9 August, 2016
Warren Jeffs has named a new bishop of Short Creek, replacing one brother, Lyle, with another, Nephi.
Warren Jeffs noted in his lengthy instructions to Nephi that each of Short Creek’s recent bishops had failed: “Each one has had the great sin of finding comfort in women’s attention,”
[March 8 FLDS towns will pay $1.6 million in civil rights trial
In a civil rights trial, the jury reached a verdict on its fourth day of deliberations, and awarded $2.2 million to six residents eligible for damages. But the towns will only have to pay $1.6 million because lawyers negotiated a settlement over that part of the case.
The judge will now decide what other punishments to impose. Federal authorities could ask for the Colorado City Marshal’s Office to be disbanded and for its duties to be handed over to local sheriffs. Federal attorneys describe the local police force and FLDS Church’s security operation as paranoid entities that worked to violate the rights of nonbelievers. Witnesses for the government said church security spied on people with cameras placed around the towns and positioned themselves to keep an eye on who was arriving.
The former head of church security described elaborate cloak-and-dagger efforts taken to avoid scrutiny from outside law enforcement, such as using “burner” cellphones, encrypted radios and driving 40 miles to make phone calls out of fear that a local cell tower was being monitored by investigators.
[March 1 FLDS : only one defendant, Kimball Dee Barlow, 51 at large ]
On February 26, a judge in Salt Lake City ordered defendant John Clifton Wayman, 56, detained, finding that he presented a risk to flee. Seth Steed Jeffs, 42, of Custer, S.D., appeared February 29 in a federal court in South Dakota, where a judge ordered him to remain in custody , too, and to be transferred to Utah by federal marshals. As of February 29, only one defendant, Kimball Dee Barlow, 51, had not been apprehended or surrendered.
February 26 SNAP fraud indictments in Colorado City, Ariz.
Prosecutors believe leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints diverted funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and ordered church members to use the benefits to place goods in a communal storehouse to later be distributed among church members.
A two-count indictment charges 11 leaders and members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS Church) with conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The defendants include leaders of the church.Charged in the indictment are Lyle Steed Jeffs, age 56, John Clifton Wayman, age 56, Kimball Dee Barlow, age 51, Winford Johnson Barlow, age 50, Rulon Mormon Barlow, age 45, Ruth Peine Barlow, age 41, and Preston Yates Barlow, age 41, all of Hildale; Seth Steed Jeffs, age 42, of Custer, South Dakota; and Nephi Steed Allred, Hyrum Bygnal Dutson, age 55, and Kristal Meldrum Dutson, age 55, all of Colorado City.
The indictment alleges that in March 2015, using SNAP fraud proceeds, Kimball Barlow signed a check for $16,978 to Orchid’s Paper Products Company for the purchase of paper products. During the period May 31, 2013, through September 22, 2014, the indictment alleges Ruth Barlow signed five checks totaling $13,561 made payable to John Deere Financial. The SNAP fraud proceeds were used for installment payments on a 2013 John Deere load tractor. SNAP fraud proceeds were also used for 16 checks totaling $30,236 payable to Ford Motor Credit for installment payments on a 2012 Ford F-350 purchased by Winford Barlow about Sept. 29, 2012.
The violations included in the indictment are especially egregious since they allege that leaders of the conspiracy directed others to commit crimes, for which only certain people benefited,”
[February 8 federal jury trial against Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah ]
PHOENIX (CN) – The former chief marshal of two towns run by a fundamentalist Mormon sect testified February 3 that he looked the other way when men in Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah took underage girls as their “spiritual wives.”
The Department of Justice sued the twin towns in 2012, claiming they denied non-church members police protection, water and housing. The towns are dominated by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls, whom he called his spiritual wives.
A federal jury trial against the two towns began in January and is expected to last through the end of February.
The government accuses the Colorado City Marshal’s Office of selectively enforcing “laws and regulations against non-FLDS individuals on the basis of religion.”
[September 16 2015 Floods catch 16 near FLDS center ]
Hildale • Washes divide Hildale, Utah, and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz. A big one, called Short Creek Wash, is supposed to act like a big drainage ditch and runs at almost a 45-degree angle through the community.
Smaller washes connect to Short Creek Wash. At about 5 p.m. Monday, 16 people — women and children — were caught when water rushed from one of those smaller washes into Short Creek Wash.
[March 24 2013 FLDS home covered in surveillance cameras]
The twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., known collectively as “Short Creek” and home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is covered in surveillance cameras.
“Our idea was to stop the underage marriages, and I think we’ve done that,” said Gary Engels, a Mohave County investigator who spearheaded the crackdown. “But, if anything, the community has become a lot more closed to society. The people have become a lot more paranoid. map
Willie Jessop, former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, walks down the hallway following a hearing Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Salt Lake City. A 3rd District Judge has given initial approval for the eventual creation of a board of trustees to take over homes and property belonging to a polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs on the Utah-Arizona border. Judge Denise Lindberg approved the plan during a hearing Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City. Her approval is not a final decision, but rather permission to explore this option. Any action is pending the Utah legislature paying $5.7 million it owes in professional fees to a trust created in 2005 to handle the properties Willie Jessop, said he’s confident a board can be created that does what’s best for everybody.
