Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

News Story

Ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway Gets 1 Year and 1 Day

Ex-Judge Diane Hathaway

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A disgraced ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, teary eyed and choked up, apologized to a federal judge just moments before he hit her with a sentence on Tuesday of 1 year and 1 day in prison and $90,000 in restitution.

“Your honor,  I stand before you a broken person,” she said, standing before U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara in Ann Arbor.  “I’m ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated and disgraced. I have no one to blame but myself.”

Assistant  U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch, who stood to her right,  pushed for a sentence that reflected the guidelines, 12 to 18 months. Defense attorney Steve Fishman argued for probation.  Hathaway’s husband, Michael Kingsley, who sat in the gallery, looked dejectedly down at the floor after the judge announced the sentence.

“We hope you accomplish a great deal more once you are by this thing,” said O’Meara.

Afterwards, Hathaway was allowed to go home. She will  report later to prison.  The sentence of more than a year allows her to get what essentially amounts to good time.  She could get out after 8 1/2 months.

Reporters, including Ross Jones of WXYZ (right), wait outside court for judge’s arrival

Hathaway, 59, who was clad in a black pant-suit on Tuesday,  pleaded guilty in January to a real estate scheme in which she transferred properties out of her name to make it look as if she had less assets, all so she could get a short sale on her Grosse Pointe Park home and get out of $600,000 she owed the bank, ING Direct.  The original mortgage was $1.4 million and the home was sold for $800,000 in the short sale.

Under the short sale,  the loss to the bank was approximately $100,000, according to the government. The government noted that she did bring $10,000 to the closing for the short sale as a closing fee, bringing the actual loss to $90,000. The judge agreed that the loss was $90,000 to the bank.

To read more click here. 


An Analysis: The Illicit Prescription Drug Epidemic Just Keeps Getting Worse

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
The following are a few of the true stories from the cinema verite of America’s Prescription Addiction already playing in real life near you. Half of Americans received at least one prescription in the last month, and almost three billion prescriptions for 100 billion pills were dispensed last year. Both numbers are on a steady increase.

Scene #1 – In the early morning hours the “patients” are lined up out the door and around the block of the suburban Detroit clinic.  Each has a well rehearsed set of subjective symptoms that will produce a scrip for Xanax, Vicodin or another drug that they can sell on the street. Muted cheers as the doctor pulls up in his expensive European sedan, gives them a friendly wave, and then enters the side door of the office. By noon he will have completed his “treatment” of those in the line, and he will retire to the doctors’ lounge at a nearby hospital where he can check his stocks on his laptop.

Scene #2 – The federal prosecutor and case agent view the latest day’s video of a court-authorized Title III from a camera inserted into another doctor’s office, this time in the inner city. The investigation had shown that no “patients” ever entered this office. The doctor enters the office and, using the list of names and drugs given to him by his assistant, proceeds to write out dozens of prescriptions for patients he never sees. What is striking to the prosecution team is that he always puts on his starched white coat and checks his appearance in the mirror before sitting at his desk to complete his task.

Scene #3 – Fourteen year old Sally digs through her parents’ medicine cabinet before leaving the house to join her friends. She thought there was some Valium left from last week but decides to settle for a few of these OxyContins her father had left over from some back surgery. A friend would bring some alcohol to share with the group. Her parents would receive a call later that night from the hospital emergency room where she had been taken after she went into seizure at the party.

Scene #4 – Max was a good student at the state university, but this semester’s course load was a ball-buster, and his performance on final exams next week would determine whether he would keep his scholarship for the rest of the year. Fortunately he had a buddy down the hall who had been diagnosed as ADHD and who would always slide him a few Adderall to boost his concentration level.

Scene #5 – Dr. Anderson gets a call as he is leaving the house with his family to see a Friday night movie. He has to take it because it is his turn to be on call. A desperate sounding patient of the clinic where he works is in a great deal of pain from a recent surgery. She needs a prescription for a pain killer called in to the pharmacy so that she can get through the weekend. Although he knows it will mess up the movie schedule, the doctor takes the time to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database and discovers that the patient has been getting the same pain pills from two other physicians and an emergency room in the last month. He refuses the request and makes a mental note to address the issue with her regular physician.

Like most things, along with the use comes the abuse. Over one-fifth of Americans have taken prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. One-quarter of high school students have abused them, a 33% increase in the last four years. Six of the ten most popular illegal drugs used by 12th graders were originally obtained by prescription, and half of them came from mom and dad’s medicine cabinet.

The epidemic of illicit prescription drug abuse continues to gain speed.  Its use exceeds the combined use of cocaine, heroin, and all inhalants. Marijuana is the only illegal drug used more than pharmaceuticals.

Drug overdose deaths exceeded automobile accident fatalities last year, and most of these (about 24,000) involved prescription drugs, especially addictive painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Read more »

New ATF Chief in Philadelphia Impressed in Early Days with Federal Agency

Steve Neavling 

Philadelphia’s new ATF chief, Essam “Sam” Rabadi, wasted no time to impress when he became an agent in the 1990s, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Just a few years on the job, Rabadi played a major role in breaking up a team of thieves who were committing robberies in Baltimore and New York. Agents eventually arrested 17 people.

Earlier this month, Rabadi became head of the bureau’s Philadelphia division, the fifth largest in the country, the Inquirer reported.

“The No. 1 issue in this city is the proliferation of illegal handguns and the violence attached to that,” Rabadi, 51, told the Inquirer in an interview at the ATF office across from Independence Hall. “The level of gun violence here, it’s fairly remarkable.”

