Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, November 14, 2008
....the armed officers knocked down the door and shouted profanity- laced racial insults before leaving, according to the suit.
Family Claims Police Hate Crime After Obama Celebration
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that while a huge Chicago crowd celebrated the election of the first black U.S. president, some white city police officers committed hate crimes against a black family cheering Barack Obama’s victory from home.
The federal lawsuit claims several officers discharged pepper spray on members of a family celebrating Obama’s win outside their home on the city’s West Side last week.
After some of the family members fled into the home, the armed officers knocked down the door and shouted profanity- laced racial insults before leaving, according to the suit.
The eight plaintiffs include Niger Arnold, 31, of Chicago, and her four children, who had been visiting relatives at the home.
“Chicago looked very good on national TV that night. For many people, it was the beginning of a new era in America,” attorney Gregory Kulis said. “Obviously, some Chicago police thought otherwise.”
The lawsuit, which seeks at least $50,000 in damages, claims use of excessive force, unlawful search and seizure, battery, and a hate crime. It cites only the unnamed officers and does not name the Chicago Police Department.
A separate lawsuit filed last week by Kulis claims Christina Ballard and Cornelius Voss, who are black, were driving home in Chicago with family members on election night when white officers in unmarked cars drove alongside the vehicle.
That lawsuit alleges that after some of the children cheered for Obama through the open car windows, the officers discharged pepper spray and yelled “white power” and the N-word.
Kulis said the family was able to get a partial license plate number from the unmarked cars, which were traced back to the city.
Independent Police Review Authority spokeswoman Ilana Rosenzweig said Thursday that the agency is investigating both allegations. She said the agency has received “multiple allegations” of election night misconduct by Chicago police officers but declined to give further details.
Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond also said that the allegations will be investigated and that the department
“does not condone or tolerate hate crimes on any level.”
“Police officers did an outstanding job protecting the city and maintaining order and peace during the Election Day and evening activities,” she said Thursday.
More than 100,000 people celebrated in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park on Nov. 4. All Chicago police were required to work. No major incidents were immediately reported, and officers cleared the park of rally-goers less than an hour after it ended.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Texas Monthly acknowledges (the de facto existence / independence) of Brownsville Herald Investigative Reporter Emma Perez-Trevino
DANNENBAUM a Smoke Screen for Lencho Rendon's Dream Team Activities /Engagement with Asia Access Corp
Monday, October 22, 2007
posted by Paul Burka at 10:52 AM
The following summary of the situation in Brownsville represents my summary of stories done by investigative reporter Emma Perez-Trevino for the Brownsville Herald. The original stories can be found here and here. In the Brownsville case, the Port of Brownsville wanted to work with Mexico to build a bi-national bridge to Matamoros, Mexico. Brown & Root won the contract to work on the bridge and billed the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) $424,505 up through July 1997. That's when a familiar name entered the picture: state senator Eddie Lucio. The Brownsville Herald has reported that Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation (DEC) hired Lucio for marketing, consulting, and public relations work. In the course of this work, Lucio introduced the firm to the BND board. Within a month, the BND board voted to fire Brown & Root and hired DEC without requesting proposals. DEC's original contract was for $2,053,515, but a series of supplemental contracts brought DEC's take to $15.5 million. Of this money, $10,529,058 went to subcontractors in Mexico, $9.2 million of which was paid to just three companies, all of which had ties to a DEC employee. One helps startup businesses, one provides security services, and one is a real estate company. BND was required to approve all subcontracts before any work was done, but DEC entered into 16 of 17 subcontracts without requesting that approval.
Construction of the bridge depended upon securing an agreement with Mexico to perform work on its side of the Rio Grande, which DEC representatives said was forthcoming. Despite such assurances, BND never received approval from Mexico. This is not a bridge to nowhere. It is a nowhere bridge.
In 2004, BND retained Charley Willette, Jr., as a special counsel to investigate how a total of $21.4 million in taxpayer money was spent on a project that was dependent upon Mexico's support. Willete's 62-page report traced the millions paid to subcontractors in Mexico and their ties back to DEC.
Peter Zavaletta, who became chairman of the Navigation District in 2004, told the Brownsville Herald that the only work that BND received was 49 black binders in which were a couple of charts.
Perez-Trevino reported in May that a criminal inquiry into the money that was spent on the nonexistent bridge is in the hands of a special grand jury, whose term will expire in early November. Both the FBI and the Texas Rangers began looking into the situation last March.
The El Paso situation is less complex. A United Press International story last June referenced "Dannenbaum Construction" in a wide ranging federal probe in El Paso:
EL PASO, Texas, June 13 (UPI) -- A Texas man once named by President George Bush to the International Boundary and Water Commission has been labeled a "bagman" in a corruption case.