“There is enough compassionate people in the community that understand the importance of protecting their neighbors’ interests, even if their neighbor is required to answer them nothing,” Jessop said.
Members of the fundamentalist Mormon group in Centennial Park are behind the new grocery store off of AZ Highway 389 and say they will allow anyone to shop there.
The Centennial Park group broke away from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the mid-1980s and has prospered with a pro-business and welcoming mind-set.
The FLDS-controlled CMC Food Town, the only grocery store in Colorado City and its twin city of Hildale, Utah, abruptly closed in November. The towns’ lone hardware store and RadioShack also closed.
FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, 57, is imprisoned in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.
Even while behind bars, Jeffs is said to still release edicts to his followers, including recent strict food restrictions and many believe he is behind the closing of the stores.
Controlling food is just one more way for Jeffs to control his people and punish outsiders as only FLDS faithful are allowed to get food from what’s called the Bishop’s Storehouse.
“You can only survive off the storehouse,” Knudson said. “There are absolute two societies now. If you are not in with them they don’t even talk with you.”
Humanitarian groups have been concerned over the closing of the grocery store and welcome the news of the new store in Centennial Park.
“This is great news,” said Paul Murphy, spokesperson for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. “People have literally been bringing truckloads of food into this area making sure families are fed.” On 13 May 1984 the portion of Johnson’s followers who were dismissed or left on their own, held their first Priesthood Meeting just outside of town. They named their group the “Second Ward” in contrast to those following Johnson, whom the Centennial Park group refers to as the “First Ward.” Initially they met in the home of Alma Timpson.
By 27 September 1986, the Centennial Park group had built a meeting house and later, in 2003, a charter school was built for the town’s growing elementary-age population.
Most of this group lives in Centennial Park City, Arizona (36°57′21.96″N 112°58′59.64″W), a town approximately 3 miles (5 km) south of the twin communities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, with a small number living in the Salt Lake Valley.
PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says there is an ongoing criminal investigation into a polygamous sect along the Utah-Arizona border.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ leader, Warren Jeffs, is jailed in Texas for life after being convicted of sexually assaulting two of his underage brides.
A 26-year-old woman who claims Jeffs forced her into marriage at age 14 has now fled the group. She says she and her six children were held against their will for years.
Horne says her allegations of forced underage sex, among other things, are part of the ongoing case, but he declined to provide details.
Jeffs was convicted in Texas after similar allegations were leveled against him and others following a 2008 raid on an FLDS ranch in Texas.
Ruby Jessop escape from Colorado City, Ariz. along with her six children ages 2 to 10.
“ She went to court in Kingman and got a court order to bring her children out. I talked to her for a bit his morning. The kids were huddled around a TV, which they have seldom if ever seen before. “
The woman had been living with her parents, and ran to the home of Willie Jessop, former spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who currently supports a rival seeking to replace Jeffs as prophet..
Washington County sheriff’s deputies helped one of the wives of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs leave the sect’s home base community along the Utah-Arizona border Monday.
The sheriff’s deputies helped diffuse what had become a standoff with FLDS men outside Jessop’s office, after a manhunt was launched, the woman was taken to a shelter. Deputies arrived on a ‘keep the peace’ call at about 3pm.
She asked for assistance in leaving the community,.
They are looking into allegations she was held against her own will and even drugged.
9 August, 2016
George P. Bush urges Republicans to back Trump. “The guy probably wasn’t his 10th choice. But he is the nominee we have, and George P. is doing what he needs to do, and I’m sure his father has absolutely no trouble with it.”
Samuel P. Bush
[June 2015 Rick Perry: candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president ]
“It was the weakest Republican field in history, and they kicked my butt,” Perry said in a self-deprecating speech at the 2012 Gridiron Club dinner. Rick Perry formally announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at an event in Addison, Texas, June 4, 2015 Perry, 65, has worked tirelessly to shed his image as a failed presidential candidate. Though he left office on Jan. 20, Perry has unfinished business back home in Austin. He was indicted last year on felony counts of abusing his power as governor by threatening to veto funding for a district attorney unless she resigned because of a drunk-driving arrest. Perry has denounced the case as a political witch hunt, and conservatives have rallied to his cause. Perry served as lieutenant governor of Texas before becoming the 47th governor of the state in 2000, when George W. Bush resigned from the position to assume the presidency.
[August 23 2014 Republican judge, prosecutor got indictment from Grand Jury]
Many reporters in Texas know Perry and are much more familiar with the details in this case, the fact that these are Republicans investigating this and that Perry has a history of hardball politics in forcing people out. This is a much more nuanced story than some in the Beltway understand.” Forrest Wilder, who is covering the story for the Texas Observer, noted in a recent piece that the criminal complaint against Perry filed in June 2013 by Texans for Public Justice was assigned to a Republican judge who then appointed a former prosecutor in the George H.W. Bush administration as special prosecutor.
“There is nothing about this indictment process that suggests partisan bias,” said Wilder. “You had a Republican judge who appointed a special prosecutor who has largely a Republican pedigree who presented testimony from 40 individuals. There were hundreds of documents reviewed and the grand jury decided to indict.”
