Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reading in between the lines

Read the Connecticut story like the one below and maybe you might have more questions to ask than are answered. Is this how official Connecticut really "works"? Is the rest of America in this bad of a state? Is police misconduct and rigged courts really the rule, not the exception?

Murtha Settlement on the Table

Jeffrey B. Cohen
on April 28, 2009 5:10 PM

The city is considering settling a lawsuit brought by former police officer Robert Murtha, who was fired after he shot a fleeing suspect twice in the arm in 2003.

A jury eventually found Murtha not guilty of first-degree assault, fabricating evidence and falsely reporting an incident. In 2007, Murtha, at left, filed suit against the city, seeking reimbursement for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and back pay owed him.

Now, six years after the incident and two months before trial, the city council is considering a settlement offer following a court mediation in February.

"Based on the discussions with the judge, we made a demand to them and said, 'Here's what we will accept,'" said Donn Swift, Murtha's attorney. "They now will have to evaluate it." (Courant Photo)
Swift, who would not discuss the details of the settlement, said he had "no indication if [the city's response will be] a yes, or a no, or something in between."

Murtha was accused in January 2003 of shooting Elvin Gonzalez twice in the arm as Gonzalez fled in a stolen car. Gonzalez, a convicted felon, admitted at trial that he was drunk and high on marijuana when he fled from Murtha. Gonzalez has a federal lawsuit pending against the city.

The city council has had the matter on its agenda at least twice. Earlier this month, some of its members met in a closed-door session with attorneys to discuss the settlement offer. There was no apparent result of that meeting.

Then, on Monday, the council was again to discuss the matter in executive session -- but the meeting was stymied by those on the council who thought the city's attorneys had not followed state Freedom of Information laws.

City councilors asked about the proposed settlement would not discuss it, as the information they had came from a closed-door session of the council.

"I am unsure as to whether the council wants to support a settlement in this matter," said Councilman Pedro Segarra, the board's budget chairman.

Murtha, through his attorney, declined to comment.

Attached is Murtha's third amended complaint, as provided by Swift.

Third Amended Complaint - dap 03-12-08.doc

And below is the Courant's story from when his lawsuit was initially filed.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


TINA A. BROWN; Courant Staff Writer

Former Hartford police Officer Robert Murtha, acquitted last year of first-degree assault and fabricating evidence in a 2003 police shooting, is suing the city of Hartford, seeking pay and benefits he lost over the past four years, plus legal fees.

Murtha filed the suit Monday asking for back wages, pension and health benefits, vacation and sick time and legal costs. The price tag if Murtha is successful could be as high as $1 million, defense lawyer Michael A. Georgetti said, including $300,000 in legal fees due to him and attorney Hugh Keefe.

Last October, a Superior Court jury in Hartford found Murtha not guilty of first-degree assault, fabricating evidence and falsely reporting an incident. He was accused in January 2003 of shooting Elvin Gonzalez twice in the arm as Gonzalez fled in a stolen car.
Gonzalez, a convicted felon, admitted during his testimony at the trial that he was drunk and high on marijuana when he fled from police.

Hartford State's Attorney James Thomas, the prosecutor in the case, unsuccessfully tried to convince the jury that Murtha needlessly fired at the suspect and then lied to cover it up. In his case, Thomas used a video of the incident recorded by a camera in a police cruiser.
The video was not enough, the jury foreman Mark Smith said after the trial. It didn't capture the fact that Murtha was ``dealing with a dangerous criminal and had only a split second to make his decision,'' Smith said.

Soon after Murtha was fired in 2004, the Hartford Police Union objected to his dismissal and filed a claim with the state labor board, union President Richard Rodriguez said Tuesday. A hearing in that case was postponed until after Murtha's acquittal. Then, Rodriguez said, the union asked the city attorney to give Murtha his job back and to compensate him with back pay.
``The city's position as I understand it today, they said absolutely not,'' Rodriguez said.

