Saturday, August 22, 2015

Eric Schneiderman, Andrew Cuomo, Carl Heastie, et al., Fight Campaign Finance Money, But Are Willing To Take It When it is Offered

Eric Schneiderman

Lovett: Eric Schneiderman benefits from campaign finance loophole that he opposes
Kenneth Lovett, NY Daily News
July 20, 2015
LINK
ALBANY — State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations over the past six months — through a loophole he has said should be closed.
Since January, Schneiderman has received a combined $267,850 from more than 40 different limited-liability companies, his latest campaign disclosure filings show.
The LLC money was a hefty 13% of the $2 million Schneiderman raised in the first half of 2015.
The attorney general, who has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2018, has been highly critical in recent months of the failure of Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to enact a comprehensive campaign finance reform package.
Schneiderman also in April wrote a letter to the state Board of Elections calling on the body to close what is known as the LLC loophole, which allows wealthy campaign donors to skirt contribution limits by creating an unlimited amount of subsidiaries that have substantially higher donation limits than regular businesses.
“The so-called ‘LLC Loophole’ has made a mockery of the campaign finance rules enforced by the Board of Elections,” he wrote.

Gov. Cuomo has also made use of the LLC loophole by receiving $1.4 million for his campaign.

Schneiderman is far from the only politician who has called for closing the loophole while benefiting from it. Cuomo is the biggest beneficiary, having received $1.4 million of the $5.2 million he raised in the past six months from LLCs.
“We always wish that our reform-minded officials lead by example by starting to not take money that they’re pushing to end,” said Citizens Union’s executive director, Dick Dadey.
Team Schneiderman said he is not about to put himself at a competitive disadvantage by turning down LLC donations as long as they’re legal.
“Nothing would make enemies of reform happier than for Eric Schneiderman to unilaterally disarm,” a spokesman said. “He has no intention of doing so, just as he has no intention of letting up in his fight for the dramatic change necessary.”
**********
State Controller Thomas DiNapoli has never been known as a fund-raising powerhouse, but the $264,372 he received the past six months was particularly paltry.
It was his lowest July filing since 2008, when he had taken over the scandal-scarred office just months earlier and did virtually no fund-raising.
DiNapoli, who actually was the leading vote-getter in last year’s state elections, has just $350,036 on hand. He’ll need a lot more than that if he really wants to run for governor in 2018, a possibility some have raised.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is headed north to meet with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a foe of Cuomo.
Carl Heastie
Mike Groll/AP

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is headed north to meet with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a foe of Cuomo.

**********
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) will kick off his maiden upstate tour Tuesday by meeting with one of Cuomo’s harshest Democratic critics — Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
“She’s the mayor of a major city and it’s a good chance to learn about the needs of the city,” said Heastie spokesman Michael Whyland.
Miner, who was Cuomo’s hand-picked party co-chairwoman, had a falling-out with the governor after she repeatedly publicly criticized one of his policies.
**********
Jennifer Rainville, a one-time city TV reporter who once made headlines as the mistress of disgraced news anchor Rob Morrison, is out as communications director for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference.
Rainville, who was on the public payroll since April 2014 and was making more than $150,000 a year, fell out of favor with conference leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), sources said.
In a statement, spokeswoman Candice Giove said the conference “decided to go in a different direction with their press operation.”
Rainville took the high road, calling Klein “a good man, one of the last true public servants who cares deeply about his constituents.”

Friday, July 17, 2015

Attorney Peter F. Anderson is Disbarred



Matter of Anderson
2015 NY Slip Op 05597
Decided on June 30, 2015
Appellate Division, First Department
Per Curiam
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.


Decided on June 30, 2015 SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION First Judicial Department 
John W. Sweeny, Jr., Justice Presiding, 
Karla Moskowitz 
Leland G. DeGrasse 
Darcel D. Clark 
Barbara R. Kapnick,Justices.

M-1646 

[*1]In the Matter of Peter F. Anderson (admitted as Peter Floyd Anderson, Jr.), a suspended attorney: Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Peter F. Anderson, Respondent.



Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Peter F. Anderson, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department on July 26, 1982.



Jorge Dopico, Chief Counsel, Departmental
Disciplinary Committee, New York
(Kevin M. Doyle, of counsel), for petitioner.
No appearance for respondent.



PER CURIAM
Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on July 26, 1982, under the name Peter Floyd Anderson Jr. At all times relevant to this proceeding, respondent has maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.
The Departmental Disciplinary Committee seeks an order, pursuant to Rules of the Appellate Division, First Department (22 NYCRR) § 603.4(g), disbarring respondent from the practice of law, because he was suspended under 22 NYCRR 603.4(e)(1)(ii) and (iii), and did not appear or apply to the Committee or this Court for a hearing or reinstatement within six months from the date of the order of suspension. Respondent was suspended based upon substantial admissions under oath of misconduct and other uncontested evidence of professional misconduct that he misappropriated and/or converted third-party funds, improperly made ATM cash withdrawals from his account, and commingled personal funds with client funds while $200,000 in tax liens had been entered against him.
The Committee served its suspension motion upon respondent and the notice of motion included the following warning:

"PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.4(g), an attorney who is suspended and who has not appeared or applied in writing to the Committee or the Court for a hearing or reinstatement for six months from the date of the order of suspension, may be disbarred without further notice."