He also called much of the national coverage “mystifying.”
Mike Norman, editorial director of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said
“The indictment is not the case and the national analysis is attacking the indictment and they don’t seem to see how this can be anything other than politics,” “If you’re saying that that process which our legal system set up produced only a political result, then you are saying the whole justice system is corrupt and I don’t believe that is the case.”
[August 16 Rick Perry indicted in Austin ]
A potential 2016 presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was indicted in Austin on August 15 for improperly withholding money from a state prosecutorial unit because its Democratic district attorney refused to resign after pleading guilty to drunken driving last year.
He faces felony counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. The first charge carries a maximum punishment of five to 99 years in prison, while the second could lead to two to 10 years behind bars
[October 2 2011 Rick Perry’s West Texas ranch lease documents]
The hunting camp was simple in the 1980s, just a cabin with a long table for cleaning fish and deer, a few bunks and a porch set along a riverbank
A second story was added to the old cabin, along with brown wood siding and an outdoor staircase.
28 June, 2016
From the majority opinion: “In addition to being inconsistent with both text and precedent, the Government’s expansive interpretation of “official act” would raise significant constitutional concerns.”
Lawyers for Silver, the former New York State Assembly speaker, said in a statement the McDonnell decision “makes clear that the federal government has gone too far in prosecuting state officials for conduct that is part of the everyday functioning of those in elected office.”
Silver, 72, was convicted of taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for various favors, including directing state grants to a particular doctor who passed on leads to him about potential law clients. Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
“The McDonnell decision will be central to Mr. Silver’s appeal,” his attorneys, Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, said.
May 30 William Rapfogel in prison at home
As part of his work-release program, William Rapfogel can now spend Wednesday through Sunday nights at “an approved residence,” state prison officials said. Sources say that is at home with his wife, Judy Rapfogel.
From the letter pleading for a lenient sentence for Sheldon Silver from Judy Rapfogel, Silver’s former Chief of Staff, with a state pension worth an estimated $87,000 a year:
“I could write volumes about the good work Shelly did for the people of the State of New York.”
William Rapfogel spends Monday and Tuesday nights after work at Lincoln Correctional Facility, a Manhattan work-release lockup on Central Park North in the former New Lincoln School at 31 West 110 Street. Lincoln’s population includes other white-collar criminals. “It’s more than a little ironic that quite a few of them have probably spent time in some of Central Park’s tonier and better-known addresses.”
[May 26 McDonnell: the boys get the summer off
Prosecutors with Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office agree to wait for a potentially pivotal Supreme Court decision to be handed down before arguing whether Skelos and his ne’er-do-well son Adam should be allowed to remain out of jail pending appeal of their corruption convictions.
Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni on Wednesday agreed to delay Sheldon Silver’s surrender date to Aug . 31 from July 1.
Former Senate Democratic leader John Sampson’s sentencing postponed from Thursday to June 22 by Brooklyn federal judge.
Issue: Whether “official action” under the controlling fraud statutes is limited to exercising actual governmental power, threatening to exercise such power, or pressuring others to exercise such power, and whether the jury must be so instructed; or, if not so limited, whether the Hobbs Act and honest-services fraud statute are unconstitutional. http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/04/afternoon-round-up-todays-argument-in-mcdonnell-v-united-states/
[May 13 Skelos out on bail, Sampson sentencing May 17
Wood has yet to decide on a surrender date. The judge asked both sides in the case to submit briefs on whether or not father and son should remain free pending appeal of their prison sentences. Just after the government began to make its final case before Wood, Dean Skelos’ wife, Gail, appeared to become overwhelmed and stood to leave. As Gail passed Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom throughout the sentencing Thursday, she told the federal prosecutor, “You can go to hell.”
[May 5 Skelos sentencing May 12, Sampson May 17]
Dean Skelos to be sentenced on May 12; a week later, John L. Sampson, a former leader of the Senate Democrats, will face his own sentencing.
On March 10, 2016, the Appellate Division First Department suspended John L. Sampson from the practice of law.
U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry refused to overturn jury verdicts convicting New York State Sen. John L. Sampson of obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents in a corruption case over his embezzlement of real estate funds, finding enough evidence to convict him on February 26, 2016,. Sampson moved in September 2015 to overturn his convictions on obstruction of justice and for lying about the check document, arguing the obstruction conviction is invalid because the charge was brought under the wrong statute and claiming he didn’t believe his statements to the FBI were literally false. USA v. Sampson, case number 1:13-cr-00269, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Sheldon Silver gets twelve years
#NY1TC fact: Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver also faces a $1.75 million fine and forfeiture of $5.3 million in assets.
— NY1 – The Call (@NY1TheCall) May 3, 2016
A compilation of lawmakers in New York state who have faced legal or ethical charges since 2000.
#NY1TC fact: Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver remains free on bail before he’s due to report to prison in July.
