Newsom Has to Reveal Text Messages About PG&E Bailout; Recall Boudin Effort Gains Enough Signatures for Recall; $20 B Stolen From CA Pandemic Relief and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo
Biden is appointing former public defenders as federal judges; Racial bias accused in arrests of mostly black lawbreakers on Rodeo Drive; CA has to return millions in unspent Covid relief money
November 5, 2021
Courts & Rulings
Judge denies LAPD officers' request to block elements of the employee vaccine mandate
A federal judge in Orange County has denied a request from a group of LAPD officers to block the city of Los Angeles from imposing certain elements of its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city employees. In a six-page decision U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner said the police employees had failed to show the city's requirements for exemption requests had caused any actual harm to the workers, though an attorney for the officers said that was because the city agreed in court filings to change some of its rules.
California can require correctional officers to get COVID vaccine, judge rules
A Kern County Superior Court judge on Friday reinstated a state order that requires certain prison guards to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Judge Bernard Barmann's ruling affects only correctional officers who work in or around health care settings in prisons. The California Department of Public Health on Aug. 19 ordered them - along with all other prison and jail employees who work in health care settings - to get vaccinated.
Lack of access to library or writing materials entitled inmate to relief from default
The Court of Appeal for this district has reversed an order denying a relief from default sought by a prison inmate who did not timely respond to an action by a woman to nullify her marriage to him on the ground that when she married him in 1993, she was already wed, with the justices holding that the man's excuse for the delay - lack of access to the prison library or to writing materials caused by COVID restrictions - was a valid one.
California Supreme court rules in favor of ABC10 in PG&E lawsuit (Video)
The California Supreme court says ABC10's lawsuit can move forward. ABC10 is seeking the release of text messages and emails during the time when the state government bailed out PG&E.
California chief justice breaks down pandemic court case backlogs
California's chief justice admitted Thursday that keeping the state's courts open during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was not always "kumbaya," but she said the judiciary discovered a new source of equity and efficiency through remote proceedings and is not going to give it up. During a virtual event hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said throughout the pandemic she found herself in the middle with the state's Judicial Council - the policymaking body of the judiciary - and stakeholders to find out which counties needed more support and what needed to be prioritized.
Court of Appeal paves way for deported felon to reenter U.S.
A motion to withdraw a 2008 guilty plea to a felony on the ground that the defendant lacked an awareness that the conviction would cause his deportation was erroneously denied on the ground that there was not "reasonable diligence" in making the motion after 2017 legislation authorized it, the Court of Appeal held Friday, declaring that a presumption that the moving party had knowledge of the law should not be applied.
9th Circuit rejects DOJ's bid to swiftly dismiss Avenatti's appeal
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has rejected a request from federal prosecutors to swiftly dismiss Michael Avenatti's double jeopardy appeal, ensuring his California case won't see a trial courtroom until at least early next year. A three-judge panel specified the dismissal is without prejudice, which means it can still be granted if prosecutors renew the request in their answering brief. That brief is due Dec. 30, part of an expedited briefing schedule that calls for Avenatti's opening brief to be filed by Nov. 30.
California sets in-person bar exam as Covid-19 cases fall
The California bar exam in February will be in person, marking the state's first move away from online tests since Covid-19 surged last year. The California Supreme Court's order Wednesday didn't mention Covid-19 and said the decision to hold the test in person is subject to any restrictions state or local public health authorities impose. California Covid-19 cases have been trending down since a recent peak in mid-August, according to a state data.
More public defenders are now judges at federal appeals courts. What are they bringing to the bench?
President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda has gotten a lot of attention in Washington, but he's also been quietly reshaping the federal judiciary. He's outpaced every president in the last half century when it comes to getting federal appeals court judges confirmed. And he's appointing a record number of public defenders to those posts. In Charlottesville, Virginia, a civil trial gets underway today involving the "Unite the Right" rally four years ago.
Judge acquits Orange County man who lived at Chicago airport for 3 months
A man who spent three months living in a secured terminal at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport instead of flying home to India as he had planned has been acquitted on a felony trespassing charge. Cook County Judge Adrienne Davis acquitted Aditya Singh on the charge this week without his attorney having to mount a defense, the Chicago Tribune reported. Singh, 37, is expected back in court Friday on an escape charge for allegedly violating the terms of his electronic monitoring while out on bond for the trespassing charge.