Notwithstanding being served with the interim suspension motion, respondent did not appear on the motion.
By order entered on October 7, 2014, this Court granted the Committee's motion and suspended respondent from the practice of law, effective immediately, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.4(e)(1)(ii), and (iii), and until further order of the Court (123 AD3d 86 [1st Dept 2014]). On October 14, 2014, the Committee served respondent with notice of entry enclosing a copy of the Court's order of suspension sending it by first class mail and certified mail, and it was received by respondent on October 27, 2014, as evidenced by the signed return receipt.
Although respondent was served with the motion to disbar by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, no response has been received.
Accordingly, inasmuch as more than six months have elapsed since this Court's October 7, 2014 suspension order, and respondent has failed to appear or contact the Committee or this Court for a hearing or reinstatement, the Committee's motion for an order disbarring respondent, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.4(g), should be granted and respondent's name stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York, effective immediately (see Matter of Ayu, 123 AD3d 44 [1st Dept 2014]; Matter of Cohen, 102 AD3d 55 [1st Dept 2012]; Matter of Bambury, 91 AD3d 141 [1st Dept 2011]).
All concur.
Order filed [June 30, 2015].
Sweeny, J.P., Moskowitz, DeGrasse, Clark, and Kapnick, JJ.
Respondent disbarred and his name stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York, effective the date hereof. Opinion Per Curiam. All concur.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Former New York State Senate Leader Malcolm Smith is Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Bribery

Malcolm Smith, finally.
Malcolm Smith

Former State Senate Leader Malcom Smith and Former Queens GOP Leader Vincent Tabone Sentenced in White Plains Federal Court on Bribery and Fraud Charges Connected to 2013 New York City Mayor’s Race 
LINK

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeJuly 01, 2015
  • Southern District of New York(212) 637-2600
Malcolm Smith

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York State Senate leader MALCOM SMITH was sentenced today to seven years in prison for bribing New York City Republican Party leaders, including Queens County Republican Party Vice Chairman VINCENT TABONE, as part of a scheme to allow SMITH, a Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013 and for his role in obtaining New York State funding for a real estate project in Spring Valley, New York, in exchange for cash bribes paid on his behalf to the New York City Republican Party officials. TABONE was sentenced to 42 months in prison for receiving bribes and witness tampering. Both were convicted after a three-and-a-half week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas, who imposed today’s sentences.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Bribes and kickbacks should never play a role in the selection of candidates for public office. By attempting to buy and sell a spot on New York City’s Mayoral ballot, Malcolm Smith and Vincent Tabone corrupted one of the most fundamental tenets of the democratic process, that candidates cannot bribe their way onto a ballot. Today’s sentences make clear that the cost of violating the public trust in this way will be measured in years in a federal prison.”

According to the Complaint and the Indictment filed in federal court and the evidence presented at trial:

The Bribery and Extortion Schemes

SMITH was first elected to the New York State Senate in November 2000, and represented a district within Queens, New York. He was chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference of the State Senate and, among other positions, has served as the State Senate’s minority leader, majority leader, and acting lieutenant governor. From about November 2012, through April 2, 2013, SMITH agreed with former New York City councilman Daniel Halloran, who was convicted in a separate trial, and an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer (the “UC”), and a cooperating witness (“CW”) to bribe New York City Republican Party county leaders, including TABONE, in exchange for their authorization for SMITH to appear as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013, even though SMITH is a registered Democrat.

SMITH participated in two overlapping criminal schemes that involved the payment of bribes to obtain official action. First, SMITH, a registered Democrat, authorized the payment of $110,000 in cash bribes to be paid to leaders of the New York City Republican Party, including TABONE, so that they would allow SMITH to run for mayor on the Republican Party’s ballot line. Second, SMITH agreed to use his influence to help steer at least $500,000 in New York State transportation funding to a real estate project the UC and CW had proposed to develop in Spring Valley, New York, in exchange for the UC and CW paying bribes on SMITH’s behalf to the New York City Republican Party Chairs.

In furtherance of the scheme, SMITH authorized the UC and the CW to meet TABONE, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, Joseph Savino, the Chairman of the Bronx County Republican Party, and other party leaders. During a meeting with the UC, TABONE accepted a $25,000 cash bribe in a dimly lit SUV parked in front of a Manhattan restaurant and agreed to accept another $25,000 after his committee authorized SMITH to compete in the Republican primary. Savino similarly accepted a $15,000 cash bribe and agreed to accept another $15,000 after he voted to authorize SMITH to compete for the Republican ballot line. In return for his efforts in negotiating the bribes, Daniel Halloran accepted $15,500 as a down payment on a “broker’s” fee of at least $75,000 and expected to be appointed First Deputy Mayor if Smith was elected mayor.

Witness Tampering

Shortly before the start of a previously scheduled trial, the Government sought permission from the Court to take the deposition of Philip Ragusa, the former Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party. Ragusa, who was gravely ill at the time, was expected to testify favorably to the Government. Over TABONE’s objections, the Court ordered the deposition to take place. TABONE unexpectedly appeared at Ragusa’s home an hour before the scheduled start of the deposition and attempted to pressure Ragusa not to testify against him.

* * *

SMITH, 58, of Queens, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release. TABONE, 48, of Queens, was sentenced to one year supervised release and ordered to forfeit $25,000. SMITH was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on September 21, 2015. TABONE was ordered to surrender October 1, 2015.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Bloom, Justin Anderson and Perry Carbone are in charge of the prosecution.


The Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline To Hold Hearings on NY State's Attorney Disciplinary System

Public Hearings

LINK


Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman created the Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s attorney disciplinary system to determine what is working well and what can work better, and offer recommendations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of New York’s attorney discipline process. In connection with its responsibility, the Commission will hold three public hearings to receive the views of interested individuals, organizations and entities.
 
The hearings will take place as follows:
  • July 28, 2015 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., New York State Court of Appeals, 20 Eagle Street, Albany, N.Y. 12207
  • Aug. 4, 2015 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Erie County Ceremonial Courtroom,  92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14202
  • Aug. 11, 2015 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., New York County Lawyers' Association, 14 Vesey Street, New York, 10007
Among the issues under consideration by the Commission are whether New York’s departmental-based system leads to regional disparities in the implementation of discipline; if conversion to a statewide system is desirable;  the point at which disciplinary charges or findings should be publicly revealed; and how to achieve dispositions more quickly in an effort to provide much-needed closure to both clients and attorneys.
The Commission will consider both oral testimony and written submissions. All testimony is by invitation only. If you are interested in being invited to testify at the hearing, please send an e-mail to AttorneyDiscipline@nycourts.gov no later than 14 days in advance of the scheduled hearing at which you propose to testify. Proposed testimony should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
If requesting an invitation, please (1) identify yourself and your affiliation; (2) attach a prepared statement or a detailed outline of the proposed testimony, and specify which, if any, of the topics described above will be addressed, and; (3) indicate at which of the hearings you would like to deliver the testimony. In advance of the hearing, invitations to testify will be issued and will include an approximate time for each presenter's testimony. For those not invited to present oral testimony, the proposed testimony will be deemed a written submission for consideration by the Commission.
Persons unable to attend a hearing or interested in only making a written submission may submit their remarks by e-mail to AttorneyDiscipline@nycourts.gov at least seven days in advance of the hearing, or by mailing the submission to the Commission at:
Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline
c/o The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge 
25 Beaver Street
Eleventh Floor
New York, N.Y. 10004-2310
Please note that any materials, submissions or statements provided to the Commission are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law and subject to publication by the Office of Court Administration.
For further information and updates, please visit the Commission’s webpage atwww.nycourts.gov/attorneys/discipline/