— NY1 – The Call (@NY1TheCall) May 3, 2016
[May 2 Andrew Cuomo was unaware Percoco was taking in money as a consultant while managing his campaign for Governor ]
[April 15 Sheldon Silver inamorata Patricia Lynch, former aide ]
On April 14, , U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ordered that documents related to the conviction of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges last fall be unsealed. Prosecutors say that the documents show Silver carried on extramarital affairs with at least two women—one of whom had business before the state legislature, and one of whom he helped get a government job.
“Sealed Party A” Sources identified the lobbyist as Patricia Lynch, a former top Silver aide who founded the once powerhouse firm of Patricia Lynch & Associates.
[ April 12 Sheldon Silver disbarred: sentencing postponed ]
The sentencing for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been postponed again until May 12th. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is being challenged for her Assembly seat in the Primary April 19.
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is no longer a lawyer, a state appellate court ruled March 29.
The disgraced ex-Assemblyman was stripped of his law license March 29 after a panel of Manhattan Appellate Division judges ruled that, based on Silver’s conviction on fraud and extortion charges in November, he was essentially automatically disbarred.
The court ruled Silver should be “stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York” as of Nov. 30, 2015, the date of his conviction.
In the Matter of Sheldon Silver, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Sheldon Silver, (OCA Atty. Reg. No. 1670736) Respondent.
[January 30 Hillary: the curious incident of the cleared bathroom]
Eliot Spitzer and his mother, Anne, threw $100,000 at a Martin O’Malley super-pac, Generation Forward PAC, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on January 29.
Perhaps significantly, the donation came in late September, when Spitzer was still dating Lis Smith, O’Malley’s deputy campaign manager. They have since broken up.
Generation Forward raised $514,000 in the entire second half of last year — about 20 percent of that came from the Spitzers. O’Malley is currently polling just over 2 percent nationally.
Hillary Clinton returned late to the Democratic debate stage December 16 in Manchester, New Hampshire because she was using the restroom
She allegedly waited for the restroom to be completely cleared out so that she wouldn’t have to share with Lis Smith, a Martin O’Malley staffer inside.
Smith is the girlfriend of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
[January 26 Skelos move for acquittal on all counts and a new trial]
In a three-page filing January 25, Lawyers for former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, who were convicted in December on public-corruption charges, move for acquittal on all counts and a new trial. “The defendants are seeking an acquittal because the evidence submitted at trial was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the offenses charged against them,”
[December 12 2015 Guilty, The Skeloses face sentencing March 3 at 10 a.m.]
Though the winds of Bharara’s storm have not blown on Cuomo’s executive branch yet,
[December 11 Skelos jurors asked to rehear some wiretap and other secret recordings]
Deliberations started December 10 at the Manhattan trial of the Long Island Republican and his 33-year-old son, Adam Skelos. At the outset, jurors asked to rehear some wiretap and other secret recordings central to the case.
Skelos offers no defense,
Skelos and his son opted against testifying in their own defense. Defense lawyers called no witnesses December 8 after the prosecution finished its case. Defense lawyers say Skelos and his son will be vindicated.
Skelos has retained his Senate seat but relinquished his leadership position.
Defense lawyers are scheduled to deliver closings Wednesday.
The summations cap a three-week trial that’s featured numerous recordings of father-son phone conversations as well as chats between the defendants and others.
The case is being tried before Southern District Judge Kimba Wood.
[December 2 Silver’s Chief of Staff Judith Rapfogel given notice]
Silver’s eight remaining staffers — including Chief of Staff Judith Rapfogel — have been given their six-week notices, officials said. Silver is still in line for a hefty state pension worth an estimated $87,000 a year. But prosecutors with Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office have warned that they would try to seize it if he can’t make restitution.
[December 1 Election for Sheldon Silver’s seat will be held on April 19]
Governor Andrew Cuomo has set a special election to fill former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s seat following his conviction November 30 on federal corruption charges. It will be held on April 19. Meanwhile, Silver’s attorneys say they will file an appeal to get the verdict overturned. The 71-year-old was found guilty on charges of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.
Within the space of less than a week, Silver, the former New York Assembly speaker, was found guilty on seven counts of corruption charges, while his old pal Rapfogel, the disgraced former CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, was released from prison.
[November 15 Day #1 State Senator Skelos goes on trial
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tatiana Martins promised the jury would hear “dozens” of wiretap recordings of Dean and Adam Skelos bragging of the family’s power and warning of the consequences of crossing them.
“I’m going to be president of the Senate,” Skelos boasted in one of those recordings, according to the criminal complaint. “I’m going to be majority leader. I’m going to control everything. I’m going to control who gets on what committees, what legislation goes to the floor, what legislation comes through committees, the budget, everything.”
Quoting this statement, Martins said: “As Dean Skelos’ power grew, Adam Skelos’ wallet grew too.”
To avoid detection for their political favors, the Skeloses spoke in “code words” and used “burner phones,” Martins said, referring to disposable prepaid cellphones commonly used by drug dealers.
Attorneys for Dean Skelos, a Republican from Nassau County, acknowledge that he helped his son get jobs with the Scottsdale, Arizona-based environmental firm AbTech and the medical malpractice insurance company PRI, as prosecutors allege.
The senator’s attorney Robert Gage, from the firm Gage, Spencer & Fleming, LLP, cast this as the behavior of a “concerned and involved father, not a criminal conspiracy.”