Veteran Detroit ATF Agent Kim Marie Battle Dies at Age 47

By Allan Lengel

Kim Battle

DETROIT — Kim Marie Battle, a veteran ATF agent in Detroit, mother of a 12-year-old daughter,  and a loyal fan of local Detroit sports teams, died early this month after battling breast cancer. She was 47.

Her motto was: “Courage is being afraid, but going on anyhow.”

Battle came from a family tradition of law enforcement. Her father, Richard “Dick” Newcomb was a Detroit Police detective for more than 32 years.

Her father encouraged her to enter law enforcement. She began her career as a pre-trial specialist at Recorder’s Court in downtown Detroit.

According to close friend Jennifer Granzow , she was humbled by the responsibility of serving the citizens.

She grew up in Southwest Detroit, graduated Bishop Borgess High School and Wayne State University.

Friends says she was a a loyal fan of the Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings.

People who knew her say she enjoyed spending time with family, friends and her four-legged “girls”  (her three dogs). Kim was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Livonia, Mich.

Kim is survived by her mother, Marie Josephine Newcomb, and her daughter Delaney Marie Battle.

“Kim’s daughter was the light of her life,” said Granzow. “Delaney is a loving, resilient and delightful twelve year old. She was by Kim’s side throughout her struggle and reminded all at the memorial, that those closest to Kim are ‘thankful that God has taken Kim out of her battle with cancer.’”

Granzow added: “Kim was better than a sister. I miss her.”

Bernard La Forest, the former head of the Detroit ATF Division, who hired Battle, wrote:

“One of my heroes, Kim “Newcomb” Battle has taken the walk … those sacred steps we must all tread someday. She was true to what her last name bespoke—a tenacious fighter. To the law enforcement profession she loved so much, she was a proud member. A Senior Special Agent with ATF, Kim battled breast cancer with grit and firm resolve. It was not unlike how her father faced off against his life-ending illness. Richard “Dick” Newcomb, was a retired DPD Detective. Kim, Dick, and my own DPD partner and brother—Paul La Forest, have provided us with gallant benchmarks on how one projects strength and dignity when the end is in sight. God bless them all!”

“Kim and her dad were “solid blue through-and-through'”

The American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, will be held in Livonia on June 8  and “Kim’s Battle Brigade,” will be there to honor her memory. (For information on that click here.)

Those who have a memory of Kim they’d like to share with her daughter, please send a postcard, note or photo for a memory book for Delaney to: Attn: Ms. Jennifer Granzow, P.O. Box 372, Plainwell, MI 49080.

A trust has been created for Delaney. Contributions may be sent to the  P.O. Box above.


New $120 Million FBI Headquarters Joins Tech Giants in Sorrento Valley, Calif.

Steve Neavling 

The FBI has moved into a massive glass complex in Sorrento Valley, Calif.

San Diego’s new headquarters opened among technology and biotech giants who have made that area popular.

The $120 million complex was aimed at improving security and providing ample space for the 400 or so special agents and other staff at the FBI, U-T San Diego reports.

Today is the first official day of business in the building.

The moment will be celebrated with a flag-raising ceremony.

Did California Nuclear Plan Intentionally Mislead Federal Regulators? Senator Wants FBI to Investigate

Steve Neavling 

California Sen. Barbara Boxer is urging the Justice Department to investigate whether the operator of a now-defunct nuclear plant in California intentionally deceived federal regulators, the Associated Press reports.

A small radiation leak forced the closure of the plant between Los Angeles and San Diego in January 12, and it hasn’t operated since. 

Boxer, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says she’s discovered a 2004 internal memo that indicates Southern California Edison misled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about design changes to the plant’s generators.

Sequestration Forces Border Patrol to Conserve Gas, Reduce Vehicles on Patrol

Steve Neavling 

The sequestration is taking a toll on Border Patrol protection as agents begin rationing fuel and use fewer cars for patrol, reports.

“We’ll have the same number of agents — just fewer vehicles,” said Rob Russell of the National Border Patrol Council.

Russell, who works with the local El Paso area union, said two agents, instead of one, often are occupying a vehicle to conserve gas.

“This is one of the first times we’ve seen it this severe where they’re going to start doubling up agents. We’ve never had to do this,” said Russell, who has been with the Border Patrol for 15 years.

Agents also are being asked to shut off their vehicles while doing surveillance.

Ross Parker: DEA Responds Rapidly to Chinese Chemists and Designer Drugs

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker

In my two-part series I recently noted how rapidly Chinese chemists can react once one of their designer drugs is made illegal. They do this by tweaking the chemical combination and modifying them to arguably place them outside of the ambit of the new law. DEA showed last week that they can act rapidly also by temporarily scheduling three synthetic cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. This action will make any manufacture, distribution or possession of these substances illegal.

The temporary scheduling is for a period of two years. The substances, the latest generation of so-called “fake pot,” were designated as UR-144, XLR11, and AKB48 and have been falsely marketed on the internet and in some stores as herbal incense or potpourri. The DEA preliminary investigation determined that the drugs were being consumed especially by teens and young people with some serious medical effects. DEA concluded that the drugs posed an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Normally the investigation which precedes temporary scheduling can take up to two years as DEA checks on the prevalence, medical danger, and other circumstances surrounding the drug under consideration. However, as noted in the article, the speed with which these dangerous drugs can be designed, manufactured, and marketed, has required a faster response. In this case the agency is believed to have completed its study in a number of months

This development, along with some litigation the last few months, illustrate the need proposed in the special report for legislative reform, action by the public, and more resources for law enforcement in this rapidly evolving area. No doubt the Chinese chemists have already replaced these drugs with others equally deadly to fill their customers’ orders.