a client, writing “Mr. Williams’ threatening behavior about what would be done and what he would do was unacceptable.”

Williams is no angel

Even after getting new lawyers, he was convicted of dope dealing and money laundering.

He’s currently serving a 20 to 40 year sentence in the federal pen.

But Grievance Commission officials believe chambers broke some rules himself.

For starters, in their Formal Complaint, they say he refused to cooperate in their investigation.

Their offices were only four floors above chambers’ offices in the Buhl building, but they say Chambers refused to provide billing records or provide any other documents that would clear up the complaints by Williams and root.

They have essentially accused chambers of ripping off clients — one of gravest sins an attorney can commit.

If convicted, Chambers’ legal career could be put on hold for months … Or more.

While Chambers wrote the commission letters responding to their initial inquiries, he has not responded to the discipline board and is in default.

That is a serious matter.

John Van Bolt, executive director of the discipline board, says he cannot comment on Chambers’ case. He says attorneys in default are considered guilty of the charges they are accused of.

And that means that the hearing panel that will decide Chambers’ fate must sentence him to some form of discipline.

That could range from a written reprimand to a suspension.

Van Bolt says suspension is a serious matter for attorneys, because during their suspension period they cannot practice law. Even a suspension for 30 days can be a difficult sentence.

Suspended lawyers can’t take on new clients.

Even worse, he says, “You can’t do anything that a lawyer can do. You can’t appear in court, you can’t sign pleadings, you can’t hold yourself out as a lawyer. Technically, your name should not be on correspondence, at least not identified as attorney at law. If you have an office that says Office of John Jones, Attorney at Law, for those 30 days to be in compliance … you can put tape over (attorney at law). But you are not a lawyer for those 30 days.”

It can be bad news for their clients, too, who will either need to put their business on hold. Or look for another lawyer.

There is a chance Chambers can avoid discipline if he can convince the hearing panel to give him another chance to respond to the charges against him.

The Problem Solvers will attend Chambers’ hearing Tuesday and let you know what happens.


Anthony Chambers provided the following statement to Fox 2:

“You have recently made inquiry of my office regarding a previous fee dispute with two clients. Please be advised that the matter is currently pending with the Attorney Grievance Commission. I must note that, in my 27 years of practice I have never been disciplined, reprimanded or otherwise sanctioned by the Commission. In short, the Attorney Grievance Commission is the proper forum to address and adjust private disputes between attorneys and their clients.

In my career, which spans nearly three decades, I have stridently and zealously represented thousands of clients – ranging from the famous to the infamous. In this matter, I have elected to aggressively defend myself against these allegations in the appropriate forum. I fully anticipate that the parties to this matter will be afforded a fair hearing.

In short, I have great respect for our system of jurisprudence and I will continue (to) avail myself of the remedies available to me in this matter. Although private legal disputes between Attorneys and their clients are typically not news items, I fully understand that my profile and past successes have caused this matter to be a newsworthy item.”

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Broke: Detroit Michigan Police Begin 12 Hour Shifts Amid $75 Million In Police Pay Cuts – Officers Work For 2 Weeks, Then Have 2 Weeks Off

September 17, 2012

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Police officers in Detroit are beginning new, 12-hour shifts as part of the department’s efforts to cut overtime and save cash.

And already, the rank and file tells FOX 2 it’s causing problems.

At the Eastern District, officers say only three marked cars were on patrol Monday night during a shift that normally sees seven marked cars on the street. “Shocked. Disbelief. Concern for my safety. Concern for my officer’s safety,” said one officer who wished to remain anonymous.

DPD officials say the shortage of officers was due to the transition between old and new shifts with some officers working their old shift Monday morning. Officials say the department filled the gaps by using officers from other units to handle police runs so there wouldn’t be a true shortage.

We’re told the scheduling issue has been ironed out and this shouldn’t happen again.

The shifts will see officers work two weeks and have the next 14 days off.

A judge ruled last month that Mayor Dave Bing could institute the new shifts and a 10-percent pay cut to police. The $75 million in police pay cuts is designed to help the city cut into a budget deficit that once stood at more than $300 million.

Other city workers also have taken pay cuts.

Police Chief Ralph Godbee has said about 1,500 patrol officers will work the longer shifts and keep more officers on city streets.

Officers and union leaders have protested the move.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mayor Michael Nutter Stalling On Disclosing Cost To Taxpayers For Unprecedented Private-For-Profit “Make In America” Concert

September 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The remnants of the Made in America Music Festival are still very visible. While the big stages and structures are gone, the lawn remains brown and torn up as it awaits new grass. What remains to be seen is how many taxpayer dollars were spent to bring this unprecedented, private-for-profit event with Jay-Z and Live Nation to Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael Nutter’s continually said that the numbers will be released when they’re ready.

But Eyewitness News decided to ask him again today.

“For all of the various departments and agencies, we are gathering their information–who all worked and how long they worked, etc. As we’ve said just a few times before, as soon as all that information is together at one place at one time, we’ll certainly release it,” answered Mayor Nutter.

It is not clear what was in the contract with Made in America. The Mayor has said previously that there would be cost-sharing, and that any taxpayer dollars would be worth it because of the publicity it would give Philadelphia.

The Controller’s Office previously told Eyewitness News this concert was not part of the recently passed 2012-2013 city budget.

Certain council members are questioning the transparency of this particular process.

“When people are kind of hesitant to show you the numbers, you begin to wonder why,” said Councilman Jim Kenney. “There may be nothing to be concerned about, so then why not just show the numbers?”

Councilman-at-Large Bill Green thinks the City will make a profit on the concert, but he also thinks the numbers need to be disclosed as soon as possible.

“I support the effort, but if the decision was made to spend city dollars, that should be disclosed to the public,” Green said.

Mayor Nutter was asked why his office hasn’t released at least rough estimates.

“We’re not going to do rough estimates,” he said. “when there’s an actual count, we’ll release that information very shortly, and then you’ll have them.”

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Disgusting “Vote Black” Buttons Surface At Democrat Convention

September 6, 2012

Broke: New Jersey Allows Struggling Casinos To Move Gambling Outdoors

September 5, 2012

ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY – The Golden Nugget has become the first casino in Atlantic City to offer outdoor gambling.

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement recently granted the casino’s request to move three blackjack tables onto its outdoor deck.

Golden Nugget general manager Tom Pohlman says the outdoor games debuted right before Labor Day weekend, and did better than expected.

It’s part of a trend under way in Atlantic City casinos to expand gambling beyond the casino floor into areas where it never had been before.

Patrons can now gamble at casino bars, pools and even shopping areas.

The idea is to help the struggling resort deal with cutthroat competition from casinos in neighboring states.

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Deranged Savage Black Beast Goes On Killing Rampage At New Jersey Supermarket – Former US Marine Had Previously Posted On Twitter About Killing Co-Workers – Took Out Two Colleagues Before Killing Himself

September 2, 2012

NEW JERSEY – A deranged ex-Marine fired off menacing Twitter blasts about killing colleagues three years before gunning down two helpless co-workers in a New Jersey supermarket aisle.

The twisted tweets from Terence Tyler, 23, contained references to O.J. Simpson and Adolf Hitler, mentioned his growing paranoia — and noted his preference for the desert fatigues worn on his shooting spree.

“Is it normal to want to kill ALL of ur coworkers?” Tyler wrote in one chilling 2009 tweet. “Maybe but I’m actually in a position where I can.”

In another message, Tyler — stationed in California just seven months after joining the Marines — expressed his growing rage toward his comrades in arms.

“I’m starting to see why plp go on killin sprees. . . . Because these mothaf—— are reeeeeeally pushin my ‘kill everyone I see button,’ ” he wrote on Oct. 7, 2009.

The simmering anger exploded with the Friday morning double murder-suicide inside the Pathmark in Old Bridge, N.J., where Tyler started working less than two weeks ago.

The Brooklyn native was on the graveyard shift when he left the store, went home and returned with murder on his mind and an assault rifle in his hands.

The decorated former Marine rifleman gunned down Cristina LoBrutto, 18, and Bryan Breen, 24, in an aisle at the nearly empty store. LoBrutto, who moved to New Jersey from Brooklyn, was also a victim of cruel fate: She was working a friend’s shift instead of sleeping.

Deranged killer Terence Tyler started working at the Pathmark in Old Bridge, N.J., less than two weeks ago.

Tyler, after squeezing off 16 shots from an assault weapon, pulled a handgun and killed himself to end the 4 a.m. carnage, authorities said. Thirteen lucky co-workers escaped the unprovoked assault.

Thirty minutes earlier, the loner was stocking shelves as workers hustled to get the store ready for its 6 a.m. opening.

Mourners arrived at the store Saturday to remember the two slain victims, gunned down by a killer who never said a word.

Boyka Hristova wept outside the crime scene tape that still blocked the parking lot. She worked in the deli department with Breen, who always knew how to brighten her mood.

“He said, ‘You need a big hug,’ ” recalled Hristova, 57, whose daughter went to high school with LoBrutto. “They were beautiful children. Always helping each customer. Always helping each other.”

Breen’s shocked family asked in a statement for privacy to mourn their “bright, vibrant and loving son.”

The shooter’s family said Tyler battled depression for years after his mother died in 2007. The killings came just three days before the anniversary of her birthday.

One of Tyler’s tweets dealt with his troubled mental health.

“I’m parinoid . . . it’s good and bad cuz nobody will eva catch me slipping but the constant state of alertness is drivin me insane,” he wrote on Oct. 13, 2009.

The messages of 140 characters or less all came while he was on the West Coast after his 2008 enlistment. He served in the Marine Corps for nearly two years, and family members said Tyler’s discharge was related to his ongoing depression.

A pre-Halloween post in 2009 suggested that Tyler was pondering an unusual costume.