John Travis Ketner, former chief of staff to El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit bribery. Arturo Duran, who also is a member of the board of Thomason Hospital in El Paso, was identified as one of 17 co-conspirators in the case, the El Paso Times reported.
Federal investigators say Duran served as a go-between for two companies, Valley Risk Consulting and Dannenbaum Construction. The companies were after contracts from County Commissioners Court.
In a story about the El Paso investigation that appeared in the Herald, Perez-Trevino reported about Dannenbaum's role in the federal investigation in El Paso. These are the salient paragraphs:
In El Paso, Dannenbaum's firm allegedly is referenced as “DC” in an information report that the U.S. Attorney's Office filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on a guilty plea entered by John Travis Ketner, former chief of staff to El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos.
Ketner pleaded guilty June 8 to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with his role in a conspiracy to fraudulently secure vendor contracts, public records show.
The El Paso Times identified "DC" as "Dannenbaum Construction" of Houston.
Noting that the name of his firm is Dannenbaum Engineering and not Dannenbaum Construction, Dannenbaum said, "our firm was not named in anything, was not referenced in anything."
According to the information report, Ketner and co-conspirators would meet with selected vendors to discuss the contracts being sought by the vendors and to settle on the amount of a bribe.
A co-conspirator allegedly acted as the intermediary and "bag man" for "DC," making and promising payments in cash or as campaign contributions to elected county officials, the information report reflects.
The report shows that on one occasion, a "DC" principal met with a county elected official. The intermediary and the elected official then entered a small bathroom in the county office and the intermediary promised a campaign contribution in exchange for the official’s votes to secure contracts for "DC".
Dannenbaum said that he did not have an intermediary, did not meet with the elected official and that no one from his office did. "Not to my knowledge," he said.
The question that naturally arises out of all this is what is going on in the governor's office? It seems to me there are only two possibilities here: Perry (1) didn't know or (2) didn't care. Even if he believes that Dannenbaum and his company have done nothing wrong (and to this point nothing official suggests otherwise), Perry has put UT in a position where one of his appointees can reflect discredit on the university. There are plenty of Texans who aren't enmeshed in criminal investigations in two cities who are qualified to be on the Board of Regents.
The other question is whether ethics rules--allow a state senator to operate a consulting business in which he introduces vendors to public officials who award contracts. I don't see how the answer can be "yes," but if it is, the rules need to change. I don't think Lucio is the only one who plays this game.
Friday, February 15, 2008
|Part of Speech:||verb|
|Synonyms:||absorb, acquire, bogart, consume, control, copyright, corner, devour, employ, engross, exclude, exercise control, have, hog*, hold, lock up*, manage, own, own exclusively, patent, possess, restrain, sew up*, sit on*, syndicate, take over, take up, use, utilize|
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Now that is paranoia.
Why worry about what is? Closing at loss is good ......sell,sell, sell. perhaps you will get out before the market "crash" and "burns". Every little 1/16 of a penny is the difference between what is a wrung or right minute penny of millions of outstanding assets.
Like warren Buffet days.......
Well I ain't going to tell you his or mine secrets that is cuz......Pay for delay since more is worth poor work but then it a write off so you c,pay
"I've done everything for you"....."you've done nothing for me"
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The Mega(meta) Message ..........................As if........"isn't that special".......How ArD..Dean up on the stage
Why should taxpayers pay his AND for his entourage AND his family "taxpayer funded health care"?
They're SPESHHHal.....like "the church lady" says it on SNL.
What a freeloading carpetbagger! He and his Patriot group familia should move to Iraq along with their "OPM" funded JOB.
Healthcare we pay for.........but he is special?
Yeah , so slow to show his patriotism when it is not BENEFICIAL to his so called "Patriot group".
Since he does not care anymore.... and, it is obvious,"I don't feel so bad".......What a dud, maybe if the GOP was serious about backing him he would have more money than Mikal Watts.
But according to Stopcornyn.com's interview "Rick Perry Noriega" said he looks forward to "helping Cornyn enjoy"........that Noriega has informed and acted like he was one of those desperados, claiming dire straits, and in financial need..... they are no doubt stupid,since it was BS in his own words Noreiga states: "As it turns out, I have the necessary resources as well."
What was that warning Eisenhower warned us about?
Friday, October 12, 2007
the court shall inquire as to the existence of any plea bargaining agreements between the state and the defendant and, in the event that such an agree
COURT OF APPEALS
THIRTEENTH DISTRICT OF TEXAS
JOSE DE LA FUENTE, Appellant,
THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee.
On appeal from the 138th District Court
of Cameron County, Texas.
