Saturday, December 22, 2007

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Mass arrests were not necessary to protect the United States

Hoover Planned Mass Jailing in 1950

New York Times
December 23, 2007

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.

Neal N. Boenzi/The New York Times
J. Edgar Hoover was F.B.I. director from 1924 to 1972.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote.

“In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” it said.

Habeas corpus, the right to seek relief from illegal detention, has been a fundamental principle of law for seven centuries. The Bush administration’s decision to hold suspects for years at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has made habeas corpus a contentious issue for Congress and the Supreme Court today.

The Constitution says habeas corpus shall not be suspended “unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.” The plan proposed by Hoover, the head of the F.B.I. from 1924 to 1972, stretched that clause to include “threatened invasion” or “attack upon United States troops in legally occupied territory.”

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush issued an order that effectively allowed the United States to hold suspects indefinitely without a hearing, a lawyer, or formal charges. In September 2006, Congress passed a law suspending habeas corpus for anyone deemed an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

But the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of American citizens to seek a writ of habeas corpus. This month the court heard arguments on whether about 300 foreigners held at Guantánamo Bay had the same rights. It is expected to rule by next summer.

Hoover’s plan was declassified Friday as part of a collection of cold-war documents concerning intelligence issues from 1950 to 1955. The collection makes up a new volume of “The Foreign Relations of the United States,” a series that by law has been published continuously by the State Department since the Civil War.

Hoover’s plan called for “the permanent detention” of the roughly 12,000 suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons. The F.B.I., he said, had found that the arrests it proposed in New York and California would cause the prisons there to overflow.

So the bureau had arranged for “detention in military facilities of the individuals apprehended” in those states, he wrote.

The prisoners eventually would have had a right to a hearing under the Hoover plan. The hearing board would have been a panel made up of one judge and two citizens. But the hearings “will not be bound by the rules of evidence,” his letter noted.

The only modern precedent for Hoover’s plan was the Palmer Raids of 1920, named after the attorney general at the time. The raids, executed in large part by Hoover’s intelligence division, swept up thousands of people suspected of being communists and radicals.

Previously declassified documents show that the F.B.I.’s “security index” of suspect Americans predated the cold war. In March 1946, Hoover sought the authority to detain Americans “who might be dangerous” if the United States went to war. In August 1948, Attorney General Tom Clark gave the F.B.I. the power to make a master list of such people.

Hoover’s July 1950 letter was addressed to Sidney W. Souers, who had served as the first director of central intelligence and was then a special national-security assistant to Truman. The plan also was sent to the executive secretary of the National Security Council, whose members were the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state and the military chiefs.

In September 1950, Congress passed and the president signed a law authorizing the detention of “dangerous radicals” if the president declared a national emergency. Truman did declare such an emergency in December 1950, after China entered the Korean War. But no known evidence suggests he or any other president approved any part of Hoover’s proposal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Does law enforcement support Lowell Bruce?

Does law enforcement support its members when they kill their wives?

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis seems to think so.

Why else would she be intervening on behalf of a sheriff's deputy, asking that a judge not be allowed to sentence the man for killing his wife?

You might think that law enforcement would think of Bruce as a criminal. But apparently "law enforcement" is a loose term; it refers to a group of people, but not a group of people who always want the law enforced.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A lot depends on who the duty sergeant is

ABC News report on Stacy Peterson's predecessor:

Nov. 15, 2007

"Kathleen Savio's Sister Said Drew Peterson Allegedly Threatened Woman at Knifepoint
Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in her bathtub in 2004, was the third wife of Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson. State's Attorney James Glasgow has said evidence suggests that someone killed Savio and tried to make it look like an accident. Peterson is a suspect in his fourth wife's disappearance...

"A coroner initially ruled Savio's death an accidental drowning despite the fact there was no water in the bathtub and her hair was soaked from an apparent head wound. Authorities theorized that the water had drained from the tub after her death. Drew was the duty sergeant working the night that her body was discovered..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

John Jersome White clearned of rape after 27 years: 7th Georgia convict cleared after DNA test

DNA Clears Man of Rape After 27 Years
AOL News

John Jerome White left prison Monday after DNA tests cleared him of raping a 74-year-old woman in 1979. Another man was arrested in the case.

ATLANTA (Dec. 11) - A man enjoyed freedom Tuesday after a DNA test proved he did not commit a 1979 rape.

John Jerome White, 48, left Macon State Prison on Monday evening.

"I'm just thankful that this is behind me," White said at a news conference Tuesday morning with the Georgia Innocence Project, which had worked to free him.

"When I first started out, I wondered why this happened to me," he said, breaking into tears. "I just saw it as something that had to happen because I wasn't living a moral life."

The investigation led to the arrest Tuesday of James Edward Parham, 54, of Manchester, who was on the state's Sex Offender Registry for a 1985 rape conviction, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said. He was being held in the Meriwether County jail on charges of rape, aggravated assault, burglary and robbery.

A sheriff's office employee declined to say whether Parham had an attorney, and there was no immediate response from the public defender's office. There was no answer on a telephone listed at the address given for Parham in a GBI news release.

White is the seventh Georgia convict to be cleared by DNA evidence, said Aimee Maxwell, director of the Atlanta-based Georgia Innocence Project. In every case, the men were wrongly convicted on eyewitness accounts.

"This case does point out the fallibility of eyewitness identification," Maxwell said.

White was convicted in 1980 of breaking into a 74-year-old woman's home and raping and robbing her. The woman has since died.

He was sentenced to life in prison, then was paroled in 1990. White was sent back to prison for 2 1/2 years on a drug violation in 1993. A 1997 robbery charge led to a conviction, a seven-year sentence and a requirement that he return to serving his life sentence for the rape conviction.

At the urging of the Georgia Innocence Project, authorities tested DNA from hairs found at the scene of the 1979 rape, using tests that weren't available at the time.