A labor board hearing on Murtha's case has not been scheduled. But Rodriguez said, ``We intend to represent him at the labor board. We hope that the outcome will be that he gets his job back. ... We are just going by what that statute provides. He's entitled to be indemnified by the city and made whole.''

Murtha, who is now a lawyer, was ``acting under the color of law. ... We are asking for back pay from the date of termination until he is reinstated,'' Rodriguez said.
Georgetti said Murtha is entitled to much more.

``If they do not reinstate him, he is asking for his lost wages for what he would have earned as a police officer if he worked a full 20 years,'' Georgetti said.

Murtha had been on the force four years at the time of the shooting.

The city has paid back wages and benefits to some other current and former Hartford police officers after they faced criminal charges and were cleared in court proceedings.

Earlier this year, the city settled with John Nisyrious, a 19-year veteran who resigned after he pleaded guilty to 2003 larceny charges and was given a special form of probation by the court, Rodriguez said. He was given two years of back pay, health insurance and holiday benefits, he said.

Additionally, Juan A. Morales received $225,000 in payments in 2003. He was reinstated on paper but never returned to the job. Joseph Davis and Matthew Rivera also received lump sum payments after the larceny charges against them were dismissed. And Eric Smith received more than $120,000 in 2003, after he was cleared of sexual assault allegations, according to previous Courant reports.

The city has until May 1 to respond to Murtha's lawsuit. The city attorney handling the Murtha case was unavailable to comment for this story.

Contact Tina A. Brown at tabrown@courant.com.

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Do most White Male Police officers in Connecticut think that White Officers shooting Blacks in the back, killing them, are justified? Well, the case of the "Teflon Badge", Hartford, Connecticut, Police Officer Robert Lawlor begs that question. [more]

EAST WINDSOR [Connecticut] -- An East Windsor police officer has been placed on paid suspension after being arrested by Yale University police Thursday on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.

Rafael Crespo Jr., 29, is charged with two counts each of first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and first-degree sexual assault. He is also charged with third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree threatening.

Lt. Mike Patten, a spokesman for the Yale University Police Department, declined to discuss the case - refusing to say when the crimes are alleged to have taken place or to give the gender of the victim. On Friday, Judge Richard Damiani ordered the warrant for Crespo's arrest sealed in Superior Court in New Haven, citing the law designed to protect the identity of sex crime victims. [more]

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[click here] for:

The Connecticut State Trooper Gene Pool?


[click here] for the New York State Police Internal Affairs 168 page official report on Connecticut State Police misconduct [more of the above]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vermont Theater, Eating, and Life

image stolen [from here]
The Bartered Bride performed in 1913-1922 in a landscape theatre in Divoká Šárka, Prague
(Wikimedia Commons)

I did my laundry at a laundromat in Vermont today. The scenery and mountains can't be described in words, nor can the feeling of being in such a place.

I ended up eating at an organic/natural co-op community market while waiting for my laundry. I can't pronounce what I ate, it contained no meat, had plenty of protein from something grown in South America, and it cost me $2.64, and the experiment was a success, I loved what I ate and will be back for more on another day.

I've run into artists, those in theater productions, actors, musicians, those that have volunteered to help in areas of Africa with starving people and even in war zones. Some very interesting short stories. A whole different life experience, and to me, just as intriguing, and exciting, as being in the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi and in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina hit.

I have been around and working during the day, and have been too exhausted to do anything at night, so I hope to view art, the festivals, and hang a little at the local theaters. Actors and actresses from all over the world often descend on this area to hone their acting and artistic skills. Some never leave ...

Maybe I'll see a play or two, and review them here. I may have time in the near future, at least I hope to.

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[click here] for

From OpedEdNews.com:

Obama Plays Hamlet; Shredders Hum

by Ray McGovern Page 1 of 4 page(s)


Flickr Phoo by florriebassingbourn

Well, well. The New York Times has finally put a story together on the key role played by two faux psychologists in helping the Bush administration devise ways to torture people. We should, I suppose, be thankful for small favors. [more]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Attacking the "immunity" issue

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will consider whether prosecutors have to face a lawsuit from two men whose convictions for killing a retired police officer were set aside.

