Sunday, January 27, 2008

CO - Denver officer fired for alleged misconduct

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Charges won't be filed, the DA's staff says. Another officer is suspended, and that investigation continues.

One Denver police officer has been fired and another suspended amid allegations of misconduct, a police spokesman and public safety manager both said Friday night.

Denver Police Officer Randall Hurst was fired and Officer Michael Jimenez has been suspended, said police spokesman John White.

The circumstances could not be confirmed, White said, referring queries to Mary Dulacki, manager of records for the Denver Department of Safety.

"I don't know anything about the details and what the allegations are at this point," Dulacki said.

The time of the alleged misconduct, and when Hurst was fired, is unclear, White and Dulacki said. An investigation into the conduct by Jimenez continues, they said.

A local television station reported that both officers were accused of on-duty sex in uniform. Citing anonymous "police contacts," CBS4 reported on its website that Hurst was accused of having sex with a suspected prostitute in the bathroom of an East Colfax Taco Bell.

A police district supervisor declined comment saying he knew nothing about the allegations and that police are prohibited from talking with reporters.

Lynn Kimbrough, Denver district attorney's office spokeswoman, said Friday night that the DA's office has reviewed the case and will not be filing charges against Hurst. She said no decision has been made in the case of Jimenez because the investigation is continuing.

Hurst and Jimenez could not be reached for comment Friday night.

NJ - South Jersey Cop Facing Child Sex Charges

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Middle Township (1010 WINS) -- A veteran police officer in southern New Jersey stands accused of sexually assaulting a child on two occasions in 2002.

Walter Krych, 53, a patrolman with the Middle Township police department, was not on duty when the alleged assaults occurred, said Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor. The age and gender of the victim were not disclosed.

Taylor said the assaults occurred in Middle Township in July 2002 and in West Cape May in November of that year.

Krych, a Cape May Court House resident, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and child endangerment. He could face more than 10 years in state prison if convicted.

OH - Sex offender cases likely on hold

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Summit County judges to consider whether new registration law unconstitutional

Dozens of Summit County sex offenders challenging more stringent registration requirements under Ohio's new law are expected to have their cases put on hold today by judicial order because of constitutional issues.

Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer, the General Division's administrative judge, said a meeting will be held to discuss how to proceed and that court-ordered action affecting about 75 to 80 civil cases is expected.

''The big issue is the application of the statute retroactively. We are absolutely, unequivocally using the new law for anyone who is charged as of Jan. 1 and then convicted,'' Stormer said.

Statewide, according to officials in Columbus, about 26,000 cases were affected by the new registration requirements.

In many of the cases, offenders under the old registration requirements of Ohio's Megan's Law had to register annually with the sheriff's office for 10 years as ''sexually oriented offenders,'' Stormer said.

The concern under the new Adam Walsh Act — which has three tiers, with Tier 3 being the
most serious — is that the same offenders are required to register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

The new, more stringent requirements became law on Jan. 1 and affected about 26,000 offenders, said Leo Jennings, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office. Of those, about 9,000 still are in prison, Jennings said.

Amy Borror, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Public Defender's Office, said there have been so many challenges to the new registration requirements, ''a real burden has been placed on the courts.''

As a result, Borror said, five counties already have or are planning to take court-ordered action on such constitutional issues. Stark was the first, she said.

The Summit, Licking, Warren and Van Wert court systems are the others, Borror said.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Richard D. Reinbold Jr. said a major concern for the five trial judges was a clause of the U.S. Constitution.

''It's the classic argument: You can't make a crime today what wasn't a crime two weeks ago,'' Reinbold said.

An automatic stay has been issued in Stark only for the cases of sexually oriented offenders, Reinbold said, and a meeting will be held sometime in April to decide how all five judges will handle the challenges.

Reinbold said he has about 25 cases and that there might be as many as 250 cases countywide.

Last week in Summit, lawyer Paul F. Adamson filed a civil suit on behalf of former Buchtel High School football coach Claude Brown, who was released from prison on shock probation after serving nearly eight months on a sexual battery conviction for two incidents involving a 17-year-old girl in 2006.

