So. It has come to this.
(Actually, we just like saying “So. It has come to this.” We’re also fond of “As foretold in the prophecy” and “so let it be written, so let it be done”.)
This week’s TMQ, after the jump…
Both officers were suspended for “accidentally” discharging their “patrol shotguns”. One was suspended for three days, and the other officer was suspended for one. (The reason for the difference is not clear. Based on the Statesman‘s reporting, it doesn’t seem that there were any injuries.)
Not gun related, but another officer is being suspended for 16 days. Apparently, he violated guidelines in his handling of a sexual assault case involving a child, and became “involved in a civil matter in violation of the department’s policy”. (These were unrelated offenses, just to be clear.)
Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he’s signed an executive order for a controversial state takeover of financially strapped Atlantic City, installing an emergency management team to help dig the gambling resort out of “an enormous hole.”
(Subject line hattip, if you needed it.)
(The Chicken Man, in case you ever wondered about that lyric.)
Heh. Heh. Heh. Part I:
The powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges on Thursday, sending shock waves through the political establishment and upending the new legislative session.
Mr. Silver’s party affiliation is given early in the second paragraph. This bit of trivia is in the fifth paragraph:
Mike the Musicologist tipped me off to this story a while back, but I’ve been kind of waiting until something happened with it. Something did. Sort of.
State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane could face charges of perjury, obstruction, and other crimes in connection with the leak of confidential information to a Philadelphia newspaper in an apparent bid to embarrass her political enemies, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
The grand jury has also recommended charges of “false swearing” and “official oppression”. Ms. Kane’s party affiliation shows up in the fourth paragraph. And the newspaper in question is the Daily News (paragraph seven).
The problem here is that the grand jury recommendation is only advisory: the decision on actually filing charges is up to the local district attorney (“Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman”), and I’m not sure what the odds are on that actually happening.
I’m going to drop this in here, even though it doesn’t fit with the “bad politician” theme, because I don’t have a better place to put it. You may be asking yourself, especially in the light of past coverage on this blog, “What does it take to get yourself fired as a cop in Philadelphia?”
Well, we have an answer to that question:
I just finished updating the “Contact information for the Austin City Council” page with the latest information. Please let me know if you find any errors or omissions.
The pages on the city website appear to have eliminated actual email addresses (relying instead on contact forms): if you happen to have a real address for your council member, you might share it. Fax numbers are also not present, but that may be an artifact: it looks like they’ve reorganized the phone system to make things a little more logical.
It hasn’t been that long since the council was sworn in, and I’m sure it will take some time for the council members to get their individual pages set up the way they’d like. I’ll try to keep an eye out for changes, but, again, I’d appreciate help from my readers on that.
I still need to get the Travis County Commissioner’s Court page updated, but with a little bit of luck I’ll be able to do that on my lunch hour.
Edited to add: The Commissioner’s Court page is now updated.
…to lose your job as a cop?
If you’re the police chief in Phoenix, the answer is “insubordination”. Specifically, calling a press conference and demanding a new contract after the city manager said “Don’t DO that!” seems to be a sure way to get yourself terminated.
If you’re with the Austin Police Department, the answer is “running your mouth to a reporter”. Technically, Andrew Pietrowski “retired”, but it seems like his retirement was just ahead of “being canned by Art Acevedo”.
“Now, stop and think about this. I don’t care who you are. You think about the women’s movement today, [women say] ‘Oh, we want to go [into] combat,’ and then, ‘We want equal pay, and we want this.’ You want to go fight in combat and sit in a foxhole? You go right ahead, but a man can’t hit you in public here? Bulls–t! You act like a whore, you get treated like one!”
The way I read this, it wasn’t like Pietrowski was asked for his opinion; he just walked up to a reporter who was there for another reason and started spouting off.
From the Austin Chronicle‘s runoff endorsements for District 8:
In October, when we endorsed Scruggs, we noted his bulldog efforts to create a Democratic outpost in Circle C, his attention to thorny issues like global warming and gun control, and his affable leadership style.
How did that work out for you, Ed?
Oooooooh. Not so well.
I was not aware that the law firm had shut down; that’s a good first start, but nothing in the article indicates that any of the lawyers involved have been forced to surrender their licenses.
Even after the phony DUI report, as the union attempted to distance itself form its former law firm – Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir – and the P.I.’s records show that money continued to flow from the union to the law firm to investigators.
The affidavit shows that even after the union said it fired its law firm, after word of the DUI setup got out, the union continued to pay its elevated retainer rate of $4,500 per quarter to the firm as late as January 2013. Lanzillo and Impola were paid by the law firm through January, as well.