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NYPD Boss Bill Bratton Caught Making Racial Slurs Against African American Men Being Hired as Police Officers

From Betsy Combier:

 A few things we all must remember when reading the story about NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton's comments:

Bratton created "Stop and Frisk", the out-of-control practice of stopping people because they "looked" dangerous (mostly Latino and black men).

Bill Bratton, Stop-And-Frisk Architect, Takes Over Nation's Biggest Police Force
      
and, he was not liked in Los Angeles. LA got rid of him:
 NYPD Chief: Recruiting Black Cops Is Hard Due to Criminal Histories
LINK

Black male recruits account for 6.86% of this year's police academy class

Bringing more diversity into New York City’s police force is a challenge, the city’s police commissioner said recently, claiming that criminal records of the would-be recruits get in the way.
“We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail,” Bill Bratton told the Guardian, “and, as such, we can’t hire them.” Black male recruits account for 6.86% of this year’s police academy class, down even from 7.3% in 1970.
Explaining why the pool of prospective officers lacked more non-white candidates, aside from already tense relations between minority communities and law enforcement in the wake of several high-profile police killings of unarmed black men, Bratton acknowledged the impact of the “stop-and-frisk” policy that a federal judge overturned in 2013, saying it overly targeted black and Latino men.
Read more at the Guardian.
        
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton
Bratton Demands Retraction After Interview on Hiring
Black Cops: Report
NBC New York

New York City's top cop is reportedly demanding a retraction after he was quoted by a news article saying the NYPD has a hard time hiring black officers because "so many of them have spent time in jail."
The Daily News reports that Commissioner Bill Bratton has called on the Guardian to retract the story -- which bears the headline "NYPD chief Bratton says hiring black officers is difficult: ‘So many have spent time in jail,’ -- because his comments were taken out of context from another story published by the British news outlet about the difficulties of being a black police officer.
“We’re asking, we’re not even asking we’re demanding, a retraction and a correction because the story was a total misrepresentation of the original story,” Bratton told the News.
 
Bratton is quoted in the Guardian articles, both published Tuesday, as saying, "We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them." In the Guardian articles, Bratton attributed the "unfortunate consequences" to the maligned stop-and-frisk policies of past commissioner Ray Kelly.

But in statements to the News, he said that he was simply stating facts and added that the disparity can't be blamed on stop-and-frisk alone.

“It’s an unfortunate fact that in the male black population, a very significant percentage of them, more so than whites or other minority candidates, because of convictions, prison records, are never going to be hired by a police department. That’s a reality. That’s not a byproduct of stop-and-frisk,” Bratton said.

He said the NYPD eliminated candidates with felony convictions, but that many summonses that result from stop-and-frisk incidents are not considered in the hiring process, which was the point missed by the Guardian, the News reports. The commissioner told the News that every police department in America was having trouble hiring black officers.

The Guardian did not comment on Bratton's request for a retraction.

Only 15 percent of the NYPD’s 34,631 officers is black and only 10 percent of its most recent graduating class is black.
 
NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton
Bill Bratton: You Can’t Police Without Stop-And-Frisk
February 25, 2014
Bill Bratton ran the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from 1994 to 1996 under the Giuliani administration. He is credited with helping to bring down crime in that city during his short tenure.

Bratton is now back in New York City after a stint running the police department in Los Angeles. He has vowed to make the changes that his boss — new Mayor Bill de Blasio — wants, including the overhaul of the controversial stop-and-frisk practice, which has been criticized for unfairly targeting minorities.

Still, Bratton defends stop-and-frisk, which he calls “stop, question and frisk.”

“You cannot police without it,” Bratton tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “If you did not have it, then you’d have anarchy.”

Interview Highlights: Bill Bratton

On how he plans to improve the relationship between residents and police
“We’re going about it in several ways. One of the most significant directions we’re going is to reduce the number of ‘stop, question and frisk’ stops by the members of the department. This is a campaign commitment by the newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio. And his selection of me as his police commissioner was that we both believed that there were too many stops in years past and that the city would be better off with fewer stops.”
On the need for ‘stop, question and frisk’
“Stop, question and frisk is a basic tool of policing — not only American policing, around the world. But in United States, it’s defined by the Terry vs. Ohio Supreme Court decision back in the 1960s, which articulated when police can stop and for what purpose. So every police department in America every day does it.”
“The way it was practiced here for the last number of years is that it was overused. And it’s the overuse that then created the negative reaction to the basic policy itself. And the confusion about whether you can police with or without it. You cannot police without it, I’m sorry. It’s — if you did not have it, then you’d have anarchy, being quite frank with you.”
On what went wrong with ‘stop, question and frisk’ in New York City
“A system was devised where twice a year when we graduate our recruit classes, which number in excess of 1,000 officers, that those officers would be surged or assigned into the 10 or 12 highest crime neighborhoods, effectively to make up for the fact that those precincts had lost a lot of full-time officers that normally would have been assigned there when the department had almost 41,000. The problem with that is that those officers, while the most recently trained, were the least experienced. And they were put into neighborhoods where they were, from my perspective, inadequately supervised — there’d be one sergeant covering 10 to 12 of these officers, who were assigned in pairs. And so if they were making stops — and they were encouraged to be very active in making stops — if they were doing it incorrectly, if they were not doing it according to the law, if they were not doing it according to policies and procedures, very often there would be nobody there to correct that inappropriate or incorrect behavior. And so the habits of a 20-year career form very quickly in that first year. So I think that policy, while it’s a sound policy, in its implementation was where the flaws occurred.”
On translating New York City’s success in lowering crime to other major U.S. cities
“There is no one-size-fits-all. It’s a combination of things. Much the same as a doctor looking at patients, each patient is different — how much medicine you use for what illness. So that’s where good mayors and good police chiefs come in to play, in terms of what is the appropriate level of the size of the police force, what is the appropriate activities they engage in. Essential in all instances is to get community cooperation, support and trust. So that’s one of the reasons why in New York there’s so much attention being focused on reducing the stop, question and frisk activities, because particularly in the minority neighborhoods of the city — and unfortunately those areas of the city that have the highest crime rates are some of our minority neighborhoods — that you need the trust, cooperation and collaboration of community residents to really have an impact on crime. Police can’t do it alone. You can’t arrest your way out of the problem.”