[November 16] State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate goes on trial
State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate, and his son, Adam Skelos, have both pleaded not guilty; jury selection beain on November 16.
Their trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan on an eight-count indictment that includes bribery and extortion charges is scheduled to begin just as the unrelated corruption case against Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly, enters its third week.
November 9 Convicted ex-NYS Senator Malcolm Smith turned himself in to prison\
Convicted ex-NYS Senator Malcolm Smith turned himself in to a rural Pennsylvania prison October 27 to begin serving his 7 year prison sentence for trying to buy his way onto the ballot to become mayor of New York
Sheldon Silver trial continues
The case against Silver will turn on whether prosecutors can produce and explain evidence that the ex-speaker’s maneuverings and deals rose to the level of criminal activities rather than an extreme form of routine Albany deal-making politics. “There are two sides to every story, and we haven’t heard [Silver’s] side” yet, wrote Mel Miller in a Wall Street Journal op-ed column earlier this year. Will Silver and Skelos be convicted? If they are, will they be sent to prison? The historical record may give both men cause for hope.
Silver can appeal
Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno was indicted by federal authorities for wire and mail fraud and other corrupt actions in 2009. Five years of trials, convictions, appeals, and challenges to the constitutionality of the laws that were the basis of prosecution resulted in acquittal. Bruno held a press conference to declare he had been completely exonerated and that the whole thing had been “persecution, not prosecution.” New York taxpayers wound up footing most of Bruno’s legal bills because state law allows officials to be reimbursed for “reasonable” legal fees if they are acquitted of crimes pertaining to their official duties.
One-time Assembly Speaker Melvin Miller and his law partner were convicted in 1991 of federal charges of cheating legal clients out of some of the profits from investments in cooperative apartments in New York City. The charges were unrelated to Miller’s legislative work but the conviction meant automatic expulsion from the legislature. Miller was sentenced to community service which he performed at the Henry Street and University Settlements in New York City, working on mental health and other problems. Two years later, the conviction was overturned on appeal. Miller’s actions “may not have been a model of candor and disclosure,” the court said, but they did not constitute crimes. Miller decided not to run for office again but continued his legal practice and also worked as a lobbyist.
In 1975, Assembly Speaker Stanley Steingut and his son were indicted on charges that they had promised to assist a donor to the younger Stenigut’s campaign for City Council to obtain an unsalaried city job in return for a $2,500 contribution. The exact nature of the position was never clear; press speculation was that it was an honorary deputy police commissioner or unsalaried adviser to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The Steinguts apparently did not deliver the promised position and the aggrieved donor — or someone else, it was never entirely clear — complained to the district attorney. He brought charges under a seldom invoked statue that said an office holder could be charged with “corruptly using” his position in exchange for a benefit, usually cash. It was a shaky case at best.
Steingut denied the accusation and refused to resign as Speaker. Two years later, the Count of Appeals dismissed the indictment on the grounds that there was no evidence of “a materially harmful impact upon governmental processes.” Steingut was elated but his vindication led to overconfidence and neglect of politics in his home district. In 1978, he lost his Assembly seat in a primary election.
Then-Assembly Speaker Perry B. Duryea and several others were indicted in 1973 for “vote siphoning.” Prosecutors asserted that they set up a phony Liberal Party committee to print and distribute literature for Liberal candidates in marginal legislative districts in order to draw votes away from Democratic candidates, thereby aiding Republicans.
Duryea proclaimed his innocence and refused to step down as Speaker. The next year the charges were dismissed when the section of the election law requiring sponsors of political literature to identify themselves was ruled unconstitutional. Duryea believed the whole thing was a scheme by political opponents to derail his pursuit of the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1974. Four years later, out from under the cloud of the voting scandal, he secured the nomination but lost the election to Governor Hugh Carey.
Senator Arthur Wicks of Kingston became majority leader in 1949 and, in 1953, also began serving as acting Lieutenant Governor after the incumbent resigned. Press investigative reports that fall disclosed that he had made several visits to Joseph Fay, a labor union leader imprisoned in Sing Sing prison for extortion. Wicks made a paid TV broadcast on Oct. 18, 1953, saying that he had once asked Fay’s help “to see that [a union] jurisdictional fight terminated” and other times had asked him “to keep labor peace in my district.”
Wicks compared the visits to Fay to the President negotiating with Communist leader Joseph Stalin — unpleasant but necessary. That analogy didn’t wash with Governor Thomas Dewey or most state senators. Wicks was never formally charged with wrongdoing but consulting with a felon at Sing Sing hardly seemed appropriate for one of the state’s top officials. Dewey convinced him to resign as majority leader and acting Lieutenant Governor. But he held on to his Senate seat, and was re-elected in 1954.
In 1910, Senator Benn Conger accused Majority Leader Jotham P. Allds of having taken a bribe to kill a piece of legislation back in 1901, when both were serving in the Assembly. Allds proclaimed his innocence, the Senate investigated, and an eyewitness testified that he had seen Allds take a $1,000 bribe in Conger’s presence. “I guess it’s all right, Conger, it feels good!” Allds had said as he put the envelope with the bribe into his suit pocket. Allds resigned from the Senate just before a vote that had been scheduled to expel him. But he was never prosecuted.