District Attorney Peter Skandalakis of the Coweta Judicial District said authorities found that the DNA matched DNA on file in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation database, leading to an investigation of a new suspect. No arrests have been made yet, the GBI says.

Maxwell said her organization is working with state lawmakers and authorities to require all law enforcement agencies to develop and follow clearly written procedures for doing an eyewitness identification with a victim, Maxwell said. The organization says 82 percent of the 355 Georgia law enforcement agencies surveyed do not have any type of written eyewitness standards.

White was joined at the news conference by his wife, three sisters and his mother, Florence White.

"When they called to tell me that he was getting out, I didn't know whether to shout, cry or holler," said his mother, who lives in Meriwether County. "I'm so glad to have him back home one more time before I leave this world."

In North Carolina, meanwhile, charges were dropped Tuesday against a Charlotte man who spent seven years on death row in the killing of a jeweler.

Jonathan Hoffman had been convicted of killing 35-year-old Danny Cook at Cook's Marshville store in 1995, but he won a new trial in 2004.

Union County District Attorney John Snyder said he dismissed charges because two witnesses have died and the prosecution's star witness, Hoffman's cousin, eventually recanted his testimony.

"What you had at the first trial is just not there," Snyder said.

Defense attorney Joseph Cheshire said it wasn't clear when Hoffman would be released.

Hoffman was in disbelief when told about the dropped charges, Cheshire said.

"He just couldn't believe it," Cheshire said. "He was surprised something so dramatic in his life could happen in such a low-key way."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Law agencies ignore the law

Audit: Access Often Denied by Law Enforcement
By WILL CARLESS Voice Staff Writer
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007

The vast majority of San Diego’s law enforcement agencies are still not meeting the basic requirements of California public records law, according to an audit organized by Californians Aware, an open government advocacy group.

The audit, carried out in San Diego by local journalists, found that local law enforcement agencies had reasonable or good customer-service levels, but that most of them still do not provide citizens with basic information about crimes.

The California Public Records Act requires that such information, including traffic accident reports, crime logs and an agency’s financial records be made available to the public. In theory, any citizen should be able to walk into their local police station and pick up a report on a crime that has been committed in their neighborhood...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Good cops are going after a bad cop


This post was about bad cop Drew Peterson, who is suspected in the death of his 23-year-old wife, Stacy Peterson.



I found this Associated Press story today:

Did Cops Protect Fellow Officer Peterson?

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (Nov. 29) -- Eighteen times in two years, Bolingbrook police were called to fellow officer Drew Peterson's home because of trouble between husband and wife. But Peterson's wife could never get authorities to arrest him. In fact, she was the only one ever charged.

Photo Gallery: Where Is Stacy Peterson?
Family of Stacy Peterson / AP Drew and Stacy Peterson appear together in an undated family photo. The probe into her disappearance has raised questions about whether he received preferential treatment from police because he was on the force in Bolingbrook, Ill.
1 of 7
Now residents of this Chicago suburb are wondering whether police were protecting one of their own — and whether they bear some responsibility for what happened next.

Peterson's wife at the time of the domestic disturbance calls, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in 2004 under mysterious circumstances. And now his current wife, Stacy, is missing and feared slain.

The way police dealt with Peterson "makes it kind of hard to trust cops," said Pablo Delira, a 59-year-old construction worker. He said he has no doubt he would have been led away in handcuffs if police had been called to his house 18 times.

Kim Camplin, who works in the clothing business, said Bolingbrook police should have taken the domestic disturbance calls more seriously.

"It doesn't matter if it's a fireman, a policeman or a clergyman — all it should take is one call and it should be taken seriously," she said. "What faith can we have in the system?"

Peterson, 53, was a police sergeant and 29-year veteran of the force, resigning earlier this month after he came under suspicion in his current wife's disappearance in October.

In a roughly two-year period beginning in 2002, police responded to 18 domestic disturbance calls at Peterson's house. Savio accused Peterson of beating her and threatening to kill her, but no charges were ever brought against him.

Instead, Peterson twice persuaded prosecutors to charge Savio with domestic battery. She was acquitted both times.

Police Lt. Ken Teppel said that in all 18 instances, police conducted a thorough investigation. He said a department inquiry found no indication officers did anything wrong or violated procedure.

But Teppel acknowledged the case has damaged the department's reputation.

"There is a distrust ... that this is going to be covered up," he said. "It's so hard to get over that."

Savio was found dead in her bathtub in 2004, and a coroner's jury ruled it an accidental drowning. But since Stacy Peterson's disappearance, investigators have re-examined Savio's death and exhumed her body, and said they now believe it was a homicide made to look like an accident.

Peterson has not been named a suspect in Savio's death. But authorities said he is suspected in Stacy Peterson's disappearance. Peterson has denied any wrongdoing in either case and said he believes his current wife left him for another man and is still alive.

The Bolingbrook department has handed the investigation over to the Illinois State Police — standard practice in criminal cases involving a member of the force.

Not everyone in the community of about 70,000 blames the department.

"I haven't lost one iota of trust in the police department," said Stephen DeFreeuw, a 16-year resident. "One rogue cop."

Teppel said street cops in the 122-member department are being reminded about the proper way to handle domestic calls and are being told they are expected to adhere to the rules, no matter who answers when they knock on the door.

Teppel said Police Chief Ray McGrury has made it clear: "There are no favorites."

Savio and Stacy Peterson were Peterson's third and fourth wives. He and wives No. 1 and 2 divorced.

Vicki Connolly, Peterson's second wife, has said that during their marriage, an increasingly controlling Peterson hit her and told her he could kill her and make it look like an accident.

Connolly said police sometimes came to the house when the couple were having problems, but she said the officers were friends of theirs and no reports ever were filed.


