Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Copper caught touring with his heavy metal band while collecting disability checks – pleads guilty to fraud

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A former New York police officer accused of performing on tour with his heavy metal band “Cousin Sleaze” during the two years he claimed disability benefits pleaded guilty on Tuesday to mail fraud…

Christopher Inserra, 32, who served for five years with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced on August 5 at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn…

He claimed he was unable to perform his police duties because of a work-related injury from June 2010 until March 2012, filing for disability while continuing to collect his $90,000 annual salary…

The officer claimed he hurt his right arm in an on-the-job injury that caused excruciating pain and loss of mobility…

During the same time period, Inserra was the lead singer with the Brooklyn band “Cousin Sleaze,” whose “Sick Maniacs” album features such songs as “Infection” and “Walk of Shame,” according to court documents.

Video footage of his band performing in Northeast bars and on an East Coast “Miles of Mayhem” show the muscular lead singer in a tank top slashing the air with his well-toned right arm while gripping a microphone…

The court says he’s started paying back some of the disability checks he received. The record says nothing about the salary he received at the same time. Cousin Sleaze, eh?

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Written by Ed Campbell

April 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

Hawaii coppers fail at exemption allowing sex with prostitutes

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Hawaii lawmakers in both chambers agree that legal permission for police to have sex with prostitutes should end.
House and senate members are still negotiating on the version of House Bill 1926 they will send to the governor. But they concur that the crime bill should revoke a peculiar exemption that permits police in Hawaii, in the course of their duties, to have sex with prostitutes.

The bill began in the house and was amended as it passed out of that chamber’s judicial committee. At the time, Honolulu police told lawmakers that vice-officers needed the exemption in law to prevent pimps and prostitutes from knowing the limits of police methods.

The Associated Press wrote about the successful police lobbying against removing the sex exemption after the bill passed the house. When the senate judiciary committee took up the bill, lawmakers revised it again to reflect the backlash against the exemption, with many expressing strong convictions that police should not have the legal ability to bed prostitutes.

Honolulu police, while assuring the public that their internal policies prevent such abuse, dropped their opposition to removing the exemption.

Nice try, guys. You realize you’ve probably set an example for Congress to try the same stunt.

Written by Ed Campbell

April 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Congressional free subscriptions to HUSTLER continues

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Flynt often makes million-dollar offers for proof of gay or straight sex with members of Congress

The publisher of Hustler says they will continue to send the monthly porn magazine to every member of Congress.

“Moses freed the Jews, Lincoln freed the slaves, and I just wanted to free all the neurotics,” said publisher Larry Flynt.

Flynt has been sending the monthly issue of the magazine to every member of Congress for 30 years. Several members have tried to stop the mailings but have failed. Now their offices just learn how to deal with it.

Some members warn interns and tell them to throw it out, and some staffers use it as a monthly joke on unsuspecting coworkers.

Flynt says the mailing falls under his right to free speech and they will be sent every month like always in an attempt to loosen up the nation’s lawmakers.

Aside from his “unique” sense of humor and decorum, Flynt has spent more than a few buck$ defending free speech. Not that everyone in Congress will acknowledge that.

Written by Ed Campbell

April 18, 2014 at 2:00 am

NM Police academy instructors punished for whistleblowing

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KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned former instructors at New Mexico’s Law Enforcement Academy say they were ostracized — three of them fired — after reporting superiors for illegal activity and for refusing to encourage cadets to cheat.

Those men are suing some of the biggest names in New Mexico criminal justice for whistle-blower retaliation…

The defendants include current Albuquerque PD chief Gorden Eden and LEA director Jack Jones.

All four plaintiffs have extensive law enforcement experience outside New Mexico — they were brought in to make the academy better.

But when they started asking questions and making changes they say they got into trouble.

Now they’re fighting back.

“When you have a 20 year veteran with a sparkling, clear, not a blemish on his resume — and then you get hit with this, because someone is trying to cover their ass, that’s wrong,” said Joe Campbell.

Campbell represents four men with similar stories…Their names are George Puga, Anthony Maxwell, Earl Voiles and a name that may sound familiar to KOB viewers — Phil Gallegos.

