Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Corruption

Stomach Turner: FBI Investigating Ex-Official of Impovervished Detroit School District For Allegedly Diverting $57 Million

Detroit_Public_Schools_Welcome_CenterBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Detroit, where the unemployment is very very high, and the city suffers from serious deficits, comes the latest news about the ailing school district that is guaranteed to turn stomachs.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the FBI is looking into a former department chief at Detroit Public Schools and his assistant who allegedly “used secret offices and their own computer system to improperly divert more than $57 million in school funds to vendors who provided little, if anything, in return, according to sworn records reviewed by the Free Press.”

The documents are part of a Wayne County Circuit Court lawsuit filed by the school district against Stephen Hill of Detroit, who was director of the district’s risk management from 2001-05, the Free Press reported.

The suit alleges — Hill received luxury vehicles and other kickbacks. The paper reported that vendors who benefited from the corruption included friends, associates and relatives of Hill or his assistant Christina Polk-Osumah of Detroit, the paper reported.

The paper notes that the lawsuit alleges that when Hill left in 2005 the District threw him a $40,000 “champagne-and-tenderloin farewell bash.”

That’s the least the district could have done to honor him for his services.

To read full story click here.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES

African-American Community Rallies and Asks for Answers in FBI Shooting of Detroit Imam (Detroit Free Press)

Ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Sister and Niece Plead Guilty in Corruption Case

Betty Jefferson

Betty Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New Orleans political dynasty headed by disgraced ex-Congressman William Jefferson and his brother Mose Jefferson, the political operative, continues to crumble.

The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that less than a month before trial, the ex-Congresman’s sister Betty Jefferson,70, a 4th District Assessor, and her daughter Angela Coleman, 53, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to a conspiracy charge for pocketing money from political office and non-profits they controlled over 7 years.

The guilty plea still left in question the future of Jefferson’s brother Mose and his companion Renee Gill Pratt, a former city council member and state rep, who are still scheduled to go to trial March 22 in the case.

Mose Jefferson was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribing a school board official. He has been out free awaiting his latest trial.

To read more click here.

Chicago Fed Judge Overturns Public Corruption Conviction; Says Feds Failed to Disclose Info on Key Witness

chicago signBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mayor Richard Daley’s ex-Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez and a co-defendant caught a big break Tuesday when a federal judge overturned their public corruption convictions and ordered a new trial because the government failed to reveal the extensive criminal record and gang ties of a key witness, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“Based on these findings, this court has lost confidence in the integrity of the verdict convicting these defendants,” U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman wrote. No new trial date was set.

The judge said the failure to disclose the information prevented the defense from properly cross examining the witness, the Tribune reported.

In March, a jury found Sanchez guilty of mail fraud for rigging city hiring to reward political workers. Co-defendant Aaron Del Valle, who worked for Sanchez, was convicted of perjury, the Tribune reported.

Government officials acknowledged the error, but had contended it wasn’t enough to warrant a new trial, the Trib reported.

To read more click here.

Veteran N.J. Political Consultant Arrested in Corruption Sweep Found Dead

This case is only going to get more complicated.  Here’s the latest wrinkle.

Jack Shaw
Jack Shaw/nbc

By Amy Sara Clark and Agustin C. Torres
The Jersey Journal
Jersey City political strategist Jack Shaw, one of the 44 people arrested in Thursday’s massive New Jersey corruption scandal, was found dead in his apartment tonight, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

A relative found Shaw’s body, DeFazio said. Police were called to the ninth-floor apartment at the Towers at Portside, 100 Warren St., at 5:17 p.m. and Shaw was officially declared dead at 6 p.m.

Two officials with knowledge of the investigation told The Star-Ledger that several bottles of pills were found near Shaw’s body. However, Shaw, who has diabetes, was on several medications and worried about his health, according to Jersey Journal opinion editor Agustin Torres, who often spoke with Shaw. He recently lost 60 pounds, Torres added.

No weapon was found near the body and the death does not appear to be a homicide, DeFazio said.

For Full Story

Louisiana Judge and 2 Lawyers Charged With Fraud

When it comes to public corruption charges in New Orleans, why are we not surprised? Fair or not, from an outsider’s view, public corruption seems to be part of the DNA in Bayou country.

