Author Topic: Corruption  (Read 657 times)

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Offline poche

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Corruption
« on: February 26, 2014, 11:38:42 PM »
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  • A corruption probe in a small California town has resulted in the arrests of four current and former police officers for stealing impounded cars belonging to mostly poor Latino drivers, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

    Those arrested on Tuesday in the agricultural town of King City included interim Police Chief Bruce Miller and his brother Brian Miller, who owns a towing company, said Monterey County Chief Assistant District Attorney Terry Spitz.

    "The victims were economically disadvantaged persons of Hispanic descent who were targeted by having their vehicles impounded, towed and stored by Miller's Tow," Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said in a statement. "The vehicle owners were unable to pay the fees and the vehicles were sold or provided for free to some of the officers."

    King City has about 13,000 residents and is located 145 miles south of San Francisco and is more than 87 percent Latino, according to U.S. Census figures. Many residents work in agriculture, and the average per capita income for a King City resident is $13,800.

    Brian Miller and Sergeant Bobby Carrillo face bribery charges. The acting police chief, who is suspected of receiving at least one of the stolen vehicles, has been charged with accepting a bribe. Recently retired Chief Dominic Baldiviez and another officer are accused of illegally embezzling a city-owned vehicle, Spitz said.

    During the probe, an officer was arrested on charges of possessing an assault weapon and the illegal storage of a firearm. Another officer faces charges of making criminal threats against a resident, Spitz said. All have been released on bail.

    Spitz said he did not know if the men had retained private counsel or would be assigned a public defender.

    Calls to the city manager's office and the police department were not immediately returned.

    The arrests are the result of a six-month corruption investigation into the King City Police Department that began with complaints from residents and people within the department, Spitz said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/california-police-arrested-over-car-impound-scheme-targeting-013136433.html

    Offline poche

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    Corruption
    « Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 12:38:02 AM »
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  • Massachusetts' top court ruled on Wednesday that the state shares blame for thousands of drug convictions tainted by crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan, who admitted to faking test results over nearly a decade.

    The ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will make it easier for people convicted in drug cases linked to Dookhan to win new trials, by removing one of the standards for reversing a guilty plea.

    "We must account for the due process rights of defendants," said the ruling, written by Justice Francis Spina. "In the wake of government misconduct that has cast a shadow over the entire criminal justice system, it is most appropriate that the benefit of our remedy inure to defendants."

    The ruling said that in all cases in which Dookhan was the lead or secondary chemist, defendants were entitled to a presumption that there was egregious misconduct by the state - one of the standards for overturning a guilty plea.

    Chris Dearborn, a law professor at Suffolk University in Boston, said the ruling could save thousands of defendants the time and money required to litigate the point, and take pressure off the state's court system.

    "This is a landmark ruling that will make it a lot easier for people to pursue these claims. Otherwise some of them would be still be in litigation 25 years from now," he said.

    Dookhan last year acknowledged faking tests on evidence in drug cases involving some 40,000 people from 2002 to 2011. More than 300 people convicted of drug violations have been released from prison as a result, and many others are seeking retrials.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said the decision was a step toward a comprehensive resolution to the drug lab cases, which it has called the biggest criminal justice scandal in the state's history.

    "We hope the Court will next require prosecutors, rather than defendants, to bear the burden of ascertaining which convictions will have to be vacated in light of today's rulings," said Matthew Segal, ACLU of Massachusetts legal director.

    The ruling followed a scathing report by the state's Inspector General this week that said lax management at the state-run Hinton Crime Lab allowed Dookhan to carry on her misconduct for nearly a decade.

    The review found that there had been warning signs throughout Dookhan's tenure at the Boston lab, which is now closed. In her first two years on the job, she tested more than 8,000 samples a year, more than double her next-most productive colleague.

