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Top News Stories ~ 2018!

"New Jersey Turn-Slap!"

(Top video) Gloucester County Township, NJ · (@Wilabee) ~ United States (WCJB) (Originally Published: April 13, 2018 ~ Updated: April 14, 2018) -- Body-camera footage released Friday shows Gloucester County Township police officer John Flinn, 27, socking the girl twice in the head as he handcuffs her. The girl was face-down with both arms pulled behind her back when the blows were delivered, and could be heard crying out afterward.

"NYPD Street Brawls!"

Harlem, NY ~ ( Originally Published: July 1, 2015 ~ Updated: April 6, 2018) -- A cellphone video shows Saykour George getting arrested in Harlem. A plainclothes officer engaged George in a knockout fight. The video shows the arrest near 131st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Jun Iceaa, the man's friend, shot the video on his phone. Iceaa says he and George were leaving a pizza place down the street. They were enroute to the George's apartment. George was then stopped by plainclothes officers. One of the officers asks George for his ID. The NYPD said the police saw that George had a knife, which prompted the stop. George is facing several charges. They include assault on an officer, possession of a weapon and disorderly conduct.(Published Wednesday, July 1, 2015)
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Emotional Verdicts & Sentences! ~ 2018!
United States (WCJB) {PUBLISHED: April 10, 2018 at 02:10 pm | UPDATED: April 13, 2018 at 03:30 am} -- United States -- Watch as criminal defendants have emotional breakdowns during arraignments, verdicts and sentencing!
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Corrupt Justice™ ~ 2018
Oakland, California
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Parkland, FL {PUBLISHED: February 22, 2018 at 02:50 pm | UPDATED: February 23, 2018 at 02:45 pm} -- Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced Thursday that school resource officer, Deputy Scot Peterson turned in his retirement papers. Scot retired after being told he would be placed on leave without pay. Peterson was on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week during the fatal school shooting.Peterson was armed and in uniform during the shooting. Israel said there was video showing Peterson's actions, but the video would not be released because the investigation is continuing. He said the video showed Peterson take up a position outside the building, but "he never went in."

New York, NY {PUBLISHED: March 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm | UPDATED: August 24, 2017 at 01:53 am} -- The New York health department alerted doctors to the case of a newborn who fell ill after undergoing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice in which the circumcision wound is cleaned by the Rabbi's mouth. The baby boy was rushed to hospital when he developed herpes following the controversial ancient circumcision ritual. A rash is said to have spread across the child’s genitals, buttocks, inner thighs and ankle two weeks after the procedure. An estimated 3,000 babies are circumcised each year using the method in New York City. NYC is home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel. There have been six cases of herpes among children who have had the ritual known as metzitzah b’peh performed on them since February 2015. Of the six previously undisclosed cases, two occurred last year and three in 2015. Herpes, a highly contagious viral disease which can cause blisters and ulcers. Herpes is more severe in newborn babies as their immune systems are not fully developed. Since 2000, there have been 24 cases of infant herpes linked to circumcision, leading to two deaths and two cases of brain damage.

(Published: Thurs., April 13, 2017) — On Monday, Nandi Cain Jr. had just gotten off work and was headed to his Sacramento apartment when he noticed an officer approaching from behind him with his hand on his gun, according to police accounts, videos of the event and local news reports. Cain put his hands up as the officer approached, but continued to walk away slowly. He asked the police officer the reason for the stop, then protested when he heard it: “You were jaywalking,” the officer said on the dash-cam video released by the police department this week. “I looked both ways,” Cain replied. “You’re harassing me. I just got off work. You’re trying to pull me over for nothing.” Click here for video

EL CENTRO, CA (WCJB) ~ United States The El Centro Police Department said it's investigating a video that shows officers using force on a suspect who put several people in danger Tuesday afternoon. The video shows officers beating 23-year-old Elizardo Saenz, an El Centro resident. It also shows a K-9 police dog attacking Saenz. (Click here for video)

Oakland, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- A sex scandal involving Oakland police officers and a then underage girl has all the makings of a TV thriller. The saga is full of twists and turns. The scandal erupted months after Officer Brendan O'Brien committed suicide. O'Brien left a note spilling the details, including names. Three Oakland officers were placed on paid leave. A source said O'Brien in his suicide note confessed to exchanging messages with a young woman who goes by the name Celeste Guap. However, the note says he did not have sexual contact with her. The same sources said she has met multiple officers. In the note, O'Brien named the officers, including one sergeant, involved in the alleged sexual misconduct with Guap. Guap is the daughter of a Oakland police dispatcher. The police investigation will look at whether Guap was under age during some of the encounters with officers. (Click here for video)

New Orleans, LA (WCJB) ~ United States -- On September 4, 2005, New Orleans police received a call from an officer at Danziger Bridge reporting gunfire. Several NOPD officers—including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon—arrived at the scene in a Budget rental truck. They proceeded to open fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier. 17-year-old James Brissette—a family friend—was killed, and four other people were wounded. The police shooters stated that while approaching the bridge, they had been fired on by civilians, and were forced to return fire. Homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman was made the lead investigator on the case. He was later found guilty of conspiring with the defendants to conceal evidence in order to make the shootings appear justified, including fabricating information for his official reports on the case. NOPD lieutenant Michael Lohman also encouraged the officers to "provide false stories about what had precipitated the shooting" and plant a firearm near the scene. (Click here for video)

Aiken, S.C. (WCJB) ~ United States -- A horrifying new dashcam video shows at least one white member of the Aiken, S.C. Police Department search inside a black man’s rectum for the apparent crime of being a passenger in a car with paper tags, which, it bears noting, is not a crime in the state of South Carolina. Driving a car with paper tags isn’t illegal either, as long as they aren’t expired. The car belonged to a woman named Lakeya Hicks, who had the paper tags because she had recently purchased the vehicle. Hicks’ tags weren’t expired, and a check on her license came up clean. However, the cops didn’t let her go. (Click here for video)

Brooklyn, NY (WCJB) ~ United States -- When an unmarked police car drove very close to mailman Glenn Grays in Brooklyn, Grays shouted at the car. Four plainclothes officers got out of the car and started to handcuff him. Grays initially tried to resist, and one of the officers said “Stop resisting! You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands.” (Click here for video)

Fresno, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- (Warning Graphic Video) Fresno Police shoot and kill mentally ill man within seconds of exiting their patrol vehicle! (Click here for video)

Royal Oaks, MI (WCJB) ~ United States -- Another case of police brutality in the city of Royal Oak. The man doesn't resist at all! The reason for his arrest remains unknown. It appears as if the officers wanted to rip a limb off of him! (Click here for video)

San Francisco, CA (WCJB) ~ United States (Feb. 29, 2016) -- Cops CAUGHT ON CAMERA brutally beating man. When they realize they've been FILMED they try to confiscate the camera and ID the guy recording them. WATCH the video and see how well that went for them. SPREAD THE WORD! THIS IS HOW YOU RESPOND when a VIOLENT COP tries to take your camera! CALL Internal Affairs Division, 415-837-7170 and ask them why their officers BEAT people and then ILLEGALLY try to confiscate evidence of Police Brutality? (Click here for video)
Chowchilla, CA ~ United States -- Tyler Hormel, arrested by Madera County Sheriff''s Office on Monday (Feb. 8, 2016) and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, has been fired from the Chowchilla Police Force, and charged with sexual misconduct. (Click here for video)
Marion County, Florida ~ United States -- A federal grand jury in Tampa has indicted a former Florida sheriff’s deputy on charges of violating the civil rights of an unarmed Black man, who was brutally beaten after surrendering to him and other officers following a brief chase last year, reports Reuters. Former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Terrell, 33, is accused of using excessive force against Derrick Price during the incident in August 2014 that was captured on video, according to the indictment handed down late Tuesday. Four of Terrell’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to the charge after accepting a deal, according to media sources. (Click here for video)
Wake County, North Carolina ~ United States -- Shon Demetrius McClain died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck 13 days after prosecutors say he got into a fight with officer Markeith Council in Wake County, North Carolina.(Click here for video)
New York ~ United States -- Opening statements and testimony began this week in the long-awaited trial of New York City police officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old African-American man walking down the stairs in his apartment building, part of the Louis H. Pink housing projects in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Jury selection in the case was completed last week. Gurley died more than 14 months ago, on November 20, 2014, as two cops were making a “vertical patrol,” checking the stairwells in the high-rise building. As Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner put it, opening the prosecution’s case, “Akai Gurley is dead today because he crossed paths with Peter Liang.” Liang was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on manslaughter and other charges last February, and both prosecution and defense agree on the immediate events that led to Gurley’s death.(Click here for video)
Oklahoma City, OK ~ United States -- Daniel Holtzclaw has officially been sentenced for the rape and sexual assault of 13 Black women in Oklahoma. Will serve the rest of his life behind bars. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison. Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted in December of 2015, on 18 of the 36 counts he had been facing — including four counts of first-degree rape. (Click here for video)

United States -- Police officers physically outmatched by a combative male, resort to taser use. (Click here for video)

Chicago, IL -- Surveillance video (Click here for video) in connection with a Chicago police officer's fatally shooting 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman was released today by attorneys for the teen's family. A federal judge ordered the release of footage showing the 2013 shooting today after the city withdrew its objection to its being made public. Chicago police officer Kevin Fry fatally shot Chatman Jan. 7, 2013, in broad daylight during a foot chase, according to court records. Chatman’s family had fought for the video to be released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit they filed over the shooting against the city, Fry and Chicago police officer Lou Toth, who pursued Chatman along with Fry during the foot chase. Family members have argued the video will counter the city and police’s narrative that the 17-year-old was a danger to police. IPRA concluded the officers' actions were justified because they reasonably believed Chatman was armed at the time.