“I’m was thinkin about being OJ Simpson for Halloween, get his jersey with the throwback glove,” he wrote.

Another post praised Hitler as “one of the greatest military minds.”

Tyler also commented that he looked better in the Marines’ desert camouflage outfits than in regular greens. The killer donned the desert fatigues before shooting up the Pathmark.

The loner was dead in the supermarket on Route 9 before cops arrived at the scene.

Tyler’s Twitter page also included a question that was finally answered early Friday morning: “Am I crazy or is everybody else?”

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New York City Police Call 2 Handguns An “Arsenal”

September 1, 2012

NEW YORK – An eccentric Queens man was busted Friday for having an arsenal of illegal weapons — from handguns to machetes — and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition stored in his apartment, police and neighbors said.

Michael Millazzo, 53, of Shore Blvd. in Astoria, was arrested by cops investigating reports of shots fired in the air in front of his home on Aug. 26.

He was collared early Friday morning and cops recovered two handguns, 26 magazines, 10,537 rounds of ammunition, 32 machetes, 60 knives, 16 air pistols, an air rifle, seven tasers, eight brass knuckles, nine batons and 10 handcuffs, upon executing a search warrant.

“Eight cops were going in there like they were going for Osama bin Laden. When I saw what they came out with, I said, ‘Is all this stuff real?'” said Millazzo’s neighbor, Greg Alevreas, 51.

Millazzo has one prior arrest in October 2004 for having five rifles and a handgun.

“He’s not all there. He’s just odd,” Alevreas said.

“We’re happy that he’s gone away. If he came out and shot in the air, what’s he goin gto do next time?” added the neighbor, who said he’s concerned about the safety of his 18-month-old daughter.

The door to Millazzo’s apartment was plastered with military and weapons-related stickers including ones that read “Member, National Rifle Association,” “Proud to Have Served in the U .S. Armed Services,” a bull’s-eye target and “,” an online weapons and ammunition store.

It was not clear what he intended to do with the weapons.

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2 To 3 Billion Dollars Spent Yearly In US Lighting Building Exit Signs

August 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Exit signs are so ubiquitous that they’re almost invisible. Every public building has them. In fact, they are so common that, taken together, these little signs consume a surprisingly large amount of energy.

Each one uses relatively little electricity, but they are on all the time. And we have a lot of them in our schools, factories, and office buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 100 million exit signs in use today in the U.S., consuming 30–35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.

That’s the output of five or six 1,000 MW power plants, and it costs us $2-3 billion per year. Individual buildings may have thousands of exit signs in operation.

To put this into a bigger context: This is just one small part of what makes buildings, in general, incredibly energy intense. In the United States, we use more energy powering our buildings—from the lights, to the heating, to the stuff we plug into the walls—than we use to do anything else. Because of that (and because of the fact that electricity is mostly made by burning coal or natural gas) buildings produce more greenhouse gas emissions than cars.

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Video Catches St. Paul Minnesota Police Officer Jesse Zilge’s Violent Attack On Man

August 30, 2012

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – A St. Paul police officer captured on video kicking a suspect who was lying on the ground during an arrest remained on paid leave Thursday, while an attorney for the suspect said his client was complaining of headaches and ear pain.

Officer Jesse Zilge and other officers are subject of an internal investigation as police try to sort out events surrounding Tuesday night’s arrest of Eric Hightower, who is accused of threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Video of the arrest shows Zilge kicking Hightower once in the chest as Hightower was lying on the ground and coughing _ after he had been sprayed with a chemical irritant.

Zilge then handcuffs Hightower, drags him onto his feet and, with the assistance of another officer, slams Hightower’s head onto the hood of a squad car. A crowd of onlookers heckles the officers as more police arrive, and Hightower is eventually put into a squad car and driven away.

An arrest report says police used hands, fists and feet during the arrest, but the report does not describe the events shown in the video, which was recorded by a citizen and posted to YouTube on Wednesday.

Police Chief Thomas Smith ordered an internal investigation, saying he wanted to find out what happened before, during and after the arrest.

“The video of a St. Paul police officer striking a suspect raises serious questions about the conduct of the officer,” Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement. “I have high expectations for the department and its employees. We will fully investigate and take appropriate action.”

While several officers appear in the video, Zilge was the only one placed on paid administrative leave. A phone listing for a Jesse Zilge was disconnected.

St. Paul Police Federation President Dave Titus said in a statement that the video doesn’t show the entire context of what happened or “how the officer perceived the threat at hand.”

Titus encouraged the public and community leaders to let the facts emerge before rushing to judgment. He said once the investigation is complete, “we believe the facts will show that a good cop was in a dangerous situation with a known dangerous individual.”

According to police records, Zilge joined the department in 2008 and has one disciplinary action in his file _ an oral reprimand for improper procedure in 2009. Files made public Thursday didn’t include details of what led to the reprimand.

Zilge’s file also included seven commendations, including two letters of recognition this year from Smith. Details on those also were not available.

Hightower was charged Thursday with stalking, making terroristic threats and criminal damage to property.

According to the criminal complaint, Hightower’s ex-girlfriend called authorities Tuesday and said Hightower had been harassing and threatening her over four days. The woman told police she feared Hightower, and that he had assaulted and choked her before.

According to the complaint, Hightower admitted that he called his ex-girlfriend and threatened she’d get her “head blown off” but said he only meant to scare her.

During his first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday, Hightower’s bail was set at $35,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with the woman.

Attorney Susan Johnson, who represented Hightower in court, said Hightower needs medical care for injuries he suffered during his arrest.

Hightower’s attorney going forward, Seamus Mahoney, said Hightower will plead not guilty.

Mahoney said Hightower was complaining of ear pain, saying an officer sprayed a chemical irritant into his ear as he was being put into the squad car. He was also suffering from headaches and had swelling on his upper sternum, where he was kicked, Mahoney said.

“As the video shows, he was punched in the side of the face by the cop, who bounced his head off the fender of the car,” Mahoney said. “As he was thrown in the squad car, apparently an officer Maced him again.”

Hightower has a criminal record that includes 2007 convictions for petty theft and violating a protection order. This June he pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor of obstruction of justice and interfering with a peace officer. He also is awaiting sentencing on a count of third-degree assault for an August 2011 incident in which he punched a man in the face, knocking out his two front teeth.

Talking from jail, Hightower told the Pioneer Press he and his friends were on their way to a park when an officer jumped out of a squad car and ordered everyone onto the ground. The officer singled out Hightower and began spraying him with a chemical, he said.

While on the ground, Hightower said, he continued to ask the officer why he was being arrested, but the officer wouldn’t say.

“He sprayed me in my face again. I was laying on my side. I was hocking up the stuff, it was choking me and he ran towards me, kicked me in the chest, kicked me in the chin,” Hightower said.

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Breaking The Bank: Broke, But US Government Wants As Many Citizens As Possible Dependant On Federal Assistance

August 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.

“Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you,” announced today. The ”government made easy’ website has created a “help for difficult financial times” page for people to learn more about the programs.

The government got that statistic from a poll asking Americans what helps them the most during tough times. Here are the results:

Savings 44%
Family 21%
Credit cards/loans 20%
Government assistance 15%

“Government assistance comes in different forms—from unemployment checks and food assistance to credit counseling and medical treatment,” reminded readers.

This leg of the financial assistance push has ended. “Although our campaign to highlight Help for Difficult Financial Times has ended, we know that your struggles may continue,” said today. “We will keep updating the tools and information we provide to help you get back on your feet.”

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Juneau Alaska District Attorney David Brower Has Second Thoughts About Prosecuting Man Who May Or May Not Have Swallowed A Joint – Thinks Proceeding With Bogus Felony Charge Would Tax His Office’s Resources

August 26, 2012

JUNEAU, ALASKA – The Juneau district attorney says he probably will not file charges against a 24-year-old man suspected of eating a marijuana joint two weeks ago as he was approached by a police officer at a downtown intersection.

Prosecutors considered charging the man with felony evidence tampering, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

But District Attorney David Brower tells the Juneau Empire that would have been far more harsh than public possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor with maximum penalties of 90 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Brower says that to prove the felony, his office would have had to pay for expert testimony and the convening of a grand jury.

He says the charge would be disproportional to the resources of his office.

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Pedophile Former Pacoima California Pleads No Contest To Molesting 13 Students

August 21, 2012

PACOIMA, CALIFORNIA – A former Telfair Elementary teacher pleaded no contest Monday to molesting 13 students at the Pacoima school and faces 25 years to life in prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

As a preliminary hearing was to begin for Paul Chapel III, he pleaded no contest to 13 counts of lewd acts on a child, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Elena Abramson.

“They were all students at Telfair, aged 8 and 9…. Some of them were students in his class and others he met outside the classroom in breaks or after school,” Abramson said. The molestations of seven females and six males occurred from September 2006 to April 2011.

Prosecutors last fall charged Chapel, 51, with molesting four students. Los Angeles Unified school officials waited until February to tell parents about the third-grade teacher’s arrest, however, doing so after two teachers at Miramonte Elementary School accused of molestation were arrested and reporters questioned the district about other teachers removed for similar accusations.

The school district fired Chapel in March. In May prosecutors charged him with molesting nine additional students. Some of the victims were in San Fernando Superior Court on Monday, prepared to testify.

Lawsuits filed by two of the victims against the school district say Chapel kissed the children and fondled their genitals.

Court documents alleged that the district ignored repeated complaints about Chapel and allowed him to return to work despite several red flags in his history. He had previously left a private school after allegedly making inappropriate remarks during a sex education class. He was tried but not convicted in a 1997 alleged molestation.

His case is similar to that of former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt, whose arrest triggered intense scrutiny of the school district’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against employees.

Berndt’s personnel files contained no records of earlier, unrelated sexual misconduct allegations, which were never proven. Chapel’s records also are incomplete. L.A. Unified has no record that it ever conducted an investigation of the 1997 incident.