Action revived against medical board for disability bias
The Court of Appeal for this district has ordered reinstatement of a disability-discrimination action brought by a man who flunked a written examination for a medical license four times but was able to attain a passing score on a fifth attempt after being prescribed a drug to counteract his recently uncovered performance-anxiety, yet was denied a license based on a statutory bar on taking the test more than four times.
Los Angeles District Attorney
The case for recalls of District Attorney Boudin and Gascon; a tale of two counties quest for public safety
It was the best of times for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon. With only days remaining before the first recall effort against him being scheduled to conclude the 160-day signature gathering period, unsuccessfully collecting 579,062 qualified signatures to place his recall on the ballot. It was the worst of times for San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. On Friday, October 22, it was announced that the effort to recall him had submitted over 83,000 signatures, far in excess of the required 51,325 signatures necessary to trigger the recall election for Boudin.
The Published Reporter
Long Beach school safety officer faces murder charges in Mona Rodriguez shooting
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced at a news conference Wednesday that the school safety officer accused of shooting 18-year-old Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez in September will face a murder charge. Long Beach police and Gascón said Long Beach Unified School District safety officer Eddie Gonzalez, 51, was arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of Rodriguez, who was the mother of a 5-month-old boy.
Ventura County man who headed tribal police agency pleads guilty to pocketing $300,000 generated from sale of fake badges
Anthony Reyes Vazquez pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he stole more than $300,000 from the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation while serving as chief of the Manzanita Tribal Police Department. According to his plea agreement, Vazquez admitted that he sold fake badges to buyers who made substantial payments to become members of the Manzanita Tribal Police Department and have privileges available to law enforcement officers, such as carrying concealed weapons.
Department of Justice Press Release
Arson suspect charged with setting fire to historic San Gabriel Mission
A man has been charged with setting on fire a historic Catholic church in San Gabriel last summer, prosecutors said Tuesday. The San Gabriel Mission was undergoing renovations to mark its 250th anniversary when a fire broke out July 11, engulfing the roof and front entrance of the church. Firefighters forced entry to tame the blaze, breaking parts of the roof and ceiling, officials said. No one was hurt in the fire. John David Corey, 57, faces multiple charges, including two felony counts of arson of an inhabited structure and first-degree burglary, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
Los Angeles officer to stand trial in corpse fondling case
Los Angeles police officer who acknowledged touching a dead woman's breast while on duty has been ordered to stand trial on a felony charge. David Rojas, 29, is charged with felony sexual contact with human remains after authorities said he touched Elizabeth Baggett's right breast following her death on Oct. 20, 2019. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Judge Keith H. Borjon heard testimony from Rojas, who said he touched the woman's breast twice because he believed there was a mark that needed investigating.
Two SF prosecutors quit, join effort to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin
Prosecutors Brooke Jenkins and Don Du Bain tell the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit they have quit their jobs at the San Francisco District Attorney's office and joined the effort to recall their former boss, District Attorney Chesa Boudin. They are among at least 51 lawyers at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office who have either left or been fired since Boudin took office in January 2020, according to documents obtained by the Investigative Unit - that's about a third of the department's attorneys now gone.
NBC Bay Area
3 charged in stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from LA homeless nonprofit
Three women have been charged with stealing about $400,000 from a Los Angeles-based homeless services organization. California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced last week that Latoi Pledger, 45, Sareena Stevenson, 44, and Valencia Stevenson, 38, are facing a combined 56 felony counts, including grand theft and embezzlement. The three were charged Sept. 9 and were arraigned in L.A. County Superior Court. The women stole the money from the nonprofit group People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), the attorney general's office alleges in a news release.
Prosecutors cannot call those shot by Kyle Rittenhouse 'victims.' But 'looters' is OK
Prosecutors in the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot and killed two protesters last year in Kenosha, Wis., will not be able to refer to the people he shot as "victims," a judge has ruled, while defense attorneys may be able to call them "arsonists" or "looters." In a proceeding about the ground rules for the upcoming trial, prosecutors and defense lawyers debated whether certain language, witnesses or evidence would be allowed. The trial begins next week.