The justices said Monday they'll hear an appeal in the fall from former Pottawattamie County, Iowa, prosecutors.

They are being sued by Curtis W. McGhee Jr., and Terry Harrington, who were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1978 for the death of retired police officer John Schweer.

The men were released from prison after 25 years. Evidence showed police and prosecutors had failed to share evidence that pointed to another man as a possible suspect in Schweer's slaying. Some witnesses also recanted their testimony.

McGhee and Harrington filed lawsuits against the former prosecutors, including former County Attorney Dave Richter and his assistant Joseph Hrvol. They claimed authorities were eager to charge someone and that they were targeted because they are black. They also sued current County Attorney Matt Wilber after he suggested the right men had been convicted.

Richter and Hrvol argued that they were immune from lawsuits because they were acting within the scope of their job. Federal courts, however, rejected their motions to dismiss the lawsuits, saying the immunity did not extend to them.

The case is Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, 08-1065.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Partially losing my will to bitch and complain

I work about 80 hours a week, am spending money, and have little time.

Filled out a job application and where it came to the criminal record part, just filled it in, "beat up guy who tried to mug me on my property". Job opportunities and offers abound.

I don't currently own property, but I would beat a mugger up again and I'd enjoy it. Probably wouldn't get arrested in Vermont, New Hampshire, liberal Massachusetts, or in any other state except Connecticut as they are the official "Asshole State". They can eat shit in Connecticut, the officials that is, if they act [like this].

For me the economy is booming, life is great, and there is nothing but opportunity, a future, and happiness. I could risk it all just driving into or through Connecticut.

It can happen to anyone if the elderly just driving through Connecticut can be attacked by the system, officially robbed, and immorally confined, [scroll down in this post]

My advice: Enjoy life and avoid Connecticut

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Deval Patrick wants to end America for Americans

Having a GPS device as a license plate decal would mean being taxed by the mile, fined for parking at will, and stalker police would be able to get away with even more in the current US Police State. When is America going to wake up?

GPS and Gas Tax -- Good and Bad Ideas from the State of Massachusetts

(Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is proposing both a GPS driving tax and a gas tax.)

There are all manner of schemes being proposed to fill the dwindling state and federal coffers, many of which often focus on hitting the wallets of the driving public.

But rare is the state that has two driving-taxation plans which are as simultaneously enlightened and enraging as those proposed in the state of Massachusetts. Both have been promoted by the state's Governor, Deval Patrick.

The first of Patrick's initiatives definitely falls on the troubling side: the Governor is pushing a plan - "controversial" would be putting it mildly - to install Global Positioning System (GPS) chips in vehicle inspection stickers that would be used to tax the vehicle owner for the number of miles they drive.

Notwithstanding the obvious "surveillance state" social implications, Patrick's GPS idea - not new to the ever-energetic minds that propose innovative methods of taxation - seems fraught with technical hurdles and potential loopholes.

Other states and the federal government have floated similar monitor-your-movement taxation plots. But the notion is particularly unsavory coming from the home state of the Boston Tea Party and the "Shot Heard 'Round the World."

Despite the misguided GPS-taxation plan, Patrick also has suggested his state push forward with a driving-taxation strategy. In effect, this is a boiled-down version of what should be central to the new national energy policy: Patrick wants a drastic increase in the state's gasoline tax.

Patrick wants to increase Massachusetts' gasoline tax by 19 cents per gallon, reports the Boston Globe. The plan has of course inspired outrage of comparable proportion to the GPS-tracking taxation plan. But the reality is that taxing the fuel is the most efficient and effective way to both increase driving-related revenues and incentivize energy efficiency.