District officials said the reason may be that it occurred off-campus. Without a criminal conviction, the district did not automatically examine matters that took place off school grounds. In that incident, Chapel was accused of molesting an 8-year-old neighbor sleeping at his house with Chapel’s son, who was about the same age. The victim woke up, broke free and ran home.

According to L.A. Unified records, the day after Chapel was arrested in that case, the district alerted the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which suspended Chapel’s credential. The school district suspended Chapel without pay from Andasol Avenue Elementary in Northridge, where he had worked for about a decade.

The molestation case went to trial, but a jury failed to reach a verdict because of the lack of physical evidence. It was Chapel’s word against the child’s, said an attorney involved in the case.

Prosecutors opted against retrying the case. L.A. Unified records indicate criminal charges were dismissed in August 1998 and the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing reinstated his credential and he returned to work — with back pay — at Telfair.

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Bridgeport Connecticut Police Department Narcotics And Vice Unit Faces Shutdown After Police Officers Ivan Clayton And David Uliano Are Suspended After Testing Positive For Drug Use

August 16, 2012

BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT — The Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Unit is facing possible shutdown after two members of the unit’s Tactical Narcotics Team were suspended after testing positive for drug use.

Chief Joseph Gaudett confirmed Thursday that officers Ivan Clayton and David Uliano, assigned to the enforcement arm of the department’s Narcotics and Vice Unit, have been suspended with pay but wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can tell you that I have two personnel problems,” the chief said. “Officer Ivan Clayton and Officer David Uliano have been placed on administrative leave, with pay.”

Police officials would not confirm the unit is being shut down, however officers in the 18-man unit said they were told by their union and police officials to begin clearing out their desks Thursday.

Police sources said all members of narcotics unit were ordered by the city’s Office of Internal Affairs to undergo drug testing recently and both Clayton and Uliano tested positive for drug use. OIA investigators then conducted a search of the River Street offices of narcotics and vice.

Gaudett was meeting late Thursday with Capt. A.J. Perez, the head of the narcotics unit, representatives of the city’s attorney’s office and with members of Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159, to discuss how to proceed, the sources said. Among the options being weighed are to disband the Tactical Narcotics Team and to have State Police handle those investigations, sources said.

Uliano, 41, of Derby, was placed on administrative leave last fall after a video briefly surfaced that allegedly showed Uliano in a loud dispute with a woman. He and five other officers were cleared of excessive force charges in a 2004 domestic violence case in which a man was fatally shot.

Uliano, an 18-year veteran of the department and son of a police officer, was honored with his partner Sgt. Jason Amato on May 25, 2010, as one of Bridgeport Hospital’s 2010 Fairfield County Heroes for their investigative work, which led to more than 140 drug and firearm arrests on the city’s East Side.

Under the police union’s latest contract, which expired June 30 but remains in effect, the chief can suspend an officer for up to 15 days, but the Board of Police Commissioners holds disciplinary hearings. Officers placed on administrative leave, under the contract, may be reassigned during their leave to “inside” work and are not eligible for most overtime work.

The contract specifies that officers assigned to the narcotics and vice divisions are subject to random drug testing “using approved laboratory procedures.”

Union president Chuck Paris was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

In July, TNT officers seized 35 pounds of marijauana and an assault rifle following the arrest of a Stratford man in the city.

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Current And Future Retirees Will Receive Less From Social Security Benefits Than They Paid Into Program While Working

August 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. It’s a historic shift that will only get worse for future retirees, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

Previous generations got a much better bargain, mainly because payroll taxes were very low when Social Security was enacted in the 1930s and remained so for decades.

“For the early generations, it was an incredibly good deal,” said Andrew Biggs, a former deputy Social Security commissioner who is now a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “The government gave you free money and getting free money is popular.”

If you retired in 1960, you could expect to get back seven times more in benefits than you paid in Social Security taxes, and more if you were a low-income worker, as long you made it to age 78 for men and 81 for women.

As recently as 1985, workers at every income level could retire and expect to get more in benefits than they paid in Social Security taxes, though they didn’t do quite as well as their parents and grandparents.

Not anymore.
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Suspended North Las Vegas Nevada Fire Chief Al Gillespie No Longer Employed By City After Training Accident Investigation

August 6, 2012

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – North Las Vegas’s fire chief, who was placed on leave three weeks go, no longer works for the city, officials said Monday.

Chief Al Gillespie served as chief for more than seven years. City Manager Tim Hacker said Gillespie’s being placed on leave was a result of an investigation into a training accident in January that injured four firefighters, none seriously.

But union officials, who have been battling with Hacker and city leaders over budget issues, said Gillespie was being punished for not supporting Hacker’s budget cuts. Firefighters union Jeff Hurley did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

Late Monday afternoon, the city issued a news release saying only that “Gillespie’s employment with the city has come to an end.” There was no explanation, other than that it was a “personnel matter” and confidential.

Gillespie has not spoken publicly. Reached Monday, he said he was not yet ready to talk but expected to be soon.

Hacker did not return phone calls Monday afternoon seeking more details.

City spokeswoman Juliet Casey said she was not authorized to say whether Gillespie left the city voluntarily or whether he had no say in the matter. In other words, she wouldn’t say whether he quit or he was fired. She pointed to the language in the news release. “That’s all I’m authorized to say,” she said.

Previously, city officials have refused to say whether anyone else was disciplined because of the training accident. A report issued by an outside investigator cited shoddy planning and a lack of communication as possible causes of the incident.

The training event was hosted by the North Las Vegas Fire Department and included firefighters from Las Vegas and Clark County. Shortly afterward, Las Vegas voided an agreement it had made with North Las Vegas to share firefighter training.

North Las Vegas Assistant Chief Tim Sendelbach is in charge of training for the department and has been since before the incident. Casey said Sendelbach has not been placed on administrative leave because of the training accident. She would not say whether he had been disciplined at all.

With Gillespie’s departure, Assistant Chief Jeff Buchanan will remain acting chief until a new chief is found.

Casey said when a search will be launched is undetermined.

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13 Year Old Savage Black Beast Arrested After Armed Robbery Spree In Philadelphia Pennsylvania – Arrested And Released Twice Before For Robbery Related Offenses

August 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Police sources tell Eyewitness News, the young suspect wanted in connection with a series of armed robberies in Southwest Philadelphia is now under arrest.

Eyewitness News learned, tips from the public helped investigators identify the suspect Tuesday night. Then on Wednesday morning, detectives tracked down and arrested the suspect at a deli at the corner of Farragut and Chestnut Streets.

Sources say the suspect is a black male who turned 13-years-old just two months ago. We are told he has been arrested twice before for robbery-related offenses.

On Tuesday, police told Eyewitness News the gun-toting suspect had victimized five people in less than 24 hours.

But that was not the most shocking part of this crime spree. What had everyone talking is how young the suspect looked.

“About 12 years old? Quite young. Very young.”

Eyewitness News spoke to one of the victims. For her protection, we are not identifying her.

“Suddenly a guy comes up to me from behind on a bicycle, a school kid in fact.”

She says it happened to her in broad daylight, the suspect demanded money.

“I mean I was stunned. I said no and then he pulled out a gun and pointed it towards me.”

We’re told the suspect struck on 46th and 47th streets between Chestnut and Market Streets. Police say the first report came in at 9:45pm Monday, the latest at 3:12pm Tuesday.

Lt. John Walker explained, “Approaches the victims, asks what time it is at which time, he pulls out a gun and asks for money and in all five cases, believe it or not, the victims said they don’t have any money and the male rolled off.”

“I could have easily handled him but because of the gun he had in his hand I couldn’t do anything.”

The victim we talked to says the suspect was scared off by a passing car.

Police worried if the suspect was not caught soon, his nervousness could lead to something more disastrous.

“Our concern is the victims have all described the gun, he does pull out. So we’re concerned that now he has five victims in a short period of time, he hasn’t received any money and is he or is he not going to get any more aggressive?” Lt. Walker said.

Once again, the suspect is now in police custody. Police say the 13-year-old will be charged accordingly.

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Deception: 3 Veterans Who Lunched With Obama Were Plants, Chosen For Political Reasons, And Didn’t Just “Happen To Wander Into” Breakfast House

July 25, 2012

PORTLAND, OREGON – The three veterans who had lunch with President Barack Obama Tuesday in outer Northeast Portland didn’t just happen to wander into the Gateway Breakfast House.

All have connections to the Obama reelection campaign and were presumably chosen for good political reasons.

After all, Obama had given a speech Monday at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, so the Portland lunch reinforced the message that president cares about vets. In addition, the local vets — Thomas Foeller of Oak Grove and Mark Peterson and Dean Dilley, both of Portland — are retired white males, a demographic the Obama campaign would certainly like to do better with.

Whatever the politics behind the luncheon, however, Foeller, Peterson and Diller said it was an experience they’ll always remember.

“I can’t emphasize how easy the president is to talk to,” said Foeller, 65, a former Navy officer who later spent most of his career at the Bonneville Power Administration.

Foeller said Obama listened sympathetically as he talked about the problems rural veterans have getting access to health care and was quick to knock down a rumor Foeller had heard from his son-in-law — an Iraq War veteran — that members of the National Guard would get a pay cut.

There won’t be any reduction, Obama told them.

“So we can clear that one up right away,” Obama added, in a remark picked up by the press pool before it was ushered out. “You’re hearing that from your commander in chief.”

Peterson, 69, who spent 27 years in the Air Force and served in the Vietnam War, said Obama also talked about how he’s worked to help veterans more easily apply their military training to certifications they need for civilian employment, whether as a welder or nurse.

The Oregonian’s continuing coverage of President Obama’s July 2012 visit to Portland
None of the three vets knew each other before being chosen by the Obama campaign to meet with the president.

