Friday, January 08, 2010
Deputy county manager Sandi Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry concerns abuses by the office, the Associated Press reports. Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas have been involved in ongoing disputes with county officials and judges, and have filed a racketeering suit claiming a conspiracy to hinder an investigation into the construction of a new court building in Phoenix.
County manager David Smith told the Arizona Republic he believes the investigation is focusing on the courthouse project and several other issues, including budget negotiations.
Wilson told the Arizona Republic that the problems with the sheriff’s office began after a breakdown in budget negotiations. The sheriff’s office eventually took a budget cut, leading Arpaio to charge that the new $360 million court building was a waste of tax dollars. Since then, the sheriff’s office has questioned many county officials in their homes; the county ordered a sweep of administration offices for listening devices.
According to the Arizona Republic, Arpaio has contended all along that his investigations into county operations are intended to thwart attempts to micromanage his office.
Arpaio has also been informed that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures by his office, the AP story says. He has said he believes the probe is related to immigration efforts.
Arpaio told the Arizona Republic he’s not commenting about the grand jury. "If people are saying it, let them say it. We're going to continue doing our job," he said.
The nation's third president, Thomas Jefferson, was portrayed to perfection Thursday night by actor and producer Bill Barker at Flagler Auditorium, who described how he and four others on the committee appointed to write the Declaration of Independence tried to explain universal thoughts on liberty in simple terms.
"(But) there is not one new or original thought in (it)," he said.
He explained that many ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from "the Englishman who provoked the American Revolution," John Locke -- who wrote "all men are created equal," for example -- as well as from Cicero, Aristotle, George Mason and other greats who wrote about the rights given to mankind by Nature.
"Mankind was not born with saddles on their backs," he said. "The common man, given the truth and the facts, can be a judge for himself."
The program, "Discover First America," was the fourth in seven presentations to honor St. Augustine's 450th birthday in 2015. All are sponsored by the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission, the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Jefferson, born in 1743 in Shadwell, Va., wrote two of the greatest contributions to the American Revolution -- "A Summary View of the Rights of British America" and the Declaration of Independence. He came to discuss the current state of politics between the rebelling colonies and the 15th colony, East Florida.
He denied kingly authority over the 13 northern colonies and said government should be based on popular consent.
It took only minutes for the capacity audience at Flagler to accept the man in the black cutaway coat and black breeches and boots as the real Jefferson rather than as an actor.
He spoke as if it were the year 1810, before the $12 million, 830,000 square-mile Louisiana Purchase was explored, but after his presidency was over and that of James Madison's had begun.
"I hope that wherever we can imagine progress to take us in 1910 or 2010, that we never forget the human minds and hands that founded the United States of America," he said. "This nation is the only one on the face of the earth founded by principle, not by a monarchy or aristocracy. The greatest of our rights is this: The ability to express our opinions."
During his various offices, Jefferson was attacked by Federalists who wanted tighter control of the government and creation of a national bank.
Jefferson drew cheers as he apparently tweaked the Obama Administration's rampant borrowing from China, saying, "Spending money that you do not have only enslaves you to your creditor."
Barker as an actor did not stick to a script but joked about modern dress and once, a cell phone ringing.
"I declare that I just heard a nightingale," he said.
As a slaveholder, Jefferson was careful with how he dealt with the institution of slavery, which he said ran counter to the ideals of the Declaration.
"We must eventually eradicate it," he said. "No one can deny that they were brought here against their will. Too many aggressions against them will not be so easily forgotten."
He praised newspapers as a way to discover truth and facts.
"Sometimes they print errors. But in the end, the common man can be a judge for himself," he said. "It is the public debate more than anything else that will preserve and defend our natural rights. When it comes to fashion, my advice is swim with the current. But when it comes to principle, stand like a rock."
Jesse Fish and the British
St. Augustine resident Jesse Fish, a British subject, was a prosperous -- but somewhat untrustworthy -- merchant when the Spanish were forced to leave the city in 1763 due to a treaty obligation.
John Stavely, manager of the Fountain of Youth, played Fish on Thursday night with a stylish and humorous flair.
He said he'd like to work with the Tory newcomers flooding south to the city as the Revolutionary War worsened for the British.
"If you need a roof over your head, I'm your man," Fish said. "Regarding those Liberty Boys, as they call themselves, His Majesty will make short work of those men, I'm sure."
He dealt with the Dutch, Spanish and French, even the American rebels, and he criticized the United States' first constitution, the newly written Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
The East Florida Rangers, a type of guerrilla force fighting with British troops in Florida, had a mission to "bring away a large number of cattle" from their raids in Georgia.
"These men are serious," he said. "Chief Cowcatcher of the Seminoles is helping them."
Fish criticized the "numbskulls, blockheads and pettifoggers" that are encouraging independence.
He then left, saying, "I'm Fish. Jesse Fish. Come see me. I'm your man in St. Augustine."
Afterward historical re-enactor Anthea Manny presented a fashion show of British civilian and military uniforms.
Displayed were the regimental colors and uniforms of the 70th Regiment of Foot and the 6th Regiment of Foot, both stationed here from 1763 to 1783.
The soldiers wore white linen breeches and waistcoat with the traditional red battle jacket that gave the Redcoats their nickname. The soldiers went through their Manual of Arms and fixed their fearsome bayonets.
Also shown during the show were typical dresses worn by Menorcan working women and brides -- about 600 Menorcans came to St. Augustine in 1777, tripling the population -- and clothes worn by local merchants,
COVERUP ON CORRUPTION?: Is our JAX United State's Attorney's Office Stonewalling on United States v. THOMAS MANUEL case?
Subject: Fwd: E-FOIA Request re: USA v. Manuel
Date: Fri, Jan 8, 2010 11:52 am
Dear Ms. Savell:
May I please have a progress report on my December 23, 2009 FOIA request? We have not yet had the courtesy of an acknowledgment.
This is my third E-mail to you.
By copy of this letter, I am asking the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys to explain to you your duties under FOIA and the reasonable expectations of probity of our Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2009 4:40 pm
Subject: Fwd: E-FOIA Request re: USA v. Manuel
Dear Ms. Savell:
May I please have a progress report on my December 23, 2009 FOIA request? I have not heard from you yet.
Sent: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 6:38 pm
Subject: E-FOIA Request re: USA v. Manuel
Dear Ms. Savell:
1. Pursuant to the Electronic FOIA, I hereby request release in electronic format of all FBI forms 302, FBI tapes and transcripts and the presentence report in United States v. Thomas Manuel.
2. Please post them on the U.S. Attorney's website for all Americans to read.
3. As I am sure that you and the U.S. Attorney will agree, since there has already been a plea, there is no principled reason for any further withholding of the people's evidence. FOIA Exemption 7 should not be a problem.
4. I respectfully request a full waiver of any fees in that the release of the requested information is in the public interest in understanding government. I have been filing FOIA requests and publicizing government actions since the 1970s. I won Department of Energy declassification of the largest mercury pollution event in world history (4.2 million pounds by Union Carbide at Oak Ridge, Tennessee's Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant).