O P I N I O N
Before Justices Dorsey, Hinojosa, and Rodriguez
Opinion by Justice Dorsey
This is an appeal from a plea of guilty for delivery of a controlled substance for which appellant, Jose De La Fuente, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Appellant's plea of guilty was not made subject to a plea bargain agreement. After the trial court found him guilty, the case was set for sentencing at a later time so a pre-sentence investigation could be made and a report prepared. Defense counsel indicated that a side agreement had been reached with the prosecutor's office, and the judge announced that it would be discussed at sentencing.
At the sentencing hearing an investigator for the district attorney's office testified that an agreement had been reached between his office and the appellant that if the appellant cooperated and aided them in seizing narcotics and making cases against perpetrators, they would recommend probation. The investigator testified that appellant had not cooperated with their office to any meaningful extent, and had breached his duties under the contract. Appellant testified somewhat to the contrary. The trial judge found that appellant had breached his contract with the district attorney's office, and that even if he had not, the district attorney could only recommend probation as a punishment, and such would not be binding on the court. The trial judge then sentenced appellant to ten years in prison.
Appellant brings three points of error, arguing in essence that a plea bargain had been reached, he performed his part of the bargain, and he was entitled to either performance by the State or a withdrawal of his plea of guilty, citing a number of cases that hold that a trial court must either enforce the bargain or allow the defendant to withdraw his plea of guilty. See McWherter v. State, 571 S.W.2d 312, 313 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978); Papillion v. State, 908 S.W.2d 621, 624 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1995, no pet); Escobedo v. State, 643 S.W.2d 243, 246 (Tex. App.-Austin, 1982, no pet).
The applicable statute is Article 26.13 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure in that it sets forth the method to handle plea bargain agreements. That article deals with pleas of guilty and expressly states what the court should admonish the defendant prior to accepting a plea of guilty. Section (a)(2) of that article provides:
Provided that the court shall inquire as to the existence of any plea bargaining agreements between the state and the defendant and, in the event that such an agreement exists, the court shall inform the defendant whether it will follow or reject such agreement in open court and before any finding on the plea. Should the court reject any such agreement, the defendant shall be permitted to withdraw his plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art 26.13 (a)(2) (Vernon Supp. 2002).
That procedure was followed explicitly in this case. The court inquired whether there were any plea bargains, to which the defendant answered "none." The written admonitions concerning the plea indicated there was no plea bargain and that no sentence would be recommended in exchange for the plea of guilty. The reason the court is required to inquire whether there is a plea bargain is to put everything on the record and above board before the court accepts the plea along with the conditions and recommendations agreed to. The procedure has been established to protect the defendant in his bargain with the State to plea guilty. There is no evidence here indicating that the appellant's plea of guilty was predicated on any recommendation of punishment by the district attorney. This was not a plea of guilty covered by article 26.13(a)(2) allowing the defendant to withdraw his plea if he is dissatisfied with the sentence imposed.
The conviction is affirmed.
J. BONNER DORSEY,
Do not publish.
Tex. R. App. P. 47.3(b).
Opinion delivered and filed
this 25th day of July, 2002.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Michigan Judge Thumbs His Nose at U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Poor People's Right to an Attorney (1/11/2006)
| Michigan Judge Thumbs His Nose at U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Poor People's Right to an Attorney (1/11/2006)|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ACLU of Michigan Seeks Order Compelling District Judge to Comply
DETROIT - In a move reserved for extraordinary cases, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today filed a class action lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Appeals to force a state judge to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting poor people the right to attorneys on appeal.
"Thumbing your nose at the U.S. Supreme Court is almost unheard of in the judicial system," said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan Executive Director. "And, in this case, the judge seems to believe he is above the law, or at least above the Supreme Court."
Last June in a landmark decision, Halbert v. Michigan, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1999 Michigan law that barred judges from appointing attorneys to help poor people who have pled guilty to appeal their sentences. The Court specifically ruled that forcing poor people to navigate the appeals process without a lawyer violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution.
Despite the Halbert ruling, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis C. Kolenda has denied appellate counsel to several poor people and stated that he has no obligation or intention of following the Supreme Court's ruling in the future and characterized the ruling as "incorrect" and "illogical."
In the lawsuit filed in the Court of Appeals today - called a "Complaint for Superintending Control" - the ACLU asserted that the Supreme Court took pains to address, and reject, the argument that a poor criminal defendant could waive the right to appointed counsel on appeal. The lawsuit also points out that both the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals have repeatedly held over the last half-century that statements by the highest court, meant to be a guide to future proceedings, is binding precedent. In addition, the Michigan Supreme Court has issued a series of orders for implementing and following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Halbert, but Judge Kolenda has also chosen to defy the Michigan Supreme Court.
"The tragedy of this case is that while Judge Kolenda is defying the Supreme Court, dozens of individuals are being denied their constitutional right to counsel simply because they are poor," said ACLU Cooperating Attorney David Moran, who argued Halbert for the ACLU. "As a result, sentencing errors are left uncorrected and the Michigan taxpayers are picking up the bill for inmates wrongfully serving time."