Dilley, 60, who served in the Army for three years and worked for Honda until retiring in 2009, said he has done a little voter registration work for the campaign. But he said he thinks he came to the campaign’s attention when he called a couple of months ago asking if he could talk to the president about veterans issues.

“I never expected it to happen,” Dilley added with a laugh.

Foeller, who said he’s mostly active in a group fighting colorectal cancer, said he’s also done some volunteer work for the Obama campaign. And Peterson said his wife volunteers for the campaign.

On Tuesday morning, all three met with a staffer and were driven to the restaurant and arrived shortly before Obama. The three said the restaurant workers and other patrons received notice only a few minutes before the president arrived.

Foeller and Dilley said Obama ate half of a cheese sandwich and skipped the ham in his split pea soup. “He’s a pretty tall and slender guy,” said Dilley. “Maybe that’s why.”

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Former New York City Police Officer William Masso Pleads Guilty To Interstate Gun-Running And Transporting Stolen Cigarettes In Million Dollar Conspiracy – Sentenced To Just 57 Months In Federal Prison

July 21, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A former New York City Police officer was sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in a scheme to transport guns and stolen cigarettes across a state line as part of a $1 million conspiracy.

William Masso, 48, of Brooklyn pleaded guilty in February to four counts of conspiracy, charged in October with scheming to transport M-16 rifles and handguns with defaced serial numbers across state lines. He was one of 12 people charged, all but one of the men have pleaded guilty in the case and awaits trial, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Masso was the ringleader of the scheme and had even recruited other police officers to join him. Eventually the group would include eight active-duty and retired New York police officers.

“He’s the leader of the team, a team he put together, including an officer he’d been entrusted to train,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Cohen said in court today.

Agents with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation set up an undercover operation and working with a confidential informant, supplied Masso and other officers with purportedly stolen property, Bharara’s office said. Masso recruited others to the scheme telling one agent he told the confidential informant he could get him a “good army set up here” and advised him how to avoid detection by authorities. He transported weapons that included three M-16 rifles and at least 16 handguns with their serial numbers defaced.
State Lines

Masso also volunteered to transport the weapons across state lines and placed his NYPD jacket in the window to avoid being stopped, Cohen said.

“In this case, the offenses are indisputably serious without any hint of justification and without any hint of excuse,” U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koetl in Manhattan said today. “The defendant was ready, willing able to participate in the conspiracy,” he said.

Koetl said that U.S. Probation officials had recommended a term of 57 months to 71 months in prison for Masso, citing his position as a police officer, the fact that he’d recruited others, abused his authority and was a leader of the scheme.

The judge said he credited Masso’s 19 years of service as a police officer with an unblemished record. Masso must surrender to U.S. Prison officials by Oct. 10 and Koetl said he would recommend that he be designated to serve his term at the federal prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Leniency Sought

His lawyer, Ronald Fischetti, asked the judge for leniency, citing the more than 50 letters which friends, relatives and supporters had written to the court, describing Masso’s good deeds. Calling Masso’s crimes “mind-boggling” Fischetti said that because his client had lost his job and wouldn’t get his police pension, his wife and three children were now impoverished.

“The question is how much is enough for a broken man, a disgraced cop who has no pension. He’s learned his lesson, he’s destitute,” Fischetti said.

Masso wept openly during the sentencing and clutched a rosary as he spoke to the court.

“I don’t know how to express how sorry I am,” Masso said. “My actions disgraced my family, my friends and especially the New York Police Department, who I consider my family. It cost me my job and now it’s taken my whole life.”
M-16 Rifles

The FBI supplied Masso and his co-conspirators with purportedly stolen goods including three M-16 rifles, a shotgun, 16 handguns, 12 slot machines and thousands of cartons of cigarettes, prosecutors said. The goods had a street value of about $1 million, prosecutors said.

Masso has agreed to forfeit $50,000, representing the amount of the proceeds of his crimes and his interest in three guns that were seized, prosecutors said. He was terminated by the NYPD after his guilty plea without pension or benefits.

The case is U.S. v. Masso, 11-02730, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Don’t Die In 2013 – Feds Will Steal Up To 60% Of Your Estate With Death Taxes And Surtaxes

July 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The 2001 tax relief bill (EGTRRA), drastically reduced the impact of the death tax over the course of a decade, so that it was eliminated entirely for one year in 2010 — a good year to die, joked a number of pundits. The bill lowered marginal rates and increased the applicable exclusion amount, but it also included a provision allowing individuals to carry over exclusion dollars that were unused by their spouse at the time of his or her death. This “portability” measure effectively increased the applicable exclusion for many households, in some instances putting millions of dollars beyond the reach of the federal government.

The death tax rose from the grave at the end of 2010, with a Bush-era top rate of 35% and an applicable exclusion amount of $5 million ($5.12 million in 2012).

Scheduled Changes

In 2013, the death tax will revert to its antiquated, pre-2001 form. The applicable exclusion amount will plummet to $1,000,000, and the top marginal rate will leap twenty points to 55%. A 5% surtax will also return, to be levied on estates between $10 million and $17 million. This raises the top effective rate of the death tax to 60%.

ATRF Analysis

According to research by the Tax Policy Center, if the current death tax expires, then the resulting, stricter exemption threshold will force 114,600 estates to file for the tax in 2013 — this represents a 13-fold increase from the previous year’s 8,800 estates, and countless wasted hours filling out tax paperwork. Of that cohort, an unfortunate 52,500 will be liable for the tax, way up from 3,300.

While those 52,500 taxpayers only represent 2% of those who die each year, no one should be fooled into thinking that the effects of this tax fall only on the proverbial “one percent.” The economic incidence of the death tax is far broader, because it causes many wealthy individuals to save less, choosing instead to retire early or, as Milton Friedman put it, “dissipate their wealth on high living.” This reduction in savings means a concomitant reduction in investment, lessening the flow of capital to businesses and organizations where countless ordinary Americans are employed.

Additionally, use of estate planning lawyers, life insurance trusts, and inter vivos gifting (all common practice in upper-income circles) allows many wealthy individuals to minimize their estate liability, so that the death tax ends up harming only those who could not or chose not to navigate a maze of legal loopholes.
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Dumbass Savage Black Beast Pleads Not Guilty To Racine Wisconsin Murder – Accidently Shot And Killed His Friend While Pistol Whipping Someone Else

July 19, 2012

RACINE, WISCONSIN — Police found two guns on the July 4th night a Racine man was fatally shot during a fight in the street: one near where the victim collapsed and another stashed between a fence and a car nearby, a Racine investigator testified Wednesday.

Xavier L. Cooper, 20, of Racine, was shot shortly before 11:30 p.m. July 4 on the road at 12th Street and Grand Avenue, according to police. Arsenio R. Akins, 23, also of Racine, was charged last week in Cooper’s death.

The fatal shot came from a revolver Akins reportedly was using to pistol-whip another man during a fight, investigators said. As Akins allegedly struck this man in the head with the gun, it discharged — striking Cooper, according to investigators.

“(One witness) said she observed a flash emitting from the barrel,” Investigator Don Nuttall testified during Akins’ preliminary hearing Wednesday.

After Cooper was shot, witnesses said he walked away and was found on the ground in the 700 block of 12th Street in an empty lot between two houses, Nuttall said.

When officers arrived, the .357-caliber revolver that was used to fatally shoot Cooper was found nearby between a fence and a vehicle, Nuttall said. Police also found a .380-caliber semi-automatic just out of Cooper’s reach where he fell, Nuttall testified.

“There are some people I’ve spoken to…who also placed that (.380-caliber weapon) as Mr. Akins’ gun,” Nuttall testified, but it had been passed to Cooper sometime before he was shot.

A witness said it looked like Cooper “was trying to break up the fight” at the time, Nuttall said.

Cooper and the man Akins allegedly hit with the gun had been friends until recently when some tension developed over a traffic stop, according to Akins’ criminal complaint.

Akins is charged with first-degree reckless homicide as a habitual offender and as a repeater, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of battery, according to the complaint.

The shooting occurred after Akins and his girlfriend attended the Fourth of July fireworks, according to authorities.

Kevin Klinkhammer, a Racine Gang Unit detective, said Akins’ girlfriend was holding his gun in her purse during the festivities because he was too drunk. Afterward, he fired one round during an argument with her, Klinkhammer testified. The bullet hit the street near her feet, causing chunks of concrete to strike her, he said.

“Her statement was she thought he was so drunk that’s why he didn’t hit her,” Klinkhammer testified.

Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch found probable cause to sustain the charges against Akins. His defense attorney, Carl Johnson, entered not guilty pleas on Akins’ behalf during his arraignment Wednesday.

Johnson declined comment after the hearing, as did Akins’ mother.

Cooper’s father, Shelton Cooper, declined comment after the hearing, saying it still was too difficult.

Akins remains in the Racine County Jail on $250,000 cash bond. Rudebusch set a pretrial conference for Sept. 14.

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Two Savage Black Beasts Forced Woman Off Chicago Train At Gunpoint And Raped Her Just 2 Blocks From Police Station

July 15, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Chicago police are searching for two gunmen who forced a woman off a Blue Line train and sexually assaulted her just two blocks from a Logan Square neighborhood police station last month.

The 52-year-old woman met the two suspects June 30 as she boarded the train at the West Side Kedzie-Homan stop, police said.

They later forced her off the train at gunpoint at the California station about 6:30 a.m. and took her to an apartment in the 2800 block of West Lyndale Street where they sexually assaulted her, according to a community alert issued by Area North detectives.

That address is roughly two blocks from the Shakespeare District Police Station on California Avenue, maps show.

Both of the suspects are described as black men in their 20s, standing roughly 5-foot-10 to 6-feet and weighing between 150 and 160 pounds, the alert said.