Brooklyn, NY -- A newly-released surveillance video (Click here for video) contradicts an undercover NYPD police officer who arrested four people in Brooklyn for allegedly trying to rob him on Dec. 26, 2015, according to a defense lawyer. Jean Scott, 33; Peterson Duplan, 28; Ricardi Joseph, 29; and Samantha Dabel, 24, said that they were approached by a man who tried to buy drugs from them at a hardware store. The undercover cop was identified as Winston McDonald, who testified in court that Duplan allegedly flashed a switchblade at him outside of the store, and said, "Give me your money or I will stab you," according to court papers.

Forth Worth, TX -- The mother of ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch was ordered released from a Tarrant County jail cell after a bond hearing this afternoon. She may be leaving the jail soon. Judge Wayne Salvant ordered her bond reduced to $75,000 with several conditions. The conditions include weekly visits with the Community Supervisions and Corrections Department of Tarrant County. She is also not to consume alcoholic beverages or use social media. “Let’s look at it for what it is, I understand everyone is concerned and there is outrage in the community… but as a judge I have to look at the law,” said Judge Salvant. Couch and her lawyers were present at a 2 p.m. bond hearing at the Tarrant County Justice Center hoping to have her bond reduced. It was originally set at $1 million since she was charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Felon. (Click here for video)

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Exactly one year after a man was shot and killed during an altercation with a Salt Lake City Police Department officer, a former Davis County Sheriff says new video (Click here for video)footage indicates the officer's actions may not have been justified. James Barker, 42, was shot and killed January 8, 2015 after officer Matthew Taylor responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person and an altercation ensued, during which Barker appeared to strike the officer with a snow shovel.

Philadelphia, PA ~ USA -- Corrupt Justice™ has obtained a video (Click here for video) of the police shooting that took place Thursday night at 60th and Spruce streets. Edward Archer, a 30-year-old Delaware County man who has allegedly claimed an allegiance to ISIS, shot and wounded Officer Jesse Hartnett at 11:41 p.m. last night, city police said. Stunningly, Hartnett can be seen in the video getting out of his patrol car and chasing down the shooter after being ambushed. Officials say Hartnett is in critical but stable condition.

Miami, FL ~ USA -- A Florida jury began weighing on Tuesday whether a man who killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered, lifeless body on Facebook committed first-degree murder. Attorneys for Derek Medina, 33, argued that he was acting in self-defense when he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their Miami-area residence. The August 2013 shooting followed a fight in which she had threatened to leave, prosecutors said during closing statements. They argued that Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder. "Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," said Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein in Miami-Dade County circuit court. Medina wrote on Facebook shortly before turning himself in: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did," he added in the post. (Click here for video)

Montgomery County, Pa. -- Bill Cosby, the comedian and entertainer once known as “America’s dad”, appeared in court (Click here for video) to face his first criminal charge for sexual misconduct on Wednesday, for an incident in which he allegedly drugged and violated a woman who considered him to be her mentor. In a hearing lasting less than 10 minutes, Judge Elizabeth McHugh read out the three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. He did not appear visibly moved; when asked if he understood the charges, he replied simply: “Yes.” Bail was set at $1m, of which Cosby will have to pay 10% on Wednesday. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge.

San Diego, CA -- (WARNING, GRAPHIC) Police officials released surveillance video (Click here for video) Tuesday showing the fatal shooting of a homeless man who was believed to be carrying a knife — which turned out to be a pen.

Los Angeles, CA -- Sheriff Deputies accused Noel Aguilar of having a gun after they shot him in the back at point blank range multiple times. Deputy Albert Murade was shot in the stomach during the melee by his partner Deputy Jose Ruiz. (Click here for video)

GIFFORD, Fla. -- An Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy is in the hospital with a gunshot wound after he was involved in a shootout with an armed suspect.(Click here for video)

Denton, TX ~ USA -- Police dash camera video (Click here for video) appears to show a 21-year-old UNT student say "shoot me" several times and an officer say "back away" at least six times just seconds before the student was fatally wounded.

Lynwood, CA ~ USA -- A witness's graphic video (Click here for video) appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies fatally shooting a man near a gas station in Lynwood. It was unclear what led to the incident, in which more than two dozen shots seemed to be fired. No deputies were injured. In accordance with protocol, a multi-agency investigation was underway.

Oklahoma City OK ~ USA -- A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts he faced, including four counts of first-degree rape, related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood. Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, sobbed (Click here for video) as the verdict was read aloud. He could spend the rest of his life in prison based on the jury's recommendations, which include a 30-year sentence on each of the first-degree rape counts. Among the other charges he was convicted of were forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and second-degree rape. The jury, which deliberated for about 45 hours over four days, recommended he serve a total of 263 years in prison. The judge will decide later whether he will have to serve the sentences consecutively.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The Chicago police, facing almost daily protests and a newly announced Justice Department investigation, released footage (Click here for video) Monday night showing a 38-year-old black man being shocked by a Taser and dragged down a hallway by officers in 2012.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The family of Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson has ALWAYS said that he was brutally shot from behind by the Chicago Police. This new video (Click here for video) which was only released because of the public pressure on the city, shows they were right all along.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- Reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers claim that the 17-year-old McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video (Click here for video) of the October 2014 shooting shows McDonald walking away, and the scenario sketched out by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with murder contends he was walking away as well.

Miami, Fla. ~ USA -- A shocking video (Click here for video) captured by a bystander was recently uploaded to Instagram and sent to us this morning. That footage shows a Miami, Florida man being shot and killed by Miami Beach Police officers.

San Francisco, CA ~ USA -- Shocking San Francisco Police Shooting Video (Click here for video). Five officers unleash a hail of gunfire on a man with a knife.

Michigan ~ USA -- The family of an unarmed teenager fatally shot by an Eaton County Sheriff Deputy sues after son slain during traffic stop for flashing brights. Bodycam video (Click here for video) shows Deven Guilford stopped for flashing his high beams. It ends with a dizzying tumble of images and the sound of gunshots that killed the young driver.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

D.A. Michael Gressett: CoCo's Contradiction! - Part II

November 26, 2009

Oakland, CA (WCJB)

Oakland, California -- BART officials are investigating whether the officer involved in a confrontation with an unruly rider Saturday, November 21, 2009, violated new use-of-force policies the transit agency enacted after the well-publicized New Year's Day shooting of an unarmed passenger. "The officer used the available information he had and acted on it. The question is, did he act within BART's use-of-force policy," BART spokesman Linton Johnson said Monday following a news conference at the agency's Oakland headquarters. Formal charges against the BART rider were expected to be filed November 23rd by the Alameda County District Attorney's office.

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Mystery of Law's Death!

Posted: May 27, 2013 2:22 PM - Updated: May 28, 2013 7:51 PM PDT

 photo CharlesPerutoJr_zps2da4b42c.jpg

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Homicide investigators have questioned Charles Peruto Jr., a high-profile Philadelphia attorney, after his 26-year-old girlfriend, Julia Law, was found dead inside his Center City home Saturday morning, CBS Philly reports.

Peruto is reportedly said to be a witness and not a suspect as of now. Detectives are still investigating the cause of death and have not officially ruled the case a homicide.

Law was found face down in a bathtub inside the condo of Peruto just after 10 a.m. on Saturday. She was reportedly found unresponsive and was pronounced dead a short while later, according to the station.

Sources say Peruto was in Avalon, N.J. for the weekend and was not at home when the body was discovered. A friend of Peruto's reportedly came to his house to get some of his belongings for him and discovered Law in the third floor bathroom, the station reports.

On Sunday, Peruto posted a message on Facebook expressing thanks for people's "warm wishes."

"I found my soulmate hippy, and can never replace her. We worked and played, and never got enough life," Peruto wrote of Law, according to CBS Philly. "I'm grateful we made every minute count, without a single dispute about anything ever."

Innocent 'Coleslaw'!

Posted: 07/27/2011 08:58:08 PM PDT
Updated: 08/01/2011 04:58:58 PM PDT

(Sara Cole (pictured right) of Los Gatos, leaves the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice on July 27, 2011, the first day of her trial. She was accused of having unlawful sex with a then-16-year-old boy who was a friend of her son. Prosecutors say Cole not only had sex with the boy, but also supported his addiction to marijuana, acid and mushrooms. If convicted Cole faces jail time and could be ordered to register as a sex offender.)

After letting Sara Cole chatter on about parenting and other matters for the first 20 minutes of a police interview, detectives confronted her with a sexually graphic text message sent from her phone to a 16-year-old boy.