For the gas-tax proposal, Patrick already has lined up considerable political artillery and has the backing of credible voices of reason.

The sensible arguments for the tax are analogous to those that make the case for a marked increase in the federal fuels tax. For one, estimates from Massachusetts say the poor condition of under-maintained roads costs the average household in the state about $300, or more than twice what the projected hike in the gasoline tax would cost.

The inability of fuel-tax revenues to keep pace with infrastructure-maintenance costs also hits Massachusetts taxpayers with outsized debt payments on long-term bonds required to pay for even baseline maintenance.

But most of all, Patrick's gas-tax proposal makes his state's debate a microcosm of the larger debate about U.S. energy policy. Until fuel prices (including the portion attributable to taxes) rise to a level reflective of that energy's genuine value to society, the nation as a whole will continue to swill gasoline and diesel at the rates that have required ever-increasing levels of dependence on imported oil - and with that, the myriad economic and geopolitical problems that come with reliance on foreign energy sources.

So a restrained shout-out should go to Patrick. His GPS-taxation plan stinks just like all those before it, never mind that the technology to enable it continues to improve and get cheaper. But is the Massachusetts' gas-tax hike indeed the right course? If so, could it once again allow the state to show the way to a more prosperous future?

-- By Bill Visnic, AutoObserver Contributor

Posted by
Philip Reed April 16, 2009, 9:02 AM

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Freedom, Vermont

Today is Easter, I spent it by working. I had a car to sell and do the paperwork. So, I did. The rest of the day turned out very well considering a life changing event occurring today.

Life has its unexpected changes.

You can only hold on for the ride sometimes. Other times you can just enjoy the moment, look around, and just be glad to be alive. The scenery, the ambiance, and how I feel today seems to be the norm, not the exception. Where you choose to live and visit has a lot to do with how you feel.

I found myself out driving in the mountains of Vermont with no destination and no time to be back anywhere. I was getting out with my Dodge, a V8 5 speed pickup. It's not really mine, but it might as well be as I am seeing to it that it gets what it needs before it is sold. It's hopped up, and yes, I was getting into it, turned the radio on, and "Oh yeah!"

I ended up somewhere that had the best mushroom soup, homemade, that I have ever had. I had a natural greens salad with some top grade beef sliced, very rare, probably about 3 ounces, or so. I ran into a 70 something gentleman with a lot of stories to tell, or his riches, and his life's experiences, I would have listened to more, but I wasn't going to have another beer for various reasons. A woman introduced herself, ask me my name, and told me where other good food could be had, and where she'd be later on in the week ...

I really don't have much to complain about lately, the "Nightmare in Connecticut", is farther, and farther off in my mind. I love Vermont and those I know here are really treating me well.

My heart and soul might still be in Mississippi on the Gulf Coast and somewhere near Bourbon St. in New Orleans, Louisiana, but for now, I'm loving Vermont.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Trust our Government, Why???!!!

NAIS: The latest attempt to steal your land by Marti Oakley

With any governmental agency, the words used in any law, regulation, rule or other declaration by the government or its agencies must be carefully scrutinized. What may seem to be nothing more than a simple word-swap may actually be a new legal definition and one that may come back to haunt you. Under NAIS the term ‘property’ is swapped for ‘premises.’

Property is the term used to indicate private ownership of a thing such as land or animals and is protected by rights in the Constitution. It does signify legal ownership, and who is the legal owner and allows you access to a Civil Court and protection under the Constitution.

‘Premises’ is a term derived from the International Law of Contracts which are the international rules for conducting business, usually corporate, whereby ‘non-human entities’ are declared to be ‘persons.’ Agreeing to the redefining of ‘property’ and to the conversion to premises eliminates civil protections and redefines you as a ‘legal entity’ who may or may not own the thing in question. This also subjects you to Administrative Courts using statute and codes which are derived from the International Law of Contracts (ILC) and prohibits any use of rights enumerated or otherwise within the constitution.

NAIS is a contract!