One was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a blue hat, the alert said. The second was wearing a maroon plaid shirt, blue jeans and a Philadelphia Phillies baseball hat, according to the alert.

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Stand Your Ground: Zimmerman Seeks New Judge After Judge Kenneth Lester Made “Gratuitous” And “Disparaging Remarks” And Offered A “Personal Opinion” In Case

July 14, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – The Florida man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin asked for a new judge in the case on Friday, accusing the judge currently assigned to the case of bias.

Lawyers for George Zimmerman filed a motion requesting that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester withdraw from the trial.

In the filing, Zimmerman alleged that Lester had made “gratuitous” and “disparaging remarks” about him during a July 5 bond hearing and offered “a personal opinion” in the case.

“In doing so, the Court has created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this Court is biased against him and because of this prejudice he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing by this Court,” the motion said.

It is the second time Zimmerman and his legal team have requested a new judge.

In April, they asked the judge presiding at the time to step aside because of a possible conflict of interest after revelations that the judge’s husband had been contacted by Zimmerman’s family as part of their search for a defense attorney.

The request was granted and Lester was appointed at that time to serve as judge in the case.

Last week, Zimmerman was released from a Florida jail on a $1 million bail. He claims self-defense in the February 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.

Martin’s killing drew national attention because police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law and his assertion that he used deadly force because he feared his life was in danger.

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United States – Food Stamp Nation – 66% Of Department Of Agriculture Budget Is For Welfare Programs

July 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Tom Vilsack is one of the most important welfare administrators in the nation. Oh, yeah — he’s also secretary of agriculture.

Two-thirds of the Agriculture Department’s budget is devoted to welfare programs. The biggest is food stamps, which is now the nation’s second-largest welfare program after Medicaid. Its inexorable growth during the past decade, through good times and bad, is a testament to government’s self-generating expansion.

Asked what labor wanted, the great 20th-century union leader Samuel Gompers answered, “More.” The modern welfare state lives by the same credo. About 17 million people received food stamps back in 2000. Some 30 million received them in 2008. Roughly 46 million people receive them today. From 1 in 50 Americans on food stamps at the program’s national inception in the 1970s, 1 in 7 Americans are on them now.

The grinding recession accounts for much of the increase the past few years, but not for its entirety. Spending on food stamps doubled between 2001 and 2006, even though unemployment was low in those years. Even when the economy is projected to improve in the future, usage of food stamps will remain elevated above historic norms. Food Stamp Nation is here to stay.

One of its pillars is so-called categorical eligibility, which means that if someone is eligible for another welfare program, he is presumptively eligible for food stamps. In 2000, the Clinton administration issued regulations saying that merely getting a noncash welfare benefit could make someone eligible. Getting a welfare brochure or being referred to an 800 number for services is enough to qualify in almost all the states. In Vermont, receiving a bookmark with a telephone number and website for services is enough.
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Holyoke Massachusetts Deputy Fire Chief Timothy J. Moran Suddenly Retires After Photos Of Models With City’s Firetrucks Surface – Also Investigation Into His Involvement In Incident That Resulted In Criminal Charges Against His Brother And Former Acting Chief William P. Moran

July 6, 2012

HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS – This week’s abrupt retirement of Deputy Fire Chief Timothy J. Moran was related to his unauthorized permission for sportswear-clad models to pose for photographs with fire trucks and other equipment on city property, Mayor Alex B. Morse said Thursday.

Another issue that prompted the retirement was an investigation into Moran’s involvement in an incident a year ago that resulted in criminal charges brought against his brother and former acting chief, William P. Moran, Morse said.

It is unclear how the models wound up at Fire Department headquarters at 600 High St. on June 11. A report that the models were posing for photographs for use in a sports fitness publication could not be confirmed by The Republican.

Timothy Moran was suspended five days without pay by Fire Chief John A. Pond after the chief learned of the photo shoot, the mayor said. Moran appealed the suspension to the Fire Commission, which was already investigating Moran’s part in a June 15, 2011, incident with his brother, Morse said.

“It showed poor judgment on behalf of Deputy Chief Moran, and I stand behind chief Pond’s disciplinary action. I wish Mr. Moran the best of luck in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service,” said Morse.

The mayor defended the department’s professionalism and issued a warning.

“This incident should not taint the hardworking men and women of the Holyoke Fire Department. Such behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable, and such actions will be met with consequences, no matter who you are,” Morse said.

Timothy Moran had served 20 years and one month with the Fire Department before his retirement took effect on Wednesday. His gross earnings in 2011 were $90,324, according to the city’s municipal payroll database available online at
Timothy Moran 2007.jpgTimothy Moran

To a reporter who knocked on the door of his Westfield home seeking comment Thursday, Timothy Moran said, “Get away from me and stay away from me.”

Pond refused to comment when asked what kind of discipline would result if a department employee gave unauthorized approval for models to pose with department equipment, beyond saying such photographs would be unacceptable.

Fire Commission chairman Christopher J. Hopewell said the models posing with department equipment and gear is “unauthorized,” but declined to discuss Moran’s role, citing confidentiality of personnel matters.

“I believe the fire chief took the appropriate actions,” Hopewell said.

On June 15, 2011, William and Timothy Moran were eating lunch at Mrs. Mitchell’s Kitchen, 514 Westfield Road, when William Moran saw firefighters from the station around the corner on Homestead Avenue, entering Strum’s Deli and Meats next door. He called the Fire Department dispatch to report a truck was needed at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside, knowing that would require that the firefighters scramble to answer the call, officials have said.

During the response, one civilian driver failed to pull over for the fire truck and a four-car accident occurred at Homestead Avenue and Pynchon Road. The driver was treated at Holyoke Medical Center and released.

In a ruling released on Nov. 22, Springfield District Court assistant clerk-magistrate Barbara Y. Burton said William Moran would have to answer criminal charges because sending the truck on a false call put the public in danger. William Moran admitted on April 5 there were sufficient facts to warrant a guilty finding on a charge of making a false fire call, and he agreed to pay $500 in restitution.

Attorney Jorge L. Neves, who was representing Timothy Moran regarding last year’s incident, said on July 14, 2011, that his client acted appropriately that day, telling the two firefighers who were seen at Strum’s Deli to disregard the call his brother had made. That detail is included in a June 27, 2011, statement that Hampden district attorney Mark G. Mastroianni released on the matter.

The fire truck proceeded to the call anyway, stopping in the parking lot of the deli to pick up the two firefighters, who boarded the truck thinking it was headed to a different call, Mastroianni has said.

City Solicitor Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross said the three-member Fire Commission, which Morse appointed in February shortly after taking office, is investigating last year’s incident.

The reason the previous Fire Commission, which was appointed by Morse’s predecessor, didn’t investigate the incident was because the district attorney requested the commission refrain from such a probe until the resolution of the criminal case against William Moran, Rodriguez-Ross said.

The commission is investigating to determine if any Fire Department rules were violated and all persons involved disciplined, Rodriguez-Ross said.

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Pregnant Tampa Florids Savage Black Beast Bites Off Boyfriend’s Finger During Domestic Violence Incident

July 3, 2012

TAMPA, FLORIDA – A pregnant woman bit off part of her boyfriend’s finger during a violent confrontation at their Tampa home on Tuesday, according to Hillsborough County deputies.

The two got into an argument which turned physical shortly before 6:00 p.m. at an apartment on Hensel Lane.

According to a sheriff’s statement, the boyfriend, 22-year-old Reginald Gefferie, armed himself with a knife and pointed it at 22-year-old Junie Dieujuste while in their bathroom.

The fight continued into the bedroom where Gefferie blocked the door with a dresser.

“The defendant then grabbed the victim by the neck with one hand pushing her up against the wall and punching her in the face,” according to the statement.

At that point, Dieujuste bit off the tip of Gefferie’s middle finger on his right hand in self-defense.

Dieujuste was taken to Florida Hospital with a laceration to the forehead and contusions.

Gefferie and “the tip of his finger” were taken to Tampa General Hospital. He was later transported to the Orient Road Jail for booking.

He is charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant female and false imprisonment.

Deputies say Gefferie and Dieujuste have been together for five years and have a child in common.

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Veteran Cleveland Ohio Police Officer Christopher Lane Arrested, Put On Desk Duty, And Charged After Attack On His Wife

June 26, 2012

CLEVELAND, OHIO — A Cleveland Police officer was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence by the Cleveland Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit on Tuesday.

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath, says the officer arrested, 40-year-old Christopher Lane, is a Fourth District Police Officer.

Lane is accused of physically assaulting his wife at their home on Sunday, June 24.

The officer was taken into custody without incident at the Justice Center, according to McGrath.

Lane is a 15-year veteran of the force.

According to McGrath, Lane will be assigned to a restricted duty, where he has limited contact with the public and does not respond to emergency calls while his case makes its way through the legal system

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Suspended Culpeper Virginia Police Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright Fired After Murder Indictment – Shot And Killed Innocent 54 Year Old Unarmed Woman In Church Parking Lot – His Mother Is Also Charged With Forgery In Attempt To Purge Negative Records While Secretary For Police Chief

June 22, 2012

CULPEPER, VIRGINIA – The Culpeper police officer charged with killing an unarmed woman has been fired.

Daniel Harmon-Wright was indicted late last month on murder and gun charges. At the time he was suspended without pay. The Free Lance-Star reports that Harmon-Wright was fired from his job on Tuesday after the completion of an internal affairs investigation.

Police have said Harmon-Wright was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a church parking lot when he fatally shot 54-year-old Patricia Cook. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond.

Harmon-Wright’s mother, Bethany Sullivan, was charged with three counts of forgery of public documents for attempting to purge her son’s negative records while she was an administrative secretary to the police chief.

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Dumbass Los Angeles California Police Officer Left Patrol Car Running And Woman Drove Off In It

June 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – A woman who stole an idling black and white police vehicle in Arleta in January was recently arrested in Las Vegas, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.