The Los Gatos mother of four, who had won widespread sympathy three years earlier after being severely injured by a drunken driver, fell silent. Her hands began to shake and she cried a little, one of the detectives who interviewed her last year in her kitchen testified Thursday. Eventually, she made a series of apparent admissions in a halting tone that her relationship with one of her son's best friends was not just platonic.

"I know this is going to sound horrible but it just didn't -- it just -- it seemed innocent," she said.

The taped interview was played Thursday at Cole's trial on three felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor and one misdemeanor count of molesting or annoying a child under 18. She has pleaded not guilty, and her attorney last week said in an interview that she only admitted to police she had "intimate relations," not intercourse, with the boy.

But when Cole took the stand briefly Thursday afternoon, she immediately denied having any intimate contact whatsoever with the teen -- including kissing. Corrupt Justice™ is not publishing the boy's name because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Her lawyer also told the jury she denies helping the teenager get drugs. He said she exchanged more than 5,000 texts and 800 phone calls with the teen over a 61/2-month period that began in January 2010 merely to help him through a troubled period of his life. "She made it a personal crusade to try to help him when it didn't seem like anyone else was," Armstrong said.

Court adjourned early and Cole is scheduled to resume testifying Monday. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday, Judge Jerome E. Brock said. In contrast to her testimony Thursday, Cole seemed flustered during the police interview in the fall when detectives showed her their copy of the sexually graphic text. At first she blamed her sons, saying they may have sent the message as a prank. But she backed off when the detectives pointed out the teen would have texted her back in surprise, rather than asking, "Wanna chil (sic)."

"Did you think of him as a boyfriend?" one of the officers asked.

"No, I didn't. No. No, no. It just was stupid," Cole said.

The boy initially told officers that he and Cole had sex three or four times. In the police interview, Cole appears to concur with the teen's estimate, agreeing with detectives that he was being "completely honest."

This week, the youth, now 17, testified that it had been more like 30 to 40 times, including in her green SUV in the parking lot of an elementary school. He claimed he didn't tell the truth last year about his relationship with the 47-year-old woman because it would "make me look bad and I wanted to save her (Cole)."

Detective Erin Lunsford told the jury Thursday that he and Detective Kevin Elliott essentially pretended during the interview to be sympathetic and nonjudgmental about the relationship to get Cole to confess. At one point, Cole assures the officers the relationship was over.

"When he comes back, are you expecting you would continue a physical relationship with him?" one of the officers asked.

"No. Uh-uh," she said.

"No? That's over?" the detective said.

"It wasn't -- I mean, yeah -- it would definitely need to be different," Cole said.

Cole offered several explanations why she would take up with a troubled boy who was struggling with drug problems and getting poor grades. The interview occurred after the boy was sent to a wilderness camp in Utah for troubled kids, where he told his therapist about the relationship.

"He didn't care my leg was messed up and he was just a like a nice boy," she said at one point.

At another point, she said "I understand it sounds crazy but I -- I just hope I wasn't -- I would like to think it was like a good friend."

She also said, "It's -- it's stupid. Like when you take a joke too far. I'm sorry. It just was like it just happened."

Last week, while the jury was being picked, Cole rejected a plea deal that would have allowed her to serve a six-month sentence at home, wearing an electronic bracelet. It also would have spared her from having to register as a sex offender, according to court documents. Now, if the jury convicts her on the felony counts, Brock is unlikely to sentence her to the maximum penalty of four years in state prison. But if the panel votes to convict her on the misdemeanor charge, she would be required to register as a sex offender.

In the police interview, one of the detectives assured her it would be best to be honest and move on. "(He) will get past it, but what's going to happen to me?" she said, referring to the teen. "I'm not going to move past it."

Teen Testimony

Hours before being whisked away in the middle of the night to a summer camp for troubled children, a teenage boy had sex with his best friends' mother in a green SUV -- while parked at a Los Gatos elementary school, the youth testified Wednesday. The encounter at Daves Avenue Elementary School was the last of at least 30 to 40 times the middle-aged Los Gatos woman and 16-year-old boy had intercourse, the boy claimed in testimony that contradicted what he told police last year.

"Did you lie last year to detectives when you told them you only had sex with Sara Cole three or four times?" prosecutor Timothy S. Moore asked, as Cole's trial on three felony counts of unlawful intercourse with a minor got under way Wednesday. "Yes," the youth instantly said in testimony that recounted a disturbing, drama-filled relationship with Cole. Now 17 and enrolled in a Montana boarding school -- which has a curriculum that includes psychological counseling -- the teen said he believed last year that telling the truth about the 3 1/2-month affair with the 47-year-old woman would "make me look bad and I wanted to save her (Cole)."

Cole made headlines -- and benefited from an outpouring of community support -- after a drunken driver nearly killed her in 2007.

Cole's attorney pointed out inconsistencies Wednesday in the boy's account, noting lies the teen told his parents and police, including not acknowledging his use of LSD and mushrooms. The boy also told detectives that Cole initiated the intercourse, but testified that "we looked at each other and it started to happen." The Mercury News is not publishing the boy's name because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Cole has pleaded not guilty, insisting she only had "intimate relations," not intercourse, with the boy. The mother of four sons is also charged with one misdemeanor count of molesting or annoying a child under 18. She may testify Thursday.

Judge Jerome E. Brock has excluded details of Cole's accident on the grounds that they were irrelevant and could unduly evoke jurors' sympathy.

During their relationship, which began 2 1/2 years after her accident, Cole and the teen exchanged 5,413 texts and 863 phone calls over seven months.

The teen's parents first reported their suspicions to police after seeing a sexually graphic text message on their son's phone. They discovered a series of disturbing texts after they had him taken to a wilderness camp for troubled children because he was getting poor grades and smoking marijuana.

Much to his surprise, the boy was jostled awake by camp counselors about 4 a.m. on July 15, 2010 -- about eight hours after his alleged encounter with Cole in the elementary school parking lot -- and flown to the Utah wilderness, where no cellphones or other electronic distractions were permitted.

The boy eventually reported the alleged sexual abuse to a therapist at the camp, who called his parents.

The boy, wearing a blue-plaid flannel shirt and jeans, told the rapt jury of seven women and five men that he and Cole often had sex in the kitchen or her bedroom while his best friend was in a nearby room sleeping or playing Xbox video games. In the testimony, the boy described a relationship that was anything but desirable. The teen said Cole supplied him with free food, cigarettes and marijuana -- even driving him to pick up pot. Once, he said, she promised to wait for him outside his dealer's house on Winchester Avenue, but left him stranded after discovering a text message on his cellphone from a girl he was dating, the youth testified.

The two appeared to battle constantly, judging from the text messages the prosecutor displayed for the jury. She once blocked his calls; he once damaged her back door after she locked him out because he stole her cigarettes, he testified. Throughout the long afternoon, the boy remained poised, responding in a straightforward, mature manner even under gentle but persistent questioning by Cole's attorney. But after stepping down from the witness box, he requested something of the judge that seemed to reflect his youth. Referring to a basket of treats clad in shiny gold paper that jurors had been passing around, the teen piped up, "Can I take a candy?" and grinned when the judge nodded his assent.

Bail - Denied!

November 17, 2010

Free on Bail!

Update: October 22, 2010

MARTINEZ, CA -- Former Contra Costa County deputy district attorney Michael Gressett (pictured left) pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he raped a junior colleague -- a year and three days after a grand jury indicted him on 13 felony counts. Plea entry on the indictment had been delayed by numerous legal motions, including an ongoing attempt by the defense to have retired Alameda County Judge Carlos Ynostroza booted from the case.

Gressett, 53, is accused of bringing a female deputy DA to his Martinez condominium during their lunch break on May 8, 2008, and raping her repeatedly, at times using an ice pick handle and ice, and holding a handgun to her head. Gressett and the woman had been on at least one previous date, and he asserts that the sex was consensual. Gressett was a three-time district attorney candidate and a veteran sex crimes prosecutor before his September 2008 arrest. He has been fighting to recoup his job and lost pay in an ongoing administrative hearing that resumes Nov. 15, 2010. Gressett remains free on $1 million bail.

No trial date was set Friday, as there are several more pending legal issues.

Gressett's attorney on Thursday filed a motion to state Judicial Council that said Ynostroza was never reordered to preside over the case after retired Mendocino County Judge William Lamb was assigned to oversee the grand jury proceedings during Ynostroza's vacation. He argues that Ynostroza had no authority over the case in the past year until his official reassignment in September, and he wants Lamb back on the case or a new judge assigned. The defense has been denied previous motions to remove Ynostroza, who Kotin argues is prejudiced against Gressett and cannot give him a fair trial based on his professional ties to potential witnesses.

Attorneys are scheduled to return to court Nov. 19, 2010 for a hearing in which Kotin will argue that grand jury transcripts should remained sealed, and the prosecution team from the state Attorney General's Office will argue to have them released. Another hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17, 2010 to argue a defense motion to dismiss charges in the indictment.

CoCo's Black Rapist!

$12 Million Dollar Bail!