LA City Council moves to implement new state laws on speed limits, bus lane enforcement, slow streets
Although A.B. 43 (adjusting the rules for setting speed limits), A.B. 917 (allowing bus agencies to use cameras to enforce no-parking rules), and A.B. 773 (allowing cities to make pandemic-era "slow streets" permanent) will not take effect until January, three L.A. city councilmembers have already introduced motions to begin work on implementing them.
Man on trial for indecent exposure may still be found guilty despite no one being present
Clarence William Bailey, on trial last Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court for misdemeanor indecent exposure for allegedly masturbating on his front porch, may be found guilty even though no one was present when he allegedly exposed himself. Bailey was arrested on Aug. 5, 2019 for indecent exposure and lewd conduct for allegedly masturbating on his front porch on a number of separate occasions. Upon his arrest, the witness deputy testified to Bailey admitting that he indeed was masturbating outside which was corroborated with video evidence.
The Davis Vanguard
Did Beverly Hills police target Black shoppers on Rodeo Drive? What records and emails show
Last month, two attorneys summoned reporters to the steps of Beverly Hills City Hall to make a disturbing accusation. Police had deliberately targeted Black shoppers along the city's famous Rodeo Drive. The proof, they said, was in the numbers: A special team of officers assigned last fall to patrol the opulent shopping corridor arrested dozens of people for minor infractions such as jaywalking or riding scooters on a sidewalk and all but one of them were Black, they alleged. They labeled it brazen, illegal racial profiling.
Los Angeles Times
Who you gonna call - the covid cops?
Last January, I wrote a piece here on the Pipeline called "When the Sheepdogs Become the Sheep." In that piece I lamented the ongoing transformation of America's police officers from crime fighters to Covid code enforcers. Alas, ten months later, that transformation is coming nearer to completion. There is a growing chasm among two distinct groups of police officers: those who genuinely invest themselves in the fight against crime, whether as a patrol cop or a detective, and those who seek to promote up the ranks to the higher levels in their departments.
Jack Dunphy/The Pipeline
Los Angeles County/City
LA finalizes employee COVID-19 mandatory vaccination plan
The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved the city's Covid-19 employee vaccination mandate, which includes an enforcement framework that could lead to the termination of workers who fail to obtain medical or religious exemptions and who remain unvaccinated by mid-December. NBC4's I-Team also obtained copies of the exemption forms provided to employees this week, which ask for documentation of religious beliefs or medical conditions which conflict with the city policy or vaccinations in general.
L.A. police union calls for investigation into city's COVID-19 testing contract
The Los Angeles Police Protective League is calling for an investigation into the contract awarded for COVID-19 testing, alleging conflicts of interest and ethical violations. City employees, including police officers and firefighters, who aren't vaccinated have to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week at a cost of $65 per test, which is deducted from their paychecks. Those tests must be performed by Bluestone, according to Detective Jamie McBride, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Judge grants depositions of sheriff, fire chief in Kobe crash
A Los Angeles federal judge Tuesday granted Vanessa Bryant's motion to compel depositions of Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby in her lawsuit against the county over photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene allegedly taken and circulated by sheriff's deputies. In a ruling obtained by City News Service, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick sided with Bryant, saying her purpose in seeking the depositions "is neither abusive nor harassing."
City News Service
LASD employee association challenges vaccine registration mandate
A group representing about 1,850 sworn and non-sworn members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has filed a legal action challenging a requirement that they register their coronavirus vaccination status with a genetics laboratory or face possible discipline. The Los Angeles Sheriffs' Professional Association brought the petition Tuesday against Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the LASD.
City News Service
Sheriff Villanueva and top aide defy watchdog subpoenas
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his second in command on Thursday defied subpoenas requiring them to testify before an oversight commission about ganglike groups of deputies and an investigative unit that has targeted the sheriff's critics. The snub is the latest ploy in an increasingly hostile power struggle between Villanueva and the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission.