In his filing, Adamson cited many of the same constitutional arguments raised by the judges, because Brown was in the lowest classification as a first-time sexually oriented offender.

But under the Walsh Act, Adamson said, Brown is now in the Tier 3 classification and faces the lifetime registration requirement and other penalties.

''Claude Brown is in the same classification as a serial rapist and we do not think that is right,'' Adamson said.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Marvin A. Shapiro, who handled Brown's case, did not specifically comment about it, but did mention one of Adamson's concerns as a possible concern for all eight of the county's judges.

''The question is, historically, that ex post facto laws are unconstitutional,'' Shapiro said. ''And you can't create something as a law today for something that happened before.''

FL - Lawsuit Challenges Foster System

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See, the government leads the sheeple to believe what they say about protecting children, when they neglect and abuse others. Like I'd said before, it's not about protecting children, it's about money.


TAMPA - A Tallahassee lawyer and child advocate has sued a Hillsborough County foster care agency and the state, accusing them of treating foster children like "hostages."

Karen Gievers filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of a 17-year-old foster boy, identified as "Jacob Peters," and at least 2,400 other children in temporary custody of Hillsborough Kids Inc.

The private agency contracts with the Florida Department of Children & Families to provide local foster care and adoption services.

The suit asks the circuit court to classify the local foster care system as unconstitutional, and to block Hillsborough Kids from taking children into its care. Attorneys also want the court to force DCF to hold the private agency accountable for not meeting performance standards.

Those standards include complying with a statewide goal set by legislators that children are either reunited with their families or adopted within 12 months. About 1,892 children have remained in Hillsborough Kids' care longer than 12 months, with the average stay hovering at 18 months, said George Sheldon, DCF's safety director.

"Clearly, we need to be doing a better job," Sheldon said, "but simply closing down the system is not likely."

Length, Quality Of Care Questioned

Of the about 2,900 children in Hillsborough Kids' care, 2,400 are in temporary custody of the agency, the lawsuit says. Seven of those have been in care for 15 years; 60 for more than 10 years; more than half of the number of children have been in care for two years and longer.

"All are held as captive hostages," wrote Gievers and co-counsel Roy Wasson of Miami. "Here, every child in the system is being held by the foster system, most not for 10 weeks or 10 months, but for years.

"This is wrong, shameful and unacceptable," the suit says. "The practice should be condemned, and these victims of abuse and neglect should be exonerated, freed and relieved of being used as the cash cow for so many who do so little for the children's needs and well-being."

No one would argue that the situation isn't a tragedy, said Don Dixon, a former DCF administrator who serves as assistant executive director of The Children's Board of Hillsborough County.

"Everybody knows if you have a choice, you don't want kids in the foster system," Dixon said. "If they have to be in the foster system, you make it for the shortest time possible."

Dixon points to the past year, in which Hillsborough Kids saw a 42 percent decrease in the number of children removed from their homes.

"That's a significant reduction," he said.

Every child deserves a permanent, loving family, said Jeff Rainey, Hillsborough Kids' chief executive officer.

"Unfortunately, we have children in our care who suffer from serious chronic illnesses and disabilities," he wrote in an e-mail Friday. "Sometimes a foster home is the best possible setting for those children because there are medical benefits available to them that might not be available in other placements."

Figures provided by Sheldon and Hillsborough Kids show the county had about 2,600 children in state care as of Thursday; 1,166 in licensed foster homes; 86 in shelters; and 1,340 in relative and nonrelative, unlicensed care.

Rainey reported 10 children who have been in care for 15 years or longer: Seven have an immune deficiency disorder and would lose their Medicaid waiver benefits if adopted; two are medically complex and caseworkers are actively searching for adoptive parents; and one is profoundly challenged and is living in a home operated by the Agency for Persons With Disabilities.

Thirty-eight children have been in state care for more than 10 years, he said. Of those, 21 are involved in adoption efforts. About 80 percent of the children in care have a guardian ad litem appointed to represent them in court proceedings, Sheldon said.

As far as using psychotropic medications, they must be prescribed by a licensed physician and court ordered, he said.