They were told they needed to teach the test,” said Campbell. “From the very beginning, my clients said, ‘We can’t do that…’”

Gallegos and his fellow instructors tried to do something…”They made the ultimate recommendation that the law enforcement academy be shut down, revamped from the beginning, so you’d miss a class,” said CampBell.

But Campbell says that cost Gallegos his job…

Gallegos and his former colleagues say orders to teach exam questions to cadets came from the very top — from former DPS secretary now Albuquerque police chief Gorden Eden…

Current DPS secretary Greg Fouratt sent KOB this statement:

“Neither the Secretary nor the Chief Legal Counsel of DPS nor the Director of the NM Law Enforcement Academy has seen a copy of the lawsuit. Nonetheless, the department intends to vigorously defend against the allegations and believes them to be entirely without legal merit.”

Meanwhile, I get to sit back and look at two sides of the same coin: New Mexico’s education sucks so bad folks who want to be coppers aren’t capable – apparently – of passing the courses without illicit help. Our corrupt bureaucrats – of the police variety – are prepared to teach the test to assure students pass. Get to join one or another police department around the state.

The saddest part is that this affects all the good cops who worked their butts off to get through the academy without special help. I’ve been to graduation ceremonies at the LEA. Applauded friends who worked 24/7 studying and training to get through courses at the highest possible standard – because they wanted to be good cops. They’re still out there because they believe that “Protect and Serve” still means what it says.

Written by Ed Campbell

April 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

First same-sex couples legally wed in England and Wales

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Teresa Millward and Helen Brearley married in Halifax

The first same-sex weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight…Politicians from the main parties have hailed the change in the law.

David Cameron said the move sent a message that people were now equal “whether gay or straight”, but some religious groups remain opposed.

Scotland passed a similar law in February; the first same-sex marriages are expected there in October. Northern Ireland has no plans to follow suit…

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said “Britain will be a different place” as a result…

Labour leader Ed Miliband congratulated those planning to tie the knot…”This is an incredibly happy time for so many gay couples and lesbian couples who will be getting married, but it’s an incredibly proud time for our country as well, recognising equal marriage in law,” he said…

Peter Tatchell (L) chief witness at Peter McGraith and David Cabreza’s wedding in Islington

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell acted as chief witness at a packed ceremony at Islington Town Hall in London just after midnight as Peter McGraith and David Cabreza were wed after 17 years together.

Mr Tatchell said the couple and all the others getting married had “made history” and “made Britain a more tolerant, equal place”.

With a crowd of photographers, journalists and well-wishers waiting, the couple took the opportunity to highlight the international struggle for gay rights.

Mr McGraith said: “Very few countries afford their gay and lesbian citizens equal marriage rights and we believe that this change in law will bring hope and strength to gay men and lesbians in Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, India and elsewhere, who lack basic equality and are being criminalised for their sexual orientation.”

RTFA. It’s the sort of journalistic record of an historic event some corners of the British Press still do very well.

Bon voyage to the happy couples. It’s always a boon to humankind to witness another nation move forward towards equal rights, equal opportunities. Pity, we haven’t reached that point in the GOUSA – though here in New Mexico our citizens of LGBT gender have acquired the right of marriage – moving past one more barrier, one more step beyond second-class citizenship.

Written by Ed Campbell

March 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Is FBI being good little bureaucrats or are they using the law to endanger legal marijuana dealers?

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The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado – a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that’s long been illegal under federal law.

Washington state has been asking for nearly a year if the FBI would conduct background checks on its applicants, to no avail. The bureau’s refusal raises the possibility that people with troublesome criminal histories could wind up with pot licenses in the state – undermining the department’s own priorities in ensuring that states keep a tight rein on the nascent industry…

The Obama administration has said it wants the states to make sure pot revenue doesn’t go to organized crime and that state marijuana industries don’t become a cover for the trafficking of other illegal drugs. At the same time, it might be tough for the FBI to stomach conducting such background checks – essentially helping the states violate federal law.

…Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, referred an Associated Press inquiry to DOJ headquarters, which would only issue a written statement: “To ensure a consistent national approach, the department has been reviewing its background check policies, and we hope to have guidance for states in the near term,” it said in its entirety…

In the meantime, officials are relying on background checks by the Washington State Patrol to catch any in-state arrests or convictions. Applicants must have lived in Washington state for three months before applying, and many are longtime Washington residents whose criminal history would likely turn up on a State Patrol check. But others specifically moved to the state in hopes of joining the new industry.

The Colorado background checks were performed for medical marijuana – which convinced the FBI to get off their rusty dusty. Those clearances were expanded by the state for recreational use sales.

Once again, a federal bureaucracy is more willing to spend time regulating morality instead of aiding commerce and a peaceful legal life. If their non-cooperation results in felons being licensed it’s no sweat off their disfunctional butts.

Written by Ed Campbell

March 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

ICD-10 Follies — Injured in an Opera House?

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It is 208 days before the move to ICD-10 becomes a must-do. Lest the deadline slip your mind, MedPage Today is spotlighting some of those thousands of new codes that might just be getting a bit too granular.

Today’s code:

Y92.253: Opera house as the place of occurrence of the external cause (This is one gem from a laundry list of odd places where one can be hurt, including an art gallery.)

Other “Follies”

X52: Prolonged stay in weightless environment

V98.2XXA: Accident to, on, or involving ice yacht, initial encounter

W30.3XXA: Contact with grain storage elevator, initial encounter

W21.04: Struck by golf ball

W56.21xD: Bitten by orca, subsequent encounter

Z62.891: Sibling rivalry

V97.33XD: Sucked into jet engine, subsequent encounter

W61.92: Struck by other birds

Z63.1: Problems in relationship with in-laws

W45.8XXA: Other foreign body or object entering through skin, initial encounter

V52.2XXA: Person on outside of pick-up truck or van injured in collision with two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle in nontraffic accident, initial encounter

V00.32: Snow-ski accident

X92.0: Assault by drowning and submersion while in bathtub

W00.1: Fall from stairs and steps due to ice and snow

Sit back, my friends and reflect upon how much of America’s modern legislative system exists only to provide full employment for lawyers. Not the best ones, either.

Written by Ed Campbell

March 13, 2014 at 2:00 am

Citizenship denied legal immigrant because she is an atheist

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Idiots abound

A legal immigrant living in California was denied U.S. citizenship after she identified herself as a “conscientious objector” who will not bear arms for the United States because of her religious beliefs, or lack thereof, in her application.

The application was rejected by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on the grounds that Adriana Ramiez’s unwillingness to bear arms “is not based on religious training or belief…”

The American Humanist Association has taken up Ramirez’s cause and will represent her in the appeal…

The AHA is seeking that the decision immediately be reversed.

“There is no legal basis to deny a citizenship application because one’s ethical values are secular,” said AHA attorney Monica Miller. “The letter is meant to clarify the mistake being made by officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s San Diego office so that the application process can move forward.”

The ignoranuses in Immigration are like a lot of bureaucrats who never thought of looking outside the cubicle of their tiny little minds to see if this has already been sorted out by another government agency.

Bill Morico sued United States Selective Service during the VietNam War and won status as a non-religious conscientious objector in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court – setting the operative precedent.

A helluva union organizer for Hospital Workers Local 1199 – I might add.

Written by Ed Campbell

March 1, 2014 at 8:00 am

On 2nd anniversary, school shooting takes another victim

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The funeral procession of Russell King Jr. winds through Chardon streets in March 2012

The father of a boy killed in the Chardon High School shooting died Thursday morning at his home on the second anniversary of the rampage.

Russell King, 48, was found in his bed by a family member at his home in Chardon Township, said Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department. He said there were no signs of foul play. He said Coroner Robert Coleman is investigating.

Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz said Thursday that he could not comment on the case, saying it “was an ongoing criminal investigation, although we believe foul play was not involved.”