Los Angles Times
LACO settles with eatery over alleged outdoor dining ban snub
Los Angeles County reached a settlement with one of two restaurants sued earlier this year for allegedly disregarding the outdoor dining ban put in place last November to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Last Dec. 2, county public health inspectors observed 18 to 22 customers eating and drinking on Cronies Sports Grill's outdoor patio and also saw that a closure notice at the Agoura Hills eatery on Kanan Road that had been posted on the front door the day before was camouflaged by a banner, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit brought Jan. 27.
City News Service
Mall mogul Rick Caruso prepares Los Angeles mayoral run (Exclusive)
One of Los Angeles's most enduring political rumors revives itself like clockwork every four years: the prospect of billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso actually running for mayor. The creator of the Grove, Palisades Village, and the Miramar Hotel in Montecito is the closest thing L.A. has to a Bloombergian centrist, but over the years he's proven to be more of a tease than a talent. But that might be changing.
Los Angeles Magazine
Jury awards $17M to family of man shot and killed by off-duty LAPD officer in Corona Costco
The family of a developmentally disabled man shot to death by a former LAPD officer inside a Costco store in Corona has been awarded $17 million in damages by a jury in Riverside. Kenneth French, 32, was killed by former officer Salvador Sanchez after a confrontation near a sample table in June 2019. Sanchez also shot French's parents, Russell and Paola, who both survived their wounds.
Assaults on police in L.A., U.S. up in 2020 amid civil unrest
During a year of global civil unrest, assaults on law enforcement officers increased nationwide, and Los Angeles reported the most attacks on police officers in the line of duty in the past decade, according to federal and state data. FBI numbers released this month show there were 60,105 U.S. officers assaulted in 2020, with about 31% reporting some kind of injuries - a 7.2% increase from 2019. And more than half that increase came from confrontations with protesters.
Los Angeles Times
Triple shooting in DTLA leaves 1 dead, 2 injured
A triple shooting in downtown Los Angeles left one person dead and two others injured Saturday night. It happened just before 8 p.m. in the 800 block of Grand Avenue. Police say one person was found dead on the scene. Two others were rushed to the hospital, but their condition wasn't released. Investigators said the shooting happened inside a residential building. The suspects are being described as four men in their 20s.
DEA seized 225 pounds of meth in Modesto/Los Angeles operation
Federal agents here seized 223 pounds of methamphetamine in an undercover operation that landed two Modesto-area suspected drug dealers in court, records show. The busts occurred after a Sept. 7 undercover methamphetamine deal at a Home Depot in Modesto, and a subsequent search of a nearby home, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Roughly $18,500 in cash was also seized during the investigation, according to court records.
Bay Area News Group
Fraudsters scammed California out of $20 billion during height of pandemic
Organized crime rings and inmates snatched $20 billion intended for jobless Californians during the height of the pandemic, the state's much-maligned Employment Development Department acknowledged Monday. The alarming admission came during an oversight session in which the department's brass updated lawmakers on progress being made to fraudproof and revamp an agency that failed millions of Californians last year.
Courthouse News Service
Students part of alleged Hamilton High School sexual assault suspended, LAPD Chief says
Students who allegedly took part in or witnessed an alleged sexual assault in a Hamilton High School bathroom have been suspended while an investigation continues, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said today. Moore, speaking on ABC7, said investigators were working to identify all parties involved, including "the assailant as well as those that simply stood by."
City News Service
De-policing and what to do about it
The past several years have seen much discussion over the "Ferguson Effect" and "de-policing." This effect first came to national attention in 2014. A police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, touched off protests and riots, and crime increased as police grew more hesitant to enforce the law. Subsequently, in the wake of "viral" use-of-force incidents, typically captured on cell-phone or body-camera video, cities often see police retreat from discretionary law-enforcement activity, with stops and arrests declining - and murders and shootings rising.
Audit: Community corrections board misused, delayed COVID-19 relief funds to California counties
The State of California may have to return millions of dollars of unspent or misused money to the federal government, according to an audit detailing a state agency's mistakes. Some counties were not aware of emergency COVID-19 relief funds, while other counties that didn't meet the requirements for emergency monies received them anyway, according to the audit, detailing the Board of State and Community Corrections' missteps. On top of it, millions of dollars remain unspent.
