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Fed Judge Sentences Ex-Chicago Cop to 3 Years-Plus For Beating Man in Wheelchair

chicago-police-badgeThere’s just no defending a beating when it involves a man in a wheelchair– particularly when it’s caught on video. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said he took no pleasure in the prosecution, but said the crime had to be addressed.

By NATASHA KORECKI AND TESS FARDON
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — After his client was hit with a 3½-year sentence Thursday for the videotaped beating of a man in a wheelchair, a defense lawyer launched an explosive salvo against Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis.

“I’ve got a message for all those fine officers in blue out there: After 15 years on the job, don’t snap. You’ll get thrown under the bus and it’ll be a federal bus and it’ll be by your own superintendent,” said a fuming Terry Gillespie, who represents former cop William Cozzi.

“This prosecution brought by Supt. Weis was misguided and vindictive,” Gillespie said.

The remarks came moments after Cozzi, 52, was sentenced for the 2005 beating of a 60-year-old man who was handcuffed and shackled to a wheelchair.

For Full Story

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2yT32nOxWA

Are Rage Filled Hate Groups Terror Time Bombs?

Tulsa U.S. Atty. David O’Meilia Stepping Down

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Tulsa U.S. Attorney David E. O’Meilia is stepping down June 28, adding to the  growing number of  Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys who have resigned in recent months,  the Associated Press reported.

The 57-year-old first served as acting U.S. Attorney in October 2001 and was confirmed in January 2002.tulsa He will return to private practice in Tulsa, the wire service reporter.

O’Meilia has been practicing law in Oklahoma for more than 30 years. He started out in October 1976 as an assistant public defender in Tulsa County, according to his biography posted on the U.S. Attorney website.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Son of Holocaust Museum Shooter Condemns Father in Statement to ABC News

Convicted Ex-NBA Ref Tim Donaghy Says He Was Beaten By Inmate With Mob Ties

In the old days, referee Tim Donaghy stood up to some of the toughest guys in the NBA, and all he had was a whistle and a striped shirt that gave him plenty muscle. But in prison, the only whistle Donaghy may be hearing is from another inmate interested in him.

Tim Donaghy/nbc sports

Tim Donaghy/nbc sports

By Frank Fitzpatrick
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Tim Donaghy, the ex-NBA referee serving 15 months for his part in a betting scheme, has told a consultant he hired that he was beaten in prison by an inmate with connections to the New York mob.

Next week, Donaghy, whose sentence at the federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla., is set to expire in October, will enter a halfway house in Tampa, Fla., a process aimed at easing his post-release transition.

Yesterday’s news came not from federal prison officials but via a press release from Executive Prison Consultants, a company that serves as an advocate for federal prisoners.

According to that release, Donaghy was injured in a November assault by a fellow inmate “claiming ties to the New York mob.” That prisoner beat Donaghy with a heavy object, causing severe knee and leg injuries that will require surgery.

For Full Story

FBI and NYPD Train For Terror Attacks

nypd-badge1No matter how many times you do it, you can’t train enough for a terrorism attack. There’s always variables that can arise during the real thing that never came up during training. The more you train, the more variables you can anticipate.

By Tom Hays
Associated Press
NEW YORK
— The FBI was scrambling.

Agents had intercepted information about a possible terrorist attack in Manhattan, including a diagram showing a mysterious device. The raw intelligence was relayed to experts in Washington, who offered a daunting diagnosis: “You have a problem.”

As chilling as that sounded, the situation wasn’t real. But authorities say it could be, and what followed over the next two days was an ambitious stress test of the city’s line of defense against a radiological or nuclear terrorist attack.

The exercise earlier this week involved hundreds of New York Police Department officers and FBI agents trained at detecting threats, along with an elite unit of federal weapons experts expected – with the approval of the U.S. attorney general – to swoop in by plane and defuse them.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Boston Judge Orders Govern. to Pay $6.25 Mil As a Result of FBI’s Ties to Mobster Informants

The embarrassing fallout from the FBI’s shady  relationship with mobster/informants like Whitey Bulger and “Rifleman” Flemmi continues to haunt the agency. Here’s the latest blow.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
The "Rifleman" Flemmi in 1965

The "Rifleman" Flemmi in 1965

BOSTON — After years of legal maneuverings by Justice Department lawyers and a three-day nonjury trial, a federal judge ordered the government to pay $6.25 million to the widow and children of Richard J. Castucci, a Revere nightclub owner whose slaying was orchestrated by two of the FBI’s most prized informants, James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.

Last year, a judge found that the FBI was to blame in the 1976 killing.

“I’m just glad it’s over, that’s all,” said Sandra Castucci, 72, shaking as she wiped away tears and was hugged by her children after leaving the courtroom.

The Castuccis’ wrongful death suit was the third case brought on behalf of victims of Bulger and Flemmi to make it to trial, and all have ended with significant judgments against the government.

For Full Story

Las Vegas Fed Prosecutor Subpoeanas Info on People Who Commented on Article

Las Vegas Sign 1

There’s a balance between justice and respecting the independence of the press. In this case, it appears the Justice Department may have gone too far.

By Farhan Daredia
Main Justice

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Damm has served up a grand jury subpoena to the Las Vegas Review-Journal seeking identifying information of people who commented on a May 26 article about an ongoing tax evasion trial.

One commenter who used the name “Louis D. Brandeis” called Damm, the prosecutor, “evil incarnate and everything that is against the American justice system.” Others expressed anti-government sentiment of the kind that seems to flourish in the West.

The paper’s editor Thomas Mitchell wrote about the subpoena in his weekly column:

What the prosecutors don’t appear to understand is that we don’t have most of what they are seeking. We don’t require registration. A person could use a fictitious name and e-mail address, and most do. We have no addresses or phone numbers.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Poor Economy Exposing More Ponzi Schemes

It seems every week word of another P0nzi scheme seems to surface. Why? As the phrase went in the 1992 presidential campaign, “It’s the economy stupid”.

Ponzi Scheme Poster Child Bernie Madoff

Ponzi Scheme Poster Child Bernie Madoff

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The great recession has decimated many industries; home builders, automakers and bankers are obvious casualties.

Now, add Ponzi schemers to the list.

Ravaged by the same fiscal turbulence pounding the nation’s legitimate businesses, Ponzi operations have been collapsing at a record clip, exposing prolific, rampant and colossal frauds that have bilked investors of billions of dollars.

For Full Story