District Judge Wayne Cresap

Judge Wayne Cresap

By Chris Kirkham
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS –– More than two months after being arrested by the FBI in connection with a judicial corruption scheme, St. Bernard Parish Judge Wayne Cresap has been formally charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Two St. Bernard Parish lawyers were indicted along with him Wednesday.

Wayne Cresap, 62, was formally charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office on a bill of information along with St. Bernard Parish lawyers Victor J. “V.J.” Dauterive and Nunzio Salvadore “Sal” Cusimano.

According to the bill of information, Cresap allegedly took more than a thousand dollars in cash from each lawyer in exchange for allowing inmates to be released from the St. Bernard Parish Prison without putting up money for the bond.

For Full Story

Read Federal Charges

Feds Offer Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers — Rep. John Conyer’s Wife — A Plea in Corruption Probe

Monica Conyers/council photo

The FBI has been probing public corruption in Detroit for quite a while now. This latest involving Councilwoman Monica Conyers (in photo)  is only the tip of the iceberg.

By JIM SCHAEFER, M.L ELRICK, BEN SCHMITT and JOE SWICKARD
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Federal prosecutors have offered Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers a plea deal as part of their wide-ranging investigation of City Hall corruption, but she has not accepted it, the Free Press learned today.

The development comes a day after the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that two key figures in a sludge-disposal deal admitted paying Conyers thousands of dollars in bribes to secure her support for a $1.2-billion city contract with Synagro Technologies. Conyers, who initially opposed the 2007 deal, switched her position as the council voted 5-4 to let Synagro dispose of wastewater sludge.

A source familiar with the inquiry said federal investigators also are talking to Conyers about investments by Detroit’s public pension funds. Conyers is a former trustee for the city’s general retirement fund.

For Full Story

Can You Spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N? Mexico Must Deal With Corrupt System When Battling Drug Cartels

REYNOSA, Mexico — An army convoy on the hunt for traffickers rolled out of its base recently in this border town under the control of the Gulf Cartel — and an ominous voice crackled over a two-way radio frequency to announce just that.

The voice, belonging to a cartel spy, then broadcast the soldiers’ route through the city, turn by turn, using the same military language as the soldiers.

“They’re following us,” Col. Juan José Gómez, who was monitoring the transmission from the front seat of an olive-green pickup truck, said with a shrug.

The presence of the informers, some of them former soldiers, highlights a central paradox in Mexico’s ambitious and bloody assault on the drug cartels that have ravaged the country. The nation has launched a war, but it cannot fully rely on the very institutions — the police, customs, the courts, the prisons, even the relatively clean army — most needed to carry it out.

The cartels bring in billions of dollars more than the Mexican government spends to defeat them, and they spend their wealth to bolster their ranks with an untold number of politicians, judges, prison guards and police officers — so many police officers, in fact, that entire forces in cities across Mexico have been disbanded and rebuilt from scratch.

For Full Story

Two Pa. Judges Plead To Corruption Charges; Feds Say Probe Ongoing

Some how we’re rarely shocked by news of a crooked politician. But crooked judges? That’s just still hard to swallow. Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, more courthouse indictments could be forthcoming.

MICHAEL RUBINKAM
The Associated Press
SCRANTON, Pa. – Two Pennsylvania judges agreed Monday to plead guilty to fraud charges accusing them of taking $2.6 million in kickbacks in return for placing juvenile offenders into certain detention facilities.
The plea agreements for Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan call for sentences of more than seven years in prison. Ciavarella resigned from the bench in a Jan. 23 letter to Gov. Ed Rendell. Conahan has agreed to resign within 10 days of a judge’s acceptance of the plea.
Authorities say the judges took kickbacks between 2003 and 2007 in exchange for guaranteeing the placement of juvenile offenders into facilities operated by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care LLC. In some cases, Ciavarella ordered children into detention even when juvenile probation officers did not recommend it.
“They sold their oaths of offices to the highest bidders,” Deron Roberts, chief of the FBI’s Scranton office, said at a news conference Monday.
U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson stressed the charges were “the first developments in an ongoing investigation” into public corruption at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
For Full Story