A union scandal landed hundreds of NYPD officers on a secret watchlist. That hasn't stopped some from jeopardizing cases
One judge said she believed the testimony of a Bronx defendant's 64-year-old mother more than that of the two New York City police officers who arrested him. Another said she didn't buy the testimony of an officer and his colleagues, concluding that they had stopped a car not because they'd seen its occupants break any laws but because it was driven by "three young men of color." A third jurist toyed with using the word "perjury" to describe the testimony of an officer who repeatedly contradicted himself, claiming, for example, the defendant had both told police and not told police where he lived.
Cook County judge lets restraining order on Chicago police union president expire
Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan dealt a blow to the city of Chicago Monday evening in its ongoing fight with Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 over the city's employee vaccine mandate. Following a hearing Monday, Horan issued a three-page ruling denying the city's request to extend the restraining order that prevented FOP President John Catanzara from publicly commenting on the mandate. First issued on Oct. 15, the order was set to expire Monday at midnight.
Courthouse News Service
"The Liberty Way": How Liberty University discourages and dismisses students' reports of sexual assaults
When Elizabeth Axley first told Liberty University officials she had been raped, she was confident they'd do the right thing. After all, the evangelical Christian school invoked scripture to encourage students to report abuse. "Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate. - Proverbs 31:8." It was quoted in large type across an information sheet from the school's office tasked with handling discrimination and abuse.
Capitol rioter who stabbed officer with flagpole seeks pretrial release
Among the smattering of Capitol riot cases where defendants who have pleaded not guilty are heading to trial, Jeffrey McKellop has been incarcerated for seven months with no trial date in sight. U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols agreed that getting Jan. 6 cases to trial quickly appears unlikely at a hearing Monday where McKellop lobbied for pretrial release him while the government sorts through thousands of hours of video evidence.
Courthouse News Service
Walmart shoppers face counterfeit, fraudulent, and replica products
Walmart shoppers face the daunting challenge of identifying and dodging a vast assortment of counterfeit, fraudulent, and replica products offered on Walmart.com. Walmart is both a direct retailer of fake and fraudulent items and has opened its website to global third-party sellers who can list just about anything they want, including counterfeit, replica, and fraudulent products. The counterfeit items appear right alongside authentic products, creating the illusion they are from Walmart or have Walmart's endorsement.
The Counterfeit Report
Kanye West's Yeezy hit with lawsuit in California over shipping delays
Kanye West's Yeezy brand has been sued in California for "failing to ship items within within thirty days and failing to provide adequate delay notices" to consumers, among other allegations, legal documents viewed by Complex show. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, October 22 by the State of California via L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón. The district attorneys of Alameda, Napa, and Sonoma counties are also listed in the suit.
Facebook the company is losing control of Facebook the product
Facebook the company is losing control of Facebook the product - not to mention the last shreds of its carefully crafted, decade-old image as a benevolent company just wanting to connect the world. Thousands of pages of internal documents provided to Congress by a former employee depict an internally conflicted company where data on the harms it causes is abundant, but solutions, much less the will to act on them, are halting at best.
Officer convicted of assault in 2018 fatal shooting of mentally ill man in Danville
An East Bay police officer has been convicted of assault with a firearm in the 2018 fatal shooting of an unarmed mentally ill man in Danville. A jury in Contra Costa County agreed Tuesday that Officer Andrew Hall was guilty of the charge in the death of 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda, an unarmed Filipino man who was slowly driving away from police when Hall shot him nine times. The jury deadlocked on a second count of voluntary manslaughter.
New York jury convicts Giuliani crony Lev Parnas on all counts
Lev Parnas, the onetime business associate of Rudy Giuliani while he was the personal attorney for then-President Donald Trump, was found guilty on six criminal counts by a jury in New York federal court on Friday. Following a weeklong trial in Manhattan federal court, jurors convicted Parnas, a Ukraine-born, first-time political donor who found his way into the inner circle of lobbyists and fundraisers in Trump's Washington, on all six counts.
Courthouse News Service
Kentucky couple at Capitol riot ordered to pay $10,000
A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Kentucky couple who took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to five years of probation with a fine of $5,000 each, the longest probationary sentence and biggest fine given out to Capitol rioters yet. It's also the maximum amount allowed for unlawful picketing charges that the couple pleaded guilty to in July. "I know that's a lot, but I want the sentence to hurt," U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said at Lori Ann Vinson and Thomas Roy Vinson's sentencing hearing.