Update: October 4, 2010

Contra Costa, CA - A suspect has been arrested and charged in connection with three attacks on women in the same apartment complex near Walnut Creek, authorities said Friday. Antonio Andre Mouton, 22, (pictured above, center) of Berkeley has been linked by DNA and other evidence to the three attacks - including a rape - at the Park Regency Apartments on the 3100 block of Oak Road "that have terrorized the citizens there" since June 30, said Contra Costa County sheriff's Capt. Steve Warne. Mouton was arrested in a car at the Pittsburg BART Station Tuesday evening, hours after the latest attack, Warne said.

Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged Mouton with one count of rape, two counts of attempted rape and three counts of burglary. He is being held at County Jail in Martinez in lieu of more than $12 million bail, one of the highest bail amounts in recent memory.


Update: June 1, 2010

The First District Court of Appeal has turned down [.pdf] a former Contra Costa County prosecutor's request that his private lawyer be appointed at county expense for his sensational sexual assault case. Michael Gressett is charged with raping a former colleague in the Contra Costa DA's sex crimes unit. Following his indictment he requested that Daniel Russo, a Vallejo criminal defense attorney who had represented him for 10 months in pretrial matters, be designated his (free) court-appointed counsel.

But Judge Carlos Ynostroza declined, instead ruling that Gressett would have to stick with a lawyer assigned from the Contra Costa conflicts panel, Michael Kotin. Kotin is a retired chief assistant public defender of Contra Costa, and Gressett argued he could have conflicts of interest because the trial will likely include witnesses from the DA and public defender's offices. Gressett cited the case of Symbionese Liberation Army defendants William and Emily Harris, but First District Justice Robert Dondero wrote that the case was "patently distinguishable" and that Ynostroza did not abuse his discretion by declining Gressett's request.

Richmond High School

Update: February 7, 2010

RICHMOND, Calif. — Authorities have arrested a seventh suspect in the gang rape of a teenage girl outside a high school homecoming dance in Northern California. Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said 43-year-old John Crane Jr. walked into the police station and turned himself in without incident Tuesday evening. French said Crane was being held on $100,000 bail on suspicion of felony sexual assault. Investigators identified Crane last week as a suspect in the Oct. 24 sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl outside Richmond High School. Six other males ages 15 to 21 have pleaded not guilty in connection with the rape and related charges.

November 26, 2009

"This case has stirred up a shit storm, [a]nd the Contra Costa [commonly referred to as "CoCo" County] District Attorney's Office is right in the middle of it."

--Daniel Russo, Michael Gressett's lead attorney.

Since the 1960s, the Contra Costa County district attorney has been perhaps the most powerful person in Contra Costa County. The office has been run by a line of Republicans who have always been favored by the county's power structure, which is largely funded by the county's five oil refineries. When John Nejedly, the county's first full-time DA, retired in 1969, the job went to William O'Malley. In 1984, O'Malley handed it to Gary Yancey, who handed it to Robert Kochly (pictured above left), who is now hoping to hand it to William O'Malley's son, Dan O'Malley. O'Malley is not only the son of former District Attorney William O'Malley, he is the brother of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. He is a former Superior Court judge and is married to the current presiding judge of the Contra Costa County Superior Court, Mary Ann O'Malley. And his connections run deep in Kochly's administration. The district attorney has officially endorsed O'Malley as his replacement in next year's election and O'Malley regularly plays golf with Assistant Chief District Attorney Paul Sequeira.

"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other's presence[.] What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening, and failed to report it."

--November 11, 2009, Lt. Mark Gagan, Patrol supervisor, City of Richmond Northern Policing District.

(Pictured left, Michael Gressett is a 51-year-old (fired) deputy district attorney who worked for the Contra Costa County's District Attorney's office sexual assault unit and stands accused of brutally raping a female colleague.) A 15-year-old Richmond girl who had left the homecoming dance was hospitalized in stable condition after being assaulted and allegedly raped by several men on the Richmond High School grounds, police said. Police received several reports shortly before midnight Saturday and when officers arrived at the high school several men ran away. One was caught.

Police say the victim left the [homecoming dance] alone about 9:30 p.m. and walked north on 23rd Street, expecting to catch a ride from her father. Instead, a schoolmate caught her attention from behind a cyclone fence on the north end of campus. He invited her to join a group drinking and hanging out in a secluded courtyard behind the fence, Gagan said, and escorted her down Emeric Avenue to a short gate from which they made their way back to the group. The assault began after the girl quickly drank a large amount of hard alcohol and fell over, Gagan said.

Police say they believe they've arrested all the main participants in the rape. Defense attorneys received an amended complaint, which now includes charges for all six defendants. Prosecutor handed over 685 pages of documents and 28 DVDs containing evidence to defense attorneys for the six defendants in the case. "In most average felony cases you're talking less than 100 pages," prosecutor Dara Cashman said after the defendants identified their attorneys in a Richmond courtroom. Prosecutors said the brutality of the crime led them to charge the juvenile suspects as adults. Cody Ray Smith, 15, of San Pablo; Ari Morales, 16, of San Pablo; Marcelles Peter, 17, of Pinole; Jose Carlos Montano, 18, of Richmond; Manuel Ortega, 19, of Richmond; and Elvis Josue Torrentes, 21, of Richmond. Smith withdrew his previous not guilty plea so his attorney could review the prosecution's case.

CoCo County D.A.'s Office

"In court these are the same people who act like sanctimonious prudes about the people they are trying to convict," he said. "They all ought to be incredibly ashamed of themselves."

--Unnamed Attorney

Administrators in the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office have long been known for hiring female prosecuting attorneys based partly on their appearance. The DA's reputation for hiring a particular type of attractive woman is so widespread that at a recent retirement dinner for an Attorney, one speaker quipped that "someone should tell the DA that diversity doesn't mean different types of blonds," according to several people who attended the dinner. During Robert Kochly's reign, sexual banter was commonplace. And it was not always men who initiated the conversations. According to notes from the investigation and interviews conducted by this newspaper, women participated equally in tales of rough sex, bondage, extramarital affairs, and sexual encounters involving multiple partners.

"One of Ours!"

"It's a sad day for our office for anything like this to occur. Anything of this nature is devastating to the office. It's antithetical to what we're about."

--Robert Kochly, Contra Costa District Attorney

A 21-year veteran prosecutor with the reputation as an office iconoclast, Michael Gressett has run for the position of Contra Costa County District Attorney three separate times. The high-profile rape charges against Deputy District Attorney Michael Gressett of the Contra Costa County's District Attorney's office are replete with headlines similar to those of the Richmond High School Rape saga. Once he was released from jail on a $1 million bond, he was promptly fired. He now faces a possible life sentence for thirteen felony counts including rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, and making death threats.

On May 12, 2008, four days after the alleged assault, Assistant Chief District Attorney Sequeira was notified of the accusations. Two days later, according to investigation notes, he sent Kochly a memo. But neither Kochly nor Sequeira took any more action for four and a half months, which is highly unusual given the serious nature of the allegations.

Michael Gressett is a 51-year-old (fired) deputy district attorney who worked for the sexual assault unit. His alleged victim was a 29-year-old co-worker who said Gressett violently assaulted her during a lunch break in May 2008. The Martinez Police Department's September 2008 press release alleged charges which include "sodomy," "forced oral copulation," and "penetration with a foreign object." The alleged weapons used — include a gun, handcuffs, steak knife, ice cubes, and an ice pick. Both Gressett and his alleged victim, who is referred to in court filings as "Jane Doe," provide a remarkably similar account of the acts that occurred during their kinky sexual encounter. The critical difference in their stories is whether the sex was consensual. Gresset openly refers to the sexual encounter as a "nooner." After District Attorney Kochly was made aware of the allegations, he took no action for four and a half months — a period during which Gressett was allowed to continue working alongside female deputy district attorneys and sex-crime victims.

Jane Doe (her father, a retired Alameda County public defender) was at the time a 29-year-old deputy district attorney who had worked for the office for slightly less than three years when the alleged rape occurred. She was considered smart, ambitious, and aggressive. In her November 5, 2008 statement to investigators, she admitted having a difficult working relationship with at least four female co-workers whom she regarded as sexual rivals for the attention of a male deputy district attorney who was not Gressett. Indeed, the workplace environment in which Gressett and Jane Doe began their office flirtation was sexually charged. The sex conversations that took place in the district attorney's office were freewheeling and seemed to know few bounds. Although last year the office moved into a new $26 million building, its culture seemed firmly locked in the 1970s.

In Contra Costa County, the D.A.'s office proved to be fertile ground for sexual banter, one DA said. "You could hear the same types of conversations on the fourth floor of the courthouse in the offices, hallways, and conference room where many of the attorneys gather for lunch." Anal sex was the hot topic among one group. According to one deputy DA, the topic became such a regular part of conversation that, about five years ago, two female deputy DAs founded the "Anal Club" at a wedding reception for two of their co-workers. Prospective club members had to state that they had participated in and enjoyed anal sex. The club was more talk than action, but its existence became well known. In fact, deputy DAs who didn't meet the club's membership requirements felt so left out that they started their own "Butt Pucker Club," according to interviews conducted by investigators.

The Rape

"It is the responsibility of a district attorney to immediately report any serious incident of workplace violence to law enforcement."