Another thing I’m curious about: why does the Costa Mesa Police Department continue to exist? At this point, given that the department is clearly out of control to the point where they’re threatening politicians, wouldn’t it be better to disband them, fire everyone, and let the county sheriff’s department patrol Costa Mesa until they can build a new department from the ground up?
(Of course, this being California, many of the crooked cops from Costa Mesa will probably end up with jobs in the sheriff’s department or other cities in the area.)
The runoff election was today. The polls closed at 7 PM.
Also, in case you were wondering, Steve Adler was the only candidate who responded to my emailed question about Art Acevedo’s future. That’s why you haven’t seen any updates: because Martinez, Sheri Gallo, and Mandy Dealey couldn’t be arsed to answer.
We have our first response on the Art Acevedo question, from the Steve Adler campaign.
Since I didn’t state I would be publishing the replies here in my original email, I don’t feel comfortable doing so now. But I can summarize: as you might have guessed, it was the usual politician glurge.
Not very satisfying.
I’ve emailed the two candidates in my Austin council district and the two that are running for mayor, inquiring about their positions on Art Acevedo. So far, I have not received an answer from any of them.
As a Libertarian, I am generally opposed to foreign military intervention, absent a direct threat to the United States. I am not convinced that it is our job to impose democracy on foreign countries.
However, if we are going to overthrow a totalitarian regime and bring about democracy, can we start here?
Obit watch: Ernest Brace. He was a civilian pilot working for the CIA in Vietnam; in 1965 he was captured by the enemy and spent nearly eight years in North Vietnamese prisons. John McCain was in the cell next to him.
According to the police and news media reports, Mr. Kakehi was just one of six outwardly healthy elderly men who died abruptly over the last eight years after marrying or starting romantic relationships with Ms. Kakehi.
Anyone want to guess what she didn’t use to (allegedly) kill these men? Anyone? Bueller?
Also among the dead: Nathaniel Branden, “writer Ayn Rand’s former devotee, lover and intellectual heir”. I know this is a few days old, but I’ve been waiting for an obituary to be published in a reputable source that I’m willing to link to. (Edited to add: NYT obit.)
Jonathan Yardley has retired from the WP. His last piece was published this past weekend.
I wanted to make note of his retirement here because I liked Yardley’s writing very much. In particular, he was responsible for one of my favorite things ever done by a book critic: “Second Reading”, where he went back and reconsidered books he’d previously read. And he wasn’t a snob: he’d go back and re-read a classic like “Gatsby”, but he also covered Hunter S. Thompson, John D. MacDonald, Josephine Tey, and Charles Willeford. There is a very good book, Second Reading, that collects about half of these columns; the other half are available in various places on the web, or you can search the WP website. (I think the Post’s tagging of Yardley’s columns is a bit inconsistent, though.)
God bless you, Mr. Yardley. May you enjoy your retirement. And if you’re reading this and happen to find someone whose work you enjoy as much as MacDonald’s, would you drop me a line?
Hey, speaking of Chief Acevedo and the Austin Police Department, were you saying to yourself, “Self, I wonder if the APD got any of that sweet military surplus gear, like snow pants and snow shoes?”
The answer? $2,170,190.24 worth. Including a helicopter.
Also, 13 “RIFLE,7.62 MILLIMETER”. Not that I’m complaining; I own one, so why shouldn’t the APD?
Also, this is just the Austin Police Department. The Austin Community College Police Department, which is a separate entity, got some stuff too. Nothing flashy, though. The Bastrop PD got $93,180.88 worth, including 10 “RIFLE,5.56 MILLIMETER”. The Buda PD numbers look a little odd: they are reported as getting 13 “RIFLE,5.56 MILLIMETER” with a total value of $1,560 (that’s $120 per rifle; you can’t even buy a Mosin-Nagant for $120 these days) and 3 “PISTOL,CALIBER .45,AUTOMATIC” valued at $176.13 (that’s $58.71 per; I’ll buy .45 automatic pistols at $58.71 all damn day. As long as they have a serviceable frame, I don’t care if they fire out of the box; they can be gunsmithed into working guns. It’d be a good learning experience.)
One more: the Lakeway PD got 30 of those “PISTOL,CALIBER .45,AUTOMATIC” (same price per as above) and two “RIFLE,7.62 MILLIMETER” ($138 per) for a total of $2,037.30.
And why does the Leander PD need a “MINE RESISTANT VEHICLE”?
If you’re wondering about your own municipal police department or other law enforcement agency, here’s the database I drew all this from (scroll to the bottom to search).
Hattip: Popehat on the Twitter.