5. Under FOIA and the Electronic FOIA fee waiver guidelines, I have the ability to inform the people of St. Johns County about this data, and was the person who shared the Shoar-McClure transcript with the public, after it appeared on PACER. See Shane Griffis, "Manuel lawyer releases transcript," Ponte Vedra Recorder, December 18, 2009, stating inter alia:
Ed Slavin, St. Johns County resident and activist, posted the transcript on his blog Wednesday.
"I think people need to be able to read how their government talks when they don’t think the people are listening," Slavin said. "[Hopefully this] opens up a lot of peoples eyes and will go a long way to restoring democracy."
Slavin said people are disgusted by what they have read.
6. Please let me know if you need any further details in support of the fee waiver.
Clean Up City of St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Judge denies THOMAS MANUEL's motion for presentencing material -- will GEORGE McCLURE be subpoenaed to testify?
The case is now set for sentencing hearing at 9:30 AM on January 28, 2009, at which time it is hoped that the people of St. Johns County may finally get to hear the tapes of SHERIFF DAVID SHOAR and lawyer GEORGE McCLURE plotting to undermine democracy (and hear live testimony of SHOAR and McCLURE).
Under the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. 3500, former County Commission Chairman THOMAS MANUEL might subpoena prosecution witness GEORGE McCLURE to testify, in which case the U.S. Government must provide the FBI forms 302 to his defense lawyers. It is mandatory. Might MANUEL's lawyers also subpoena Sheriff DAVID SHOAR to testify? Being a Republican, will SHOAR claim Executive Privilege -- the last refuge of scoundrels like disgraced President RICHARD MILHOUS NIXON? What do you reckon? See Wikipedia article on the Jencks Act, below:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jencks material is evidence that is used in the course of a federal criminal prosecution in the United States. It usually consists of documents relied upon by government witnesses who testify at trial. It is described as inculpatory, favoring the United States Government’s prosecution of a criminal defendant. The Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, provides that the government (prosecutor) be required to produce a verbatim statement or report made by a government witness or prospective government witness (other than the defendant), but not until after the witness has testified. The Act also covers other documents related to the testimony, or relied upon by government witnesses at trial. Typically, it may consist of police notes, memoranda, reports, summaries, letters or verbatim transcripts used by government agents or employees to testify at trial.
After the Government's witness testifies, the Court shall, upon motion of the defendant, order the government to produce any statement of the witness in their possession relating to the subject matter as to which the witness testified. The Court’s denial of such a motion by Defendant is reversible error, although it need not order the disclosure sua sponte.  The usual remedy for failure of the government to produce the documents is a mistrial and dismissal of criminal charges against the defendant. 
* 1 Overview
* 2 The Jencks Act
* 3 Definition
* 4 Brady Material
* 5 Subpoena of material
* 6 Oral statements
* 7 Grand jury information
* 8 Pre-trial conference, document production
* 9 Determining if the documents should be produced
o 9.1 Manner of determination
* 10 Federal Rule 26.2
* 11 Other cases involving the Jencks Act
o 11.1 Rosenberg v. United States, 1959
o 11.2 United States v. Ellenbogen, 1965
o 11.3 United States v. Borelli, 1964
* 12 References
The Jencks Act was named for Clinton Jencks who starred in Salt of the Earth, a movie about his struggles.
The Jencks Act was enacted by the United States Congress in response to the 1957 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Jencks v. United States In this decision, the Court established various rules for the availability and production of statements of prosecution witnesses in federal criminal trials.
Clinton Jencks, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1918, was a labor organizer in New Mexico. He was convicted of lying about being a member of the Communist Party of the United States. During his trial, the government refused to produce documents relied upon by prosecution witnesses who were F.B.I. informants. In 1957, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the government must produce documents which pertain to testimony by its employees and agents in criminal trials. Clinton Jencks starred in a movie about his struggles to organize labor in New Mexico mines. The movie Salt of the Earth,  produced in 1954, is in the public domain. The movie can be seen for free on the internet. Jencks went on to obtain a PhD in economics and taught at San Diego State University. He died on December 14, 2005, at the age of 87.
 The Jencks Act
By the Act, Congress exercised its power to define the rules that should govern this particular area in the trial of criminal cases instead of leaving the matter of lawmaking of the courts. The Act, and not the Supreme Court decision in the Jencks case, governs the production of statements of government witnesses in a federal criminal trial. The Jencks Act is constitutional as an exercise of Congressional power to prescribe rules of procedure for the federal courts. In some instances however, the statute may be overridden by an accused’s constitutional right to disclosure of exculpatory evidence.
The Jencks Act governs production of statements and reports of prosecution witnesses during federal criminal trials. The Act provides that in any criminal prosecution brought by the United States, no statement or report in the possession of the United States which was made by a government witness or prospective government witness (other than the defendant) shall be the subject of subpoena, discovery or inspection until the witness called by the United States has testified on direct examination in the trial of the case. After testimony of the witness, called by the government on direct examination, the court shall, on motion of the defendant, order the United States to produce any statement of the witness in the possession of the government. If the entire contents of any such statement relate to the subject matter of the testimony of the witness, the court shall order it to be delivered directly to the defendant for his examination and use.
Jencks was convicted of lying about his membership in the Communist Party USA
Definition: Under the Jencks Act, a “statement” of a prosecution witness is:
1.) A written statement made by the witness and signed or otherwise adopted or approved by him;
2.) A stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recording, or a transcription of it, which is substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement made by the witness to an agent of the Government and recorded contemporaneously with the making of such oral statement; or
3.) A statement, however, taken or recorded, or a transcription of it in any made by the witness to a grand jury. 
If the United States elects not to comply with an order of the court to deliver to the defendant a statement or portion of it as the court may direct, the court shall strike from the record the testimony of the witness, and the trial shall proceed unless the court in its discretion shall determine that the interests of justice require that a mistrial be declared. 
The Jencks Act has been characterized as intending to assure defendants of their right to confront their accusers under the Sixth Amendment,  Its provisions are not a constitutional mandate 
Its requirements do not rise to constitutional stature. 
The Confrontational Clause of the Sixth Amendment is not necessarily violated by the government’s failure to produce Jenck’s Act material,  but may be by the not allowing the ability to confront government witnesses. 
 Brady Material
In Brady v. Maryland  it was ruled that the suppression of evidence favorable to an accused violates due process, irrespective of the good or bad faith of the prosecutor, where such evidence is material to the guilt or punishment of the accused.  The failure of the government to produce exculpatory evidence may not fall within the confines of the Jencks Act. In some cases, the production of documents must be made at a time prior to that required by the Jenck’s Act.    The Brady rule may require the prosecutor to disclose grand jury testimony prior to trial, if the information is exculpatory.
In United States v. Anderson,  when Brady material is contained within Jencks Act material disclosure in generally timely if the government complies with the Jencks Act.
The Jencks Act applies to statements “in the possession of the United States”.  This means in the possession of the federal prosecutor.    
Any information in control of the court reporter or the trial court is not subject to the Jencks Act. The Act does not affect material in control of state, as opposed to federal agencies.
It is important that requests made prior to trial which are denied on the basis of a statement by the prosecution that “the material is not in our possession” be reasserted at trial in front of the court. Otherwise, the court will consider the request to have been abandoned. 
