Friday, October 17, 2008

UK - Police in Spotlight Over Female Lawyer's Strip Search

FL - Congressman Mahoney Admits to Multiple Affairs

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Another Republican from Florida!



Florida Representative: My Behavior was 'Disgraceful'

After dodging questions for nearly a week, Rep. Tim Mahoney (Contact) (D-Fla.) admitted today that he had multiple extramarital affairs and apologized for behavior he characterized as "disgraceful."

"Let me just be explicit that I am admitting to having affairs," Mahoney said in an interview this afternoon with reporter Terri Parker at WPBF News 25, ABC News' affiliate in West Palm Beach. "My personal behavior has been unacceptable."

The interview comes after "The Blotter" revealed this week that Mahoney had secretly paid a former mistress and campaign staffer, Patricia Allen, to prevent a sexual harassment lawsuit as well as helped lobby for federal funds for another county official with whom he was having an affair. Click here to hear the tape of Mahoney firing Allen.

In the approximately 20-minute long interview, Mahoney did not say exactly how many other women he had affairs with. "I don't know what other women are going to come out," he said.

But he discussed two specifically. He said the affair with Allen began during his 2006 campaign and had gone on intermittently until 2008.

He said his relationship with Allen -- a former campaign worker and one-time employee in his federal office "was totally inappropriate."

"I showed complete bad judgment on my part," he said, adding, "To allow myself to be put into that position was just stupid on my part."

He said that Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-Ill.), chair of the Democratic Caucus, had confronted him in 2007 about the affair and said "if that's happening stop."

"It wasn't a discussion, it wasn't a meeting, it was a statement," Mahoney said.

Asked why he didn't heed such warnings he said he'd made a series of bad decisions.

So when Allen threatened to sue him in February, Mahoney said he simply wanted to "sweep it under the rug."

"Forget about right or wrong, I wanted to hide it", he said. "I was ashamed of it."

"I Haven't Broken Any Laws."

He said that he paid $60,000 to Allen, $40,000 to her lawyer and another $20,000 to his lawyer -- all out of his "personal funds." He said his wife knew about the settlement before it became public this week.

But, he said, "I haven't violated my oath of office. I haven't broken any laws."

He also discussed his relationship with a second woman, a Martin County official, whom he had helped win a federal grant from FEMA to reimburse the county for clean up on private roads following the hurricanes in 2004.

He defended his help saying: "She wasn't awarded the grant. Martin County was awarded the grant."

He added: "The only people that benefited from getting that money were the taxpayers."

He did not explain why he had chosen relationships with women who worked for or closely with his office or campaign.

He said that he wasn't withdrawing from the race because he believed he had also done good work as a congressman.

While he said the people of his district deserved better leadership, he said he would let them decide whether his personal indiscretions disqualified him from office. "I let them down and I apologize for that," he said.

The hardest part of this situation, however, has been explaining his transgressions to his 22-year-old daughter. "Having her see me as flawed and having made bad mistakes, it's life changing."

Testament - Practice What You Preach (Lyrics)

GA - Sex offenders to observe curfew on Halloween

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More Halloween hysteria.  Georgia does not have ANY LAW on the books which state sex offenders must do this, PERIOD! This is for those on parole or probation only, not all sex offenders!


ALBANY — Area law enforcement officials say they’re taking steps to ensure that trick-or-treaters this month don’t have to worry about be tricked by registered sex offenders.

Alfred Johnson, a supervisor for the Albany Probation Office, said his organization is working with Albany area law enforcement agencies to take steps to make sure area children are safe on Halloween.

Known as the Halloween Sex Offender Initiative, Johnson said that his office will be taking special action to notify some of the more than 260 registered sex offenders in Dougherty County about plans to keep them under watch Halloween night.

Johnson says that active probationers who are sex offenders will be required to come to the probation office from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 and observe a special curfew to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters.

“We’re not out to embarrass our sex offenders,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure that we’re providing a safe community atmosphere for children to have fun safely.”