King’s son, Russell, was one of three students killed Feb. 27, 2012, at Chardon High School. T.J. Lane opened fire in the school’s cafeteria with a .22-Ruger before classes began. He also killed Daniel Parmertor, 16, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16. Russell was 17. Three other students were wounded…

Lane pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault for a shooting that shined an unwanted spotlight on a suburban school district and plunged it into the political donnybrook of gun control…

Russell King Sr. went to all of the court hearings involving Lane. He was a tall, strong man who seemed deeply hurt by the senseless loss of his son. He and other family members of the victims struggled last March, when a Geauga County judge sentenced Lane to three life sentences in prison.

Lane mocked his victims during that hearing, wearing a T-shirt with the word “Killer” on it, swearing and flipping his middle finger to their parents and families.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he was saddened and stunned by the news.

“That’s just horrible,” he said. “Anyone who loses a child never gets over it. Anything anyone says to you has no relevance.”

The NRA gives the finger to every sensible American who wants to support the 2nd Amendment with strict regulations against criminals and disturbed individuals having access to deadly weapons.

I’ve been a gun owner and hunter most of my life. I own guns, right now. I also support the efforts of gun owners to manage access to firearms by strict regulation, licensing and record-keeping. I consider fools who dedicate time and money to maintaining easy access for criminals to be no better than the thugs they aid.

It doesn’t take a whole boatload of logic and reasoning to increase the safety of our populace without infringing on anything more than individual ignorance and fear.

Sooner or later, we have to grow into a society where children and their parents are less likely to fear death on a daily basis.

Written by Ed Campbell

February 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

“Excuse me, I’m not dead”

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Kimberly Haman is not dead and would like everyone to know it — most of all her bank and a major credit bureau accused of reporting otherwise and failing to fix the mistake.

Haman, 46, of unincorporated St. Louis County, filed suit Monday in federal court here against Heartland Bank, of St. Louis, and Equifax. The complaint says she was “shocked” to find that the bank declared her dead almost a year ago and that the credit reporting giant passed word along.

The suit alleges that she repeatedly complained to both, with no result.

“She’s contacting them, and saying, ‘Excuse me, I’m not dead.’ And even through that process, they continue to report her as deceased,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Sylvia Goldsmith, said in an interview.

Twice, Haman has been blocked from refinancing her mortgage to a lower rate. She also has been refused a credit card, after potential lenders spotted her “deceased” status, the suit says.

“At this point, (Haman) is at a complete loss as to what else she can do,” the suit says. “The entire experience has imposed upon (Haman) significant distrust, frustration and distress, and has rendered Plaintiff hopeless as to her ability to regain her good name and the credit rating that she deserves and has worked hard to earn,” it continues…

Which is lawyerese for saying her credit rating is screwed. She’s unable to use any of the credit and commerce protocols generally available in our economy – if you have credit and if you’re not dead. :)

A Federal Trade Commission study of the credit reporting industry, released a year ago, found that 26 percent of the 1,001 consumers surveyed found at least one “potentially material” error on at least one of the three major credit bureaus’ reports, and 5 percent had an error that could make insurance and loans more expensive.

The Consumer Data Industry Association pointed out that only 2.2 percent of reports had an error that would increase consumer prices, and 88 percent of the errors were the result of inaccurate information provided by lenders and others to the credit bureaus.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting agencies to conduct “reasonable investigations into claims that information is inaccurate, correct the information and report back to consumers.

It allows consumers to seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as lawsuit costs and statutory penalties that can range from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

Goldsmith said that last summer, an Oregon woman won $18.6 million in a federal lawsuit against Equifax.

Juries are starting to get pretty annoyed with the cavalier attitude that these bureaus are taking to their responsibilities,” she said.

RTFA for the history with her bank. No one seems able to discover the source of the error. More to the point, the bank seems to be unable to check the appropriate box and report her as alive!

Some banks and just about every credit agency I ever dealt with was significantly less than competent. I say some because there are beaucoup banks staffed with IT folks able to navigate regulatory red tape to maintain accurate records. Big and small. I deal mostly with a community bank; but, maintain a relationship with one of the biggies going to BITD when I was involved in a small way with international commerce. Nowadays, even my local community bank can handle transfer of funds internationally.

And they know I’m alive.

Written by Ed Campbell

February 11, 2014 at 8:00 am


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