 Subpoena of material
Poster from the movie Salt of the Earth, starring Clinton Jencks
The Jencks Act provides that no material shall be subject to subpoena, discovery or inspection until the said witness has testified on direct examination in the trial of the case.  In context, the word trial means a judicial proceeding conducted for the purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of a person, and according to the statutory language, the defense is not entitled to production of a witness’ statement under the Act after the witness has testified at a preliminary hearing.   
The bar against compulsory disclosure prior to the testimony of the witness whose statement is sought cannot be circumvented by resort to the Freedom of Information Act,  or Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 
It is left to the discretion of the trial court to determine whether Jenck’s material can be delivered before trial. This can be done to expedite a trial involving many witnesses.   Disclosure of material may be required because of the Brady doctrine.
Material may not be excluded from production because it is claimed that it is the “work product” of government lawyers.  In a related manner, the production of a final report does not exclude the production of preliminary drafts. 
Tape recordings of an interview between a government agent and a government witness is producible under the Jenck’s Act after the witness has testified, if the recording relates to the witness’ testimony.  Composite drawings made from photographs are not producible. Photographs, if they relate to a witness’ statement must be produced.   Notes taken by a prosecutor or a law enforcement officer pertaining to an interview with a potential government witness may be subject to production under the Jencks Act if the witness testifies at trial.  
 Oral statements
An oral statement which has never been transcribed in any fashion is not a “statement" within the meaning of the Act.  Moreover the Act does not require law enforcement officers to make any record of an interview, nor to submit interview notes to the witness for approval so as to generate a statement which is producible under the Act.  Notes that are signed, adopted or approved by the witness are generally subject to subpoena. Those that are not cannot be ordered to be produced. Notes that are only of one word references and short phrases are not producible.  Investigator’s notes made from memory several days after interviewing a witness are not “verbatim” under the meaning of the Act, and hence not subject to subpoena. 
On police officer’s notes on statements of another were not “statements” within the meaning of the Jencks Act where there was no evidence that such notes were ever approved by the officer or that his words were recorded verbatim. 
Records of surveillance activities are not Jencks Act statements even though they have been transmitted by one government agent to another. 
Notes produced during the course of surveillance need not be preserved or produced. 
A statement by a government witness before a grand jury is producible under Jencks Act to the extent that it relates to the subject matter of the trial testimony. 
Such a statement is reproducible even though it has not been transcribed. 
 Grand jury information
Although the government is obliged to make a record of all testimony before the grand jury, it is under no obligation to create producible material under the Jencks Act by calling key witnesses before the grand jury.  
The provision of the Jencks Act relating to disclosure of a witness’ grand jury testimony address only disclosure at trial. Pretrial disclosure of such testimony is governed by Rule 6 (e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 
The Act does not bar the pretrial disclosure of grand jury testimony where requirements of Rule 6 (e) for such disclosure have been met.    
Sometimes courts will hold an in-camera hearing to determine if the material is relevant under the Act, it is not necessary for the production of documents.  
It is generally necessary that the defense make a motion for the production of the prior statement of a government witness under the Jencks Act.   
The motion of the defense for production should be made at the close of the testimony of the witnesses from whom the documents are sought. The request should not be made at the close of the prosecution’s case, nor prior to the close of the trial.    
 Pre-trial conference, document production
The identification and production of Jencks Act material may also be addressed at a pretrial conference. It is usual for the defense to receive the material outside the purview of the jury to avoid inference that the material is damaging to the defendant.  If the material is not relevant, or helpful for impeachment, defense council may decide not to use it. 
Requiring production of Jencks material in front of the jury is reversible error. 
There must be some reason to believe that the documents actually exist. This can be documented when the witness uses the document to testify from, or by testimony that the document exists.   
The decision whether a document should be produced is made by the trial court and not the prosecution. 
 Determining if the documents should be produced
Salt of the earth 00000120.jpg
Once issues of concerning the producibility of a requested statement have been raised, it is the duty of the court to conduct some sort of inquiry. This is a question for the court, and not the jury.  
A trial court’s decision of what material must be produced under the Act is subject to review under the “clearly erroneous” standard. 
 Manner of determination
It is within the discretion of the court to determine in the most appropriate manner whether a requested document is a producible statement.  To determine whether a document is a statement under the Act, the court may
– conduct a voir dire examination of the declarant on the witness stand.   
– Conduct a hearing outside the presence of the jury to examine evidence extrinsic to the statement. 
– examine the requested document in camera.  
The Act requires in camera inspection to resolve any question as to whether or to what extent the document relates to the subject matter of the witness’ testimony. 
The determination of the production and admissibility of documents under the Jencks Act is not adversarial in nature, but only a proceeding to discharge the responsibility to enforce the Act. It is not the responsibility of the defense to prove that the document should be produced.    
If after in camera inspection, of the requested document the court determines that only part of it relates to the subject matter of the witness’s testimony, the court must excise those parts which do not relate to the witness’ testimony. 
The sections to be excluded is in the discretion of the court. 
Material cannot be excluded simply because the prosecution claims it is a matter of internal security, or confidentiality of the information.  
If the material is deemed to be work product of the prosecution, it can be excluded. 
If the defendant objects to the excision of parts of a document, the full text of the document must be preserved on the record for purposes of appeal. 
Jencks was convicted in the wake of the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s.
Notes prepared by law enforcement agents of an interview with a potential government witness may be subject to production under the Jencks Act, provided the witness testifies at the trial. Some government practices have led to the destruction of such notes prior to any trial. This is not, of itself, considered to be bad faith.  
A judicial hearing may be held to determine if the destruction of the notes was bad faith. If it is the normal procedure of the agency to destroy notes, it will generally not be considered to be bad faith. 
The Second Circuit has ruled that agent notes used to prepare a final report must also be preserved. 
If the prosecution elects not to comply with the order to produce Jencks Material, the court shall strike the testimony of the witness and continue with the trial. If the interests of justice require such, the trial is properly called a mistrial.  
It is incumbent upon the defense to file a motion with the court that it believes that the failure of the prosecution to produce the document is a violation of the Jencks Act.   If the interests of justice require such, the trial is properly called a mistrial.  
Although rough notes of an interview with a witness are producible, under Jencks Act where such notes are a substantially verbatim recital of the witness’ oral statements, failure to do so is probably harmless where the notes are substantially the same as a report based on the notes and released to the defense. 
 Federal Rule 26.2
The provisions of the Jencks Act have been substantially incorporated into Rule 26.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. This is due to the notion that provisions which are purely procedural in nature should appear in the Rules, rather than in Title 18 of the United States Code. Rule 26.2 extends the provisions of the Jencks Act by providing that statements subject to production at trial are not only those of prosecution witnesses, but those of any witness other than the defendant. The Rule does not alter the Jenck’s Act schedule for production of statements, nor does it relieve a defendant seeking production of Jencks material from the necessity of making a request for production at the trial stage of the proceeding.  
 Other cases involving the Jencks Act
 Rosenberg v. United States, 1959
In Rosenberg v. United States, 1959,  the United States Supreme Court ruled that a letter written by a government witness to the F. B. I. stating that her memory as to the commission of the alleged offense charged against the defendant had dimmed in the 3 years that had passed since the time of the offense, and that to refresh her failing memory she would have to reread the original statement she had given to the FBI, was producible under the Jencks Act. 