The LAPD vehicle was left idling and momentarily unattended on Jan. 31, during an investigation of an attempted assault with a deadly weapon and robbery suspect who had barricaded himself inside a house on the 10000 block of Vena Avenue. SWAT members were called in to help take suspect Jose Luis Cervantes into custody.

Police said Maria Erika Covarubias — a friend of Cervantes — got into the patrol car, drove off and left the vehicle three miles away in an attempt to “disrupt the ongoing tactical operation and provide a diversion that would allow Cervantes to escape capture,” according to a police press release.

The vehicle was found within half an hour, but the suspect was gone. Detectives later identified 25-year-old Covarubias as the suspect. She was located in Las Vegas and arrested on May 30.

She was extradited to California. The District Attorney’s Office filed one felony count of driving without the owners’ consent and is being held on $25,000 bail.

Cervantes was eventually taken into custody without incident. He was later convicted on multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery and is currently serving a 10-year sentence for his crimes.

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Savage Black Beasts Brawl At Pre-School Graduation

June 14, 2012

Scottsboro Alabama Police Officer Tracey Law Goff Arrested For Public Intoxication – Underaged Girl He Was With Also Faces Same Charge, And Another Charged With Drunk Driving

February 14, 2012

SCOTTSBORO, ALABAMA – Scottsboro Police had one of their own arrested for public intoxication.

It happened over the weekend in the town of Stevenson.

The arrest came just two months after four officers were suspended for illegally using and distributing steroids.

Neither chief from Stevenson or Scottsboro would release any details about the incident. However, reports obtained by WAFF 48 News revealed the officer was arrested with an underage 19-year-old girl also charged with public intoxication and a 22-year-old woman who faces DUI charges.

Arrest reports show Scottsboro Police Officer Tracey Law Goff was arrested by Stevenson Police around 2:40 Sunday morning on Highway 72. The reports show the females were also arrested at the same location listing Highway 72. It’s not known if Officer Goff was in the 2005 Pontiac Bonneville that was stopped and the driver cited for driving under the influence.

Like two of the officers in the steroids situation, Mayor Potter said Goff was suspended Tuesday morning without pay for three shifts.

Goff is due in Stevenson Municipal Court on March 6th.

We’ll continue digging to bring you more details in the case as we learn them.

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Pedophile Taylorsville Georgia Mayor Cary Rhodes Arrested By FBI On Child Molestation And Child Pornography Charges While Seeking Sex From A Child

January 2, 2012

TAYLORSVILLE, FLORIDA – Taylorsville Mayor Cary Rhodes, 57, of 46 Euharlee St., Taylorsville, has been arrested following an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Rhodes was arrested Thursday after coming to the attention of undercover officers of the FBI’s Northwest Georgia Safe Child Task Force. The arrest was made after Rhodes attempted to meet with a minor child for the purposes of committing sexual acts.

Rhodes has been charged by the state with criminal attempt to commit child molestation and computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation.

Aggravated child molestation is defined as “when such person commits an offense of child molestation which act physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy.”

According to the Georgia Codes, a person convicted of aggravated child molestation may be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 years and no more than 30 years.

A self-employed engineer, and Taylorsville Baptist Church’s secretary and chief financial officer, the small town mayor has been denied bond by a magistrate court judge and is currently being held in the Murray County jail.

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Former Luzerne County Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. Sentenced To Just 28 Years In Prison After Years Of Accepting Millions For Sending Children To Private For-Profit Prisons

August 15, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA – A Pennsylvania judge that made millions off of sentencing children to private juvenile detention centers was handed down a harsh sentence himself on Thursday: 28 years behind bars.

Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr was given a nearly three decade sentence for the injustices he carried out while serving on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. While on the bench, Ciavarella accepted millions of dollars in kickbacks from the owners of for-profit detention centers in exchange for sending youth offenders to their facilities. Ciavarella was found guilty of racketeering in February of this year.

Labeled by prosecutors and the media as the “kids-for-cash” judge, Ciavarella told the Associated Press that those words transformed him into “the personification of evil” to the public. Ciavarella never admitted that he exchanged money for business favors, but did say before his sentence that he blames “no one but myself.”

Many of those sentenced by Ciavarella’s gavel were first time offenders who often received unusually harsh sentences in the private facilities for crimes that would otherwise go without such extreme punishment. Ciavarella had infamously sentenced a 17-year-old boy with no prior record to six months in jail for the possession of drug paraphernalia. While that charge often carries only a mere fine, that youth was subjected to half a year behind bars. Upon his release, the child took his own life.

“He (Ciavarella) killed his spirit,” the child’s mother, Sandy Fonzo, said after the suicide. “He crushed him, and he didn’t help him.”

Reacting to last week’s verdict, Fonzo tells CNN that “It’s justice in the sense that he is going to pay for what we’ve been dealing with for the last eight years.”

“True justice, I don’t think there could ever be. He’ll never live the sentence that I live,” she adds.

As news of the scandal broke, the Supreme Court tossed out roughly 4,000 convictions that were passed down by Ciavarella over the course of five years. According to them, the judge violated the constitutional rights of juvenile defendants by denying them legal counsel. Ciavarella is said to have had youngsters hauled off without allowing them to offer a defense during their trials.

Attorneys for Ciavarella were lobbying for a sentence of only 87 months, but US District Judge Edwin M. Kosik refused it, offering up 28 years instead.

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Carter County Missouri Sheriff Tommy Adams Arrested For Methamphetamine Distribution

April 19, 2011

VAN BUREN, MISSOURI – One county on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks seemed oddly immune to the scourge of methamphetamine ravaging the state, boasting few meth raids or arrests in recent years. Some residents now think they know why, after a meth bust landed the Carter County sheriff himself in jail.

Tommy Adams, county sheriff for a little more than two years, was arrested earlier this month after giving meth to an informant at his cabin on a remote and hilly gravel road, according to a court document. He also allegedly snorted the drug himself with a straw. Authorities would not detail the extent of Adam’s alleged meth involvement, but charged him with meth distribution. He is being held in Cape Girardeau County jail on $250,000 bond.

Now, a county once seen as an exception has become the latest example of how deeply meth has saturated every corner of rural Missouri life. Other rural law enforcement officers have been linked to drugs over the years, but Adams is one of the first arrested for meth.

“I think it’s pretty sad,” said Vicki Babbs, 46, of Van Buren. “You’ve got someone who’s sheriff riding around high on meth with a gun. It’s pretty scary.”

County residents hope the case sheds light on the extent of the local meth problem as well as other crimes. Days after the sheriff’s arrest, his chief deputy, 23-year-old Steffanie Kearbey, was charged with burglary and receiving stolen property — a gun taken from the department’s evidence room.

No state has been hit harder by the meth epidemic than Missouri, which led the nation in meth lab busts every year for a decade before Tennessee took over the top spot in 2010, dropping Missouri to second. Missouri has reported more than 13,000 meth lab incidents in the past seven years. The highly-addictive drug, made by cooking common chemicals, has caused countless fires and explosions, along with severe health problems among users.

Carter County sits in the Ozark Mountain foothills, surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. Thousands of visitors come each year for float trips and to visit Big Spring State Park, just outside of Van Buren, where crystal-clear water bubbles constantly into a meandering stream.

Just more than 6,000 residents live here. Good jobs are hard to come by.

Adams, 31, worked as a laborer around Ellsinore, his hometown, before getting his law enforcement certification about four years ago, and was soon hired as an Ellsinore city officer, Mayor David Bowman said. “I never had any trouble with him,” Bowman said. “He was outgoing, friendly.”

After just two years of law enforcement experience, Adams, a Republican ran for sheriff in 2008 against favored Democratic incumbent Greg Melton. But just weeks before the November election, Melton died in what was ruled a suicide. It was too late for the Democrats to replace him, and Melton’s name remained on the ballot.

Adams won by a single vote — 1,424-1,423 — and took over the $37,000-a-year job.

Other southern Missouri counties have had dozens of meth lab busts in recent years. But Carter County had just five since Adams took over as sheriff — two in 2009, three in 2010.

“I think meth is out there and maybe he knew what was going on,” Carter County Presiding Commissioner John Bailiff said. “I think a lot of people just turn a deaf ear to it, including maybe the sheriff.”

Lloyd Parsons, 37, a member of the Van Buren Fire Department, never figured Adams for one of the bad guys. He described Adams, the married father of an infant son, as professional and knowledgeable.

“I’ve worked several accidents with the guy and he knew his stuff, even the medical part,” Parsons said.

But Richard Stephens, who was a Van Buren officer before being appointed as temporary sheriff until a special election can be held this summer, said he had concerns about Adams.

“I had a suspicion that things weren’t being handled effectively and professionally,” said Stephens, 42. He would not elaborate, citing ongoing state and federal investigations.

Mark Alan Kennedy, attorney for chief deputy Kearbey, said his client had no law enforcement experience before the sheriff paid for her certification training, then hired her for the $20,000-a-year job.

He said Adams was the “instigator” of the crimes alleged against Kearbey. She is accused of selling a gun that had been stolen from the sheriff’s department’s evidence room and taking a duffel bag of coins from a house.

“We’re hoping that an eventual jury will understand that this young woman was under a lot of pressure from the sheriff,” Kennedy said. “She was new in law enforcement, and acted under threats of loss of her job or physical threats.”

Adams and his attorney declined several interview requests. The Missouri Attorney General’s office has taken over prosecution of the case.

Stephens and county commissioners are trying to ease the minds of residents left angry and disappointed.

“They’re upset about the breakdown in trust,” Stephens said. “We need to be bending over backward to try and regain that trust with the public.”