Guest

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:
Well, a study out today from the ACLU of New Jersey finds that only a quarter of police stops in Newark end in an arrest or a summons. In other words, three-quarters of the people who are stopped and perhaps frisked have done nothing wrong. The study will no doubt renew the debate over stop-and-frisk in Newark.
That debate is also raging, as we've heard, in New York City, where the new Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to reduce the use of the practice. His new police commissioner, Bill Bratton, will be on the front lines of that effort. Bratton has a long history leading major police forces in this country. He was the commissioner of the LAPD from 2002 to 2009. He ran the Boston Police Department for years before that. And he had a short stint as commissioner of the NYPD under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Now he's back, and Bill Bratton joins us from his office in New York. Welcome to HERE AND NOW.
COMMISSIONER BILL BRATTON: Pleasure to be with you, thank you.
HOBSON: Well, let me talk about what you have said in your first days on the job. You said that you want to re-establish a better trust, a better relationship with the citizens of New York, especially in the minority community. And I wonder how you plan to do that.
BRATTON: Well, the term we're talking about is legitimacy; the idea that if the public does not support the police, no matter how good your efforts to reduce crime, that the element of trust is essential to having that reduction in crime felt and appreciated.
So we're going about it in several ways. One of the more significant directions we're going is to reduce the number of stop, question and frisk stops by the members of the department. This is a campaign commitment by the newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio. And his selection of me as his police commissioner was that we both believed that there were too many stops in years past and that the city would be better off with fewer stops.
HOBSON: Fewer but not zero stop, question and frisks.
BRATTON: That's correct. Stop, question and frisk is a basic tool of policing, not only American policing, around the world. But in United States, it's defined by the Cherry versus Ohio Supreme Court decision back in the late 1960s, which articulated when police can stop and for what purpose. So every police department in America every day does it.
HOBSON: Although as you know, even some stop, question and frisks in mostly minority neighborhoods in New York City are going to bother a lot of people there. There are many people who think the whole policy is flawed.
BRATTON: Well, that's because the way it was practiced here for the last number of years is that it was overused. And it's the overuse that then created the negative reaction to the basic policy itself, and the confusion about whether you can police with or without it. You cannot police without it, I'm sorry. It's - if you did not have it, then you'd have the anarchy, being quite frank with you.
HOBSON: Well, you have pointed the finger at new recruits as part of the problem, that you want to put these new recruits with seasoned officers in these cases.
BRATTON: That's correct. In New York City, as part of the effort to deal with the fact that the department lost over 6,000 officers over the last number of years, that's the equivalent of about 50 or 60 police officers for each of the city's 77 precincts, that a system was devised where twice a year when we graduate our recruit classes, which number in excess of 1,000 officers, that those officers would be surged or assigned into the 10 or 12 highest-crime neighborhoods, effectively to make up for the fact that those precincts had lost a lot of full-time officers that normally would have been assigned there when the department had almost 41,000.
The problem with that is that those officers, while the most recently trained, were the least experienced. And they were put into neighborhoods where they were, from my perspective, inadequately supervised. There'd be one sergeant covering 10 to 12 of these officers, who were assigned in pairs. And so if they were making stops, and they were encouraged to be very active in making stops, if they were doing it incorrectly, if they were not doing it according to the law, if they were not doing it according to policies and procedures, very often there would be nobody there to correct that inappropriate or incorrect behavior.
And so the habits of a 20-year career form very quickly in that first year. So I think that policy, while it's a sound policy, in its implementation was where the flaws occurred, in that those officers were not adequately supervised. And putting your least experienced officers into your highest-crime neighborhoods, in retrospect, I don't think that's the way to go, and we are in the process of attempting to change that.
HOBSON: One of the other big initiatives that the administration has been pushing is to reduce traffic deaths in New York City. Of course, it has been noted that after that announcement was made, the mayoral caravan was caught going over the speed limit and also driving through stop signs in a residential neighborhood of Queens. Do you think that people will follow stricter enforcement of these traffic laws and even of jaywalking in New York City? Is that possible?
BRATTON: The public will support the idea of stricter enforcement, more enforcement of the speeding, red light violations, that type of activity. The issue of jaywalking is more complex in a city as populated, as you will, as New York is, with eight and a half million people. So the effort is being focused on the activity that causes most of the serious injuries and deaths, and that is right-hand turns and right light and speeding violations in the city.
So you can't police everywhere all of the time. So you try to focus on where the problems are, the most significant. And in New York City, it's right turns on red that - because unlike many cities where you have all stops all directions at pedestrian lights, in New York City you'd have traffic chaos if you tried to do that.
So cars turning right on even a green signal are going into a walk sign for pedestrians. So it requires an extra degree of caution as you are making right turns. And then speed and stoplight violations have been seen as a factor in a lot of our accidents, our serious accidents here in New York City.
HOBSON: We're speaking with Bill Bratton, New York City's new police commissioner. A lot more to talk about, including the debate over whether we're giving up too much privacy in the name of security. Stay tuned. This is HERE AND NOW.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
HOBSON: It's HERE AND NOW, and let's get back to our conversation with Bill Bratton, the new commissioner of New York City's police department. Before the break we were talking about Mayor Bill de Blasio's new initiative to reduce traffic accidents in the city. Here he is announcing that plan, which is called Vision Zero.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO: I want to emphasize that we are making this statement just two weeks into this administration because we think there is an epidemic here. There's been an epidemic of traffic fatalities, and it can't go on, and the time to start change is now.
HOBSON: Now Commissioner Bratton, you were right behind the mayor when he made that announcement. But as we talked about, there has also been a call for an increase in tickets for jaywalking. But when it comes to reducing traffic deaths in New York, don't you think it's mostly about the drivers rather than the pedestrians?
BRATTON: A combination of both, being quite frank with you. But the driver has the advantage of he's in a two-ton vehicle, versus the pedestrian has really no protection. And under our laws, the pedestrian has that right of way in those crosswalks. And so that's the effort on the driver, driver education, driver enforcement. And so far this year we're experiencing a decrease in fatalities, which is a good sign to start the year off with.
