Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

You know what Germany needs?

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Strict anti-tank rocket launcher control.

I hate to be all WP all the time, but I did want to make note of this too, if for no other reason than: the Baader-Meinhof Gang is back, baby!

Hey hey hey, it’s Fat…Leonard?

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Leonard Glenn Francis ran Glenn Defense Marine Asia. His company specialized in providing services to US Navy warships (things like fuel, food, water, and sewage disposal) and was quite successful at it.

How did he do this?

In perhaps the worst national-security breach of its kind to hit the Navy since the end of the Cold War, Francis doled out sex and money to a shocking number of people in uniform who fed him classified material about U.S. warship and submarine movements. Some also leaked him confidential contracting information and even files about active law enforcement investigations into his company.

The company forged invoices, falsified quotes and ran kickback schemes. It created ghost subcontractors and fake port authorities to fool the Navy into paying for services it never received.

So far, four Navy officers, an enlisted sailor and a senior agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) have pleaded guilty to federal crimes and are already behind bars or are facing prison time. So have Francis and two other Glenn Defense executives.

There are claims that over 200 other people are “subjects” of the ongoing investigation.

In December, Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, summoned about 200 admirals to a special gathering in Washington.
Without naming names, he revealed that about 30 of them were under criminal investigation by the Justice Department or ethical scrutiny by the Navy for their connections to Francis, according to two senior Navy officials with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Select sailors would be invited to an extravagant banquet, featuring cognac and whiskey, Cohiba cigars from Cuba, and platters of Spanish suckling pig and Kobe beef. Francis would sometimes fly in a band of pole dancers, which he called his Elite Thai SEAL Team, for X-rated shows, court records show.

Strippers. Always with the strippers. The only thing missing from this story is blow:

“Can u set up some clean, disease free wome[n]when I am there?” Simpkins emailed. A few days later, he added: “Whats the plan to meet up and maybe do some honeys?”
“Honeys and bunnys,” Francis replied, confirming the date.

There’s even a rogue NCIS agent.

“The man who seduced the 7th Fleet” from the WP.

On the dropping of shoes.

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

I have avoided writing about this for the past few days because there were a lot of rumors and “unconfirmed reports” floating around that claimed to be true, but were denied by the university.

Now I feel like I can write about this, because we finally have an official statement from Baylor University:

Art Briles out as football coach.

Ken Starr out as university president:

Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.

Both ESPN and the Statesman report that while Starr is staying on, he will have “no operational duties at the university”.

All of this is fallout from a major scandal: basically, several people, including one Baylor athlete, stated they were sexually assaulted by other athletes (mostly football players, though “a former tennis player is the lone suspect in a sexual assault case that has been active for more than eight months”), and that the university responded badly:

Other former Baylor students have spoken to the Tribune-Herald about how the university mishandled their complaints, including one who claimed a Baylor police officer blamed her for being raped.

More: Statesman. ESPN. Timeline of events, also from ESPN.

Inverted Jenny watch.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Missed this over the weekend, but Mom caught it: thanks, Mom!

Inverted Jenny #76 may appear at the World Stamp Show 2016, which starts next Saturday.

Or it may not.

#76 is significant because it was part of a block of four Inverted Jennies that were stolen from a stamp show in 1955. It appears that the block was split up: one of the stamps was found in 1958, a second one in 1982, and #76 showed up recently at an auction house. The American Philatelic Research Library wants to display it at the show (they claim ownership) but since the stamp is stolen property, there’s complicated legal wrangling involved.

In case you are interested, there’s another Inverted Jenny (#58) coming up for auction May 31st.

The estimates for No. 58 range from $525,000 to $1.6 million.

Historical note, of questionable suitability for use in schools.

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Today is the anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde’s death.

I would otherwise have missed it, were it not for this (Warning! Slideshow!) article in the HouChron (Warning! Slideshow!).

While the photos are worthwhile, I’m kind of annoyed by the captions: some them, and the article, refer to the ambush taking place today, while other captions refer to it taking place May 24th. Wikipedia (I know, I know) backs up the May 23rd date, as does Jeff Guinn (from what I’m able to tell).

There’s one photo in particular that I like in that slideshow: the one of Alcorn, Hinton, Gault, and Hamer (number 19).

And I was hoping that I could visit the shooting site when I’m in Louisiana in a few weeks, but I sat down and did the math: sadly, it’s over three hours each way from Baton Rouge to Gibsland, and that’s just not going to work this trip.

(I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Go Down Together still gets an unqualified endorsement from me.)

Obit watch and playing catch up: May 21, 2016.

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Alan Young.

Yesterday was kind of a busy day. There were multiple things that I intended to make note of, but I got stuck into something I can’t discuss right now, and…well….anyway:

Morley Safer, for the historical record.

San Francisco police chief “resigns” “at the request of Mayor Ed Lee”. I think we can call this one a “firing”.

The precipitating incident here seems to have been the SFPD shooting of a woman in a possibly stolen vehicle: she fled from the officers and crashed into the back of a truck.

The car crashed into a utility truck a short distance away. Although no weapon was found on the woman and the car was wedged under the truck, a police sergeant fired a single shot, killing her, police said.

It sounds at first like there was a bit of a rush to judgement on this: the shooting took place Thursday morning, and Suhr was canned Thursday afternoon. But as the linked SFGate article notes, this wasn’t the first problem under Suhr’s administration: there had been two previous controversial shootings, plus a scandal over “racist and homophobic text messages”.