The Senate investigation that unseated Allds also revealed that S. Frederick Nixon, Assembly Speaker from 1899 to 1905 had often taken bribes to advance or kill legislation. He was at the head of a corrupt system of “bill-killing and law-getting,” in the words of a contemporary journal article. By 1910, though, Nixon was dead, so only his reputation was tarnished.
History suggests that neither party is more inclined to corruption than the other. Silver, Miller, and Steingut are Democrats; Skelos, Bruno, Duryea, Wicks and Allds, Republicans.
Silver has been speaker since 1994, the second longest tenured speaker in history, and some people have suggested that is too long, leading to arrogance and a sense of entitlement.
[May 12 Republican State Senator Dean Skelos resigns from his position as majority leader]
Senate Republicans succeeded in convincing State Senator Dean Skelos to resign from his position as majority leader. Skelos has maintained his innocence and repeatedly said he had no plans to step down until persuaded otherwise by editorial boards and other political leaders. State Senator John Flanagan, a Skelos ally who chairs the Senate Education Committee, is said to be his replacement. In January, the Assembly starred in a nearly identical bit of resignation drama; Sheldon Silver stepped down from his role as speaker after being arrested on federal corruption charges. Skelos, who will still serve in the Senate he led since 2008,decided to give up his leadership post because he recognized he was becoming a “distraction.
[May 4 Dean Skelos and his son Adam surrender to Feds]
[April 30 Judy Rapfogel, $180, 503-a-year; Firm in Skelos Probe Hires Defense Attorney]
AbTech Industries, an Arizona company caught up in a federal investigation into New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos has retained defense attorney Randy Mastro to provide counsel to the president and the company.
Nassau County legislators who approved a large contract that federal prosecutors reportedly are scrutinizing as part of a corruption probe into State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said they did not know the winning bidder had employed Skelos’ son. AbTech Industries, an Arizona company received a $12 million storm-water treatment contract from Nassau County, even though another company submitted a lower bid. The senator, 67, and Adam, 32, live in houses near each other in Rockville Centre.
Silver’s friend and chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel, has been raking in $180, 503-a-year and even received a $10,000 raise in the month prior to Silver’s arrest. Rapfogel’s salary, which exceeds the $179,000 earned by Gov. Cuomo, remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff, with her responsibilities diminishing.
[February 1 Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek
US Attorney Preet Bharara’s ongoing investigation of Albany corruption is closely examining the relationship between Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek, the Long Island law firm that has been paying him as much as $250,000 a year.
More on Skelos
New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) has retained Silver’s veteran staff, including Counsel James Yates and Program and Policy Secretary Lou Ann Ciccone. Communications Director Michael Whyland has also been asked to stay. In 1997 his mother, Helene, was arrested by the Bronx district attorney and charged with embezzling $197,000 from a nonprofit called the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Center.The organization was funded entirely by tax dollars and was supposed to provide home health care to Medicare and Medicaid recipients. Helene Heastie was a high-level employee there for many years Helene Heastie ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree grand larceny, a felony, and was sentenced to five years’ probation.
[February 6 Malcolm Smith guilty on bribery charges]
A White Plains federal found Malcolm Smith, guilty on bribery charges. The trial was actually the second for Smith — the first one last year ended in a mistrial for him, but resulted in the conviction of one of their co-conspirators, former city Councilman Daniel Halloran. More below.
More on Skelos
anuary 31 State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos next after Silver?]
A probe from information provided by a tipster is on into state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ outside income. Mike Avella, a lobbyist who is close to Skelos and other GOP senators, is partners with Brian Meara, a veteran lobbyist who helped the feds bust Silver. US Attorney Preet Bharara is looking at his connections to various real estate deals.
NY State Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos’ office released a statement saying “Last night’s thinly sourced report by WNBC is irresponsible and does not meet the standards of serious journalism,”
Earlier, Skelos denied he would replace Sen. Thomas Libous as his deputy.
1 Jul 2014: Republican state Sen. Thomas Libous of Binghamton, was arraigned on charges of lying to the FBI about using his influence to get his son a job with a Westchester County law firm in exchange for the senator’s promises to steer business to the firm. Prosecutors also believe the senator arranged for a lobbying firm to pay the law firm $50,000 a year to defray the cost of “the inflated salary that Libous requested” for his son, according to the indictment.
[January 29 Silver to resign: Weitz & Luxenberg was shocked — shocked0
[ January 28 Silver to resign “I believe very deeply in the institution”]
Sheldon Silver January 27 agreed to resign as Assembly speaker . Silver’s decision to step down came amid calls from fellow Democrats to do so.
“I will not impede the process. . . .I believe very deeply in the institution.”
A NYC speaker has long been the tradition. The last upstate speaker was Binghamton’s James Tallon, who only held the position for a few days after the conviction on federal fraud charges of former Speaker Mel Miller, who was later exonerated. Tallon, as majority leader, automatically rose to the position of interim speaker when Miller was convicted, but he was quickly deposed by Assemblyman Saul Weprin, of Queens. Mr. Miller, who now works for former Sen. Al D’Amato’s lobbying firm, Park Strategies, said he speaks with Mr. Silver occasionally.