HOBSON: Commissioner Bratton, I have lived in all of the cities that you have been police commissioner in, and I have to say that when you look at Boston, Los Angeles and New York, I felt by far the safest in New York. I felt absolutely safe walking around that city even at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. I did not think I was going to be mugged or anything would happen to me. Why is that? Why is New York, why does it feel so much safer than those other cities?
BRATTON: I think one is the police presence. Two is the sheer numbers of people on the street or in the subway systems at all hours of the day and night, that the city also made a concerted effort to address issues that cause fear, the so-called broken windows, the aggressive panhandling, street-level drug narcotic dealing, prostitution.
So a lot of the things that if left undeterred, as they were in New York in the '70s and '80s but were finally addressed in the '90s, that if you can reduce not only the actual crime but the so-called signs of crime or broken windows, you can have a very significant effect on the way people feel about their personal safety.
And you are correct that New York is proportionally safer than either Boston or L.A., two cities, which like New York have seen significant declines in crime, and in fact all three cities among the safest in the United States.
HOBSON: But why hasn't that worked in, let's say, L.A.? Why doesn't it feel as safe as New York? Wouldn't the practices that you've just talked about that have happened in New York translate well to Los Angeles?
BRATTON: Well, they would. I have a high degree of intimacy with Los Angeles, where gang crime is down 60 percent, gang homicides, from what it was. But L.A. has the issue of gang crime that New York does not have. New York has smaller issues with what we call crews, but the levels of violence don't approach some of the levels that you see and read about in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles also has a very small police force, with 9,700 officers. To have the equivalent of what I get to work with here in New York every day, you'd need 18,000. So it's a city where the visibility of police is much less apparent than it is here in New York.
Similarly for Boston, even though Boston has proportionally a good size police force for its population, the visibility of police still does not equal what you would see routinely here in New York.
HOBSON: Well, so is that the answer for cities that at least can afford to do that, just bump up the size of the police force?
BRATTON: No, there is no one-size-fits-all. It's a combination of things. Much the same as a doctor looking at patients. Each patient is different; how much medicine you use for what illness. So that's where good mayors and good police chiefs come in to play in terms of what is the appropriate level of the size of the police force? What is the appropriate activities they engage in.
Essential in all instances is to get community cooperation, support and trust. And so that's one of the reasons why in New York there's so much attention being focused on reducing the stop, question and frisk activities because particularly in the minority neighborhoods of the city, and unfortunately those areas of the city that have the highest crime rates are some of our minority neighborhoods, that you need the trust, cooperation and collaboration of community residents to really have an impact on crime.
Police can't do it alone. You can't arrest your way out of the problem. We have clearly come to understand that community policing, with its emphasis on partnership between police and community, its focus on the problems that are creating fear and disorder. And lastly, it's a strong embrace of the idea that the goal of police should be to prevent crime, not the measure of success on how they respond to it. All those things come into play.
HOBSON: What do you think is the matter with Chicago, then, which had 415 homicides last year, which was well more than New York City, which has a population three times the size?
BRATTON: Well, you take a look at Chicago this year, that their crime rates are going down dramatically. The gang violence in Chicago, like Los Angeles, has strongly entrenched gangs that are very violent. But if you look beyond the aberration of that year or two where they were in the front page of most American papers, I think you'll find that Garry McCarthy, the superintendent out there, is doing a great job of turning that around.
The media reporting of that hasn't caught up to the media reporting of the increase they had the previous year, but even the previous year increase seemed more dramatic because in the previous years to that, the crime had been down dramatically in Chicago. So you really need to take it in the totality of context. You can't just take one year at a time. You need to look at the trending, and you need to look at the broader picture, if you will, rather than the snapshot.
HOBSON: What are your thoughts on the debate that's going on right now over surveillance versus safety? And you're obviously in a city that is probably the primary terrorist attack target in this country. Where do you see that balance between surveillance and privacy?
BRATTON: Well, in public space that you have no expectation of privacy, according to the Supreme Court, and in cities like New York, you're going to see more and more camera systems put in place both by the public sector, as well as the private sector. Those systems are phenomenally helpful in solving crime and in preventing it.
The issues of what police can survey, as they relate to terrorism, increasingly we're seeing more court guidance on those issues, the idea being that even in that area, there is a need to have some degree of surveillance, but you need to do it in a way that it is always operating within the law and never outside the law.
HOBSON: Commissioner, if we talk to you in a year, what would you like to say you've accomplished in New York?
BRATTON: One, that the city has remained free of a terrorist attack and that the low crime rates that the city has now experienced for 20 years are continuing. And my expectation is that's what we will be able to report.
HOBSON: You miss anything about L.A.?
BRATTON: L.A. in the sense of miss the department, certainly, great organization, miss a lot of the friends and relatives and miss my son and his wife and the two grandkids, who are still living out there.
HOBSON: I thought you would say the weather, but apparently not.
BRATTON: Oh no, I like the four seasons. As long as I don't have to shovel it, I'm very happy back here in the East Coast.
HOBSON: Bill Bratton, the new police commissioner for New York City. Thank you so much for joining us.
BRATTON: Thank you, pleasure being with you.
HOBSON: So Meghna, I guess that means that the commissioner of the NYPD gets somebody to shovel the snow for him.
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
He's getting his dose of winter this year.
HOBSON: Well a lot there to talk about. You can weigh in at hereandnow.org. What do you think of stop, question and frisk? And do you think it's possible to get New Yorkers to stop jaywalking? You can let us know at hereandnow.org. You can also tweet us @hereandnow. I am @jeremyhobson.
CHAKRABARTI: I'm @meghnawbur.
HOBSON: And this is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Dismantling the Myth of Bill Bratton’s LAPD

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, Details the Reopening of the Hilary Email Scandal Lawsuit

I highly recommend Tom Fitton's Book The Corruption Chronicles. He compiled an amazing amount of research on the corrupt regimes of the Clintons and Barack Obama.