WBBM News Radio
09 November 2007 4:37PM

Cop Named A Suspect In Wife's Disappearance, 3rd Wife's Death Possibly Staged

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (WBBM/AP/CBS 2) - Sgt. Drew Peterson's was named a suspect in the disappearance of his wife Stacy Friday -- Authorities also said that a review of the evidence in the death of his 3rd wife Kathleen Savio is consistent with the ``staging'' of an accident to conceal a homicide.

An Illinois State police captain said that the Stacy Peterson case had gone "from a missing persons case to a potential homicide case," and that her husband, Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, had "gone from being a person of interest to clearly being a suspect."

Peterson was also relived from duty by Bolingbrook Police Department hours after he was labled by investigators as "clearly a suspect"

"Effective immediately Sergeant Drew Peterson has been relieved of duty and placed on suspension without pay pending the completion of an internal affairs investigation and a hearing before the Bolingbrook Fire & Police Commission," according to a press release issued by Bolingbrook police.

Stacy Peterson has been missing since Oct. 28, and at the time of her disappearance, Drew Peterson said she had been voluntarily left.

But after Stacy's family filed a missing persons report, police conducted two separate searches at the Peterson home, on the house, the vehicles, and a trailer, Illinois State Police Capt. Carl Dobrich said at a news conference Friday.

"Subsequent to that search warrant, we went back several days later on another search warrant based on information was learned after the first search warrant," Dobrich said.

Based upon the information learned since then, police have concluded that the case had gone "from a missing persons case to a potential homicide case," Dobrich said.

"Early on, we looked at this as a missing persons case, but also believed strongly that based on the (Kathleen) Savio investigation (into the death of Drew Peterson's third wife) and the information that we were gleaning within the first 24 hours of the missing persons case with Stacy, was starting to strongly point to Drew Peterson being a person of interest," Dobrich said. "I would say that right now, Drew Peterson has gone from being a person of interest to clearly being a suspect."

A coroner's jury ruled Savio's death in 2004 was an accident, even though there was no water in the bathtub where the 40-year-old's body was found face-down, her hair soaked in blood from a head wound. Investigators theorized the water had drained.

In a petition filed Friday the Will County state's attorney lists reasons authorities want to exhume Savio's body, prosecutors and said a review of evidence in the case ``is consistent with the 'staging' of an accident to conceal a homicide.''

The chief criminal judge in Will County has approved the petition, State's Attorney James Glasgow said at a news conference Friday.

Glasgow said the possibility of a homicide is suspected.

Prosecutors said they reviewed photographs of the crime scene and autopsy, the autopsy protocol, and police reports.

``... The one-inch gash in the back of Kathleen Savio's head did not render her unconscious, which would have been necessary for her to accidentally drown in the bathtub,'' the petition stated.

Will County Circuit Court Judge Daniel J. Rozak signed the petition granting the exhumation Friday. It was not immediately clear when the body would be exhumed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm sure Cheryl Cox would plead guilty to a misdemeanor if she were investigated

Tanya Mannes of the San Diego Union Tribune wrote on June 20, 2007:

"Patrick O'Toole, a Public Integrity Unit prosecutor, spent months investigating Jason Moore, who had been an aide to former [Chula Vista] Mayor Steve Padilla... He concluded that Moore ultimately took the two hours off. But he believed Moore lied about the timing of when he turned in a request for personal leave... Yesterday, Moore, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of contempt of court, a misdemeanor."

“People can't come into the grand jury, swear to tell the truth, and then lie,” O'Toole said.

Well, yes. And they can't obstruct justice, suborn perjury, falsify court documents, or violate the Labor Code. But that is exactly what current Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox has done.

Which makes it all the stranger that Bonnie Dumanis has refused to investigate Richard Werlin and other Chula Vista Elementary School District figures who have sworn to tell the truth, and then lied--about more important issues than two hours off work.

Ironically, Moore was accused of taking two hours off work to spy on Cheryl Cox and David Malcolm at a Cox fundraiser. The irony is particularly heavy in this case because Cheryl Cox herself pressured a whole slew of public employees at Chula Vista Elementary School District to commit perjury. Much of the perjury was done to cover up falsification of documents, which Cheryl Cox, Patrick Judd, Larry Cunningham, Pamela Smith and Bertha Lopez made necessary when they voted to cover up crimes by dismissing a teacher. The dismissal was itself a violation of Labor Code section 1102.5

The Chula Vista Elementary School District board chose lawyers, Parham & Rajcic, and Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, who could be depended upon to use illegal tactics to cover up the board's wrondoing. Obstruction of justice is all in a day's work for these law firms.

The fact that Cheryl Cox has more power now than when she was a CVESD board member makes it all the more important that she be answerable for her crimes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cheney isn't part of the executive branch

Vice President Dick Cheney claims he is not part of the executive branch, and therefore does not have to turn over documents to the agency in charge of executive branch documents.

Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel wants to take the Cheney at his word. Cheney says his office is "not an entity within the executive branch," so Emanuel wants to take away the tens of millions of dollars that are allocated to the White House to maintain it.

Tennessee tries to repair past injustices

The state of Tennessee paid for a DNA test that proved that Clark McMillan, who spent 22 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, was innocent.

Early in the process, McMillan told authorities who the real rapist was, but they weren't interested. Finally, McMillan was proved right. A DNA test proved David Boyd was the rapist.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

This school's lawyers were able to admit wrongdoing

(CNN) -- Duke University has reached an undisclosed settlement with three former lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape, the school announced Monday.

"This past year has been hard for many people who care about Duke -- for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and friends -- and for the three students and their families most of all," the Duke board of trustees said in a written statement.

The three students posted a statement on Duke's Web site saying, "We hope that today's resolution will begin to bring the Duke family back together again, and we look forward to working with the university to develop and implement initiatives that will prevent similar injustices and ensure that the lessons of last year are never forgotten."

David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were accused of sexually assaulting an escort-service dancer at a party in March 2006.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper reviewed the case and exonerated the three men in April 2007, saying the charges never should have been brought against them.