At the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office (Phone: 229-431-2166), where Lt. Rebecca Williamson keeps track of the county’s registered sex offenders, deputies are preparing to check public events scheduled for Halloween night to ensure that any known child predators don’t make an appearance.

“We’re adding more every day,” she said. “But we’re going to help with probation’s efforts to make sure that everything stays quiet that night.”

Some states are requiring their sex offenders to post fliers on their doors with the words “No Candy” posted so that children won’t be tempted to walk up to the wrong doors.

In Albany, officers are taking a more preventative approach.

We’re planning to send out mailers describing the curfew and rules that will require them to do certain things, like keep their lights off and things like that,” Johnson said. “And we’ll have officers going around checking houses to make sure than none are hosting Halloween parties or things like that.”

OH - Lancaster senator introduces sex offender legislation

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More political grandstanding! Ohio already has laws on the books to cover this, but, it's election time, and time to bust out the usual scapegoat sex offender issues.


Sen. Tim Schaffer (Email), R-Lancaster, introduced a bill Thursday that will ensure all sex offenders living in Ohio do not reside within 1,000 feet of a school.

Under Senate Bill 366, the law will be clarified, making the 1,000-foot rule retroactive and applicable to all convicted sex offenders on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) Database living in Ohio no matter when they committed their crime or when they purchased or moved into their homes.
- Once again, another senator, bypassing the Constitution, to make himself look all high and mighty.  The Constitution FORBIDS passing ex post facto (retroactive) laws, yet he's trying to do just that.

“When it comes to protecting our children from sex predators, this bill will go a long way by equipping our law enforcement officials with the authority necessary to provide for a safer community,” Schaffer said.
- No it won't, if a person is intent on committing another crime, 100 miles would not stop them, you are just using this, exploiting sex offenders, for your own political gain!

“Whether their crime was committed 10 years or 10 days ago, SB 366 will ensure that they are not living within 1,000 feet of your son or daughter’s school.”

MA - Sex Offender Killed By Jeep That Left Scene

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Another Article


Police Searching For Driver In Fatal Crash

BOSTON -- A Level 3 sex offender who was riding a bike in Lawrence Thursday night was struck and killed by a driver who allegedly fled the scene, according to the Eagle Tribune.

Robert Lagasse, 43, of Lawrence, was riding a bike at about 6:30 p.m. on Merrimack Street when he was struck by a blue 2008 Jeep Cherokee, the newspaper reported. He was flown to Boston Medical Center, where he died Friday morning.

A man driving a taxicab behind the Jeep witnessed the crash, wrote down the license plate number and brought it to police. Lawrence police Chief John Romero said the car was traced to a rental company in Methuen.

Police questioned a man who said that he rented the car for a female friend who lives in Salem, N.H. Officials are searching for the vehicle that has Massachusetts license plate 83F S93.

The victim was a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted in 1989 of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, the newspaper reported.

Bold new idea: Make punishment fit the crime

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The U.S. Sentencing Commission sets the parameters federal judges are obliged to follow in sentencing convicted felons. It has long been, in effect, the hanging judge of the federal criminal justice system, backing long, inflexible sentences and making judicial discretion an oxymoron.

But, surprise, last year the commission defied the Bush administration by reducing crack-cocaine sentences to reflect those for powder cocaine, easing a disparity that was a major source of the wildly disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans. What's more, it boldly applied the new standard retroactively.

And now the commission is studying possible sentencing alternatives to imprisonment, a move toward making recommendations to Congress.

About time. We have become the world's champion jailer, imprisoning a far higher percentage of our people than any other industrialized nation, as if Americans were somehow a uniquely criminal people.

The national prison population is nearing 2.5 million, with some 200,000 of those in federal lock-ups. Another five million are under criminal-justice control -- probation, parole and so on.

The roots of this ugly flowering are in the law-and-order politics that started in the 1970s and lasted into the '90s.