A Troubled Young Man

According to the lawsuit, Jacob, whose real name is withheld in court documents, has been in foster care since he was 4 years old, when authorities took him from his biological mother and her sex-offender boyfriend.

Jacob went to live with his biological father, but within days his dad asked the state to take the boy. In 13 years, caseworkers moved Jacob to 45 different placements and health providers have received nearly $400,000 for Jacob's care.

During that time, Jacob ran away from foster homes and group homes numerous times, acted out sexually, abused and killed animals, and tried to kill himself. The state gave him dangerous psychotropic drugs such as Prozac, Adderall and Depakote - many at the same time and some not meant for children, the lawsuit contends.

Eventually, he was labeled unstable, which scared off potential foster and adoptive parents, Gievers said.

In 11 months, Jacob turns 18 and will be free to go into the world as an adult. What then?

There are options, but most aren't good, Dixon said. A judge could adjudicate Jacob into the adult mental health system or he might wind up in jail, where he eventually could receive mental health services.

"Or he could live on his own," Dixon offered, "but it doesn't sound like he has the requisite skills to do so. Unfortunately, child welfare systems across the country tend to act like the children never existed once they turn 18."

OH - Visiting judge to hear sex offender appeals

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Tons of tax payer money going down the drain due to the draconian laws passed by the idiots in office. You tax dollars at work folks, for law suits...


ELYRIA — The Ohio Supreme Court has appointed a visiting judge to hear the appeals of Lorain County sex offenders who have been reclassified under a new federally mandated state law. Common Pleas Court Administrator Tim Lubbe said former Cuyahoga County Judge William Coyne will be assigned the appeals that have been pouring in since the state began notifying offenders late last year.

Under the new law — known as Adam’s Law for Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old Florida boy abducted and killed in 1981 — every state must impose uniform sex offender classifications by 2009 or risk losing federal money. Ohio’s version of the law took effect at the beginning of the year and requires that every sex offender in the state be reclassified.

Sex offenders and defense attorneys have complained about the law, saying it punishes offenders retroactively, takes away judicial discretion and is unconstitutional. County officials, meanwhile, have said they are worried about the impact of handling the changeover in part because some of the offenders must now register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

Lubbe said the visiting judge won’t fix the problem, but it will allow the challenges to the law to be heard more quickly and for the courts to speak with one voice on the subject. The county’s judges have issued varying orders in the cases, particularly when deciding whether to stay community notification requirements on offenders challenging their reclassification.

“It redirects some of the problems, but by no means eliminates them,” Lubbe said.

Sheriff’s Capt. James Drozdowski said officers have already begun making some community notifications and have had to bring in auxiliary deputies to help handle the workload of processing registration for the county’s 600 sex offenders.

More than 100 challenges to the new law already have been filed in the county courts.
Ohio Supreme Court officials did not return a request for information on the cost of a visiting judge or how many other counties have requested such a service.

FL - Eleven charged in prison scandal - Guards accused in smuggling schemes

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OCALA — For inmates at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County, a pack of cigarettes and a cell phone could cost $3,100.

The sellers of this high-priced contraband? Some crooked prison employees, according to federal criminal charges announced this week.

Authorities say workers made lots of money by smuggling in everything from heroin and cigarettes to knives and cell phones.

They say one corrections officer made $20,000 in 15 months by getting inmates cigarettes, which went for as much as $350 per pack.

Other guards made deals with inmates' families, in some cases getting $3,000 to bring in a cell phone, the charges say.

The guards weren't just paid with currency, authorities allege. One inmate is accused of providing stock market advice in exchange for loot.

In all, 11 people have been charged in this long-standing investigation: nine Coleman employees, a guard's girlfriend, and an inmate.

And the charges didn't just involve alleged smuggling. One former guard, William Alan Blanton, 48, of Ocala, is accused of having sex with a female inmate several times prior to 2006.

Five of the 11 already have pleaded guilty in federal court. Most of the others were arrested and/or arraigned Thursday.

It's all the result of a two-year investigation at the Coleman prison complex, according to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Adams, who spoke Friday at a news conference outside the federal courthouse downtown.