    Dookhan was sentenced in November to three to five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges including tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and perjury for falsely claiming to have a master's degree in chemistry.

    http://news.yahoo.com/massachusetts-shares-blame-crime-lab-scandal-court-says-222939633.html


    Offline poche

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    Corruption
    « Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 04:07:37 AM »
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  •  A federal judge presiding over a racial profiling case against an Arizona sheriff's office chided the sheriff and his top aide on Monday for mischaracterizing his findings, telling them he's unimpressed by what he called their apparent "double dealing."

    U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said he was disappointed with the inaccurate statements that Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, the top aide for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, made about the case during an October training session with rank-and-file deputies.

    This is the latest in a yearslong string of criticisms against the agency led by the self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff," who's made waves nationally by cracking down on illegal immigration and forcing inmates to wear pink underwear.

    Sheridan, standing at a podium dressed in his beige uniform, told the judge he got the facts wrong and acted with emotion. He says he made the remarks out of frustration with declining morale among his deputies after Snow concluded last year that the agency has racially profiled Latinos.

    Sheridan's voice rose in volume when he explained his frustrations, saying they grew out of the media's misrepresentation of the judge's rulings and Arpaio critics calling the agency racist.

    "I heard every word you said loud and clear," Sheridan told the judge.

    Sheridan and Arpaio were called into court Monday to answer questions about the Oct. 18 training session. In a video of the session, Sheridan appears to suggest to sheriff's deputies that they weren't obliged to make their best efforts to remedy the agency's constitutional violations, the judge wrote in a ruling a week ago.

    The video shows that Arpaio addressed the deputies after his chief aide, saying Sheridan's thoughts echoed his own. "What the chief deputy said is what I've been saying," Arpaio said.

    The judge also took issue with a remark that Sheridan made during the training session in which he complained that his agency was being put under the same kind of court supervision as the long-troubled New Orleans Police Department and added, "That tells you how ludicrous this crap is."

    "I am not really impressed with what appears to be double dealing," Snow told the aide.

    Ten months ago, Snow concluded Arpaio's office systematically racially profiled Latinos in its immigration and regular traffic patrols and unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people during traffic stops. Arpaio has vigorously denied the racial profiling allegations and appealed the ruling.

    The judge required Arpaio's office to install video cameras in hundreds of the agency's patrol vehicles, set up a seven-person team of sheriff's employees to help implement the judge's orders and carry out additional training to ensure officers aren't making unconstitutional arrests.

    The sheriff sat silently behind his attorneys throughout the hearing while Sheridan and an attorney spoke for the agency. Arpaio made a brief statement outside court without answering reporters' questions.

    "This is a court issue," he said. "Certain items were discussed in the court, and we'll see what happens."

    At the hearing, Sheridan and the sheriff's lead lawyer acknowledged that Sheridan sent the wrong message to deputies, but they said they wanted to comply with the judge's orders in good faith.

    "I also intend to have my orders respected," Snow said.

    The judge said Sheridan and Arpaio are protected by their right to free speech, but that it's another matter to provide bad information when instructing deputies.

    In response to complaints that the agency is providing inaccurate information on the case, Snow said lawyers on both sides will summarize the judge's rulings and put those statements in a letter that Arpaio and Sheridan will sign and give to all sheriff's employees.

    Several hours after Monday's hearing, the sheriff's office released the video in question.

    In parts of the recording that have not yet been made public, Sheridan tells deputies they must follow the judge's requirement that they document the race, ethnicity and sex of people during traffic tops based on the deputies' perceptions.

    "I'm sorry you have to do this," Sheridan says. "I wish we didn't have to waste our time doing this, but it's a necessary evil to fix this."

    Later in the video, Arpaio tells the officers that he'll appeal Snow's racial profiling decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    "There's only one sheriff elected — one — and you are looking at him," Arpaio says. "I am going to fight anyone that tries to take away the authority of the elected sheriff."

    http://news.yahoo.com/judge-racial-profiling-case-scolds-sheriff-aide-195100268.html


     

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