The prosecutor who brought those charges, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, was disbarred Saturday by a disciplinary panel that said he violated the majority of at least 19 ethics offenses in prosecuting the case.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shoud San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne Be Fired?

From Voice of San Diego
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"For several years, members of the San Diego City Council have complained that they were misled if not outright lied to by the city's employees. Several of them have blamed staff members for getting them into so much trouble with agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of them, in fact, Councilman Brian Maienschein, regularly has avoided closed-session meetings of the council because, he says, he simply can't trust what he is told in them.

"Yet only Councilwoman Donna Frye has complained after revelations recently that Police Chief William Lansdowne has regularly made materially misleading statements about crime rates in the city of San Diego. Sometimes to the City Council itself, other times in public forums, the police chief has touted the city's crime environment with statistics and conclusions that were simply untrue. In a 2006 presentation to the City Council committee that oversees public safety efforts, Lansdowne claimed that the crime rate had gone down but that "it would be a struggle for us to do it again next year." The crime rate, in fact, had gone up.

"In the same forum the next year, the chief would claim that the city's crime rate was the lowest it had been since 1976. It wasn't.

"At that same presentation, he said that overall crime had been coming down each of the previous three years. It hadn't.

"Lansdowne said on public television that his officers were responding to the most serious of calls from residents in trouble "within the six minutes that we should." That was not true. Responses to emergency calls were taking an average of seven minutes and were getting slightly worse.

"The list goes on..."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

San Diego Mayor Says You Should Know Better than to Believe the Chief of Police

The editors of Voice of San Diego told their readers today:
"The mayor's explanation for his police chief's misstatements is simple: Residents just can't trust what the police chief says out loud and they should know better than to think they could."

Here are the first two paragraphs of the editorial:

"For several years, members of the San Diego City Council have complained that they were misled if not outright lied to by the city's employees. Several of them have blamed staff members for getting them into so much trouble with agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of them, in fact, Councilman Brian Maienschein, regularly has avoided closed-session meetings of the council because, he says, he simply can't trust what he is told in them.

"Yet only Councilwoman Donna Frye has complained after revelations recently that Police Chief William Lansdowne has regularly made materially misleading statements about crime rates in the city of San Diego. Sometimes to the City Council itself, other times in public forums, the police chief has touted the city's crime environment with statistics and conclusions that were simply untrue. In a 2006 presentation to the City Council committee that oversees public safety efforts, Lansdowne claimed that the crime rate had gone down but that "it would be a struggle for us to do it again next year." The crime rate, in fact, had gone up."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Perjury should be prosecuted in criminal courts, as Bonnie Dumanis well knows

Dear Bonnie Dumanis:

If you are not going to prosecute perjury by officials with real power, but use the law only to prosecute workers who did not properly fill out their leave slips, you are not assuring public integrity. You are promoting lack of integrity and abuse of office. I couldn't help noticing that San Diego County's District Attorney indicted only workers and union leaders in the San Diego City pension fraud case. Not one official.

Your office's recent letter to me notes that I am pursuing my perjury claims in civil court. You know very well that my civil suit will lose because EVERY COURT IN CALIFORNIA WILL RULE that "public policy," meaning protection for lawyers, trumps the California law that allows citizens to sue for perjuy in furtherance of an act of destruction of documents. The California law that is universally ignored in California Courts is Civil Code 47 Section (b)(2).

You know that "public policy" relies on district attorneys to prosecute perjury in criminal courts, not citizens to prosecute it in civil courts.

Despite your oft-quoted claims that you will begin to prosecute perjury, you are letting all the big guys off scot-free. Cheryl Cox spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to hide crimes, and to pay lawyers to commit crimes. She knew the truth. I reported to her on December 4, 2001 that Richard Werlin was obstructing justice. Five months later, she voted to keep funding that obstruction of justice. She voted to intimdate teachers and administrators into committing perjury. Sometimes they got mixed up, and let out small bits of the truth in their depositions. Then the lawyers would step in. Kelly Angell (AKA Minnehan) of Stuz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz got Robin Donlan to reverse her testimony--right in front of the video camera that was recording the deposition!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Does Bonnie Dumanis now have her very own Dale Akiki?

Tanya Mannes writes about Bonnie Dumanis' mysterious "Public Integrity Unit" in this morning's San Diego Union-Tribune:

"In existence about 14 months, it has filed charges against one person: Jason Moore, a former Chula Vista mayoral aide." Jason Moore worked for Steve Padilla, a Democrat who was in a run-off election against Republican Cheryl Cox.

The investigation of Moore, for taking two hours off work to take pictures of Cheryl Cox with David Malcolm at a Cox fundraiser, began in August 2005, well before the November election. Oddly, Bonnie Dumanis says, that in the future, in most cases, "we will not investigate a complaint until after an election."

Bonnie says her office is determined to be nonpolitical. When will that start, Bonnie? Specifically, when will you investigate complaints against Cheryl Cox and her associates?

Dumanis did not even announce the existence of her "Public Integrity Unit" until March 1, 2007. Jason Moore was indicted on March 27, 2007.

O'Toole and Dumanis have each claimed to be personally interested in prosecuting perjury. But Dumanis' office recently refused to investigate proven perjury by Cheryl Cox's co-conspirators in crimes committed when Cox was a trustee of Chula Vista Elementary School District.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

L.A. Chief William Bratton Shows Leadership

Kudos to Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton for demoting the top law officer at the immigration rally on May 1, 2007.

A small group of at the fringes of the crowd began throwing plastic bottles and trash at the Metro Squad, but instead of arresting one or more of the violent individuals, the Metro Squad attacked, and the police violently ended the entire demonstration. Journalists were manhandled. It would seem that the police joined the hooligans, rather than stopping them.

Bratton also took the step of transferring the person who was second in command at the time.