--W. Scott Thorpe, the chief executive officer of the California District Attorney's Association.

Jane Doe said Gressett invited her to lunch on May 8, 2008, and took her to his Martinez condominium. After giving her a tour, she later said, he produced a steak knife and began poking the end of the knife at her sweater and running it along her arms, breast, and neck. The two apparently began kissing, and Gressett led Doe to his bedroom where they both removed their clothes prior to engaging in what she said she thought was going to be consensual sex. But Gressett suddenly became aggressive, she said. He turned her over and began forcibly sodomizing her, she said, despite her repeated pleas for him to stop.

Gressett then removed a handgun from a bedside drawer, pressed the muzzle to the back of her head, and continued to sodomize her, Jane Doe said. Gressett reached into the same nightstand for a set of handcuffs, which he used to cuff her ankle to her wrist. Leaving her on the bed, Jane Doe said Gressett left the bedroom and returned with a glass filled with ice cubes and an ice pick. Gressett then used the ice pick's handle to insert the ice into her vagina and anus before sodomizing her again. At one point, Doe said, she heard a garage door open and called out for help, but Gressett told her to "shut the fuck up."

In her statement, Jane Doe said the rape was so violent that there were significant smears of blood and feces on the sheets. Gressett eventually led her to the shower, she claimed, where he forced her to orally copulate him, raped her again, and ejaculated on her face, chest and neck. During the ride back to the office, Doe said, Gressett talked about killing her with the ice pick and then having sex with her still-warm corpse.

Jane Doe said in her statements that when she returned to work after the assault she was limping, disheveled, and bleeding from her rectum. But she did not seek medical attention or notify either the police or her bosses. For his part, Gressett denies there was any blood or feces on his bed sheets or that he ever talked about killing Doe with the ice pick and abusing her dead corpse. But he doesn't deny the sex acts occurred, except in one critical detail. He claims that every act that took place during that lunch break in his condominium was consensual.

A forensics team recovered Jane Doe's DNA from the handle of an ice pick in Gressett's condominium and on handcuffs in his bedside table. Authorities confiscated about 200 tablets of Viagra, a small amount of marijuana, and several guns that Gressett kept in his condominium, most of which belonged to his father.

The DA's office didn't notify the Martinez police of the allegations until September 25, 2008 more than four and a half months after the assault, and Gressett wasn't arrested until October 2, 2008, nearly five months after the alleged assault. Last week, a 19-member grand jury indicted Gressett on thirteen felony counts after hearing from 33 witnesses. He was indicted on four counts of forced sodomy, four counts of forced sexual penetration, two counts of rape, and one count each of forced oral copulation, criminal threats, and false imprisonment. There also are criminal enhancements for use of weapons. If convicted, Gressett could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jane Doe is now working as a deputy district attorney in another county. She was contacted for this story but declined to comment. Neither Kochly nor Sequeira returned calls to discuss their handling of the investigation. Nor did Flores from the attorney general's office respond to calls asking for comment. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Joyce Blair said she does not comment on any of her cases, but noted that prosecutors are confident in taking the case to trial.

Jane Doe II

"We will be making arrests continually as we develop probable cause. With this number of people implicated in the incident we're going to be making arrests on an ongoing basis."

--Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan.

Police say the girl was attacked by as many as 10 young men, while twice that stood around and watched. Investigators say as many as 20 people were involved in or stood and watched the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside a California high school homecoming dance. Police posted a $20,000 reward for anyone who comes to them with information that helps arrest and convict those involved in what authorities describe as a 2½-hour assault on the Richmond High School campus in suburban San Francisco.

Two teenage suspects have been jailed, but more arrests, as many as 20 total, are expected, according to a police detective. As many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lighted back alley at the school, while another 10 people watched without calling 911 to report it, police said. "There is one individual in custody who has made some spontaneous statements that have led me to believe that he is culpable for what happened," Richmond police Lt. Johan Simon said. Nineteen-year-old Manuel Ortega (pictured, above left) described as a former student at the school, was arrested soon after he fled the scene and will face charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, police said.

A 15-year-old was later arrested and charged with one count of felony sexual assault.


December 2, 2009

"Suspect" Executed!

SEATTLE – Maurice Clemmons (pictured left) alleged to have gunned down four police officers in a suburban coffee shop, was executed by a lone patrolman investigating a stolen car early Tuesday, December 2nd. Four people were arrested for allegedly helping Clemmons elude authorities during a massive two-day manhunt. A Seattle policeman recognized him near a stolen car in a working-class south Seattle neighborhood about 2:45 a.m., Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said.The executing officer allegedly saw something moving, got out of his car, saw Clemmons and ordered him to show his hands and stop. "He wouldn't stop," Pugel said. "The officer fired several rounds." According to authorities, Clemmons "reached into his waist area," before being executed. "As the officer was drawing his gun, the suspect reached into his waist area and moved," the police statement said. "The officer fired several times, striking the suspect at least twice." He was pronounced dead at the scene.

From Top to Bottom: Lying is the Norm! - Part II Police Cover-ups: Lying is the Norm! Authorities say Clemmons, 37, singled out the Lakewood officers and spared employees and other customers at the coffee shop Sunday morning in Parkland, a Tacoma suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle. He then fled, but not before one of the dying officers apparently shot him in the torso.

Cops with Multiple Shootings or Homicides!

PA State Trooper Samuel J. Hassan, Murderous(March 15, 2009 Murder of Unarmed motorist. Previously shot and killed 12 year old African-American boy!!) Officer Pat Gonzales: Racist, Murderous Oakland Police Officer - 3 Killings; 1 Shooting! Officer Hector Jimenez: Racist, Murderous Oakland Police Officer - 2 Killings!(As of October 2009, Officer terminated w/1 yr. pay; City of Oakland has settled civil suits.) Homicide from OPD to LASD! Miami Beach Police Department - Murderous!(Officer Adam Tavss kills two citizens in 1 week!!) Brian Smith, Killer Cop!(Killed four (4) unarmed civilians during homicide spree; committed suicide upon arrest!!)

Murderous Police Officers

B.A.R.T.+L.A.P.D.=187(P.C.)(LAPD Detective arrested for cold case homicide; and B.A.R.T. Transit Killer-Cop!) Cops or Killers? Five - "O" Homicide(White Cop kills black cop after "mistaking" black cop for criminal!) NYPD - A History of Homicidal Cops(A history of NYPD Officers committing murder!) Arthur Tessler, Jason R. Smith & Gregg Junnier(Alanta Police Officers lie to obtain search warrant; murder 90-year old woman; and then plant drugs to cover-up murder) PA State Trooper Kevin Foley, Murderous(Convicted March 18, 2009 of First-Degree Murder. Killed girlfriend's ex-hubby (Dentist)!!) Homer Police Department(February 20, 2009 Murder of Unarmed Black Man, 73 year old black man by two white police officers in Homer, Louisiana!!) Taser Deaths by the Police! New Orleans Police Department(January 1, 2009 Murder of Unarmed Black Man, shot nine (9) times in the back!!)

Cops & Domestic Violence

Wife Killing Cops! - Part I Wife Killing Cops! - Part II Blue Spousal Abuse! - Part III Deputy Paul R. Kovacich, Wife Killer

Cops & Crime!

Criminal Cops! - Part I Criminal Cops! - Part II

Oakland, California Police Department

Captain Edward Poulson, OPD(Beating Death of Suspect (2000) Promoted in 2008) Investigator interfered in police probes of former bakery CEO Oakland Police Department, Corrupt, I Oakland, California Police Department, Corruption, II Oakland Police Department, III Oakland Police Department, IV Oakland Police Department, V - Major Corruption Jeff Loman, Deputy Chief, OPD(Updated: Re-instated as a (demoted) Lieutenant) Deborah Edgerly, Corrupt former Oakland City Administrator

Oakland, CA Transit Cop Shooting

Mehserle Makes Bail!!!(Updated October 16, 2009) January 1, 2009 Murder of Unarmed Black Man, shot once (1) in the back!!) Tony Pirone, B.P.D.(Mehserle Accomplice - Jan. 1, 2009 Homicide) Johannes Mehserle, Killer Cop(Oakland's New Year's (2009) Transit Killer Cop) The B.A.R.T. Shooting Investigation(The Investigation of Oakland's New Year's (2009) Transit Killer Cop) The B.A.R.T. Aftermath (The Oakland Riots New (2009)) B.A.R.T. Police, Racism, Homicide(Video of The Oakland New Year's Day (2009) Transit Shooting )

Sexually Offensive Judges

Perverted Judges! - Part I Judge Jack Gifford, Retired, Solicitation Judge Ronald C. Kline, Child Pornography Chief U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, Solicitation

Reader Pageviews by Country

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Top-to-Bottom: Lying is the Norm! - Part II

«•November 17, 2009•»

SAC., CA — For years, the Sekhon & Sekhon law firm was renowned as a beacon of hope. The firm, boasting a 95 percent success rate, helped more than 1,000 immigrants from a half-dozen nations get political asylum in the United States based on a fear of persecution. Many of those new asylees now stand to be deported, because as many as 700 — coached by the firm's lawyers and interpreters — told phony stories of torture and rape to immigration judges and asylum officers. In June, following a three-month trial in Sacramento's federal court, three of the firm's lawyers and two interpreters were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government. Prosecutors call it one of the most brazen immigration scams in U.S. history.