 United States v. Ellenbogen, 1965
In United States v. Ellenbogen, 1965, a prosecution for bribing a purchasing agent of the General Services Administration and for conspiring to commit similar offenses, wherein the purchasing agent pleaded guilty prior to the trial and was the principle witness for the government in the defendant's case, it was held that the trial court's refusal to allow the production of a signed sworn statement of the purchasing agent in which he explained in detail his similar unlawful dealings with bidders other than the defendant, on the ground that such statement had nothing to do with the present case, was error where on direct examination the agent was examined by the government on the point of such other dealings as covered in the requested statement. Noting that prior statements of a witness that "relate generally to the events and activities testified to" by him must be produced in the Jencks Act, the court said that since the statement in question related to the subject matter as to which the witness had testified, the statute left no room for the trial court, nor for the present court, to speculate as to how useful this statement would be for purposes of cross-examination or how important such cross-examination would be to the defendant's case. 
 United States v. Borelli, 1964
In United States v. Borelli,  an accomplice had testified for the prosecution at the trial of the defendant, it was held that the refusal to permit the production of a letter written by the accomplice to the government, in which he offered his assistance to the government in return for special consideration for himself, was error where such refusal was based on the ground that the letter did not "relate" to the subject matter to which the accomplice had testified. The court said there was no reason why a statement that would support impeachment for bias and interest does not "relate" to the witness' testimony as much as a statement permitting impeachment for faulty memory as was involved in Rosenberg v. United States (see case supra), and that the word "relate" as used in the statute is not limited to factual narrative. 
1. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 3500
2. ^ Government of the Virgin Islands v. Jamil Isaac, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11038
3. ^ Jencks v. United States, 353 U.S. 657
4. ^ 353 U.S. 657, 1 L.Ed. 2nd 1103, 77 SC 1007, 75 Ohio L Abs. 465, 40 BNA LRRM 2147, 32 CCH LC P 70731
5. ^ Internet Archive. Download of the movie "Salt of the Earth" is free.
6. ^ Palermo v. United States 360 US 343, 3 L Ed 2nd 1287, 79 SC 1217, 59-2 USTC P 9532; 3 AFTR 2nd 1680, reh den 361 US 855, 4 L Ed. 2nd 94, 80 SC 41
7. ^ Rosenberg v. United States 360 US 367, 3 L Ed 2nd 1304, 79 SC 1231
8. ^ Palermo v. United States
9. ^ United States v. Gleason (SD NY) 265 F Supp 880, 67-1 USTC P 9297, 19 AFTR 2nd 1615
10. ^ United States v. Quinn (ND Ga) 364 F Supp 432
11. ^ 18 USC section 3500 (a)
12. ^ 18 USCS section 3500 (e)
13. ^ a b c 18 USCS section 3500 (d)
14. ^ United States v. Carter [CA 10 Okla] 613 F 2nd 256, cert denied 449 US 822, 66 L Ed 2nd 24, 101 SC 81
15. ^ United States v. Beasley (CA 5 Ala) 576 F 2nd 626, 78-2 USTC P 9586, 42 AFTR 2nd, 78-6360, reh den (CA 5 Ala) 585, F 2nd 796, 79-1 USTC P 9107, 42 AFTR 2nd 78-6369 and cert den 440 US 947, 59 L Ed 2nd 636, 99 SC 1426 subsequent civil proceeding summary judgment granted (SD Ala) 1993 US Dist LEXIS 16342, clarified. Adopted, dismissed (SD Ala) 1994 US dist Lexus
16. ^ United States v. Halderman 181 US App DC 254, 559, F 2nd 31
17. ^ United States v Hart (CA 5 Ala) 526 F 2nd 344, cert den 426 US 937
18. ^ Krillich v. US (CA 7 Ill) 502 F 2nd 680
19. ^ 373 US 83, 10 L Ed 2nd 215, 83 SC 1194
20. ^ 23 Am Jur 2nd Depositions and Discovery section 450
21. ^ Chavis v. North Carolina (CA 4 NC) 637 F 2nd 213
22. ^ 7 Fed Rules evid Serv 1243
23. ^ United States v. Campagnuolo (CA5 Fla) 592 F 2nd 852
24. ^ United States v. Anderson (CA 5 Ga) 574 F 2nd 1347
25. ^ 18 USCS section 3500
26. ^ United States v. Hutcher, CA2 NY 622, F2nd 1083 sert den. 449, US 875
27. ^ United States v. Trevino CA5 Tex, 556, F2nd 1265
28. ^ United States v. Polizzi CA9 Cal 801, F2nd 543
29. ^ United States v. Cagnini Ca 11 Fla 697, F 2nd cert den 464 US 856
30. ^ United States v. McKenzie CA5 Tex, 768, F 2nd 602, cert den 474 US 1086
31. ^ USCS section 3500 (a)
32. ^ United States v. Murphy CA 3 569, F 2nd 771, cert den 435 US 955
33. ^ Robbins v. US CA 10 NM 476 F 2nd 26
34. ^ Gibson v. Halleck DC Dist Col 254, F Supp 159
35. ^ Barceloneta Shoe Corp. v. Compton DC Puerto Rico 271. F. Supp 591
36. ^ FR Crim. P. Rule 16 (a)(2)
37. ^ United States v. Garrison ED La 348 F Supp 1112
38. ^ United States v. Narcisco ED Mich 446 F Supp 252
39. ^ Goldberg v. United States 425, US 94 47 96 S Ct 1338
40. ^ United States v. Waldron CA 3 Pa 578, F 2nd 966, cert den 444 US 849
41. ^ United States v. Esposito CA 7 Ind. 369, F 2nd 474 cert den 386 US 1023 87 US 1517
42. ^ United States v. Zurita CA 7 Ind. 369, F 2nd 474 cert den 386, US 1023
43. ^ Simmons v. United States 390 US 377, 88 SC 367
44. ^ United States v. Harris (CA 9) Wash 543 F 2nd 1247
45. ^ 5 ALR 3rd 763 section 13
46. ^ United States v. Taylor (CA 8 Mo) 599 F 2nd 832
47. ^ United States v. Martino (CA 5 Fla) 648 F 2nd 367
48. ^ United States v. Consolidated Packaging Corp. (CA 7 Ill) 575 F 2nd 117
49. ^ United States v. Hodges CA 5 Fla 556 F 2nd 366
50. ^ United States v. Calhoun (CA 9Cal), 542, F 2nd 1094, cert den 429 US 1064
51. ^ United States v. Bodabilla-Lopez (CA 9 Cal) 954 F 2nd 519
52. ^ United States v. Anderson (CA 9 Cal) 813 F 2nd 1450
53. ^ United States v. Fanning (CA 5 Fla) 477, F 2nd 45, reh den (CA 5 Fla) 477, F 2nd 596 and cert den 414 US 1006
54. ^ United States v. Merlino (CA 5 Fla) 595 F 2nd 1016, reh den CA 5 Fla, 603, F 2nd 860 and cert den 444 US 1071
55. ^ United States v. Pastor SD NY, 419 F Supp 1318
56. ^ United States v. Cruz (CA 5 Fla) 478 F 2nd 408, reh den (CA 5 Fla) 478, 1043 and cert den (CA 5 Fla) 414 US 910
57. ^ United States v. Anderson DC Md 368 F Supp 1253
58. ^ United States v. Dixon DC Del 63 FRD 8
59. ^ United States v. Anderson DC Md. 368, F Supp 1253
60. ^ United States v. Duffy DC Ill 54, FRD 549
61. ^ 38 Am Jur 2nd "Grand Jury" sections 39 et seq
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64. ^ United States v. Tellier (CA 2 NY) 255 F 2nd 441, cert den 358 US 821
65. ^ United States v. Atkinson (CA 4 NC) 512 F 2nd 1235
66. ^ 1 ALR Fed 252
67. ^ United States v. Simmons (CA 2 NY) 281, F 2nd 354
68. ^ United States v. Peterson (CA 4 Va) 524, F 2nd 167, cert den. 423 US 1988
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70. ^ United States v. Clay (CA 7 Ill) 495, F 2nd 700, cert den 419 937
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81. ^ Palermo v. US 360 US 343
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USDOJ: United States Attorney Charges Former Democratic Majority Leader of Yonkers City Council, Former Yonkers Republican Party Chief, and Attorney w
For Immediate Release
January 6, 2010 United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York
Contact: (212) 637-2600
United States Attorney Charges Former Democratic Majority Leader of Yonkers City Council, Former Yonkers Republican Party Chief, and Attorney with Public Corruption Crimes
Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi Allegedly Received More Than $160,000 in Secret Payments; Defendants Charged with Conspiracy, Bribery, Extortion, False Statements, and Tax Crimes
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"); and PATRICIA J. HAYNES, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), Criminal Investigation Division, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment against SANDY ANNABI, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council, charging her with conspiracy, bribery, extortion, false statements, and tax crimes. The Indictment also charges ZEHY JEREIS, the former head of the Yonkers Republican Party, and ANTHONY MANGONE, a Westchester County attorney, with conspiracy, bribery, and extortion in connection with two real estate development projects within the City of Yonkers which were pending before ANNABI.