Some have suggested that when the Metro Squad is dealing with events that involve ordinary citizens, it should be outfitted with uniforms and gear that make its members look like regular cops. At the immigration rally, the Metro Squad looked like an army of Darth Vaders, which apparently some young men found to be provocative.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Who's guilty of the largest fraud on the California justice system?

Move over, Santa Barbara Sheriff and friends. You filed false documents and committed perjury, but Kathleen Culhane has one-upped you.

She forged statements from jurors in death row cases, creating the impression that the jurors did not want Michael Morales and others to be executed.

Sam Gross, Mike Carlson and Deborah Garvin got clean away with their frauds on the court regarding the antics at the Santa Barbara Sheriff's department, but it looks like Kathleen Culhane will spend years in jail.

Readers may remember that Ken Starr, the Whitewater prosecutor who charged Bill Clinton with lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, filed Kathleen Culhane's forged documents in California court. It would appear that Ken Starr is neither as honest nor as good an investigator as he would have us believe. He never bothered to talk to the jurors, just forged on, full steam ahead, trying to prevent the execution of a man who murdered a teenager. Is Ken Starr soft on the death penalty? What exactly does he believe in? Perhaps in lieu of principles, he just has personal desires and emotions.

We'd all be better off if only people who actually believed in the rule of law were allowed to practice law and enforce it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chula Vista Police Department 2005-06 hoax on behalf of Cheryl Cox and the Santa Barbara Sheriff

Chula Vista is not the place to go if you are looking for equal protection of the law. It makes a big difference to the CVPD if you're a Republican or Democrat. Republicans like Cheryl Cox get help from the CVPD in covering up crimes and other wrongdoing.

On the other hand, a Democratic employee of the City of Chula Vista who took two hours off work to spy on a Cheryl Cox fundraiser has been charged by Bonnie Dumanis with perjury for not admitting he was doing political work on the job.

There's a lot of political work being done on the job in Chula Vista, but you don't hear much about the work done by Republicans in the police department.

The Chula Vista Police Department is a friend of Cheryl Cox, who was a Chula Vista Elementary school board member before she was elected mayor. The CVPD failed for over a year to investigate a financial crime at Castle Park Elementary School reported in 2005. Why? The CVPD has a knee-jerk policy of covering up wrongdoing by Cheryl Cox and Chula Vista Elementary School District.

In 2006 I pursued a public records request for months before the CVPD admitted that it had a record of a police visit to Castle Park Elementary on April 21, 2001. When they decided I wasn't likely to go away, I finally received a copy of the Castle Park Elementary School "call" report.*

But the Chula Vista Police Department was doing a lot more than illegally hiding public records in its efforts to support Cheryl Cox's campaign for mayor of Chula Vista in 2006.

Between 2000 and 2006 a long string of crimes had been committed at Castle Park Elementary which resulted from criminal actions by a Santa Barbara Sheriff's deputy and his sister, a teacher in Chula Vista. Cheryl Cox and CVESD committed bigger and bigger crimes to prevent the exposure of earlier, smaller crimes and violations of law committed at Castle Park Elementary in 2000 and 2001.

See "Castle Park Elementary," "Teacher Reports," and "Law Enforcement" at MAURALARKINS.COM (link available on this blog's link list).

In 2005-2006, the most newsworthy crime being covered up by the CVPD and the media to protect Cheryl Cox and the CVESD school board was the embezzlement of about $20,000 from the Castle Park Elementary PTA.

Apparently fearing that this crime would eventually become public knowlege, perhaps because it was being reported by this blog and the San Diego Education Report website, the Chula Vista Police Department seems to have developed a plan in November 2006 to create the appearance that it was no longer covering up the embezzlement. Of course, by November 7, 2006, the election was over. The cover-up was successful. Larry Cunningham crowed that voters had seen throught the lies of his opponents. The truth is that the voters saw almost nothing because Larry and Cheryl had spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to cover up crimes and other violations of law at CVESD.

The police asked former Castle Park PTA president Kim Simmons to come in the CVPD office, where she was interviewed and arrested. Was Simmons arrested after a careful investigation? No, the CVPD does not carefully investigate incidents that might embarrass Cheryl Cox and the school board. CVPD arrested Kim Simmons simply to create the impression that they weren't covering up Castle Park crimes, and passed on their humble efforts to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

What did Bonnie Dumanis do? Prosecute the crime? Not likely. Just as she had refused to prosecute CVESD Assistant Superintedent Richard Werlin for obstruction of justice, she also refused to prosecute Kim Simmons.

Why? Maybe because Kim Simmons knew too much about crimes at Castle Park Elementary.

Did I mention that Kim Simmons was a close friend of transferred teacher Robin Donlan, a member of a powerful teacher clique at Castle Park Elementary that received a great deal of support form local papers when she and several other teachers were transferred out of the school?

Robin Donlan and her friends created a bizarre brouhaha, in which they and the media attacked the principal of Castle Park Elementary without ever mentioning the crimes of which Donlan had been accused. The truth was that the principal was attacked for daring to challenge the authority of the "family" that had created a crime wave at the school.

In October 2004, Kim Simmons entered a Castle Park Elementary classroom, and asked to use the school phone during class time so she could call up Robin Donlan and ask for instructions on how to proceed with her attacks on the principal of the school. The teacher gave permission, and took the opportunity to explain to her students that she was "mad at the principal." (There has been a dearth of professionalism at Castle Park Elementary since this "Castle Park Family" teacher group took over.)

Kim Simmons, along with Gina Boyd, the president of the teacher union, and school site council President Felicia Starr were working with transferred teacher Robin Donlan to get rid of the first principal who had had the nerve to stand up to the arbitrary power of the group of teachers who ruled the school.