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Top News Stories!

Officer Liar!

May 28, 2011

SFPD Theft Again!

May 18, 2011 12:47 p.m. PDT

San Francisco’s Public Defender has accused police of yet another case of misconduct, this time involving what Jeff Adachi calls “theft” by a group of officers. The incident involved an arrest at the Julian Hotel in San Francisco’s Mission District on February 25, 2011. Adachi played a video during a morning news conference Tuesday, showing what Adachi described as San Francisco Police officers leaving the apartment building with bags under their arms.

Adachi said one of those bags contained a laptop belonging to Jesus “Jessie” Reyes, a resident of the Julian Apartments on Julian Street. The video shows the officers escorting Reyes from his apartment. It’s not clear whether the other bag belongs to Reyes, but Adachi said it may contain a camera belonging to Reyes. Adachi said the police department did not return the confiscated items back to Reyes after Reyes was released from jail.

“I was intimidated…I got scared,” said Reyes, who claimed he never gave police consent to search his apartment.

Officers Ricardo Guerrero and Reynaldo Vargas were also involved in the case of another hotel incident which Adachi described last week as the illegal search of a room at the Jefferson hotel.

In a written statement, the San Francisco Police Department said the allegations will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit:

“All the officers in this case had been taken out of Plainclothes some have been reassigned to Administrative duties while the investigation is being conducted,” said Greg Suhr, according to the statement. “If it is determined through the investigation that the officers acted inappropriately they will be discipline. This discipline will be swift and severe up to and including termination depending on the findings,” Suhr stated.

In March, Adachi released other videos that he said showed officer misconduct during drug busts at the Henry Hotel. Those claims are now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Certified Liar!

December 22, 2010

A senior New Hanover County patrol commander called Sheriff Ed McMahon late Friday, Oct. 8, with distressing news: A deputy had knowingly operated the Golden Eagle II radar unit to clock speeds and write traffic tickets even though he lacked the mandated certification and training. Making matters worse, the deputy, Steven Gagnon (pictured below, center) repeatedly lied about his certification status to his supervisors, the commander said.

The revelations, uncovered amid an internal probe commissioned by the sheriff, forced prosecutors to throw out dozens of traffic cases in which Gagnon had filed charges because the deputy's credibility had been undermined, according to New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David .

After learning about the transgressions, McMahon called in Gagnon and his supervisor, Lt. D.H. Price, the following Monday to discuss the probe. During the meeting, Gagnon resigned. “I think he could understand I was very upset,” McMahon replied when asked whether he spoke about firing Gagnon during their meeting, adding, “I couldn't fathom why he would do that.” Gagnon declined to comment.

His resignation, which McMahon detailed in an interview this week, offers a look into the office's handling of an internal personnel issue, matters that are rarely disclosed and broadly considered private. The media initially made inquiries about Gagnon while researching possible radar certification lapses regarding the Golden Eagle II, which bounces doppler radar off moving objects to measure their speed.

When law enforcement officers stop a vehicle for speeding, sometimes they uncover evidence of other crimes. But when an uncertified deputy runs radar, defendants can argue before a judge that any evidence collected during the traffic stop – such as drugs or a blood-alcohol reading – should be void because they were pulled over without proper cause, David said.

Gagnon's breach reportedly stunned his colleagues and supervisors in the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. McMahon described it as baffling and upsetting. Jerry Brewer, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said Gagnon, now 36, had served with the office since April 3, 2003. And during his tenure, he deployed several times overseas to fight as a Marine reservist. “We don't know what in the world happened,” McMahon said, adding that Gagnon had been a “dedicated deputy” for years.

Certification issues

What made Gagnon's case more surprising was that the sheriff's office had then just resolved problems regarding five other deputies who operated the Golden Eagle II without certification. But those violations were blamed on a miscommunication between the sheriff's office and the radar supplier, Kustom Signal. Issues with the Golden Eagle first came to light in September 2009, when it was discovered that five deputies – Lt. H.G. Adams, D.A. Olinger, E.K. Luther, J.S. Pope and J.R. Scheckler – had unintentionally run the radar unit without certification between June 2008 and Sept. 14, 2009. Afterward, the sheriff's office collaborated with the district attorney's office to alert local defense attorneys and the public, but most of the cases had already made their way through court.

For the remaining cases, prosecutors were able to use expert eyewitness testimony from deputies to make their arguments, so very few cases, if any, were ultimately affected. Tom Old, an assistant district attorney, explained that officers undergo training to recognize a speeding vehicle at a glance, and radar serves only to confirm their visual estimate. Even though the violation was unintentional, McMahon conceded that his office should have been more vigilant when changing equipment. “I will never make that mistake again,” he said.

But not everyone agrees with that. Marc Benson, a local radio talk show host who challenged McMahon in last month's elections, called radar a “scientific verification” of speed and condemned the lapses as “illegal” and a violation of public trust and law enforcement policy. Some found the lapses more troubling, however. Jennifer Harjo, the chief public defender in New Hanover County, said if the defendants had known about the improper use of radar, they might not have pleaded guilty. “It's disconcerting,” she said, adding that defendants could ask that their cases be reopened, but they would have to bear the costs of doing so.

As the dust settled following the first certification violation, Gagnon, on May 18, was given a patrol vehicle containing the Golden Eagle II. McMahon said the deputy was instructed by his supervisors to make sure his radar certification was up to date. As Election Day neared, McMahon was under fire from his opponent about the radar issue. To be sure nothing was overlooked, the sheriff ordered a “triple check” that every deputy was certified to operate the Golden Eagle II. Gagnon, the investigation found, was not. McMahon said it would have taken Gagnon about 15 minutes to update his certification to operate the Golden Eagle II.

Chase & Hit!

September 22, 2010 - 12:13pm

In-House Theft!

August 19, 2010 - 12:13pm

An employee of the Clay County Sheriff's Department was arrested by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday after the sheriff noted discrepancies in departmental bookkeeping. Teia Adams, 42, of Green, who served as the sheriff's chief dispatcher and records keeper, was arrested on a warrant charging one count of felony theft, one count of misuse of public funds and one count of making false information.

The arrest was the culmination of an investigation by the KBI after Clay County Sheriff Charles Dunn discovered discrepancies in departmental bookkeeping and requested the KBI's assistance. The sheriff's department routinely requests an outside investigator when allegations involving their department arise, according to a press release from Dunn's office.

The Clay County Attorney recused himself from the case because of his close working relationship with the sheriff's department. Jason Brinegar, an attorney from Marysville and a former prosecutor, agreed to pursue the matter and filed the criminal complaint.

Adams was booked into jail at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to a jail administrator. Her bond was set at $3,500, but was reduced to $1,000. She is currently free in lieu of bond.

Speeding Cop Car
Kills Two Teens!

November 18, 2009

MILFORD, Conn. -- A video of the June 13, 2009 crash that killed two Orange teens shows a Milford police cruiser traveling at a high rate of speed as it struck the young couple's car under a flashing traffic signal. The video, which was released Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (4 months later) is from the dashboard camera of another Milford cruiser and shows Officer Jason Anderson's car pass on the right and plow into a 2008 Mazda carrying Ashlie Krakowski and David Servin. The Mazda was struck as it made a left turn from the Boston Post Road onto Dogwood Road at 2:13 a.m., sparks and small flames shooting from underneath the vehicle.

Notice the Officer Checks on the other Officer first!

(pictured left, Dave Servin and Ashlie Krakowski, both 19-year-old Orange residents, were killed in a fatal crash June 13 when Milford Police Officer Jason Anderson's cruiser collided with Krakowski's 2008 Mazda, being driven by Servin, at the intersection of the Boston Post Road and Dogwood Road. )Officer Rick Pisani at one point was traveling at more than 70 mph, according to the dashboard camera, as he and Anderson returned to Milford after a mutual aid call in West Haven. Pisani was going about 65 mph when Anderson shot past him on the right; the speed limit on that stretch of the Boston Post Road is 40 mph. Anderson has been charged by State Police with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in the teens' deaths. He will be arraigned Nov. 24 in Derby Superior Court and has been suspended with pay.

Pisani is now the subject of an internal investigation into his speed that morning, Mello said. The 39-year-old probationary officer remains on duty, working the night shift.

Chief Eloy Cardenas

August 18, 2010

Edinburg, Texas – Edcouch and La Villa Police Chief Eloy Cardenas took the law into his own hands in 2008, when he shot a romantic rival with a shotgun loaded with bean bag shells and later tried to cover up the crime, prosecutors said Tuesday. But as his attorney told it on the first day of Cardenas’ trial, the man was only acting in self defense.

“Anything can be twisted, turned upside down and driven one way or another,” said Cardenas' lawyer. “And a lawyer is going to convince you that it didn’t happen.” Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies arrested Cardenas on Feb. 29, 2008, for allegedly firing on his wife’s ex-husband as the man drove past the police chief’s Hargil estate and then burying the casings to hide evidence from investigators. The incident — reported by alleged victim Isidro Rodriguez — was only the latest in a string of harassment reports both men had filed against each other.