A must read.

Also check out Judicial Watch's website, and the Clintons

Betsy Combier

Tom Fitton
 
 
Last Friday, a federal court judge did something we had never seen before - U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton reopened a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.  The lawsuit had sought documents about an advertisement intended to air in Pakistan entitled "A Message from the President of the United States Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
Judge Walton issued the ruling on Friday, May 8, in response to a joint motion by Judicial Watch and the State Department.  This is historic.  My attorney colleagues at Judicial Watch tell me they are aware of no precedent of another FOIA lawsuit being reopened by a federal court.
Judicial Watch filed suit in December 2012, after the State Department failed to respond to a September 24, 2012, FOIA request for all records concerning the advertisement produced by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad intended to air in Pakistan.  The advertisement was an absurd and dishonest "apology" for the Internet video that President Obama, then-Secretary of State Clinton, and other administration officials falsely blamed for inspiring "spontaneous demonstrations" resulting in the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya.  The disgusting ad was a misuse of tax dollars and part of the cover-up of the truth about the Benghazi terrorist attack. 
That being said, we ended the lawsuit after we were told that the State Department searched Hillary Clinton's office but found no records.  In November 2014, JW agreed to dismiss the suit based, in part, upon the State Department's claim that its search "of the Office of the Secretary, the Office of the Executive Secretariat, and the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar have been completed and have resulted in the retrieval of no documents responsive to your request." 
We had our suspicions, but at that time we did not know about Clinton's secret email cache that the State Department was covering up.  The least the State Department could do was not to oppose our case to go back to court for justice. 
In the compromise joint motion, JW and the State Department asked Judge Walton to reopen the lawsuit under a federal court rule allowing for consideration of "newly discovered evidence:"
In March 2015, media sources reported that former Secretary Clinton, and possibly other senior State Department officials, used non-"state.gov" email account to conduct government business. Thereafter, [Judicial Watch] informed the Department that based on this information, which was previously unknown to [Judicial Watch], it would seek to reopen the case.
Now that the lawsuit is reopened, the State Department has promised the court, at a minimum, to search the email records allegedly turned over by Clinton to the State Department last year.
This court ruling, once again, shows that Judicial Watch's various litigation is the last, best chance to make public any secret emails of Hillary Clinton and her appointees at the compromised State Department.  I told you last week about JW's massive new court push, which included the filing of seven new FOIA lawsuits about the Clinton email scandal, including emails of her top aide Huma Abedin and records about the Benghazi and Clinton Foundation scandals.  We also just filed a lawsuit for records on Hillary Clinton's use of an iPad and iPhone.
There are approximately 18 other lawsuits, 10 of which are active in federal court, as well as about 160 Judicial Watch FOIA requests that could be affected by Clinton and her staff's use of secret email accounts to conduct official government business.  In Judicial Watch's various FOIA lawsuits, lawyers for Judicial Watch have informed attorneys for the Obama administration that Hillary Clinton's and any other secret accounts used by State employees should be secured, recovered, and searched.  Judicial Watch's litigation against the State Department has already exposed key documents about both the Benghazi and Clinton cash scandals.
While we are opening new avenues inquiry and new lawsuits, we are still awaiting word from another court on a separate bid to reopen a FOIA lawsuit over records about Clinton aide Huma Abedin's controversial work arrangements. 
Our team is asking the court to reopen a case under a rule that allows a party to reopen a case due to "fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party":
The State Department had an obligation under the Federal Records Act to properly preserve, maintain, and make available for retrieval records of its official functions. In fact, it is the obligation of the head of every federal agency to do so.  Secretary Clinton plainly violated her own legal obligations.  Doing so was misconduct.
The State Department did not originally oppose the idea that Clinton's misconduct justified reopening this other case.   
This decision by a federal judge to reopen our Clinton-Benghazi lawsuit is an extraordinary legal development that spells real trouble for Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
There is also no precedent for Hillary Clinton's stealing, hiding, and destroying State Department records.  Rather than defend its and Hillary Clinton's fraud on the courts overseeing this and other FOIA lawsuits, the State Department stood down and joined Judicial Watch in asking for the lawsuit to be reopened.  The Clinton machine may run rings around Congress and much of the media, but I suspect this cover-up effort won't work as well on federal judges in Judicial Watch's two dozen lawsuits.
Our big victory garnered national headlines and coverage from outlets such as Fox News.  You can see a special JW Fox News interview on the topic here.
Thanks to your support, JW is able to act and get what you and almost every other American want done -someone, indeed anyone, to do something effective about politicians like Hillary Clinton who think they are above the law.  In this case, we are so effective that we even forced the Obama administration to take action!
 