What was Cheryl Cox's role in all this? She and all the other board members authorized the payment of hundreds of thousands of public dollars to Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz law firm to represent Robin Donlan and cover up the crimes initiated by her and Assistant Superintendent Richard Werlin and several other CVESD officers and employees in 2000 and 2001. After fostering perjury and other crimes, and using huge sums of public money to keep bad teachers in power, Cheryl Cox ran for mayor on a platform of "charater" and "fiscal responsibility."

The San Diego Union Tribune has maintained to this day a complete black-out regarding crimes committed by Robin Donlan, Richard Werlin, Cheryl Cox and others at CVESD. On November 17, 2006 the SDUT published a small article about the arrest of former PTA Kim Simmons. The story immediately went into "partially hidden" status in the Union-Tribunes archives. (If someone does a signonsandiego search for "castle park PTA Simmons," he'll get a message back saying "No articles found.) The article can only be found by leaving "simmons" out of the search. If you already know about Kimberlee Simmons, the San Diego Union Tribune doesn't want you to know more.

Of course, there has been no follow-up to the SDUT story. But there should be--because the story created the false impression that the police were actually intending to do something about crime at Castle Park Elementary. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The police waited until Cox was elected, and then they did their hoax arrest, but Kim Simmons was never charged with anything.

When wil the SD Union Tribune publish the full story, revealing Kim Simmons' close association to Robin Donlan and the "Castle Park Five"? When will the San Diego Union Tribune apologize for so maliciously attacking the honorable and decent principal of Castle Park Elementary on behalf of Robin Donlan, Kim Simmons, and the rest of their clique, after the group was found to be responsible for yet another crime after the SDUT had written so much on its behalf? How about it, Don Sevrens?

The SDUT November 2006 story about Simmons arrest was published to create the impression that Bonnie Dumanis and the Chula Vista Police Department are not covering up crimes involving Cheryl Cox and Castle Park Elementary School. It appears that Simmons wasn't really the fall guy; she was actually the pretend fall guy.

Bonnie Dumanis, why don't you investigate the use of public resources for political purposes at CVPD? Why don't you investigate crimes at Chula Vista Elementary School District, including perjury by Cheryl Cox and Robin Donlan? Or do you only use the public resources under your control to investigate Democrats?

*The police "call' report that was hidden for months by the CVPD revealed Assistant Superintendent Richard Werlin's attempt to silence a teacher who had suggested that the media might investigate what was happening at the school in 2001. The teacher clearly knew nothing about the media in San Diego. The San Diego Union Tribune, the Chula Vista Star-News and La Prensa still have not reported those crimes, although all three newspapers have long known about them. These three publications exposed their lack of journalistic ethics when they published a deluge of letters, articles and editorials defending the teacher, Robin Colls/Donlan who initiated the crime wave! All three papers were incensed when Robin Colls was transferred from Castle Park Elementary. Richard Werlin, who called the police when the teacher mentioned the media, didn't correctly estimate the power of his Chula Vista Elementary School Board bosses, including Cheryl Cox, to silence the media. Werlin did go on to achieve a certain amount of notoriety for his use of the police to silence teachers. He had second-grade teacher Jenny Mo arrested in front of her students at his new school district in Richmond, California this year when the teacher went to the media with a story about bullying at her school. Of course, Werlin didn't step up and take the credit/blame for the arrest. He let the principal sit in the hot seat. He took indefinite sick leave from his position.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox caused big problems for the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has charged former Chula Vista employee Jason Moore with multiple perjury counts. With all the perjury that goes on without any consequences, this certainly seems political, doesn’t it? Maybe Bonnie wants to be appointed US Attorney by George Bush. If I were he, I’d appoint her. Of course I’m not he, so I am disgusted with her actions.

She ignored my complaint about Rick Werlin’s obstruction of justice, and then went on to charge Moore. Bizarre.

This new case was triggered by the camp of Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, so it made me think about all the perjury and other wrongdoing that resulted from Cheryl’s decision to commit and/or cover-up many violations of law at Chula Vista Elementary School District. Santa Barbara Sheriff Commander Sam Gross would never have been pressured to commit perjury if Cheryl Cox hadn’t voted to disobey the law.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Molested Georgia boy need not have died

When a missing 6-year-old boy was found dead yesterday near Brunswick, Georgia, the part of the story that got to me was that the abductor was a child molester on probation who was living with his own parents across the street from the boy's grandmother.

Where is a child molester to live after he is released by the justice system? I honestly can't think of a more suitable place, UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM, than his parents' house. BUT THAT SHOULD BE CHANGED.

We need to create a better option for the placement of pedophiles. I believe that children deserve absolute protection from child molesters. I doubt that pedophiles can change their sexual desires, no matter how much they might want to. I suspect that they were born that way.

So what should we do the first time a pedophile teenager touches a child? Throw him in prison forever? Yes and no.

Why not let those individuals who are found to be pedophiles live apart from children, but in a place where they can live their lives happily and fully? THE ONLY THING MISSING FROM THEIR LIVES WOULD BE CHILDREN. We learned in the Danielle Van Dam case that a killer pedophile can be a successful engineer, living within the law for decades, and then finally surrender to his compulsion. Wouldn't it have been better if David Westerfield had worked as an engineer, had lived in a nice house, had socialized with his many adult male friends, BUT HAD DONE IT ALL IN A COMMUNITY WHERE CHILDREN COULD NOT ENTER, AND PEDOPHILES COULD NOT LEAVE?

Perhaps entrance into such a community could be optional. But once a person commits a terrible crime, he must go to prison (or worse), not to a childless community. I think pedophiles should be separated from children as soon as they reveal themselves--BEFORE THEY COMMIT ANY SERIOUS CRIMINAL ACT. Pedophilia should be treated as a disease for which we currently have no cure. PEDOPHILES SHOULD BE QUARANTINED BECAUSE THEY ARE SICK.