The chief complained to the sheriff’s office alleging Rodriguez had threatened to kill his dog and horse after both animals turned up dead. Rodriguez, in turn, had called deputies to complain about Cardenas several times in the weeks before the Feb. 2008 shooting that he escaped unscathed — including to report an incident in which the police chief allegedly shot at him on a prior occasion. When sheriff’s deputies arrived to investigate Rodriguez’s allegations, Cardenas at first refused to meet with them, said Assistant District Attorney Cregg Thompson. Investigators later found the spent shell casings buried in a chicken coop on the property.

“In essence, (Cardenas) is here because he assaulted (Rodriguez),” he said. “Because he hid the evidence, he committed a second crime.”

His lawyer maintained, however, in his opening statement that the previous record of police reports proved Cardenas and his wife had been victimized by Rodriguez for years. Each time they called the sheriff’s office to complain, deputies were never dispatched to the scene, he said. “(My client is) a man of quality, integrity and good standing in his community,” said the attorney. “The alleged victim was so stoned and so drunk when he reported the shooting that he couldn’t even walk.”

In April 2008, an Hidalgo County grand jury declined to indict Cardenas on deadly conduct and aggravated assault charges. A separate panel later charged him with assault and evidence tampering. The trial could have serious implications for Cardenas’ career. If convicted on both counts, he could lose his peace officer’s license and face up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

It comes one day after Cardenas made a public announcement regarding his arrest of La Villa’s mayor on prostitution and official oppression charges. Testimony in the police chief’s case is scheduled to resume this morning.

Bernard Kerik

May 18, 2010Update!

(Pictured above, the entrance to the 1,500-inmate, medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md. where Bernard Kerik is serving his sentence.)

Disgraced top cop Bernard Kerik - who went from national hero to convicted felon - Monday became inmate number 84888-054 in a Maryland federal prison. After taking a last swipe at prosecutors and a judge, New York City's former police commissioner surrendered to begin a four-year sentence at the 1,500-inmate, medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.

He'll wear khaki prison garb, sleep in a bunk bed in a dorm-style room with several other inmates and do jobs like groundskeeping, plumbing or serving food for about 12 cents an hour.

Kerik, 54, pleaded guilty last year to tax fraud and seven other felonies, including lying to federal investigators while under consideration for the post of Homeland Security secretary.

He also pleaded guilty to hiding profits and royalties from his post-9/11 autobiography, "The Lost Son," from the IRS and lying about $255,000 in apartment work done by a mob-linked contractor.

A hero of 9/11 and a protégé of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kerik was widely praised for his bold leadership in the days after the Trade Center attacks. He was nominated for Homeland Security in 2004, but admitted lying about his past to investigators.

He did not go silently. On his Web site Sunday he blasted U.S. Judge Stephen Robinson, who sentenced him, saying Kerik had used the events of Sept. 11 for "personal gain and aggrandizement."

"I have repeatedly expressed remorse for what I may have done," he wrote. "However, unlike many. I can't remain silent in the face of what I believe has been a gross injustice, which I pray will be remedied."

February 20, 2010Update!

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was hailed as a hero alongside former Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and nearly became chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was sentenced to four years behind bars Thursday for eight felonies. Kerik admitted in November that he lied to the White House, filed false taxes and committed other crimes. “The fact that Mr. Kerik would use that event (9/11) for personal gain and aggrandizement is a dark place in the soul for me,” said federal Judge Stephen Robinson. An apologetic Kerik said before the sentence was pronounced: “Allow me to return to my wife and two little girls as soon as possible.”

November 17, 2009

Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik was released from jail Tuesday, November 10, 2009, after pleading guilty last week to tax fraud and other criminal charges. Kerik arrived at his New Jersey home Tuesday night where he'll be under house arrest until his sentencing. He will have to wear an electronic monitoring device, and will only be allowed pre-approved visits to his lawyer, accountant and doctors.

While in court, Kerik (pictured below, left) asked for permission to walk his children to and from school, but a judge denied the request. Kerik was released earlier in the day from the Westchester County Jail on $1.5 million bail. He pleaded guilty last week in the three federal cases pending against him. He faced three separate federal trials, including one that was set to get underway Monday, November 16, 2009.

Kerik was accused of lying on tax returns and accepting renovations to his co-op from a contractor looking to do business with the city and trying to get that company a city contract. He also admitted to lying during the White House vetting process when he was nominated for Homeland Security Department secretary in 2004. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 27 to 33 months behind bars.

Prosecutors alleged that in exchange for renovations to his apartment, Kerik tried to get that company a city contract. He denied having any financial ties to companies doing business with the city. Kerik will be sentenced on February 18, 2009.

Charles W. Morris

November 17, 2009

Okaloosa County Sheriff and Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) President Charles W. Morris faces charges after Governor Charlie Crist issued an executive order for his suspension Friday, February 26, 2009. He and his Director of Administration and Finance, 50-year-old Teresa Adams, face several charges relating to money laundering. According to a complaint filed to the U.S Department of Justice, Morris allegedly gave his employees false bonuses, asking them to return cashier’s checks to be given to a charity. The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) appointed Sumter County Sheriff Bill Farmer as the new President of Florida’s Sheriffs.

Okaloosa Sheriff Charles W. Morris (pictured left)was arrested by federal agents in Las Vegas. An arrest warrant was issued in February 20009 for Morris by the U.S. District Court in Pensacola charging him with theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds; wire fraud; deprivation of right to honest services; engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity; and conspiracy to commit those offenses. Morris, 59, of Shalimar, and Adams, 50, of Niceville, were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Morris, with the assistance of his director of administration and finance, Teresa Adams, created fictitious bonuses to sheriff's department employees. The complaint alleges the employees were directed to return all or a portion of the bonuses in the form of cash and cashier's checks under the pretense that these returned funds were to be used for charitable purposes.

The indictment alleges conspiracy to commit theft of programs receiving Federal funds, by converting to their own use and the use of others property and funds of Okaloosa County and of the Sheriff's Department (Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 - Count One); stealing, fraudulently obtaining, converting to the use of others, and misapplying over $5,000 of those funds (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 666, - Counts Two, Three); conspiracy to commit money laundering (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(i), (B)(i), and (B)(ii) - Count Four); engaging in monetary transactions and property derived from specified unlawful activity (money laundering) (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1957, 2 - Count Five); and conspiracy to commit theft of honest services by means of wire fraud (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 - Count Six).

Sheriff Michael Corona

Corona Serves Again!

January 25, 2011

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Former Orange County sheriff Michael Carona, once dubbed "America's Sheriff," turned himself Tuesday at a federal prison in Colorado to begin serving time on a witness-tampering conviction. Carona, 55, surrendered at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., said Victoria Joseph, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. "I believe justice has been done," U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford said during a brief hearing in federal court Tuesday that had been scheduled to discuss Carona's surrender. The veteran lawman was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. He had been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering in a sweeping public corruption case that included sordid allegations of marital infidelity, cronyism and money laundering. He was acquitted of all but one charge. Carona appealed the conviction but lost earlier this year.

Federal prosecutor Brett Sagel welcomed the decision, which he said cast the spotlight back on Carona rather than allegations of government misconduct in the case. "This has been a long road," Sagel told reporters outside the courthouse Tuesday. "At the end of the day, Michael Carona can no longer deflect attention away from his criminal conduct, where it belongs."

Federal prosecutors charged that as early as 1998, Carona solicited help from a multimillionaire to launder at least $30,000 in campaign contributions. Businessman Don Haidl later became assistant sheriff and was given control over a new reserve deputy program that let him hand out law enforcement badges to friends and relatives, the government said. Haidl eventually became a government informant and wore a wire to three meetings with Carona in 2007. The witness tampering count stemmed from one of these conversations in which Carona can be heard attempting to persuade Haidl to match stories with him before the grand jury.

Carona appealed the conviction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that prosecutors broke an ethical rule when they arranged for Haidl to record him even though he had already hired a defense attorney. Since losing his appeal, Carona's attorneys have filed a petition seeking a rehearing or a hearing of the full panel of judges. "He's going to continue to pursue his appellate rights," Carona's attorney, said outside the courtroom Tuesday.

The prison where Carona has been assigned is a low-security facility located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 15 miles from Denver. About 700 inmates are housed there.

Carona became Orange County's sheriff in 1999. He made national headlines during a successful investigation into the 2002 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion and was dubbed "America's Sheriff" by CNN's Larry King. He also became a rising star in state Republican politics, where he was once mentioned as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor and even met with then-White House political strategist Karl Rove to discuss his career. By surrendering in Colorado, Carona avoided being transferred among different federal prison facilities.

July 28, 2009

Federal Judge Andrew Guilford was harsh as he handed down the sentence following a four-hour hearing during which the former sheriff’s attorneys argued for leniency, saying the media had sensationalized the case. “Lying will not be tolerated in this courtroom, especially by law enforcement, especially by the leading law enforcement official in the county," said Guilford, who held up a copy of the book “The Importance of Being Honest” and read a passage to Carona. Carona, dressed in a gray suit and blue necktie, spoke only briefly, thanking Guilford for his “kindness and courtesy.”