ADIC Joseph Demarest, FBI; U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, SDNY; SAC Patricia Haynes, IRS; SAC David Cardona, FBI; Photo Credit: Richard Kolko, FBI
ADIC Joseph Demarest, FBI; U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, SDNY; SAC Patricia Haynes, IRS; SAC David Cardona, FBI
Photo Credit: Richard Kolko, FBI
MANGONE was arrested early this morning in Purchase, New York. ANNABI and JEREIS surrendered to federal authorities earlier today. All three defendants are expected to be presented later today before United States Magistrate Judge LISA MARGARET SMITH in White Plains federal court.
According to the Indictment filed in White Plains federal court:
On November 6, 2001, SANDY ANNABI was elected to serve as a Councilwoman to represent the Second District of the City of Yonkers. ANNABI was reelected two subsequent times, in 2003 and 2005, and served as the Democratic Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council. The Yonkers City Council's primary function is to consider and vote on the City's budget, zoning changes, and other legislation.
From the Fall of 2003 through the Fall of 2007, ZEHY JEREIS was the Chairman of the Yonkers Republican Party. As the Party Chairman, JEREIS's duties were to promote the Republican Party in Yonkers and to advance the interests of Republican elected officials and candidates. ANTHONY MANGONE is an attorney whose office was located in Hawthorne, New York.
The Longfellow Project
In 2003, a developer ("Developer No. 1") proposed to develop a tract of land located partially within the Yonkers City Council District represented by ANNABI by renovating and transforming two vacant and dilapidated schools into market-rate housing (the "Longfellow Project"). ANNABI initially opposed the Longfellow Project. During a City Council meeting on June 14, 2005, ANNABI proclaimed her strong opposition to the project, stating: "Even if the entire community supported [it], I would be opposed." She also said that the project was "outrageous" and a "slap in the face to the taxpayers of Yonkers." Despite considerable effort, Developer No. 1 was unable to move the project forward in the face of ANNABI's opposition.
In April 2006, however, Developer No. 1 hired MANGONE to assist in persuading ANNABI to support the Longfellow Project. Shortly thereafter, MANGONE arranged a meeting between a representative of Developer No. 1 and JEREIS, who advised that he could help persuade ANNABI to support the project. Later, MANGONE told Developer No. 1 that, in order for the project to proceed, Developer No. 1 would have to pay ANNABI $30,000 in exchange for her support. Developer No. 1 gave MANGONE the $30,000 in cash for ANNABI and paid MANGONE a $10,000 cash fee for his services.
Shortly after receiving the $30,000 in cash, ANNABI made several substantial cash and credit card purchases—including airline ticket upgrades, a Rolex watch, and a diamond cross necklace. Then, at a City Council meeting in September 2006, ANNABI reversed her long-held opposition to the Longfellow Project and voted in favor of awarding the project to Developer No. 1.
The Ridge Hill Development Project
The "Ridge Hill Development Project" was a project proposed by a large developer ("Developer No. 2") to develop an 81-acre tract of land to establish retail shopping, restaurants, office space, hundreds of residential housing units, and a hotel and conference center. ANNABI was an outspoken critic of the proposed Ridge Hill Project and voted against both the project and legislation that would allow the project to move forward despite her opposition. ANNABI, with two other City Council members and others, also filed a civil lawsuit to effectively block the Ridge Hill Project. As the City Council was considering the Ridge Hill Project, Developer No. 2 made repeated and unsuccessful efforts to convince ANNABI to vote in favor of the project.
On June 2, 2006, JEREIS was introduced to representatives of Developer No. 2, after which JEREIS told representatives of Developer No. 2 that he could arrange a meeting between them, ANNABI, and JEREIS to discuss the Ridge Hill Project. JEREIS and representatives of Developer No. 2 also had an agreement in which Developer No. 2 would give JEREIS a consulting job sometime after ANNABI formally voted in favor of the Ridge Hill Project. After two meetings held in less than two weeks, ANNABI reversed her opposition to the Ridge Hill Project and issued a press release—drafted by JEREIS and representatives of Developer No. 2—informing the public of her support for the project.
Specifically, at a City Council meeting on July 11, 2006, ANNABI voted in favor of the zoning change necessary for the Ridge Hill Project. Shortly after ANNABI changed her vote on the Ridge Hill Project, JEREIS received the promised consulting contract from Developer No. 2 worth $60,000 over one year.
Secret Payments to ANNABI and Efforts to Conceal the Crimes
Since at least 2004, ANNABI has received from JEREIS, MANGONE, and others more than $160,000 worth of secret payments designed to influence and reward her for favorable official action or inaction on matters pending before the City Council as specific opportunities arose. ANNABI, JEREIS, and MANGONE also took various steps to conceal their scheme, by making false statements and/or omitting required information in various reporting documents.
For example, JEREIS secretly gave ANNABI money and purported loans to finance the purchase of two residential properties located outside of ANNABI's Council District. To obtain favorable financing, ANNABI contemporaneously submitted applications to two different banks, advising both that she intended to occupy the house for which she was seeking financing and concealing that she was seeking to borrow money from the other bank for a second house. The closings for the two loans occurred only three days apart.
Furthermore, despite being required as a Councilmember, by state and local law, to live within her Council District, ANNABI in fact lived in one of these houses outside of her Council District. In order to meet the residential requirement to maintain her position, JEREIS purchased a cooperative apartment for ANNABI within her Council District. JEREIS had paid for the down payment and made the monthly mortgage payments, at times with postal money orders he had obtained.