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New Evidence Proves UK Police Killed Newspaper Seller

April 18, 2011

UK – Significant new evidence proves that Ian Tomlinson died from injuries caused by the trauma of being pushed to the ground and not from natural causes, his inquest heard yesterday.

The 47-year-old newspaper seller collapsed at the G20 protests in London in 2009. A film later emerged showing PC Simon Harwood, of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group, pushing him to the ground and led to an angry debate over police tactics.

Yesterday, Mr Tomlinson’s inquest heard new evidence which contradicted earlier suggestions that he died of a spontaneous arrhythmic heart attack.

Professor Kevin Channer, from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, produced a report on ECG (electrocardiogram) readings taken by paramedics as they tried to revive him, concluding that they were inconsistent with this type of heart attack. His evidence contradicted the findings of the original pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel.

Another pathologist, Dr Nat Cary, agreed with Professor Channer, insisting the new report was crucial. “Mr Tomlinson did not die due to a so-called heart attack, or arrhythmic heart attack, due to coronary artery disease,” he said.

Instead Dr Cary said there was only one realistic possibility; that he had died from internal bleeding. He also concluded that a mark on Mr Tomlinson’s left thigh was the result of a “classic baton strike” and had not been caused by a fall, as Dr Patel had suggested.

Being questioned by Patrick Gibbs QC, counsel for PC Harwood, Dr Cary disagreed that Mr Tomlinson’s liver damage could have been the result of rigorous resuscitation by medics. He described the findings of Dr Patel as “wrong”.

When Judge Peter Thornton asked him whether he believed internal bleeding was likely to have been caused by the fall, he replied: “Yes, because I saw no other evidence for any other trauma capable of causing intra-abdominal bleeding.”

Dr Graeme Alexander, a liver specialist, said that, while the newspaper seller had suffered from serious liver disease, it was unlikely this would have led to major bleeding. He concluded that this was the result of a trauma exacerbated by high blood pressure.

Returning to the stand for the last time, Dr Patel speculated on a new cause of death, not mentioned in his earlier report. Pressed on Professor Channer’s findings that the ECG chart was inconsistent with a heart attack, Dr Patel said Mr Tomlinson may have died from “hypoxia mixed with acidosis” – his body had been deprived of adequate oxygen. Paramedics earlier ruled out suggestions of hypoxia.

Matthew Ryder QC, representing the Tomlinson family, said: “I am sorry to say, Dr Patel … I suggest you are reaching for options because you know, now, or you realise now, the conclusion that you have put forward is not a solid one, and cannot be sustained. That is what I suggest, I’m afraid to say.”

The pathologist replied: “I do not agree with that at all”.

Two weeks ago, PC Harwood apologised in court to Mr Tomlinson’s family, insisting that he had only pushed him to encourage him to move away and was amazed when he fell to the ground. He denied using unreasonable, unnecessary or excessive force.

The police officer said: “If it is the case that in any way I have caused Mr Tomlinson’s death, I am very sorry.”

Last week, judges at the High Court ruled that controversial kettling tactics used against peaceful G20 protesters were illegal and that officers had used “unjustified force”.

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Channahon Illinois Police Officer And Three Other Officers Arrested After Brawl At Strip Club While Attending Narcotics Conference

April 16, 2011

PEORIA, ILLINOIS – A Channahon police officer was arrested Tuesday night after getting into a brawl at a strip club.

Three police officers, including the 26-year-old male Channahon officer, were arrested as a result of the incident, said Officer Doug Burgess of Peoria police. The names of the officers were not released to protect their identities since they are involved in undercover work, he said.

The officers were in town for a Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad conference, said Burgess, and were attending Big Al’s strip club socially.

“There were three arrested. We had one (more) in custody because he was being outspoken, but he was released without charge,” said Burgess.

The Channahon officer was charged with two counts of battery. Another officer was charged with battery and the third with battery and criminal trespass. Burgess said he could not confirm the departments the other two officers worked for, but published reports said the other two were Bolingbrook officers.

Several Peoria officers arrived on scene at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when they were called by the strip club.

When the men arrived at the club, one of them did not have identification and was not allowed in.

“He left and the rest went inside, but were seemingly upset about it and were saying things to security,” Burgess said. “They were asked to leave and one guy said ‘make me,’ basically.”

The Channahon officer then shoved the bouncer over a chair and jumped on top of him, he said. The brawl migrated from the main room, through the hallway and to the outside sidewalk.

“It certainly took some time and a lot of time to sort it out,” Burgess said. “After all was said and done, it was determined the officers had grounds to arrest them.”

Everyone refused treatment at the scene.

Channahon Police Chief Joe Pena said his department is conducting an internal investigation, but that the officer is still currently working.

“We know about what occurred, now we need to do our homework to see exactly what action we need to take, if any,” said Pena.

Pena said he did not have a timeframe for how long the internal investigation would take and could not comment further since it is an open investigation.

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Hamilton Canada Police Officer Arrested In Investigation That Yielded 57 Pounds Of Methamphetamine From 23 Homes And Businesses

April 16, 2011

HAMILTON, CANADA – A Hamilton police officer is among the 21 people arrested in what’s being described as the province’s largest-ever crystal meth bust.

Hamilton police put 26 kilograms of methamphetamine on display for the media at a Thursday morning news conference. They also seized steroids, cars, cash and other drugs.

The seizure was the result of raids at 23 homes and businesses by some 175 police officers in Hamilton, Niagara, Peel, Haldimand County and Sudbury. It came at the end of an 18-month investigation dubbed “Project Newton.”

The total value of the seizures — including $140,000 in cash — is estimated at $4 million. The 21 who were arrested face a total of 93 charges, including possession of the proceeds of crime, conspiracy to traffic anabolic steroids and trafficking cocaine and ketamine.

The investigation is ongoing and further charges are expected.

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Iowa Police Officer Sgt. Bill Dropinski Gets A Special Plea Deal – No Criminal Record After A $250 Donation To Charity

April 16, 2011

IOWA – Sgt. Bill Dropinski was arrested at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs in February. Investigators said he got into a fight with casino employees. His attorney said the confrontation was verbal only and occurred while Sgt. Dropinski was off-duty.

In Iowa, some defendants with no criminal record can make a charitable donation and the case is dropped as part of a plea deal. Dropinski donated $250 to Children’s Square.

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New Orleans Louisiana Police Officers Melvin Williams And Matthew Dean Moore Convicted In Federal For Roles In 2005 Fatal Beating And Coverup – Dumped Victim At Hospital After Beating, Saying He Was Found Under A Bridge

April 14, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Two New Orleans police officers were convicted Wednesday in federal court for their roles in the 2005 fatal beating of Raymond Robair and a cover-up that kept them out of trouble for several years.

After deliberating for more than 13 hours over three days, a jury determined that veteran officer Melvin Williams violated Robair’s civil rights by beating and kicking him on a Treme street corner, an act the jury said directly resulted in his death.

The jury also found Williams and his rookie partner, officer Matthew Dean Moore, guilty of submitting a false police report about the incident. Moore, who agreed to be interviewed by FBI agents about the case, was also convicted of lying to the investigators.

After the verdicts were read, both Moore and Williams, who had been free on bond, were taken directly into the custody of federal marshals. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced July 14. Williams faces a possible sentence of life in prison, and Moore, up to 25 years.
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Drug Addicted Baton Rouge Louisiana Police Officer Michael Thompson Arrested, Quits, Charged With Stealing $15,000 In Seized Drug Money

April 14, 2011

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – A Baton Rouge Police officer has been arrested on multiple theft counts and a charge of malfeasance for allegedly stealing money seized in drug investigations.

Sgt. Donald Stone, a police spokesman, says 27-year-old Michael Thompson was booked Wednesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish jail on seven counts of felony theft and one count of malfeasance.

Thompson is accused of stealing about $15,000 that was seized during narcotics investigations. Stone says Thompson admitted he was addicted to prescription pain medication and took the money to fund his addiction.

Thompson, a 5-year veteran of the department, had been assigned to the Narcotics Division. He resigned shortly after his arrest.

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16 Mexican Police Officers Arrested – Linked To Mass Graves

April 14, 2011

SAN FERNANDO, MEXICO — Sixteen municipal police officers from the northeastern Mexican town of San Fernando have been arrested for allegedly protecting those responsible for the mass graves uncovered there, the country’s attorney general said.

The police officers worked to cover up the killings of the Zetas drug cartel, Attorney General Marisela Morales said.

Authorities recovered 10 more bodies from the mass graves Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total number of bodies found to 126, state attorney general’s spokesman Ruben Dario Rios Lopez said.

Morales said that to date, investigators have identified 17 people who participated in the executions of the victims, who have been arrested.

She identified the authors of the crime as Salvador Martinez Escobedo, Omar Estrada Luna, and Roman Paloma. Paloma is the leader of the Zetas in San Fernando, Morales said. Mexico is offering a reward of 15 million pesos ($1.3 million) for information leading to their arrests.

Authorities began finding the graves earlier this month during an investigation into a report of the kidnapping of passengers from a bus in late March. The investigation led them to San Fernando, Tamaulipas — the same place where in August of last year, the bodies of 72 immigrants were found at a ranch.

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico’s most active states when it comes to drug trafficking. The Gulf cartel and the Zetas cartel operate in the state and have strongholds there.

The Zetas have been blamed for the killings of the 72 migrants found in San Fernando last year.

Nationwide, the Mexican government says there have been some 35,000 drug-related deaths since President Felipe Calderon began a crackdown on the cartels in December 2006.

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New Orleans Louisiana Police Officers Melvin Williams And Matthew Dean Moore Convicted In Handyman’s Brutal Beating Death

April 14, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – A New Orleans police officer was convicted Wednesday of beating a 48-year-old handyman to death, while a fellow officer was found guilty of trying to help his partner cover up the deadly encounter nearly six years ago.