“Mr. Carona violated his sworn duty and utterly ignored his responsibilities to the citizens of Orange County by engaging in the conduct that led to his conviction and sentence, conduct that culminated in an agreement to obstruct justice by concocting a story to cover up his corrupt behavior,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien in a statement. “Today’s sentencing shows what will happen to elected officals who place their own interests above those of the constituents they are sworn to serve.”

Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona will be allowed to remain free after a federal appeals court ruled that the former sheriff has raised a substantial question that could result in the reversal of his conviction and, as such, he can remain free on bond pending a ruling on his appeal from a witness tampering conviction. Carona was supposed to start serving his 66 month prison sentence on July 24, 2009 as ordered by U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford stemming from a witness tampering conviction from January of last year in which a jury found the ex-Orange County sheriff attempted to have former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl lie to a grand jury that he was investigation corruption in the sheriff’s administration. Haidl worked with federal prosecutors to secretly record conversations with Corona.

On appeal, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Mike Carona’s criminal defense lawyers have raised a substantial question of law or fact “that is likely to result in reversal, an order for a new trial, or a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment.” In addition, the three-judge panel further ruled that Mike Carona does not pose a flight risk nor will he pose a danger or risk to any person in the community should he be allowed to remain free on bond pending his appeal.

The main argument on appeal centers on the government secretly recording Carona and one of his assistant sheriff’s, Don Haidl, in which Carona is heard leaning on Haidl to lie to the grand jury investigating allegations of corruption within Carona’s administration. It was these tapes which led to the witness tampering conviction.

November 17, 2009

Ex-lawman Mike Carona – once known as "America's Sheriff" – can now be identified by an inmate number. Carona was indicted in late 2007 on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering. He resigned a year later, during his third term, and went on trial in October 2008, becoming the highest-ranking law enforcement official to be prosecuted in Orange County. Carona was found guilty of one felony county of witness tampering and cleared of five other charges in a public corruption case that ended the career of the lawman christened “America’s sheriff” and hailed as a charismatic leader with a bright political future. U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford sentenced the former sheriff to five and a half years in federal prison for trying to convince an ex-assistant to lie to a grand jury investigating the Sheriff's Department. Carona, out on bond, hopes the judge allows him to stay free while he appeals his conviction. His lawyers are expected to file a brief on that issue; an appeal can take a year or two.

At least two jurors in the corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona complained to the judge about the conduct of fellow jurors during deliberations, saying they felt intimidated and pressured to side with the ex-lawman, according to court records unsealed by the judge. In an interview, Marcia Deatherage said she was one of the jurors who reported feeling intimidated, and that most of the pressure came from a single juror whom she said refused to consider Carona guilty on any of the charges. "This guy very candidly stood up and said, 'I don’t even know why the government even brought the case,'" she recalled. "He felt Carona was not guilty of anything. It kind of set a tone for an upset in the jury room. He was kind of a bully. ... Without him as a juror, I think we would have had more counts we would have found (Carona) guilty on."

She said the juror, who could not be reached for comment, also revealed during deliberations that both he and Carona’s wife were members of the Screen Actors Guild, but she added that he did not say whether he knew Deborah Carona or how he became aware that she was a member of the guild.

Safety is a concern for Carona (pictured left) – who fears retribution from past inmates at Sheriff's Department jails who may be housed with him in a federal correctional institute, as well as prisoners who dislike police officers. Carona's attorney, during the sentencing hearing, asked Guilford to suggest that the Bureau of Prisons assign the ex-sheriff for a federal camp and/or low-security facility for safety concerns. Guilford recommended that the bureau "take into account the defendant's former profession and any safety concerns when determining the housing for the defendant." Carona's prison assignment won't be made public until after he is actually behind bars – but he will be assigned to a facility within 500 miles of his home in Orange.

Felicia Ponce, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said the agency would consider Carona's law-enforcement background to make sure he's safe. Carona, who has 32 years of law-enforcement experience, will likely be given a job and earn between 12 cents and 40 cents an hour, she explained. "All inmates who are able to work have in-house jobs,'' she said. "They are assigned to various institutional jobs, like food-service worker, orderly, plumber, painter, grounds keeper."

A federal judge later dismissed charges against the wife and former mistress of ex-Orange County Sheriff Carona, who was acquitted on the charges that he took bribes in exchange for the power of his office.

Sheriff Bob Fletcher

November 17, 2009

St. Paul, Minnesota - The FBI is the latest agency now investigating the Metro Gang Strike Force, a law-enforcement coalition that has come under fire amid allegations of mishandling money and property, destroying documents and disconnecting computers. The Metro Gang Strike Force was established in 2005 as the successor to the Minnesota Gang Strike Force. The Metro Gang Strike Force was comprised of officers from 13 metro area law-enforcement agencies, with more than 30 officers. It is a multi-jurisdictional task force that fights gang and drug crime throughout the metro area and receives $2 million annually in state funds.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher (pictured left) repeatedly tried to prevent a state investigation into the financial operations of the Metro Gang Strike Force, over which his office has fiscal oversight, according to officials directly involved in the state probe that led to the sudden shutdown last May (2009) of the unit's activities. Fletcher's office also did not undertake an in-depth review of how hundreds of thousands of dollars, personal property and vehicles were being accounted for after his office learned last fall that state Department of Public Safety investigators were raising concerns, the officials said. Examiners discovered that the strike force could not account for more than $18,000 cash and at least 13 vehicles. Strike force officers shredded documents at unit headquarters in New Brighton, according to the unit's new commander, Chris Omodt. It happened after nonpartisan Legislative Auditor James Nobles released findings of an audit that identified critical financial problems.

In a March 3 (2009) e-mail to the strike force's advisory board of a dozen local law enforcement officials, a copy of which was obtained by the media, Fletcher complained that "it would be a shame" if an audit stemmed from "political motives." He noted in the e-mail that the unit's former commander, Ron Ryan, now under scrutiny for activities on his watch, had an "exemplary" 40-year record of service as a police officer.

Fletcher reportedly got into shouting matches with Public Safety Director Michael Campion, complaining that state auditors should not be involved in strike force matters. Fletcher denies those assertions. Fletcher acknowledged that he had opposed a state audit because he believed it would be based on politics and didn't think it was necessary. He said he would have preferred a private company to perform an audit. He also denied his office was responsible for any oversight of money seized in strike force investigations and instead blamed Ryan, his friend, for mishandling cash and confiscated property.

The officials who described Fletcher's effort to block the audit spoke on the condition of anonymity. They described a nearly out-of-control unit led by Ryan until he retired in October. They said that Ryan, loyal to Fletcher and employed by the Sheriff's Office, failed to manage and track the flow of cash in complex investigations. And they said that Fletcher's office should have been on top of the problems, because he'd put two of his employees in supervisory roles at the strike force: Ryan and Cindy Gehlsen, a clerk who handled paperwork and evidence.

Fletcher distanced himself from the strike force's management, saying his office was not responsible for fiscal oversight. Instead, he blamed Ryan. "Ron Ryan is an outstanding cop and a poor bookkeeper," Fletcher said. "Those types of financial matters are the responsibility of the commander. It wasn't our [the Sheriff's Office's] job as the fiscal agent to supervise the commander's use of seized funds." The possibility that strike force officers may have been involved in criminal activity such as destruction of evidence or stealing cash and property has prompted the FBI to discuss with state authorities on what role it may play as the investigation widens, according to authorities.

Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo

September 15th, 2009, 5:02 pm

Former Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo (pictured left) sentenced Monday to 27 months in federal prison, apparently provoked the judge’s ire with a motion his attorney filed in the case last week. During Monday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford criticized a 25-page response to the government’s pre-sentencing report filed Friday by Jaramillo’s attorney, Brent Romney.

The judge said the motion failed to adequately demonstrate remorse on the part of Jaramillo — and also noted it criticized the federal prosecutor and probation officer in the case, as well as Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Jaramillo served a year in jail in 2007 after pleading no contest to perjury and misusing public funds in a prosecution brought by Rackauckas. Jaramillo has publicly contended he was unfairly prosecuted, alleging Rackauckas and former sheriff Mike Carona colluded to charge him with crimes.

“It has always been defendant’s contention that the relentless barrage of baseless criminal allegations pursued by the Orange County District Attorney was part of an orchestrated effort on the part of then-Sheriff (Mike) Carona and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to destroy defendant and defendant’s ability to challenge either man politically …” Romney wrote.

Rackauckas’ spokeswoman, Susan Kang Schroeder, dismissed the accusation, and said state prosecutors had ample evidence against Jaramillo. She also noted that Jaramillo’s lawyer, Romney, unsuccessfully ran against Rackauckas in 1998.

“We’re dealing with a double felon who is being represented by an attorney who has a personal axe to grind with Tony (Rackauckas),” Schroeder said today. ” Luckily for the people of Orange County, we have a smart judge who not only rejected these ridiculous, baseless claims, but rebuked (Jaramillo) in (his) lack of remorse.”

November 18, 2009: WASHINGTON – A Washington, D.C., police detective alleges that former police chief Charles Ramsey, despite past denials, ordered mass arrests of hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in 2002.

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