Not news: New York State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez (D-Brooklyn) has been accused of sexually harassing several women.
News: Assemblyman Lopez is resigning rather than fighting the charges.
About a month ago, I noted the money laundering and gambling charges against Hillel Nahmad, a prominent member of the NYC art scene. Over the past two days, the NYT has run two longish articles going into more detail about the Nahmad accusations:
- Shocked, shocked I am to find out that high-stakes gambling goes on in NYC.
- “Information about how the family’s art business actually works has been difficult to pin down. In several settings, the Nahmads have described a company called the International Art Center as their base of art transactions. But in a federal suit last year the Nahmads sought to deny any legal connection between themselves and the center. Lawyers for the other side in that case said they were not even able to determine where the International Art Center was incorporated. A Christie’s invoice in the case showed the center’s location as Switzerland, but the auction house redacted the city and precise address before entering the document into court records. In a deposition in another lawsuit, Helly Nahmad said the International Art Center was based not in Switzerland but in Panama.”
Meanwhile in Utah, the West Valley City Police Department has problems.
It all started when two undercover officers shot and killed a 21-year-old woman.
As police investigators combed through the crime scene, they popped opened the trunk of the car belonging to Detective Shaun Cowley — one of two narcotics officers who had been on the scene of the shooting. Inside, they found drug paraphernalia and items linked to previous drug cases.
They found that officers had mishandled evidence and had placed tracking devices on suspects’ cars without getting necessary warrants. Confidential informers had been misused. In some cases, officers had removed trinkets like necklaces or candles from the scene of drug arrests as “trophies.” In a few instances, drugs and money were missing.
The pattern was repeated in case after case, defense lawyers said: When they decided to challenge drug charges rather than accept a quick guilty plea, West Valley City folded up the cases. Then the district attorney, after reviewing hundreds of cases, began dismissing them by the dozen, saying he could not successfully prosecute them.