Obama's IRS Targets Candidate Who Ran Against Him

If you have the courage of your convictions, and you're inclined to run at the national level as a candidate who is critical of big government schemes, you should expect criticism under the First Amendment from those who may not share your values. But you shouldn't have to worry about being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the behest of vindictive government officials. Just ask Wayne Allyn Root, who ran as a vice-presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2008.  He's a proponent of constitutional, limited government, a tireless critic of President Barack Obama, and a victim of IRS abuse. Here's how Root describes his ordeal in an article appearing in TheBlaze:
"I was targeted and persecuted by the IRS in an over-the-top attack coordinated at the highest levels of government and the Democratic Party," he wrote. "I can now prove it - with FACTS direct from my IRS files obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch...my own IRS tax files not only implicate the IRS, but a leading Democrat U.S. senator in a criminal conspiracy to silence a critic of the president."
How can he prove it?  Your Judicial Watch worked with Mr. Root to obtain his files from a stonewalling Obama IRS that substantiates Root's suspicions about the audits he received.  It took over a year of diligent pursuit by JW expert investigators just to get Mr. Root's own IRS files!  Here are the specifics of our investigative analysis, which we have shared with investigators in Congress.  You can see why we conclude it appears likely that the treatment of Mr. Root by the IRS was motivated by his political activities:
1. The IRS re-audited Mr. Root immediately after a Tax Court ruling in his favor. Mr. Root was initially audited by the IRS in 2011. Substantively, the basis for this audit was the agency's determination to re-classify non-employee compensation earned by Mr. Root as an independent contractor as wage income. This determination resulted in an alleged tax deficiency of $69,217 (inclusive of interest and penalties) for tax years 2007 and 2008. After an expensive battle to dispute this determination, Mr. Root petitioned the U.S. Tax Court on September 15, 2011. On July 31, 2012, Chief Judge Michael B. Thornton found in Mr. Root's favor, ruling that the re-classification was unjustified and that no deficiency was owed.
Five days later, the IRS notified Mr. Root that he was being audited again for tax years 2009 and 2010.
2. An IRS Revenue Agent conducted research regarding Mr. Root's political activities and included his findings in the investigative record. The records we obtained include an Examining Officer's Activity Record documenting the agency's investigation of Mr. Root between May 27, 2010 and July 11, 2011. This document includes a case log entry dated December 29, 2011, that reads in pertinent part, "RA [Revenue Agent] researched the internet about TP/Wayne Root. Wayne Root is a public figure whose career includes working as a (1) columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal and Newsmax.com (2) guest commentator on Fox News, CNBC, CNN, and MSNBC, and (3) his being a guest host on nationally syndicated radio shows (i.e. - The G. Gordon Liddy Show, The Jerry Doyle Show, etc.)." The tax issues for which Mr. Root was audited are entirely unrelated to any income he may have earned as a result of this media activity.
3. The IRS considered the audit of Mr. Root to be a "sensitive case." A handwritten notation on an IRS Special Handling Notice for Examination Processing dated May 23, 2013 identifies his as a "Sensitive Case." Nowhere in the records is it articulated exactly what made his case "sensitive," but it's logical to conclude that the reference is to his political activity and public profile.
 
4. The second audit was closed on May 23, 2013. Notably, the document identifying the audit of Mr. Root as a "sensitive case" is dated May 23, 2013. The document abruptly closed the audit on that date with a finding of "no change" (i.e., that no delinquency was owed). This is the very day that Lois Lerner was suspended from her position as Director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS for her involvement in targeting conservative organizations for disparate treatment by the agency. The day before, former Director Lerner had testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. While the timing of the closing of the agency's audit of Mr. Root on that date could be unrelated to those events, it strikes us as a remarkable coincidence warranting further investigation. An Examining Officer's Activity Record documenting the processing of this second audit indicates that investigative activity was being conducted as late as May 20, 2013, just three days before the case was closed.
 
An entry on a separate IRS worksheet documenting the closing of the case identifies the agency's final determination as, "No adjustment to contributions for the prior years 2007 and 2008 resulted in no change from appeals division so repetitive audit procedures apply and per manager's approval this issue was accepted as filed." In other words, the IRS determined that the audit was unjustified because of the court's finding in favor of Mr. Root that resolved the earlier audit. This explanation, however, is highly dubious. The agency was certainly aware of its 2007 - 2008 audit when it initiated the second audit. In addition, on August 29, 2012, Mr. Root's attorney wrote to the IRS advising the agency that, "the taxpayers have just recently completed an audit for the 2007 and 2008 tax years . . . the examination resulted in a 'No Change.' As such, a subsequent audit for the 2009 and 2010 tax years may be deemed abusive as the audit issues appear to be largely consistent." The fact that the IRS justified closing the second audit on May 23, 2013 by citing information of which it was made aware in August 2012 is further supportive of the theory that it was closed in response to the IRS targeting scandal.
 