The Indictment further charges that in her loan applications for one of the houses and for the apartment she purchased, ANNABI falsely inflated her income. ANNABI's applications also included fake pay stubs, W-2's, and bank statements.
According to the Indictment, ANNABI affirmatively concealed the illegal benefits she received from JEREIS and MANGONE by filing annual financial disclosure statements, from 2004 through 2007, that intentionally omitted the illegal payments. ANNABI also failed to report in federal income tax returns the illegal payments that she received from JEREIS, MANGONE, and others.
In a further effort to conceal the criminal conduct, during the federal grand jury investigation into ANNABI's corrupt relationship with JEREIS, MANGONE instructed Developer No. 1 not to tell an attorney representing Developer No. 1 that representatives of Developer No. 1 had given MANGONE the $30,000 in cash for ANNABI. MANGONE also failed to report, as required, the $30,000 cash bribe and an additional $10,000 fee that he received from Developer No. 1 to the IRS.
A chart setting forth the charges contained in the Indictment against ANNABI, JEREIS, and MANGONE and the maximum potential penalties for each offense is attached. The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of the crimes set forth above.
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. He added that the investigation is ongoing.
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,
"Today's indictment describes what was essentially a bipartisan corruption pact between Sandy Annabi, Zehy Jereis, and Anthony Mangone. When the people of Yonkers elected Annabi to the City Council, she swore an oath to faithfully discharge the duties of her office. But rather than keep her word, she betrayed Yonkers' residents by selling the most important assets any elected official has: her integrity and her independence. In our down economy, there are too many buildings with 'For Sale' signs hanging in the window; City Hall shouldn’t be one of them," said United States Attorney PREET BHARARA.
"The conduct charged in the indictment is an assault on democracy. The people of Yonkers were betrayed by Sandy Annabi, someone elected—and sworn—to serve them. In publicly opposing one of the projects for which she later sold her vote, she called it 'a slap in the face to the taxpayers of Yonkers.' She willfully conspired to redefine her job from Councilmember to Councilmember-for-sale. That was the real slap in the face for the people of Yonkers," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR.
"Public officials are no different from you or me in their responsibility to follow tax law. When this trust is violated it deteriorates confidence in the fairness of the application of tax law," said IRS Special Agent-in-Charge PATRICIA J. HAYNES.
Assistant United States Attorneys JASON P.W. HALPERIN and PERRY A. CARBONE are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
January 6, 2010 United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri
Contact: (314) 539-7719
Missouri State Representative Talibdin El-Amin Sentenced on Federal Bribery Charges
ST. LOUIS—Talibdin El-Amin, a Member of the Missouri House of Representatives for the 57th Missouri District has been sentenced to 18 months in prison on federal bribery charges, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today. In addition to his prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay $2100 in restitution.
According to court documents, and statements made in court at the time of the plea by Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith, during March 2009, El-Amin solicited a cash bribe from a local businessman, referred to as John Doe, who had approached El-Amin for help in dealing with St. Louis city officials relative to the operations of his gasoline station located within the 57th Missouri District. During May, 2009, El-Amin took a bribe consisting of several cash payments totaling $2100 from John Doe in exchange for promises to intervene on John Doe’s behalf with St. Louis city officials, including a city department head.
The cash payments were made to El-Amin by John Doe at El-Amin’s office on Union Boulevard in North St. Louis. The cash payments included $500 on May 1, 2009; $600 on May 8, 2009; $500 on May 15, 2009; and $500 on May 21, 2009. El-Amin solicited an additional $500 cash for himself, as well as $1000 cash purportedly to be paid as a bribe to a city department head.
"Mr. El-Amin threw away his political career for $2100," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Roland J. Corvington. "We hope this serves as a clear message that public servants are elected to serve the people, not themselves."
Talibdin El-Amin, 38, of St. Louis, pleaded September 24, 2009, to one felony count of soliciting and accepting a bribe. He today for sentencing before United States District Judge Henry Autrey.
Reap commended the work on the case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith, who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Dispatches from the Republican Self-Immolation
By Elbert Ventura
First, from Maine, where a new poll shows that Sen. Olympia Snowe would get trounced in a Republican primary by a more conservative opponent. With the mob whipped up into a RINO-hunting frenzy, the party was willing to lose Arlen Specter, so why not Snowe as well?
Then word from South Carolina that the Charleston County Republican Party censured Sen. Lindsay Graham for his willingness to work with Democrats on climate change and other legislation. Let that sink in for a minute. This isn't a GOP moderate, but someone whom National Journal ranked the 15th most conservative lawmaker in the Senate -- apparently, 14 slots too low for the Republicans of Charleston. As we've said here before, if that's the way Republicans want to run their party, then we progressives have no choice but to step back and let them.
But all is not lost for Republicans. First there were the victories in New Jersey and Virginia last week. This week a new Gallup poll showed that independents now break 52 percent-30 percent in favor of the generic Republican candidate if the midterms were held today.
The new poll should worry Democrats. But the real danger lies in what it might make Democrats do -- namely, nothing. It may be tempting to forget the agenda, sit tight, and ride out the storm, but Democrats shouldn't let the dismal numbers cow them into paralysis, particularly on health care reform. The worst thing that can happen is that nothing happens on health reform. Preserving the status quo on health care would mean disaster for our country's fiscal future. For Democrats, failure to come through with the end goal in sight will depress the base and convince independents that congressional Democrats can't get anything done -- a surefire formula for electoral disaster.
Florida Republicans are preparing to immolate themselves. See below. The replacement for JAMES GREER as Republican Party Chair is none other than a corporate lobbyist turned Senator. Conflict of interest? You’re darn right.
The Florida Republican Party has two right wings, one pro-polluter and the other pro-bigotry. They don’t get along. Hence, the split revealed in the Record’s article.
One point of disagreement -- I don't think libertarians are conservative -- I think they are liberals, in the tradition of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson -- they want to keep government out of our private lives. Wingnuts want to shrink government just small enough to fit in our bedrooms.
Kudos to St. Augustine Record Peter Guinta for a darn good job of political reporting. Compared to stories in bigger newspapers (Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel), the St. Augustine Record’s news story was the best I’ve read on the resignation of JAMES GREER. Not only that, but there were subheads (headlines within a story) in the article, which was longer than usual. (I like subheads, which the New York Times once used in profusion, as did our Appalachian Observer newspaper in Clinton, Tennessee).
Thrasher to lead state GOP
Greer resigns suddenly amid discord
State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, on Tuesday accepted the temporary chairmanship of the Republican Party of Florida after the sudden resignation of embattled RPOF Chair James A. "Jim" Greer.
Thrasher said he's already received many phone calls in support.
"I'm overwhelmed by it," he said. "What the party needs is a temporary steward to right the ship a little bit. Our job is to raise money, recruit good candidates and get the vote out.
"We're going to be grass-roots and get back to the unity we've had for so many years."
His job as chairman will end after the elections in November.
"This is not something I sought. We'll have a new governor who will put in the people (he or she) wants," he said.
Thrasher said he didn't know Greer very well, but the attacks on the chairman were a "distraction" to the party.
"We have a great opportunity (in 2010) with what's going on in Washington," he said.
Greer, a former Oviedo city councilman, said he would step down Feb. 20. He made $192,025 per year.