The probe started when Coleman employees reported their co-workers. That prompted a review by the Justice Department, its Office of Inspector General (OIG), the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"'The OIG recognizes that the activities of a few do not reflect on the hard work and high standards of the men and women of the Department of Justice," said Teresa M. Gulotta-Powers, an OIG special agent.

Investigators said the 11 defendants were not all working together. Timothy Dixon, 33, a corrections officer from Wildwood is accused of making $20,000 by moving cigarettes, according to his bribery indictment.

But others worked in teams. Louis Viera, 27, of Tavares, a former correctional officer, and Coleman inmate Ivan Vazquez-Alomar, 42, are accused of forming a network to circulate cigarettes and cigars.

Viera was also accused of supplying a knife - which was never used to hurt anyone - to an inmate, officials said.

He was indicted on numerous charges, including nine counts of providing contraband to an inmate. Vazquez-Alomar was also indicted on charges of bribery and possession of cigarettes and cigars by an inmate.

Another scheme involved Calvin Williams, 30, of Orlando, a former corrections officer, and his girlfriend, Angel Jackson, of Orlando. Authorities say they worked together to bring cell phones into the prison.

The couple charged families about $3,000 each. Jackson would retrieve the money and cell phone and Williams would deliver the phone inside, the indictments allege.

A cell phone is a luxury that federal investigators say can be extremely dangerous.

"When you have people vying for the product it creates a great deal of tension," said Teresa M. Gulotta-Powers, special agent for the OIG. "Fights can break out. People's lives can be jeopardized. It compromises the entire integrity of the facility."

Williams was indicted on numerous charges, including three counts each of bribery of a public official and providing jewelry, cell phones and cigarettes to an inmate. Jackson was indicted on numerous bribery and contraband charges.

Kendra Russell, 41, Tavares, a former Coleman correctional treatment specialist, was indicted on one count each of acceptance of a bribe by a public official and providing marijuana to an inmate.

Isidro Gonnell, 32, of Clermont, another former corrections officer, was indicted on a bribery charge and is accused of making about $5,500 while supplying inmates with tobacco, telephones, marijuana and heroin.

Others arrested and indicted are: Martin Flores, 35, Orlando, a former prison cook, acceptance of a bribe by a public official; Alonzo Scurlock, 35, Leesburg, former corrections officer, acceptance of a bribe; and Gerald Graham, 27, Bushnell, former corrections officer, attempt to provide contraband to an inmate.

FL - Court deputy under investigation lost police certification in 1992

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A Broward County courtroom deputy, now under an internal-affairs investigation for asking a female inmate for a date, resigned from his job as a Pompano Beach police officer nearly 20 years ago when confronted with accusations that he had sex with prostitutes while in his patrol car and on duty.

Four prostitutes told investigators in sworn statements in 1989 that sometimes Edwin "Eddie" Sanchez paid, sometimes he didn't. One said she smoked crack in front of Sanchez before they had sex and another said she preformed oral sex to avoid going to jail.

Sanchez was stripped of his state certification to be a police officer in 1992. The state commission that pulled Sanchez's badge concluded he misused his authority as a law enforcement officer to obtain sex.

Broward Sheriff's Office officials have distanced themselves from Sanchez's 2000 hiring under former Sheriff Ken Jenne.As a civilian deputy, Sanchez is not a sworn law-enforcement officer. He maintains security, decorum and monitors suspects in the courtroom.

"Had he applied for his job under this administration, he never would have been hired and right now we are in the process of investigating him," said Elliot Cohen, the Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Sanchez, 48, faces two current internal-affairs investigations, Cohen said, adding that if sustained, Sanchez could be fired.

"We're not treating it lightly," Sheriff Al Lamberti said Friday. "It's definitely serious, and it's going to get the attention that it needs."

In one case, a 20-year-old exotic dancer jailed for drug trafficking has accused Sanchez of asking for her phone number and a date. The substance of the second investigation has not been disclosed.

Sanchez, who is married and is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, declined to comment for this article or provide the name of his attorney.

As a police officer, he worked for the Pompano Beach Police Department from Sept. 17, 1987, until his Aug. 8, 1989, resignation.