5. An unidentified Senator queried IRS officials about the status of the audit of Mr. Root. On November 26, 2012, IRS Senior Operations Advisor Tom Franke e-mailed Senior Program Analyst Ann Underland to inquire whether Mr. Root was under examination. The e-mail notes that the request for that information originated from the office of a Senator representing Oregon. The subsequent e-mail conversation, some of which has been redacted pursuant to FOIA exemption (b)(5), indicates that the effort to respond to this inquiry involved a number of senior IRS officials in California, including Los Angeles Territory Manager Anna Hom and California Examination Area Director Linda J. Petrillo. There is no indication what prompted the inquiry, nor did we receive a record documenting the agency's response to the Senator's office. Mr. Root is not a resident of Oregon and has no knowledge of why the inquiry was made.
According to Fox News, the IRS files obtained through the JW FOIA request implicate not just the Obama IRS, but also a U.S. senator. Mr. Root is outraged:
"An IRS audit that required researching my political views clearly wasn't a "normal random audit."  I was targeted for my political views.  My civil rights were clearly violated. 
The reason it may have taken the IRS fourteen months to turn my IRS files over to Judicial Watch is that they state a United States senator from Oregon was involved. At the time both senators from Oregon were Democrats. But only one, Ron Wyden, was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with oversight over ... the IRS. Could Ron Wyden have been the Democrat senator involved in my case?
If so, why was a U.S. senator involved in a "normal random audit?" Why was an Oregon Senator involved in the audit of a Nevada small businessman? Since when do United States Senators get involved in IRS audits? 
Could someone have asked the Oregon Senator to get involved? The dots are not hard to connect. Was he asked by someone in the White House to initiate an IRS attack on Wayne Root? After all, I'm not just any conservative critic of President Obama. I'm the former Columbia college classmate of Obama. With about 6,000 media appearances on Fox News and conservative talk radio and other outlets since Obama became president, it's not a stretch to think I caught the attention of the Obama White House."
I think you would agree that the Obama gang would have noticed one of two men (even from a "third" party) opposing Obama's election in 2008! But unlike many Republicans, Root is also someone who favors putting the federal government back inside a constitutional box and that's a no-no in Obama's America. The coordinated assault against Root began with a phone call in 2011 that an IRS official claimed in Wall Street Journal article could never have taken place.  Why?  Because the IRS supposedly never directly calls taxpayers. 
"The IRS agent left a voicemail, and then took another unheard-of step and called my accountant, who had my power of attorney and told the agent he was forbidden to ever contact me again," Root wrote in his piece for Fox News. "Yet the IRS agent called me again, only minutes later, telling me all about my political views. How did an IRS agent know about my political views? Why was he telling me my political views? I felt like I was being stalked."
I encourage you to review Mr. Root's account of his IRS battles, in partnership with your JW, on TheBlaze and on the Fox News websites.  JW's take?  Here is our quote for the record:
The Obama IRS obstructed the release of Wayne Root's tax documents. The abuse of process Judicial Watch and Wayne suffered through to get these documents is scandalous.  Now we know why the Obama IRS was hesitant to give Wayne his own IRS files.  These documents show the Obama IRS scandal was more than just suppressing the Tea Party, it was also about auditing critics of President Obama.  Richard Nixon had to resign from office for less. The first order of business for United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch should be to appoint a special counsel who can convene a grand jury to look into the Obama IRS outrages.
We're not finished here yet, not by a long shot. The Obama IRS scandal continues.  Stay tuned....
Fed Employees Sexually Assault Airline Passengers?
If you thought that the agent with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was getting a little too close and personal, and even a little offensive, it may not have been your imagination running wild.  After obtaining 58 pages of records from the TSA that detail alleged sexually-related assaults on passengers by TSA personnel at three major U.S. international airports, we can tell you that it is well past time for reform. The documents were released in response to a July 2014 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that was filed after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wouldn't turn over documents to our investigators who were looking into passenger complaints for the year 2013 at Dulles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport.
The TSA documents show that passengers strenuously objected to the alleged sexually-related assaults, repeatedly saying they were "shocked," "violated," and "humiliated." In one incident, a passenger reported that TSA officers, and "even the Supervisor ... began to roar with laughter at the alleged sexual assault." In other incidents, a breast cancer survivor reported she felt as if she had been raped. And an elderly passenger with a colostomy bag said she felt violated after being informed by a TSA agent that she had to "touch her bag so I could then touch her hands."
That we had to fight and sue in court to get the TSA to disclose these shocking complaints demonstrates that the agency is more interested in a cover-up than in addressing the problem that its employees violate innocent travelers too often, sexually or otherwise. With more than 56,000 employees and a $7.7 billion budget, the TSA can't be trusted to do its job of securing air travel.  American simply trying to board a plane should not have to worry about being assaulted by federal employees working for the TSA.
To quote the TSA:
At approximately 14:10 hours on the South Checkpoint, near lane 4 a passenger complained that he sustained an injury resulting from the aggressive actions of the the [sic] TSO [Transportation Security Officer] conducting a pat down search...The passenger stated during the pat-down search he was struck very hard in the groin area, which caused him pain to his left testical [sic].
She [TSA agent] then placed full palms squarely on my breasts and then moved around my breasts again. She then placed both palms against my breasts and I was shocked, humiliated, alarmed and assaulted and said 'Stop! What are you doing? That's not ok.'... I reported this to TSA Supervisor ... She got the manager [redacted] and he said he would look at the video and TSA would send me a letter but it would not tell me the resolution and that I did not have a right to view the video... I will not be sexually assaulted at the airport. As a taxpayer, I pay for the TSA."
The female TSO then proceeded to roughly feel of [sic] her breast including her nipples. The TSO didn't go under her arms or along her sides. She indicated that she did not receive a proper pat down. The search was limited to her breast... Two other individuals came over to where the supervisor and gentleman were and they began laughing. The caller indicated that the incident was not the business of the other two officers and not a show for them. The caller indicated that even the Supervisor, along with the others, began to roar with laughter.
Caller indicates that her mother feels as though she was singled out because she was a breast cancer survivor and the caller feels as though this is extremely discriminatory. Caller indicates that the breast is an extremely intimate place that should not be rubbed in the manner that it was. Caller expressed that her mother feels extremely violated and the caller feels that being violated in this manner is on the same level as rape. Caller has indicated that her mother will never travel again because of the pat down that she received.
The person began to tell me how TSO [redacted] stuck his hands down his pants and grabbed the top of his penis and placed his fingers in his butt crack... The person was sure that he was violated and wanted to talk to a supervisor.... He said he is going to file a police report with Chicago Police Department and file a lawsuit against TSA and Officer [redacted] and walked away."
Though not a sexually related complaint, included in the records is a document with the subject line "Likely Passenger Complaint - Discrimination because of Medical Condition:"
•           September 21, 2013, O'Hare Airport:
I led the way and the passenger followed, stating all the while that she was no terrorist; she was a woman of (68? - I do not remember precisely but it was an age in the 60s which pinpointed for me that she was not eligible for a modified pat down) and a U.S. citizen.... I then asked if there were any medical devices other than the bag - she interrupted me to say 'It's only poop. I can't blow up a plane with poop! ... I managed to clear her legs and feet and then [redacted]. [Redacted] I needed her to touch her bag so I could then test her hands.
Last month, CBS4 in Denver reported "that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers."
I can't find much evidence that we are made safer by the all the hassle and extra costs imposed on us by the TSA "security" bureaucracy.  In fact, it is in dispute whether the TSA ever has stopped a terrorist attack - or is competent to do so.  Just this month, the DHS inspector general testified to Congress about the TSA's potentially catastrophic failures.  The Washington Times summed up the IG's warnings:
The Transportation Security Administration has vulnerabilities that continue to put airline travelers at risk, despite being notified of its shortcomings through more than 100 federal audit and inspection reports...
The above parade of horribles tells you why the TSA only released the information about sexually-related assault issues after we forced them into federal court.  Our investigations will continue.
Until next week...

Tom Fitton
President