Majority Leader Joe Morelle said with a throng of Democrats standing behind him. “The members will come out on the floor. We will set Feb. 10 as the election date for the new speaker.” The Feb. 10 vote for speaker will be the first in 21 years. Elected to the chamber in 1976, Silver was picked by his colleagues.
Silver has presided over the state’s budget negotiations for two decades as speaker. New York state’s budget process is highly condensed with the state’s fiscal year starting on April 1, compared with July 1 for most other state. That means any delay runs the risk of overshooting the deadline.
“This is truly unchartered territory,” said McMahon. “The executive state budget is a big unwieldy document, so in such a compressed budget period every day counts.”
The Ways and Means Committee, the body responsible for negotiating the budget on behalf of the Assembly, is still missing a permanent secretary, and the fate of Silver’s counsel Jim Yates, a key budget negotiator, is now also uncertain.
[January 22 Feds seize $3.8 million of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’ money]
“There is probable cause to believe that Silver received approximately $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.” Mr. Silver did essentially no work for the payments.
Prosecutors seized approximately $3.8 million of Mr. Silver’s money on January 22 morning.
His longtime Senate counterpart, Joseph Bruno, was acquitted of taking bribes disguised as consulting fees from an upstate businessman.
One of Silver’s predecessors as speaker, Mel Miller, was convicted of corruption in the early 1990s but the conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court.
Two former state Senate Democratic leaders, John Sampson and Malcolm Smith, are facing criminal charges.
Federal investigators arrested state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who represents the Lower East Side and has been the speaker for more than 20 years, January 22 on corruption charges. Silver was being held Thursday at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. He was afforded the right of self-surrender, as opposed to a public “perp” walk, owing to his status as a veteran state lawmaker.
Silver is expected to appear in court for arraignment later in the day
[January 5 New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and 421a tax breaks]
There are 1,294 active petitions for reassessment of property taxes by real estate developers retaining Goldberg & Iryami as counsel. At least 27 of those properties separately receive §421a tax breaks. Many of the petitions for reassessment were submitted by large developers including Leonard Litwin and Baruch Singer.
[January 1 Silver and money not listed on the Assembly speaker’s annual financial disclosure forms]
01/01/15: Assembly Speaker Sheldon predicted the Democrat-dominated Assembly would re-elect him to the post he has held since 1994.
“Members of my conference have confidence in me, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on this matter,” Mr. Silver said.
Goldberg & Iryami, is said to have paid New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver money over the course of about a decade. The payments, however, were not listed on the Assembly speaker’s annual financial disclosure forms. How much money Silver received from the firm is unclear, but the sum is thought to be “substantial”. Goldberg & Iryami, has two lawyers, has represented owners of properties across New York City, including the owners of several large co-ops on the Lower East Side, the home of Silver’s political base. The firm has tried to lower real estate taxes on Silver’s co-op, the Hillman Housing Corp., and the building across the street that houses his campaign committee.
Rep. Michael Grimm to pleads guilty to felony count of tax evasion, resigns
House Speaker John Boehner said Grimm had made an “honorable” decision in stepping down.
“I know it was made with the best interests of his constituents and the institution in mind, and I appreciate his years of service in the House,” he said.
In a 20-count indictment in April, prosecutors accused Grimm of paying employees with envelopes of cash and of lying under oath about his responsibility for handling payroll.
He pleaded not guilty at the time, insisting he was the target of a political witch hunt and said he would fight tooth and nail until he was exonerated, but changed his mind after discussion with Boehner December 29.