It is unclear exactly how many people are affected by Judge Kolenda's refusal to appoint counsel. The ACLU believes that the only mechanism to protect both its clients and other individuals in the same situation is to ask the Court of Appeals to exercise superintending control over Judge Kolenda and order him to follow the Supreme Court.
In addition to Moran, ACLU cooperating attorneys Terence Flanagan, Mark Granzotto and James Czarnecki are litigating the case, along with Michigan ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg and Executive Director Kary Moss.
To read the Complaint for Superintending Control filed today in Brown v. Kolenda, go to: www.aclumich.org/pdf/briefs/kolendacomplaint.pdf
To read the Brief in Support of the Complaint, go to: www.aclumich.org/pdf/briefs/kolendabrief.pdf
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Who Was That Masked Man?
In honor of the following news story:
OTTAWA (Reuters) - "Kemosabe," the name given to the Lone Ranger by his friend Tonto in the 1950s TV western, is not a racist term, a Canadian court has found.
The ruling was delivered by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal last week in a case involving a native Canadian woman who complained that the manager of the store where she worked had created a poisoned environment by calling her kemosabe.
The manager of the second-hand sports store, in Sydney, Nova Scotia, argued kemosabe was a term he used to address customers as well as employees.
The court ruling confirmed a earlier decision by a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry. That decision was made after the board spent a full shift watching "Lone Ranger" reruns.
The board found that at the start of their relationship, Tonto, a native American, had recognized the injured Lone Ranger as the man who had saved his life years before, and started calling him kemosabe.
"When asked what it meant, Tonto responded 'trusty friend,'" the board found. "Both the Lone Ranger and Tonto treat one another with respect...At no time during the episodes is the term kemosabe ever used in a demeaning or derogatory manner."
The board found, however, that while Tonto was always treated with respect, the long-running U.S. TV series treated other native American characters in a demeaning manner.
The Jokester proudly presents: “Who Was That Masked Man?”
The Lone Ranger was ambushed and captured by an enemy Indian war party.
The Indian Chief proclaims, "So, you are the great Lone Ranger. In honor of the Harvest Festival, you will be executed in three days.
But, before I kill you, I will grant you three requests. What is your first request?"
The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse."
Chief nods and Silver is brought before the Lone Ranger, who whispers in Silver's ear, and the horse gallops away.
Later that evening, Silver returns with a beautiful blonde woman on his back.
As the Indian Chief watches, the blonde enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night.
The next morning the Indian Chief admits he's impressed. "You have a very fine and loyal horse, but I will still kill you in two days.
What is your second request?"
The Lone Ranger again asks to speak to his horse.
Silver is brought to him, and he again whispers in the horse's ear.
As before, Silver takes off across the plains and disappears over the horizon.
Later that evening, to the Chief's surprise, Silver again returns, this time with a voluptuous brunette, even more attractive than the blonde.
She enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night.
The following morning the Indian Chief is again impressed.
"You are indeed a man of many talents, but I will still kill you tomorrow. What is your last request."
The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse, alone."
The Chief is curious, but he agrees, and Silver is brought to the Lone Ranger's tent. Once they're alone, the Lone Ranger grabs Silver by both ears, looks him square in the eye and says, "Listen carefully, for the last time. I said "BRING POSSE!"
A man boards an airplane and takes his seat. As he settles in, he glances up and sees a most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realizes she is heading straight towards his seat.
A wave of nervous anticipation washes over him. Lo and behold, she takes the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation, he blurts out, "Business trip or vacation?". She turns, smiles and says, "Business. I'm going to the annual
Nymphomaniac Convention in Chicago."
Whoa !!! He swallows hard and is instantly crazed with excitement. Here's the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen, sitting RIGHT next to him and she's going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs!
Struggling to maintain his outward cool, he calmly asks, "What's your business role at this convention?"
"Lecturer.", she says " I use my experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality." "Really," he says, swallowing hard, "what myths are those?" "Well," she explains, "one popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed when, in fact, it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that French men are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Jewish descent."
Suddenly, the woman becomes very embarrassed and blushes. "I'm sorry," she says, "I shouldn't be discussing this with you, I don't even know your name!".
"Tonto," the man says as he extends his hand. "Tonto Goldstein."
The Lone Ranger and Tonto are camping in the desert, set up their tent, and are asleep.
Some hours later, The Lone Ranger wakes his faithful friend. "Tonto, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Tonto replies, "Me see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asks The Lone Ranger.
Tonto ponders for a minute. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.
Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
What it tell you, Kemosabe?"
The Lone Ranger is silent for a moment, then speaks. "Tonto, you Dumb Ass, someone has stolen our tent."