Candidates tangled in a long bidding war to see who could propose the most draconian sentences for the most offenses. Even legislators who knew better went along with the frenzy for fear of being ripped by opponents in the next election as soft-on-crime saps. The fad for mandatory minimum sentences rewrote federal and state criminal codes.

The fad, though faded, continues. Every congressional session and state legislative season sees legislation proposed for more mandatory sentences -- the grandstanding politician's shortcut to the six-o'clock news after any high profile crime.

All this law-and-order is killing us.

It costs an average $24,000 a year to maintain an inmate. The states are spending $44 billion annually on corrections. Prisons are one of the fastest rising costs in state budgets.

It doesn't have to be that way. Taxpayers, qualified offenders, the public in general -- all can get a better deal.

Specialized drug courts, for example, can direct first-time, non-violent offenders into supervised treatment programs for a fraction of prison costs, into the bargain often allowing the offender to continue working and thus keeping families out of welfare.

Offenders who successfully complete various alternative programs are less likely than imprisoned offenders to commit subsequent crimes and are better able to maintain or form families and find work that can support them.

If the Sentencing Commission does go forward with sensible new recommendations, it will face resistance in Congress and, most regrettably, in the Justice Department, where thinking about such matters has of late rarely ventured beyond Serves 'Em Right. Perhaps a counterbalance can be found in a public open to options that could knock billions off its prison tax bill.

Yes, there are bad men and women who must be locked away for years, a few even for life. That's especially so of violent criminals and repeat felons. Even so, we used to operate, albeit approximately, along the lines of letting the punishment fit the crime.

Our increasing resort to prison-only as the crime-fighting tool of choice has made punishment too often a crime itself.

Tom Teepen is a columnist for Cox Newspapers based in Atlanta;

CA - High Court Agrees to Hear Sex Offender Registration Case

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The California Supreme Court yesterday agreed to decide whether its 2006 ruling that allows judges to free defendants convicted of oral copulation of minors from the sex offender registration requirement is retroactive.

The justices, at their weekly conference in San Francisco, voted unanimously to review the Third District Court of Appeal’s July 2 ruling in People v. Picklesimer, 164 Cal.App.4th 723. The lower panel held that People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185 does not apply to defendants who exhausted their appeals before that case was decided.

The high court normally holds its conference on Wednesday, but this week’s was moved to avoid conflict with a state judicial conference.

Hofsheier held that a provision mandating sex offender registration for all defendants convicted of oral copulation of a minor is unconstitutional as a matter of equal protection because the crime is similar to unlawful sexual intercourse, as to which the trial court has discretion as to whether to require registration.

The Third District, however, dismissed Andrew Picklesimer’s appeal from the denial of his motion to remove the requirement and remove the former high school teacher from the state sex offender registry, saying the trial judge was correct in ruling that he lacked jurisdiction because Picklesimer’s conviction became final long before the motion was filed.

Picklesimer has been subject to sex offender registration since 1993, when he entered into a plea bargain in Trinity Superior Court. Originally charged with offenses against two minors, he pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation, and digital penetration, all involving a 17-year-old girl.

As part of the plea, he acknowledged that the digital penetration and oral copulation convictions required him to register as a sex offender. Judge William Lund imposed consecutive upper term sentences.

Picklesimer raised only one issue on appeal, arguing that the separate sentences violated Penal Code Sec. 654, which prohibits multiple punishments for the same crime. The Court of Appeal disagreed, affirming in an unpublished opinion.

But several years later, when the Supreme Court handed down Hofsheier and declared that judges have discretion as to whether to require registration for those convicted of oral copulation, Picklesimer moved to lift the requirement that he register.

In support, he filed a psychological report purporting to show that he had no sexual compulsion and was unlikely to reoffend. The district attorney argued in opposition that the court had no jurisdiction, that the plea bargain precluded relief from the registration requirement, and that relief, even if available, was unwarranted in light of the defendant’s conduct.