Prison is a place for people who have already harmed others. Pedophiles should be separated from children before they do harm, not after. We pay huge amounts of money for murdered children. We could KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE and save a huge
amount of money if pedophiles were supporting themselves in their own communities--forever separate from children.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Whether Concealed or Destroyed, Sheriff's Audits No Longer Needed

Bill Brown, Sheriff of Santa Barbara
Commander Sam Gross
Kelly Duncan Scott, Esquire

I no longer need the two audits that the three of you are hiding. (Or perhaps you are not hiding them. Perhaps they have been destroyed!?)

I know what those audits contain (or contained). If the audits had not contained evidence of Michael Carlson’s guilt, Michael Carlson would not have been transferred from Information Services to patrol duty, and the audits would have been included in Sam Gross’s declaration.

I urge each of you to make this right.

Michael Carlson got away with the misdemeanors and felonies he committed—as far the courts are concerned. There’s not a chance in the world that Tom Sneddon or Bonnie Dumanis will prosecute him for his crimes, or that I will win my appeal.

But the three of you and Carlson are incorrect that this matter will be permanently concealed. The damage that Michael Carlson and Sam Gross and Deborah Garvin did to children, adults and taxpayers is too great to ignore. The fact that felonies are being committed by people in a position to put others in jail and prison for the exact same crimes is ridiculous. People who lie out of sheer arrogance don’t just do it one time. I’ll bet the Sheriff of Santa Barbara has covered up this type of wrongdoing more than once. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying the sheriff’s department to cover up crimes.

It’s time to rehabilitate the reputations of the innocent—and the behavior of the guilty.

Yours truly,
Maura Larkins

Monday, February 12, 2007

These people can't tell the innocent from the guilty

From the Seattle Times, February 12, 2007:

"Every day for more than five months, Jeff Schmieder walked hundreds of laps around the courtyard at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, where he was serving time for a first-degree rape he did not commit. "Walking was the only thing I had left. It just gave me a lot of time to think to myself and get my head straight," said Schmieder, who was convicted in 1998 and faced more than 11 years in prison. "Everyone in there says they're not guilty, of course. But when you're really not, it does things to your mind that you can't even imagine." Schmieder, 49, and another man, Mark Clark, were freed in 1999 after NEW EVIDENCE SHOWED THE ALLEGED VICTIM WAS IN JAIL HERSELF AT THE TIME SHE SAID SHE WAS ATTACKED."

It amazes me that intelligent people are so willing to believe an accusation.

In my case, a homeless person to whom I had given shelter was believed by police when she told them I was mentally ill, violent, and had a hand gun. They gave her MY KEYS and took me to jail FOR TRESPASSING!!!

But for some reason, no one wants to believe an employee's accusations against an employer.

People assume, for example, that an Assistant Superintendent of a school district is not emotionally troubled, dishonest and hostile. Someone in such a position can say ANYTHING about an employee, no matter how preposterous and false, and it will be believed.

Recently a teacher in Richmond was put on leave for "erratic" behavior. I happen to know the district administrator who put her on leave, and I know that he has a serious problem with dishonesty and false accusations. His behavior perfectly fits the description "erratic." When this man loses his temper, it's not a pretty sight. He goes off like a loose canon. Werlin caused the "erratic" teacher in Richmond to be handcuffed in front of her second-grade students and jailed for two days on suspicion of holding her students hostage--because she didn't leave the school in the middle of the day when she was placed on administrative leave for reporting school bullying to the media.

About two years ago I put the facts about this individual, Richard Werlin, former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Chula Vista Elementary School District, on my website.

So why did West Contra Costa County Union School District hire him as their Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in 2006? Did they flunk Google? No, they just doubted that what I was saying was the truth. After all, he was the district administrator, and I was just a teacher.

I wonder what Werlin told the folks at WCCCUSD was his reason for leaving Chula Vista Elementary School District? They must have wondered why he hadn't worked in so long. Apparently they didn't consider the possibility that he might have left CVESD because the district was unhappy about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. (CVESD clearly didn't think that Werlin's crimes and other violations of law were reason to fire him.)

Or maybe their motives weren't so innocent. Be honest, folks in Richmond. Your district has done the same things that Werlin did, hasn't it? Didn't you back up administrators even though you knew they had done wrong? You need to keep teachers in line, right? The facts of any individual case don't matter to you. What matters is to keep everything under control, and present an appearance of having no problems, so those in power can stay in power, right? You'd rather protect the guilty than actually solve problems, wouldn't you? Or perhaps you just do what your lawyers tell you to do, committing perjury when they tell you to, fighting lawsuits you ought to settle. You don't stop to think that IT'S NOT IN THE LAWYERS' BEST INTEREST FOR PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED. THE MORE PROBLEMS YOU HAVE, THE MORE MONEY THEY GET.

I recommend that the entire staff of Sheldon Elementary School (that would include teacher Jenny Mo), participate in a class by Patrick Lencioni on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. You've got serious problems at Sheldon Elementary. I somewhat regret that I left so quietly when Werlin put me on administrative leave in 2001. But I'm afraid that our newspapers are so protective of the corrupt school districts and teacher unions in San Diego that the exact same scenario could have happened at Castle Park Elementary, and it wouldn't have made it into the newspaper. The public in Chula Vista still isn't aware of how serious the problems are at my old school, Castle Park Elementary. Even when then three teachers who made false accusations against me were transferred out of Castle Park Elementary in 2004, the papers never mentioned my case, even though I had fully informed them.

I am afraid that Jenny Mo will never return to Sheldon Elementary. That's how the system works. But something should be done about the out-of-control principal and staff at Sheldon. This situation sounds eerily similar to what happened at Castle Park Elementary in Chula Vista.

In addition to getting the staff of Sheldon Elementary functioning in a positive manner, Superintendent Bruce Harter should fire Assistant Superintendent Richard Werlin. Werlin triggered the fiasco at Sheldon Elementary, a scenario so bizarre that only Richard Werlin's involvement can explain it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Who is protected when law officers commit perjury?