Gov. Charlie Crist, a strong Greer supporter, issued a statement after the chairman's announcement, saying the governor now "fully supports" Thrasher.
"(He) is a dedicated public servant, and I look forward to working with him to ensure Republican victories this election cycle," the statement said.
To get Thrasher as state chairman, he needs to be a member of the state committee.
Jon Woodard, St. Johns County's Republican state committeeman, said late Tuesday that he would step down from his seat so that Thrasher may step into it. The chairman must be a member of the state committee to serve.
"I'm honored to be able to help the party," Woodard said. "He can bring people together, and that's what the party needs. It'll be a great thing to have the state party chairman to be from St. Johns County."
Taking his leave
In a conference call Tuesday, Greer touted the successes of the Florida GOP under his three years of leadership. For example, Florida held onto every Republican seat in the House and Senate and returned every Republican to the Legislature, he said.
"I'm very humbled that I've been allowed to serve," he said, adding that Republicans should not continue the self-destructive arguing over the party's direction that has been happening.
"There's a very vocal, very active group that has sought to oust me as chairman. These people planned to use every parliamentary procedure possible to embarrass me. They said they'd continue this fight all the way through the elections in November," Greer said.
His future as chairman was to be decided at the annual state Republican convention in Orlando, set for Saturday.
Accusations against him included mismanagement of party finances and favoritism toward Republican officers who supported Crist rather than Marco Rubio, former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Crist and Rubio are contending in a Republican primary to fill a Florida Senate seat.
Greer calls these claims "political rhetoric" with no accuracy or basis in fact. "But they don't want to hear that."
"I've always put the party first. I would not always respond to those criticisms. A chairman should not engage in those battles," he said. "Their efforts and statements led me to recognize that I cannot participate in shredding and tearing the fabric of the Republican Part."
He, like Thrasher, believes the party will do well in the mid-term elections this year.
"We have the greatest opportunity in the last 40 years to win," he said. "It's now time for all Republicans in Florida to focus on electing Republicans in 2010," he said.
He said his decision to resign was made over the last 24 to 48 hours.
"It was obvious to me that these people were not going to stop," he said. "I recognized that I had a higher obligation to the party than others did."
The roots of discord
Creative Loafing, a Tampa alternative newspaper, wrote a long piece on Greer in December taking the chairman to task for his "spendthrift ways, dictatorial style, bloated ego, bad advice, and general buffoonery ... with a penchant for strip clubs, private jets, and buddies like disgraced Crist fundrasier Scott Rothstein."
"The list of party leaders who have signed a recall petition (on Greer) is long and deep and includes representatives from Lee, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Charlotte, Collier, and Duval counties (among others)," the story said.
In addition, there is Greer's distaste for opposition by the right wing of the party.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, an independent conservative organization inside the party, released a statement last year claiming that Greer had instituted a "party purge" designed to eliminate all RLC members statewide.
Will G. Pitts, a construction company owner who is chairman of the St. Johns County Republican Liberty Caucus, said, "Greer effectively eliminated (from the party structure) those who supported Marco Rubio, and he didn't allow anyone to challenge him."
Pitts was a former precinct captain who was removed from that post by Greer in September and barred from holding any other party leadership post in Florida until 2013. A complaint filed said Pitts had refused to support Arizona Sen. John McCain during the presidential election of 2008.
"The complaint said I embarrassed the party," Pitts said.
Pitts and Republican precinct captain and Caucus member John Stevens attended the Libertarian Party's national convention in Milwaukee, held at the same time as the GOP convention, and both wore a "Ron Paul" button.
Neither Pitts nor Stevens denies these actions but stand on their constitutional rights of free speech.
The RPOF's State Committee had this on its complaint against Greer: "That Mr. Greer, as Chairman, has financially mismanaged the RPOF resulting in a 2009 RPOF Core Activities Operations deficit of approximately Four Million dollars ($4,000,000) due to excessive spending."
The opposition's response
Florida's Democrats decided Tuesday not to let slip the opportunity to comment on Republican disarray.
Democratic Leader Al Lawson, D, Tallahassee, release a statement saying he was "deeply concerned" with a fellow legislator taking over the head of a major political party while still in office.
"In a body that has long been known and respected for its collegiality, its decorum and most of all its bipartisan independence, a decision to simultaneously remain in this Senate while leading the Republican Party of Florida threatens its very foundation," Lawson wrote. "You cannot serve two masters."
He said "cynicism and distrust of government" have deepened from scandals and from politicians following their own self-interest.
"In addition, our own rules not only bar any senator from raising money for a political party during a session, they also preclude any senator from allowing personal employment to 'impair his or her independence of judgment in the exercise of official duties,'" the statement said.
He said the state Republican Party had raised $4.5 million in contributions in the last quarter of 2009.
"As lawmakers, our primary duty must be service to the people. Not the party machine," Lawson said.
Embattled state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer will resign his post effective in February, a Republican insider said Tuesday.
His replacement will be Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, a veteran Republican and former House speaker who recently won a bruising primary battle to replace late Sen. Jim King.
The source said Tuesday that Gov. Charlie Crist came to the realization that Greer should go as party chairman late last week and over the weekend.
“Greer was basically killing two people – Charlie and himself,” the source said.
Greer is scheduled to hold a 1:15 p.m. conference call with reporters.
The plan is apparently for Greer to resign effective sometime in February, followed by a special meeting to vote Thrasher as his replacement sometime before the legislative session starts March 2.
The move will be formally announced at a conference call Greer has scheduled with Republican executive committee members today.
Thrasher is considered a skilled political operative and a comfortable choice for various Republican leaders — including those in the House and Senate, Crist and Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Bill McCollum.
A senior McCollum campaign official said Tuesday that the gubernatorial candidate “has been actively engaged in these discussions regarding the future of the Party. He fully supports Senator Thrasher for the post.”
Miami Herald: Greer, Thrasher reactions roll in
The statements are starting to come out now about RPOF chairman Jim Greer's resignation and plans for Sen. John Thrasher to be elected his successor. A sampling:
House Majority Leader Adam Hasner: "I fully support the choice of Senator John Thrasher as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. As former Speaker of the Florida House, he has a proven conservative record of real reform for our state. This is a positive move for the party. Senator Thrasher is well-respected throughout the state and is a unifying voice. He knows how to win tough campaigns and I believe he is the right person to refocus the Republican Party of Florida on the task ahead -- winning elections in November 2010. As Majority Leader of the House and Co-Chair of the RPOF Victory 2010 effort, I look forward to working with him and Republicans across the state over the next year as we take our winning message of conservative reform, job creation and recharging Florida's economy to the voters. With Senator Thrasher’s leadership, we now have put a strong team in place to secure impressive victories in November."
Sen. Don Gaetz: "For more than a year I have been convinced that our state party chairman, Jim Greer, should resign or be replaced. The lessons of history are compelling: when either Democrats or Republicans are arrogant, corrupt or spend recklessly, the voters turn out the party in power and rightly so. As Republicans we should govern like we campaign. As a Republican Party, we should manage our own business like we would manage the public's business. The good news is that John Thrasher is a candidate to replace Jim Greer. I know, admire and trust John. He has an impressive history as a party leader and as a state leader. Among the many examples of his stellar public service is his tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives, where he was Jeb Bush’s partner in building prosperity in our state’s economy. Recently John was overwhelmingly elected to the Florida Senate. John Thrasher has rock-solid ethics, sky-high personal and professional standards and is a proven, effective, even-handed leader and manager. John Thrasher will make us all proud to be Republicans."