Courthouse News Service
Corrections & Parole
Family of inmate slain at Sacramento prison sues, claiming guards helped set him up
The family of a Sacramento-area prison inmate allegedly slain by three other prisoners in 2019 is suing California corrections officials, claiming guards conspired to recruit and assist inmates to conduct the stabbing death. The suit stems from the Dec. 12, 2019, slaying of Luis Giovanny Aguilar at California State Prison, Sacramento, where guards have been accused in court papers of conspiring to plan inmate murders and which is the subject of an FBI probe into allegations of wrongdoing there by guards.
California settles lawsuit with family of inmate murdered by Aryan Brotherhood member
The California Department and Corrections and Rehabilitation has agreed to settle a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was murdered less than a half-hour after being placed into the same cell as a prolific and violent criminal. According to The Mercury News, the family of Rodney DeLong, Jr., announced the settlement earlier this month. The agreement, notes The Mercury News, came shortly after a judge ruled that several guards named in the lawsuit could not claim "qualified immunity."
California prison agency faces whistleblower retaliation lawsuit, filed by its own attorney
The attorney for a California state agency that provides work opportunities for incarcerated people is suing his employer, as well as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, alleging that they retaliated against him when he came forward with complaints about the now-former general manager. Jeff Sly, the general counsel for the California Prison Industry Authority, or CalPIA, alleges in his complaint that then-General Manager Scott Walker harassed him and attempted to coerce him into retirement.
California prison officials announce vaccine mandate for inmates who want visitors
California corrections officials are mandating that inmates at its prisons and fire camps must be vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption to have visitors. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Tuesday that the vaccine mandate for imprisoned people at its facilities will be effective Dec. 20, 2021. "CDCR recognizes visiting is an important way to maintain family and community ties. At the same time, our first priority is the health and safety of those who live in and work in our facilities," officials posted on the visitor page of the CDCR website.
Articles of Interest
Trump lawyer John Eastman's Jan. 6 admissions confirm California bar must investigate him
John Eastman, the California lawyer who resigned this year from Chapman University's law school faculty, isn't just walking back his role in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection. He's running it back with speed that Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt would envy. It's an understandable tactic given an Oct. 4 California bar disciplinary complaint seeking an investigation of Eastman's conduct as legal point man in Trump's last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Percentage of women in state policing has stalled since 2000
For two decades, amid the rise of women to governor's mansions, military leadership and even the vice presidency, the percentage of women among the ranks of state police officers has hardly budged: A Stateline analysis finds that nationally, just 7% of sworn state troopers are female. That's a tiny gain from 2000, when the average female makeup of state police troopers was 6%, according to a 50-state census by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Overall, women make up less than 13% of full-time police officers in the United States.
El Chapo clamors for new trial, alleging juror misconduct
At the conclusion of a sweeping drug-trafficking trial that would put the notorious kingpin El Chapo behind bars for the rest of his life, an open-records request led to media reports about evidence withheld from trial to avoid prejudicing the jury. Because one juror claims to have seen the evidence anyway - thanks to a steady diet of trial coverage via Twitter - El Chapo pushed the Second Circuit on Monday to order a do-over.
Courthouse News Service
Armorer on Baldwin set said guns are dangerous only 'in the wrong hands'
Guns are "not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands," the rookie armorer on the set of Alec Baldwin's ill-fated movie "Rust" said last month on a podcast. "I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns, like, how safe they can be," the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, said on the Voices of the West podcast. "A lot of it, for me, is just being able to show the world, like, you know, guns are awesome."
Private equity firms want to gobble up California's pensions
Wall Street private equity firms are gaining control of retirement systems like California's public pensions and fast-tracking the corporatization of the public sector. According to David Soares, a retired prosecutor and one of 732,000 pension-drawing former employees of the state of California, something is very rotten in his state's pension system. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), which manages the benefits for more than 1.6 million state employees, retirees, and their families, is the nation's largest public pension fund, with nearly half a trillion dollars of assets under its management.
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