Any time you sign your name to any government program you have effectively entered into a contract. NAIS is a contractual agreement between you, the individual land owner/livestock owner, and the USDA acting as agent for the federal government, or your state agriculture department acting as agent. Using the ILC’s own rules, no contract is valid unless all parties are fully apprised of ALL provisions and terms of the contract.

NAIS has intentionally not revealed ALL aspects of the contract, or the real intent of the program. This renders any attempts to mandate compliance as null and void.

Neither the government nor its agencies or agents have listed any limits with regard to any authority any or all of them may now assume or implement as a result of rule making or changes to policies, mandates and regulations. This means you do NOT know all the terms of the contract.

Neither is NAIS an ‘adhesion contract’ wherein the terms and conditions of the contract never, ever change because USDA or even Congress can change the rules and regulations at any time.

Since the USDA is a self regulating and rule making agency, in effect making its own laws and enforcing them at will, rules could be changed at a later date drastically affecting everyone who has entered into this contract.

When those of you who ‘voluntarily’ signed up for Premises ID and animal registration signed your name to what is a contract between you and the Federal government, did you not notice the contract provided no limitations or restrictions regarding the authority you just conveyed to the Federal government?

Did you notice not one word was said about limiting the actions of agencies such as the USDA and no protections against unwarranted search and seizure or other legal actions were afforded to you?

So, what did you actually sign up for?

Voluntarily or even by forced mandate, you have given up your rights to your own property and, in exchange, you got what? Were you compensated? Is there any intent to compensate you? The answers are no. In fact the cost of NAIS is being passed on to the people being victimized by yet another Federal program, the intent of which is to seize all farm and ranch lands and all livestock, putting all of it under Federal control.

In the end, we need to understand that ‘property’ has a far different meaning under the laws than the word ‘premises.’ Had there not been an intention to render a change in the status of property ownership and control, there would have been no need to use the word Premises. Rep Colin Peterson (D-MN) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) didn’t slip this word in there accidentally.

In fact, there are a few things neither of them ever mentioned. Most specifically, neither mentions the fact that all the lands being consigned to the control of the USDA will be added to the US Lands Preservation Act, now before Congress. Supposedly, more than 150 various bills from nearly every state just showed up at once and were rolled into one omnibus land package. Go figure. What a coincidence.

Why is this important?

All heritage lands including national parks and reserves, wetlands preserves, forests, waterways and wildlife preserves and other non-specific land holdings are owned by the federal government, although the government is prohibited from owning any land other than what is needed to operate, within the Constitution. Now they intend to seize control of your farm or ranch land.

All of the land being claimed by the federal government including the lands being seized under the National Animal Identification System are being used to collateralize the funds borrowed to bail out Wall Street. As we have done to many poor and disadvantaged nations, we first forced them into unmanageable debt through loans and other instruments. Each and every one of these loans was predicated on a debt/asset swap. They put up the only thing they had of value … land, and whatever resources might be included with that. Then we made sure they could never meet the terms of the loans and when they defaulted, we swapped their debt for the assets they had collateralized. The same thing has been done to us.

We have been forced into unmanageable and un-repayable debt through bailouts and stimulus plans. All of these borrowed funds are transferred and managed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All of these borrowed funds must have a source of collateral … no one will loan to us just on our good name. The only source of collateral accepted by the World Bank for these massive loans is land or gold and silver. We have no gold and silver.

The US Lands Preservation Act is nothing more than the official collecting and cataloguing of all federally held lands which will now be used to swap debt for assets. Your land, once registered for NAIS will also be listed as an asset in this debt.

And you thought this was about national security, export development, disease and food safety.

© 2009 Marti Oakley
The Proud Political Junkie’s Gazette.

A new president but the same old crowd runs the Washington District of Criminals. We are under attack from all quarters by our own goverment. I have written for more years than I care to admit about the corruption of our government. At some (more...)

The above was found on the OpEdnews.com website [here]

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