AG Bill McCollum: "I respect Jim Greer for making the difficult decision today to step down as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. I appreciate his service and wish Jim and his family the best. The State Executive Committee will soon elect a new Chairman, and I strongly encourage my friend, Senator John Thrasher, to pursue the post and hope our Party members will join me in supporting him. As a former Florida Speaker of the House and current State Senator, John has a distinguished reputation for strong, principled leadership and consensus building. He is the right man at the right time to lead Florida’s Republican candidates to victory in 2010.”
Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson: “I am deeply concerned over the news that a fellow Senator may take over as head of a major political party while maintaining his legislative membership. In a body that has long been known and respected for its collegiality, its decorum, and most of all, its bipartisan independence, a decision to simultaneously remain in this Senate while leading the Republican Party of Florida threatens its very foundation. You cannot serve two masters. Floridians are among the growing numbers of Americans whose cynicism and distrust of government have deepened as scandal followed scandal, and politicians followed their own self interests rather than the interests of the people. A move such as this would only further heighten that alienation. In addition, our own rules not only bar any Senator from raising money for a political party during a legislative session, they also preclude any Senator from allowing personal employment ‘to impair his or her independence of judgment in the exercise of [their] official duties.' "
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman: "As Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer moves on, I would like to wish him all the best in the future and thank him for his service to the political process. As Chairman Greer's counterpart at the Florida Democratic Party, I understand the unique pressures and difficult responsibility of leading one of Florida's two major political parties. While we haven't always seen eye-to-eye, I will sincerely miss our spirited debates."
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
USDOJ: Minnesota Hospital to Pay U.S. to Resolve Allegations of False Claims Involving Unnecessary Admissions
WASHINGTON – Wheaton Community Hospital, the City of Wheaton, Minn. and Dr. Stanley Gallagher (collectively WCH) have agreed to pay $846,461 to settle allegations that their hospital admission practices violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today.
This settlement resolves allegations that WCH knowingly made false claims to Medicare for unreasonable and unnecessary hospital admissions. Specifically, the government contended that, from 1998 to 2004, WCH admitted some patients and kept others admitted to acute care when doing so was not medically necessary. The defendants then billed Medicare for the cost of these hospital admissions.
"Hospitals and doctors have a responsibility to provide patients with reasonable and necessary care. When they neglect those obligations, patients and taxpayers suffer," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
The allegations against WCH arose from a lawsuit filed in federal court in Minnesota under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private individuals to file civil actions on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. Dr. Steven Radjenovich, the whisteblower in this case, formerly practiced at Wheaton Community Hospital with Dr. Gallagher. Dr. Radjenovich will receive $203,150 as his share of the settlement with WCH.
Assistant Attorney General West thanked the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General for their efforts in handling this investigation and settlement.
The case is entitled United States ex rel. Steven Radjenovich v. Stanley Gallagher, et al., Case No.: 04-4538 (D. Minn.).
Monday, January 04, 2010
Dangers to beachgoers will be reduced. Damage to wildlife and the beach will be reduced (along with police overtime wasted whenever a supercilious snowbird gets stuck in the sand on one of our 61 miles of beautiful sandy beaches).
How do we do it?
NPS says the beach driving ban is because of an Executive Order (signed by Nixon) that says there can be no driving on beaches in national monuments. However, beach driving is allowed on national seashores.
The Solomonic solution is at hand. For people who support beach driving, the answer is easy. They should support a St. Augustine National Seashore (and a St. Augustine National Historical Park and Scenic Coastal Parkway). Let's get our local economy moving again and prepare to observe Florida's 500th anniversary in 2013 (and St. Augustine's 450th in 2015). For more information on the St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act, please see www.staugustgreen.com
Ban prohibits cars near Fort Matanzas National Monument
By Chad Smith
A line in the sand was drawn on the beach north of Matanzas Inlet on Friday.
On one side there was a group of fishermen and other locals upset that they could no longer cross that line -- at least in their vehicles.
On the other were park rangers, on hand to enforce the driving ban on a 1-mile stretch of beach around the Fort Matanzas National Monument that went into effect with the start of the new year.
"The government's out of control, from the top down to the bottom," said Adriane Miles, carrying a sign that read, "The Lord giveth and the National Park Service taketh away."
"It's another infringement of people's rights, and it's not right," Miles said.
The several dozen protesters feel they have a right to drive up and down this particular stretch of beach as some have for decades.
But the National Park Service recently determined that, under a federal law in place since 1972, it could not allow driving on its beaches -- at least not this one.
Gordie Wilson, the superintendent of the Castillo de San Marcos and the Fort Matanzas national monuments, was at the beach to observe the rally and answer questions from the hostile crowd.
"You've never had a problem with it before," one protester said.
"I don't have the authority to break the law," Wilson replied.
Jim McCartney, a fisherman who goes by the nickname "Matanzas Jim," said he had been fishing at the inlet for decades.
But, without being able to drive down, he won't be able to get his gear there.
"I can't hoof that anymore at 70 years old," McCartney said. "It's a sad, sad day."
One fisherman with one leg and another on crutches showed up to prove that they, too, won't be able to fish there anymore.
Miles' sister-in-law, Karen Miles, who owns the nearby Devil's Elbow Fishing Resort, said the St. Johns County Commission should step up to the federal government to protect the pastime.
On Dec. 15, the commission passed a resolution declaring its support for beach driving and urging the park service to expedite the process to reinstate it.
But Miles, who fears the ban will cost her some business, believes the commissioners should do more.
"They have the power," she said. "They don't have the backbone."
For now, though, the issue is a federal one.
Wilson said National Park Service attorneys determined several months ago that beach driving on the Fort Matanzas property was a violation of an order, signed by President Richard Nixon, to prohibit vehicles from driving off roadways at national monuments.
"We always thought that, historically, our boundary was a little closer to the dune," Wilson said.
But after the attorneys examined the boundaries and the law, they decided to close the beach to vehicle traffic.
"It's a very polarizing issue," he said. "It is a part of the culture here, and it's not something we did lightly."
He said that the order was put in place to help carry out one of the park service's mission: to protect the country's natural resources.
His explanations did little, if anything, to appease the crowd.
One protester, who said he was a local Baptist preacher and would only identify himself as "Ben Franklin," got within a foot of Wilson and called him a "coward."
He held a sign that read, "N Park Serv Hitler's Soldiers" and compared the ban to the Holocaust.
At several times, he accused a female park ranger of taking a job away from a man.
He was outcast by others at the rally as extreme, but all seemed to have at least some animosity toward Wilson and the government in general.
One woman held a sign depicting Uncle Sam's foot stomping on a truck on the beach under the words "You're next."
Jack Davis, a professor of Florida and environmental history at the University of Florida, said beach driving has a "long cultural tradition in Florida, dating back to the first cars and an early form of auto racing."
"But polluting Florida's rivers and draining its wetlands has an equally long tradition. None of these practices make ecological sense," Davis said. "If one truly wishes to commune with nature, the place to do it is not behind a windshield."