Great and good friend of the blog and occasional guest poster RoadRich sent a series of thoughtful comments yesterday on the Suhr firing: I’m hoping he’ll let me post those as a guest post, but I didn’t get a chance to ask him yesterday because of [redacted] and he’s busy today.

In other California news, remember Maywood? How could you forget the nearly broke municipality of Maywood, “the second-smallest city in Los Angeles County”?

But that didn’t stop municipal leaders from granting themselves, the city treasurer and the city clerk $250 monthly mileage stipends.
If Maywood used the Internal Revenue Service’s suggested reimbursement rate for business travel of 54 cents a mile, city officials would need to drive 463 miles a month to reach the $250 mark.

More:

Councilman Ricardo Villarreal said he didn’t think twice about voting in favor of the monthly stipends because he thought the roughly $550 a month they get for serving as council members didn’t cover other costs like meals with other officials and mileage.

I wonder if the councilman and other officials are eating at Tacos Los Desvelados.

Turning our attention to Austin:

Albert “Matt” Arevalo was fired in September after being charged with DWI last May. Arevalo was stopped after driving 91 mph in a 55 mph zone, and his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, police said.

Mr. Arevalo was an officer with the Austin Police Department. Given that knowledge, would you care to guess what happened next? Yes: he got his job back!

The arbitrator mandated that Arevalo should only serve a 180-day suspension and receive back pay for any days over that period, said Austin police union president Ken Casaday in a letter members of the Austin Police Association.

I know sometimes you wanna let go…

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Me and my people:

Somewhat related: APD homicide detective Kerry Scanlon is retiring today.

Detective Kerry Scanlon has spent 26 years at APD, 14 of those years as a homicide detective. He’s investigated more than 500 deaths, 50 of them determined to be homicides.

I think this is a pretty good story (and I’m not just saying that because Nadia Galindo was one of our CPA classmates).

“A homicide detective needs to be somebody that has curiosity,” he said. “[Someone] that gets the challenge and accepts the challenge.”

Detective Scanlon came down and spoke to our CPA class. He came across to me as a pretty good guy. (I’m a little biased: he gave me a spiffy APD Homicide coffee mug because I was able to articulate the difference between homicide and murder.) I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement.

Been through the desert…

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Blogger, with occasional horse.

Blogger, with occasional horse.

Quickies.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Well, baseball season’s finally gotten underway with the ceremonial throwing out of the first manager.

Fredi Gonzalez out as manager of the Braves. The team was 9-28 so far this year; he was 434-413 overall while with the Braves.

The grand jury has decided not to indict former APD officer Geoffrey Freeman, who you may remember better as the officer who shot and killed a naked 17-year-old male. (Previously.)

Obit watch: Guy Clark, noted Texas musician.

Edited to add 5/18: More Guy Clark. NYT. South Texas Pistolero. A/V Club.

The Bunk is strictly a Clinton motherf—er.

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Oh, Wendell.

Pierce, an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter, allegedly began arguing with a Bernie Sanders supporter and her boyfriend at The Lobby, the hotel’s bar, around 3:30 a.m., according to TMZ. The site goes on to report the conversation became heated, and Pierce “became enraged, pushed the boyfriend and then went after his girlfriend … grabbing her hair and smacking her in the head.”

He was charged with “simple battery” and released on bond.

(Subject line explained, for non “Wire” fans.)

Kind of a day for followup.

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Back in February of 2012, I noted the firing of APD officer Michelle Gish, who was accused of striking a restrained woman who had spit on her.

Officer Gish’s firing was upheld by the police arbitrator. But she’s been suing the city. Her lawsuit was initially dismissed, but on Wednesday the 3rd Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal and returned her case to district court.

Why?

Another officer, Jose Robledo, was also fired at the same time for lying about the incident.

…Gish’s lawyers said the city acted improperly when it provided a document about Robledo’s firing to the person overseeing her arbitration.
The document was the ruling of another arbitrator who upheld Robledo’s termination. Gish’s attorney said they should have had the chance to cross-examine or challenge the arbitrator’s opinion. Instead, lawyers for the city submitted the opinion after Gish’s hearing had been concluded, the ruling said.

So basically, the city submitted into evidence a document from a different case and didn’t give Gish or her team a chance to reply. Seriously, this seems even to me like a naughty no-no.

Well, isn’t this interesting?

Friday, May 13th, 2016

The Harris County DA’s office is apparently going to drop the murder charges against Chimene Onyeri.

You may remember Mr. Onyeri as the “person of interest” in the shooting of Judge Julie Kocurek. (Previously.)

Why are the charges being dropped? Reply hazy, ask again later. But:

1)

The dismissal of the charge against 28-year-old Chimene Onyeri will allow him to be brought to Austin — likely in the next few days — to face a motion to revoke his probation on a 2012 larceny charge in Travis County, Onyeri’s Houston attorney, Sam Adamo, said.

2)

Prosecutors have been investigating the case since the November attack on Kocurek but have not rushed to charge him since he has been behind bars on the Houston murder charge. It is unclear now if Austin police and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office will expedite their decision to bring charges.

This is still breaking and much of it is speculative, but it is a curious development. Why would the HCDA’s office drop a murder charge, just so Travis County could go after an alleged judge shooter? Was the murder charge weak to begin with, and is the evidence in the judge shooting better? Is is more politically palatable to go after him for shooting at (but not killing) the judge rather than killing a regular citizen? He’s more than likely going to die in prison no matter what. (Assuming he is convicted: Onyeri is at least entitled to some presumption of innocence.)