He targeted prostitutes on Northwest 31st Avenue, taking them for trysts behind motels, along dirt roads and in Broward Community College's Coconut Creek parking lot, according to investigative reports.

One prostitute told investigators that she and Sanchez had sex about 15 times, that he usually paid her $20 and that they smoked marijuana together.

Before he resigned, Sanchez refused to take a drug test.

Another prostitute said Sanchez left the police radio on when they had sex in his patrol car "so they would know the location of officers in the area."

She did not charge Sanchez, she said, but he once gave her $8 after sex, which she used to buy crack cocaine.

Another prostitute said Sanchez picked her up on Atlantic Boulevard, told her she was under arrest and put her in the back of his patrol car. While driving, Sanchez propositioned her, saying that in exchange for oral sex she could avoid jail. They drove to a truck stop where Sanchez let her into the front seat and removed his gun belt, she said.

In his eight years with the Sheriff's Office, Sanchez has gotten three written reprimands, one of which came with a two-day suspension. The charges were allowing jury deliberations to be overheard, coming onto a defendant's girlfriend and intimidating a woman with his badge while off duty. The last resulted in the suspension.

More recently, Samantha Portadino, the exotic dancer, told her boyfriend's father, Joe Turner, of Sanchez's come-ons,Turner said in an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.She said that during routine court appearances in Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor's courtroom, Sanchez asked for her phone number and a date, Turner said. He passed that information on to investigators in a sworn statement.

Sanchez was assigned to O'Connor's courtroom in May 2005. On Sept. 10, he was reassigned to a monitored station where he watches inmates arrive at the courthouse from jail.

Sheriff's officials concluded in May 2000 that Sanchez exercised "extremely poor discretion" when he took a defendant's 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend into a back room and told her she was "beautiful," stroked her hand and disparaged her boyfriend.

Sanchez offered the woman financial help, invited her to dinner to talk it over and they exchanged phone numbers, records show. The woman told investigators she declined the invitation. "That Sanchez was not just trying to help me out without expecting something in return," she said.

Sanchez admitted the exchange of phone numbers, but denied the rest of the story, saying he was simply offering to provide her with pamphlets from Women in Distress of Broward County Inc.

KS - Parents, ex-cop are jailed after girl, 11, reports sexual abuse

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A former part-time police officer and the parents of an 11-year-old Wichita girl are in jail and facing criminal charges after the girl reported that she had been sexually abused, police said Friday.

The former police officer in Conway Springs was an acquaintance of the mother, said Lt. T.K. Bridges of the Exploited and Missing Child Unit.

"This has been going on for a substantial time period," Bridges said of the alleged abuse.

A police document indicates the abuse began in late October 2006. The girl reported it to a school district employee Wednesday. The employee followed policy and notified the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which contacted police, Bridges said.

Detectives and supervisors worked "through the night" into Thursday, he said.

The child's 33-year-old father was arrested Thursday at his house in Florence, said Marion County Sheriff Lee Becker.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and child endangerment, Becker said.

The girl has two half-sisters, ages nine and 15, who live with their father, Becker said. They were both interviewed, and the 9-year-old reported being abused over about the same period as her half-sister, Becker said.

The 11-year-old's mother and the acquaintance were arrested in Wichita, Bridges said. The girl reported being abused in both Wichita, where she lived with her mother, and Florence.

"We have several crime scenes we have to deal with in a large geographic area," Bridges said.

The mother was booked on suspicion of aggravated child endangerment, while the acquaintance was booked on suspicion of rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated sodomy.

The 11-year-old was placed in police protective custody and her half-sisters are now "safe and secure" in another location, Bridges said.

The Eagle does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes and for that reason is not naming the parents or acquaintance.

The acquaintance was fired from his part-time police job, Conway Springs Police Chief Ken Winter said Friday.

The man had worked as needed, filling in for full-time officers since August, Winter said.

"I was pretty disappointed" to learn of the arrest and the allegations, Winter said.

Police plan to present evidence to the Sedgwick County district attorney's office on Tuesday to determine if charges will be brought, Bridges said.