Judge James Woodward agreed with respect to jurisdiction and denied the motion without a ruling on the merits.

On appeal, the defendant and the attorney general agreed that the matter should be remanded to the trial court so that the judge could exercise his discretion as to whether to grant the motion. But the Court of Appeal said they were both wrong, the trial judge was correct, and the order was non-appealable.

The court said that Picklesimer had shown no basis for an exception to the general rule that a court may not alter the consequences of a criminal conviction that has become final.

In other conference action, the justices:

  • Declined to review a ruling by this district’s Div. Six that controversial self-proclaimed disability rights activist Jarek Molski exposed himself to an adverse fee award by pursuing litigation to enjoin technical violations of California’s disability access statutes under Civil Code Sec. 55.

    The court held on July 7 in Molski v. Arciero Wine Group, 164 Cal.App.4th 786, that an award of more than $33,000 was a reasonable and necessary consequence of Molski’s “scorched earth strategy,” invoking the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Disabled Persons Act, and Sec. 55 over an alleged access barrier at the Arciero Winery in San Luis Obispo County.
  • Agreed to resolve a dispute concerning how repurchased service credits in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System are treated when the employee has divorced, remarried, and divorced again during the period of public employment.

The case involves former Monterey County Sheriff Gordon Sonne, who was a deputy sheriff for 27 years and sheriff for four years before retiring in 2002. After he and his second wife divorced, she elected to cash out her share of the community interest in his CalPERS benefits, and he later elected to repurchase those credits, using funds that were the community property of him and his third wife.

A Monterey Superior Court judge hearing divorce proceedings between the former sheriff and third wife Theressa Sonne ruled that the repurchased service credits were community property, and that when Gordon Sonne dies, Theressa Sonne will be entitled to his entire survivor benefit.

The Sixth District Court of Appeal held on July 16 that the ruling on the repurchased credits was not an abuse of discretion, but that the ruling on the survivor benefit was erroneous because it failed to account for Gordon Sonne’s separate and community interest in the benefit.

The case is In re Marriage of Sonne, 164 Cal.App.4th 1331.

•Declined to review a July 31 ruling of the Fourth District’s Div. One that the Legislature did not unconstitutionally amend the initiative governing medical marijuana use when it enacted a law requiring identification cards. The case is County of San Diego v. San Diego NORML, 165 Cal.App.4th 798.

Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company

NY - Like Taking Candy from a Sex Offender

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Pretty soon sexual predators will not be allowed to smile for fear it sends the wrong message.

An initiative in Maryland will force sexual predators to post a sign saying "No Candy at this Residence". Signs have been distributed across the state and the residents must post them or possibly face a parole violation. Not only that, but the residents must stay at home, with the lights off and not answer the door.

Talk about a true-to-life scarlet letter. Not only do sexual offenders get to ship out awesome postcards, but now they have to spend an entire day indoors with the lights out. True, these people are criminals that have done things most people don't want to think about, but at what point do the restrictions end?

Ohio, and many other states, give out special license plates for DUI offenders. Do you think this affects how police monitor random vehicles? You bet your a$$ it does. Just as these signs will help draw attention to supposedly reformed sexual predators.
- And make them targets for all the kids out there who love to trash houses, pumpkins and egg houses on Halloween, and also the vigilante mob squad!

If a sexual predator is not reformed, why is s/he not in jail? The purpose of jailing citizens is to turn them into a better patron. If you do not feel safe with your children around these people, they should be in jail.

I'm sure some sex offenders may prefer to be in jail, at least there they get time in the yard on Halloween.

MD - Four sex offenders suing the state for Halloween laws

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All Halloween Articles

Good for them! Plus, Maryland does not have any law stating sex offenders must do this. It's an implied law. Look it up for yourself. Also, it's for those on probation or parole only, not all sex offenders, like they lead you to believe. This is just another MORAL PANIC, like the old 70's and 80's POISON CANDY SCARE.

Maryland Hysteria!

California Hysteria!