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News Story

Georgia Sheriff Acquitted of Perjury

   It was a happy day in Georgia for sheriff Winston Peterson who got off  on federal charges stemming from a federal  probe into judicial corruption.  

VALDOSTA, Ga (WALB-tv) – A South Georgia Sheriff is acquitted of three federal charges.

Sheriff Peterson/wabl tv

Sheriff Peterson/wabl tv

A jury found Clinch County Sheriff Winston Peterson not guilty Thursday morning of perjury and two counts obstruction of justice.
The charges are part of a federal probe into corruption in the Alapaha Judicial Circuit and the former Superior Court Judge Brooks Blitch.
Peterson was accused of tipping of Blitch to the identity of an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing In The Homeland

Some towns are getting Homeland Security funds but spending them on things other than terrorism.

Barbara Carmen
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
COLUMBUS, Ohio — When the first Homeland Security dollars started trickling into Franklin County after Sept. 11, 2001, grants manager Donna A. Monell couldn’t spend it all.
“It was like, ‘Wow, how do we manage this?’ ” she said. “I believe I even asked for an extension.”
She was stymied on how to spend $300,000. Every county in America was vying for the same equipment. Orders were backlogged.
In 2009, her anti-terrorism team is expected to control $5.5 million. She said it could easily spend more, even if there is never a big attack.
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Council Member Testifies in Federal Grand Jury

Just days after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick stepped down, a cloud continues to hover over city hall in Motown. A veteran city council member was among the guests at a federal grand jury probing city hall corruption. 

Paul Egan and Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

DETROIT — The only official sent to prison as a result of an FBI investigation of Wayne County government under Edward H. McNamara, the late political boss, made a surprise appearance at the federal courthouse Wednesday as a grand jury convened to probe alleged corruption at Detroit City Hall.
The grand jury heard evidence Wednesday from former county official Wilbourne Kelley III, Detroit City Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel and former Cobo Center director Lou Pavledes.
For Full Story

Southwest Border Fence Behind Schedule

Homeland Security said its goal of finishing up the border fence in Southwest U.S. this year seems to be slipping away. How long will it take?  

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
New York Times
The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that cost overruns, legal obstacles and other problems were imperiling its goal of completing the 670 miles of fencing and technological improvements on the Southwest border that President Bush has promoted as vital to securing it.
Rising costs for construction and materials and delays in acquiring land from owners could foil the effort to build the fence by the end of the year, said officials, who are now seeking more money for the project.
For Full Story
 

Actress’ Lover Pleads to Federal Charges

Italian boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway took center stage in U.S. District Court in New York and pleaded guilty to 14 federal charges.

By THOMAS ZAMBITO and CORKY SIEMASZKO
fan club photo
fan club photo
New York Daily News
NEW YORK – The slick Italian con-man who dated “Get Smart” star Anne Hathaway and posed as a Vatican insider to swindle millions from investors is heading to prison.
Raffaello Follieri pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Follieri admitted in court in accented English.
For Full Story

Chicago Mobster’s Son Gets Three Years

CHICAGO — Nicholas Ferriola, the son of the late reputed mob boss Joseph Ferriola, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to three years in prison for his role in a conspiracy case known as Family Secrets, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Ferriola, 33, who is also the alleged godson of mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., pleaded guilty to taking part in the conspiracy before the landmark trial last year. Prosecutors said he helped run a gambling operation and was part of an effort to extort the owner of the Connie’s Pizza chain, the paper reported. The judge also ordered Ferriola to make $9 million in forfeiture payments.

D.C. Gun Law Nightmare For Homeland Security

Chief Lanier/mpd

Chief Lanier/mpd

 D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier says a new bill addressing D.C.  guns is bad news for Homeland Security and citizens. She went before Congress to plead her case.

Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
  WASHINGTON — D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier assailed a new bill yesterday that would eliminate most of the District’s gun laws, telling a congressional panel that the measure would allow residents to carry loaded semiautomatic rifles in the streets, creating a nightmare scenario for homeland security officials.
“Imagine how difficult it will be for law enforcement to safeguard the public, not to mention the new president at the inaugural parade, if carrying semiautomatic rifles were to suddenly become legal in Washington,” she said.
For Full Story
For Full Text of Testimony

Arizona Man Sentenced in Clean Water Act Violation

POCATELLO, Idaho — Abner J. Schultz of  Lake Havasu, Ariz., was sentenced Monday in federal court in Pocatello, Idaho to three years probation, including six months of home detention, for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) related to unlawful dredge and fill work along the Salmon River, according to the Justice Department. He was also fined $30,000.