I agree that officers should be supported when they are doing their duties. Some situations can be very difficult to handle. Adrenaline is needed to keep reaction time swift, to keep deputies alert. As long as they don’t go nuts, officers need to be given the benefit of the doubt.

I have a related question for Santa Barbara Sheriff's deputies.

Does it raise morale when the sheriff protects deputies who do wrong OUTSIDE the course and scope of their duties, in a cold and calculating manner? With no adrenaline in their systems?

I'm a teacher in San Diego who had no idea that a Santa Barbara Sheriff's deputy had committed a crime against me until long after the fact. It took me two years to find out his identity. It wasn't such a terrible crime. The deputy wasn't fired when the sheriff found out. He’s still working in the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s department. There was no reason not to tell the truth, except to make sure I didn’t get my job back. Instead, both the deputy and the sheriff committed perjury (a far more serious crime) in 2004 to cover up the original misdemeanor. Why?

Bill Brown asked deputies, "If you were the new Sheriff, what would you do?"

I'd like to hear from deputies, too. If you were Bill Brown, would you continue to aid and abet this perjury? Or would you set the record straight and turn over the two audits as promised by Commander Gross?

If the sheriff openly supports perjury, aren’t you afraid that juries will stop believing Santa Barbara deputies?

The story of what happened to me is at

Santa Barbara Sheriff's department isn't alone

My two friends at the Santa Barbara Sheriff's department are not alone.
Here's a website that tells about other cases of database abuse.

The Santa Barbara Innocence Project

A group of people is interested in finding out how many innocent people have been convicted in Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara Sheriff's department is currently covering up perjury by two employees in San Diego Superior court. Did these two employees also commit perjury in court in Santa Barbara?

DNA evidence has resulted in the release of many wrongly-convicted people in recent years, but the Innocence Project is now working on cases with no DNA evidence.

One big target of the Innocence Project is unreliable witnesses, including jail-house informants who lie at the request of police and prosecutors in order to get leniency in their own cases.

Yesterday "marked the end of another long, grinding slog through the criminal justice system to exonerate the wrongfully convicted."* Timothy Atkins was released in Los Angeles after two decades of unjust incarceration. He was convicted on the word of two perjurers--a woman who invented a story about hearing him confess, and a jail-house informant who gained his freedom as a result. The third witness was a victim who got a one-second look at the perpetrator.

The first woman recanted years ago, but prosecutors are slow to admit when they make a mistake.
The jail-house informant tried to recant at trial, but prosecutors ironically argued that he was lying when he tried to recant.
The victim-witness made a cross racial identification, which is notoriously unreliable.

Who is against the Innocence Project? Last year Arnold Schwarzeneggar vetoed two bills that would have drawn up new guidelines for law enforcement regarding witness testimony.

Arnold isn't thinking. We are in danger when perpetrators walk the streets while innocent people are locked up. We are vulnerable not only to being victimized by the perpetrators, but to becoming victims of false charges backed up by perjury and unreliable testimony.

*"Wrongly convicted man walks free after 2 decades" by Greg Moran, San Diego Union Tribune, Feb. 10, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

What makes these two audits of criminal records searches so different?

February 2, 2007
Bill Brown
Sheriff of Santa Barbara County

Dear Sheriff Brown:

Commander Sam Gross was only too happy to provide two red herring audits that he contributed to a false declaration. But it was a different story when I asked him to provide me with the two audits that he partially described in a letter to me. He refuses.

What makes these two audits so different?

I spoke to Sheriff’s counsel Kelly Duncan Scott today. She refused, as she has repeatedly done in the past, to provide the two CLETS audits for “maura” or “larkins” that were described in detail by Sam Gross in his November 24, 2004 letter. These audits turned up eight searches in 2000 and 2001. To make clear precisely which audits I’m talking about, I have circled the pertinent section of Mr. Gross’s letter, and attached the letter to this fax. The letter is also on my website at the bottom of the page that contains my complaint against Michael Carlson..

Kelly Duncan Scott refuses to discuss these two audits with me. In fact, she even refused to return my call to the switchboard when she was finished talking to me. Her secretive behavior makes me quite certain that these two audits show the precise dates on which Michael Carlson conducted illegal searches and began a long string of criminal acts which did enormous damage to Chula Vista Elementary School District. Kelly and Sam Gross wouldn’t be trying so hard to cover up these audits if they didn’t reveal Carlson’s first crime, committed long before Carlson obstructed justice and suborned perjury.

Why wouldn’t Kelly transfer me back to the switchboard? I think she’s afraid that I might actually find someone who disapproved of sweeping felonies under the rug. I’d very much like to know who is that person that Kelly fears—the one who would disapprove of hiding a series of crimes committed by Sheriff’s employees. I’m hoping that person is you, Sheriff Brown. Sam Gross and Kelly Scott would not be so determined to cover up these audits if they were not incriminating.

Please consider this letter an ethics complaint about Michael Carlson, Sam Gross and Kelly Duncan Scott. I believe Kelly has been giving very bad legal advice to the Sheriff of Santa Barbara for many years, advising cover-ups of crimes committed by sheriff’s employees. Of course, I also believe that that’s the kind of advice the sheriff’s department wanted in past years when Jim Anderson was sheriff. If this letter is not adequate to initiate an official complaint process, please inform me of the proper procedure.

I am aware that Michael Carlson’s demurrer to my complaint may well be sustained on February 16, 2007. At that time, I plan to go to the Court of Appeal.

I believe that the policy giving complete tort immunity to those who suborn and commit perjury in lawsuits is the most important tort reform needed in our society. There are some powerful dissent opinions in case law that disagree with the current situation that allows law enforcement officers should go “Scott” free (pun intended) when they turn our justice system into a joke, a circus, a sham.

I plan to make a public issue of this matter.

Yours truly,
Maura Larkins