A federal jury convicted Officer Melvin Williams of violating Raymond Robair’s constitutional rights by kicking and beating him with a baton while he and Officer Matthew Dean Moore patrolled the Treme neighborhood on July 30, 2005. The jury of seven men and five women also convicted Williams and Moore of submitting a false report and found Moore guilty of lying to the FBI.

The case is one of several probes of the New Orleans police department by the Justice Department, which have resulted in charges against 20 current or former officers.

The officers’ attorneys had tried to shift the blame for Robair’s death to doctors who treated him for a heart attack for about 90 minutes before they discovered his spleen had ruptured. But the jury concluded Williams caused Robair’s death.

Williams faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Moore could get up to 25 years in prison. After the verdict, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ordered both remanded into custody while they await a July 14 sentencing hearing. The department suspended both officers without pay after the verdict.

Outside the courthouse, some of Robair’s relatives wept as they embraced.

“I was waiting for this day,” said his mother, Marie Robair. “Now I can rest and my son can rest in peace.”

“It’s a humbling experience. It’s a learning experience,” said his daughter, Judonna Mitchell. “It’s taught me to be patient and to be true to my own faith.”

The jury heard four days of testimony and deliberated over three days before reaching the verdict, which “surprised, shocked and disappointed” Moore’s attorney, Eric Hessler.

“I don’t think the verdict fit the evidence presented by the government,” he said, questioning whether jurors were swayed by emotion.

Prosecutors said Williams beat Robair without justification, breaking four ribs and crushing his spleen before the officers drove him to a hospital, where he died of massive internal bleeding.

Williams, 48, denied kicking or hitting Robair. He claimed Robair slipped and fell on a curb as they approached, but jurors heard from residents who said they witnessed the beating. The officers’ attorneys, however, said the witnesses gave conflicting accounts.

The jury’s foreman — Patrick Goodman, 55, of River Ridge — told The Associated Press he didn’t believe Robair’s injuries could have been caused by slipping and falling on a curb before Moore started to handcuff him. Goodman said he discounted the officers’ version of events because their courtroom testimony didn’t match “written evidence,” including statements they gave after Robair’s death.

“I had to believe the pathologist who stated that the fall alone could not create enough force to cause that injury,” Goodman said, referring to an expert witness called by prosecutors.

Goodman also said he also believed residents who testified they saw Williams kick and beat Robair with a baton, even though some details didn’t match up.

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White Kids Are The Minorty In 10 U.S. States – Whites Will Be The Minority In U.S. By 2042

April 6, 2011

US – White children are now in the minority among people under 18 in 10 U.S. states and 35 large metro areas, according to a Brookings analysis of 2010 Census data.

The number of white children in metro areas including Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona, fell below that of other children in the last decade as the population of white children nationwide declined by 4.3 million, the report said.

The decline occurred as the number of children identified as “new minorities” – Hispanics, Asians and other racial groups apart from whites, blacks and American Indians – grew by 5.5 million, the report said.

Hispanics registered an increase of 4.8 million, which kept the nation’s overall child population from declining, the report said. The figure also reflects changes in the racial makeup of the overall U.S. population showing that Hispanics are the nation’s fastest growing minority group.

Hispanics now comprise 23% of children, up from 12% in 1990, while whites now comprise just 53% of youth, down from nearly 70% in 1990.

The findings also underscore projections that the country stands to become “white minority” by 2042. The child population stands to hit that mark in 2023.

“Slower growth among whites owes in part to their lower fertility rate –about 1.9 births per white woman, compared with 3.0 births per Hispanic woman – as well as a relatively low contribution to population growth from immigration. From 2000 to 2009, only 15% growth in the immigrant population was attributable to whites, versus 78% for Hispanics, Asians and other new minorities,” the report stated.

“Whites are also aging more rapidly than other groups. This contributes to their lower growth rate, as proportionately fewer white women are in their child-bearing years. The median age of whites is 41, compared to 27 for Hispanics, 35 for Asians, and a staggering 20 for the population of more than one race. As a further reflection of these age differences by race and ethnicity, just one-fifth of U.S. whites are under age 18, compared with one-third of all Hispanics.”

The study also found that the decline in white children reduced the growth rate of the overall child population, from 13.7% in the 1990s to 2.6% in the 2000s. Though variation from state to state in child growth was considerable, on the whole, 46 states registered declines in their white child populations.

Not surprisingly, most of the states that experienced growth in populations of minority children are the ones where white children are in the minority: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi and Maryland.

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Elkins West Virginia Police Officer Willard Lewis Arrested, Suspended, Charged With Kidnapping And Assaulting His Wife

April 6, 2011

ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA — An officer with the Elkins Police Department was arrested Thursday.

Willard Lewis, 29, of Beverly, was charged with kidnapping, domestic battery and domestic assault, according to his criminal complaint.

A call from the Lewis home was made to the Randolph County 911 Center. When the call was hung up, state police were sent to the home.

When troopers arrived, they found the front door open and no one home. They also found damage to the bedroom door, the complaint said.

Neighbors told the troopers that Lewis and his wife had left. State police began searching for the couple and found Mrs. Lewis at her grandmother’s home.

She told troopers that Lewis was belittling her and calling her names. When she went to the bedroom to get away from him, he kicked the door, she said. She then went to the bathroom to get away from him. When he threatened to kick that door down, she came out. He then grabbed her face and pushed her against the wall, elbowing her in the eye, court paperwork detailed.

She told Lewis that she wanted to leave, but he told her she “wasn’t leaving,” the complaint said. He then told her that she should go for a ride with him before the police arrived, the complaint went on to say.

Troopers noted a bruise under the victim’s right eye.

Lewis was taken to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where he remains, with bail set at $20,000.

Lewis was immediately suspended from the Elkins Police Department, according to Chief H.R. White.

Administrative action against Lewis will depend on the outcome of Lewis’ legal proceedings and the Elkins Police Department’s own investigation, White said.

“Anytime this department responds to a call of this reported nature, we take the complaint very seriously and handle the incident with the tenacity it deserves, as domestic calls are potentially some of the most dangerous calls an officer will encounter in his or her career,” White said in a prepared statement.

White did not offer further comment.

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UK Judge Peter Fox Puts Child Molester Back On The Street – Pedophile Had Sex With 13 Year Old Girl And Downloaded Child Pornography

April 4, 2011

UK – A judge has been criticised for allowing a child sex pervert to walk free from court after accepting that the defendant had been ‘seduced’ by a 13-year-old.

David Barnes, 24, engaged in ‘cyber-sex’ with a 13-year-old schoolgirl and downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures and short films – one of which showed the rape of a handcuffed five-year-old girl.

But Judge Peter Fox QC said a short prison sentence would not prevent him from reoffending.

A national victims’ group hit out saying it was ‘intellectually, ethically, morally’ wrong to lay any blame on the 13-year-old girl and described the sentencing as ‘abhorrent’.

Judge Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled to say the least’ at his decision.

Shop worker Barnes could have been jailed up to six months, but was allowed discount on his punishment because he pleaded guilty to the charges and was of previous good character.

Barnes, of Darlington, admitted 17 specimen charges of making indecent images and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The 24-year-old was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and 300 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He was also told by the judge that a sex offender treatment programme he was placed upon was not available to him behind bars.


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‘Many people must be puzzled to say the very least at the leniency of the guideline sentencing,’ the judge said.

‘I, of course, express no view. If I sent you to prison it would be for a matter of a few weeks only, hence, as I say, the puzzlement that many people would have about that.

‘The weeks you wound spend in prison would do nothing to stop you doing this again. My concern is for the future – the protection of other children.’

Guidelines suggest community sentences for inciting children to engage in sexual activity and up to six months jail for the most serious pornography.
Ruling: Judge Peter Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled’ by his decision

Ruling: Judge Peter Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled’ by his decision

Last night, a spokesman for the National Victims Association described it as ‘abhorrent’ that Barnes should, ‘in effect, go unpunished’.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Barnes was arrested at his family home in October 2009 following an operation carried out by Staffordshire Police.

Operation Bamboo officers were investigating chat-room conversations a 13-year-old girl from Stoke was having with a number of adult males.

When they raided Barnes’s home, they recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children – some in the most serious category.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said one short film was of a five-year-old girl being raped as she had her legs strapped to a bar and her wrists in handcuffs.

During the chat-room conversations, the teenager was encouraged to do intimate things while Barnes watched on a web-cam.

Kieran Rainey, mitigating, said the girl encouraged Barnes – then aged 22 – by saying she liked older people, but accepted he should have ‘disengaged’.

Mr Rainey said his client had a small circle of friends – as the son of a career army officer who moved around the country – and ‘character flaws’.

Judge Fox said it was difficult to reconcile the hard-working and highly thought-of young man written of in references with a child sex fiend.

He said: ‘I accept it has been a dreadful shock to your mother, to your father and to your grandmother and to those others who have known you.

‘And in addition (to the images), there was your perverted activities over the internet with the 13-year-old, who, I accept, appears to have seduced you.’

Teesside Crown Court heard that a woman had been arrested as a result of Melles’ allegations

Teesside Crown Court heard police recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children from Barnes’s home

Last night, the National Victims Association described as ‘incomprehensible’ the suggestion that the girl could have seduced Barnes.

Spokesman Neil Atkinson said: ‘Thirteen-year-olds have to be protected. It goes without saying, they are children.

‘Intellectually, ethically and legally, this girl – or anyone of that age – could not possibly have been on the same level as a man in his 20s.

‘The judge is right, however, when he says most people will be disturbed by an adult receiving a suspended sentence for engaging in activity such as this.

‘It is abhorrent that anyone in their 20s should, in effect, go unpunished for something that could have led to a far more serious offence.

‘Intellectually, ethically, morally and in every other way you can’t point the finger at a 13-year-old and blame her. She is no match for a 22-year-old.’

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