[December 22]Rep. Michael Grimm to plead guilty to felony count of tax evasion, sources say
The Staten Island Republican was charged in a 20-count indictment with hiding more than $1 million in income and wages at a Manhattan restaurant he co-owned
[October 3 Rob Astorino places daisy attack ad just once, gets lots of web talk]
Republican Rob Astorino has released a TV spot that mimics a 1964 ad against Goldwater to attack Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
[July 29 City Councilman Dan Halloran guilty ]
Former City Councilman Dan Halloran was found guilty Tuesday of masterminding a failed $200,000 bribery scheme to get Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith the Republican line in last year’s mayoral election. A White Plains federal jury deliberated for less than an hour and a half before finding the disgraced Queens Republican guilty on all five counts of bribery, wire fraud and racket eeriing charges that he faced. Afterwards, federal prosecutors accused Halloran of committing perjury on the witness stand and Judge Kenneth Karas also said he doubted the pol’s “candor” under oath. [June 27 Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, Washington Heights, resigns, gets a year and 18 months in jail under plea]
Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa (D-Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill) pleaded guilty June 27 to committing marriage fraud 18 years ago to become a U.S. citizen. Rosa was the chief of staff for disgraced City Councilman Miguel Martinez, who resigned when it was discovered he was funneling Council money to nonprofits he and family members were connected to. As part of her guilty plea in Manhattan federal court, Gabriela Rosa agreed to immediately step down as representative of the 72nd Assembly District covering Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. She was elected in 2012. Ms. Rosa, 47 years old, said in court that she lied to immigration officials about her marital status in 1996 and lied on her bankruptcy petition 13 years later about her and her second husband’s incomes. “I married this person and it was not a real marriage,” Ms. Rosa, 47 years old, said before Judge Denise Cote in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Each count carries a maximum five year sentence. But under the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend that Judge Cote sentence Ms. Rosa to between a year and 18 months in jail and fine her up to $30,000. Ms. Rosa was released on $100,000 bail. After court, Ms. Rosa said, “The decision I am making today to step down it is not related to my performance as a member of the assembly.” [June 19] The federal bribery case against New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith ended in a mistrial on June 17, giving the former majority leader a chance to seek an eighth term in office before he is retried in January. for Messrs. Smith and Tabone opted to start over, and a new trial date was set for Jan. 5 2015. A federal judge granted a mistrial motion for Smith in the $200,000 bribery case, as well as a top Queens Republican operative, after not enough jurors were willing to serve more than a month longer than expected to resolve issues with recently disclosed taped calls by the government’s star witness. Mr. de Blasio told reporters today that he will not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary for the uptown and Bronx-based seat held by Congressman Charlie Rangel. Mr. de Blasio who managed his campaign in the 1990s, simply said “no” when questioned about his endorsement. Mr. de Blasio was long rumored to remain neutral in the race or even back Mr. Espaillat–both the city comptroller and speaker of the City Council already endorsed Mr. Espaillat–but his decision to not endorse Mr. Rangel.
[June 5] Diana Durand of Houston, The ex-girlfriend of New York Rep. Michael Grimm ]
Diana Durand of Houston, The ex-girlfriend of New York Rep. Michael Grimm , pleaded not guilty to charges she was involved in his campaign straw donor scheme, through her lawyer on June 2 in federal court in Brooklyn. Many believe that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C, Brooklyn-Staten Island) will stick it out and still have a fair chance of getting re-elected in November in the very heated race with Democrat Domenic Recchia. The national ultra-negative perception of Michael Grimm and his alleged misdeeds differs substantially from that of Staten Island.
Bay Ridge-Staten Island Republican-Conservative Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis says she will not enter the race (if Grimm leaves the ballot) “because we already have a congressman.” There remains the outside possibility that the very photogenic Assemblywoman Malliotakis, a far more attractive candidate could be a congressional nominee in November. She’s smart, personable, with a good sense of humor, and she isn’t afraid of challenging her critics when she feels she’s not being fairly treated. To win her first term, she had to defeat very talented incumbent Democrat Janele Hyer-Spencer, who had every bit of support possible from Democratic Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver. [June 2] Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes – “Even my players aren’t players” – Casey Stengel
The city Department of Investigation has found that former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes possibly used more than $200,000 of assets seized during criminal investigations to pay political consultants, the agency said in a report released June 2. DOI investigators found “possible criminal conduct” concerning the source of payments made to the firm of Mortimer Matz, a longtime spokesman and consultant to the district attorney’s office, the report said. The funds were paid during Mr. Hynes’s failed 2013 re-election bid, the report said. Mr. Matz’s services appear to have been paid for, in part from the state forfeiture fund. Between January 2011 and November 2013, Mr. Matz’s public relations firm, Matz, Blancato & Associates submitted approximately 80 invoices to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the report said. The description section of each invoice charged a $536.40 daily rate and noted it was for public relations and communications services, the report said. Investigators said the invoices bill the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office $2,682 a week. The office issued an average of two or three checks of that size to Mr. Matz’s firm monthly, and that the money appears to have been paid from a subaccount called “asset forfeiture,” the report said. The specified reason for each check was “office consultants (not case related),” the report said. Between 2012 and 2013, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office paid Matz, Blancato & Associates $219,924 total, the report said. Office personnel told investigators that between 2003 and 2013, the district attorney’s office paid Mr. Matz’s firm approximately $1.1 million out of the state asset forfeiture funds. Mr. Hynes, 78, who served 24 years in office before being defeated by Kenneth Thompson this fall, also used office emails for campaign purposes and enlisted workers, some high-ranking, to help in his re-election bid during office hours [May 22]
Former Bronx state Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was sentenced to 3 years in prison o n May 21 by a federal judge who said he had “betrayed” his constituents by taking $22,000 in bribes from four businessmen – Igor Belyansky, Rostislav Belyansky, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman – to operate and build adult day-care centers in New York City’s Bronx borough. “The crimes of conviction were selling an assemblyman’s core functions for money,” Manhattan U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska told Stevenson, 47, a two-term Democrat. As part of the investigation, prosecutors secured the cooperation of another state legislator, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, a Bronx Democrat, who wore a wire as part of a deal to avoid perjury charges related to statements he made when he was a candidate in 2008. Castro resigned from office in April 2013 when the Stevenson case became public. Although it was more than Stevenson wanted, the sentence fell well short of the four-plus years requested by prosecutor Preet Bharara. [May 14]
Rasheida Smith, Rep. Charles Rangel’s campaign manager helped create a nonprofit for City Councilman Reuben Wills. “With no decision-making authority, my firm acted as a filer for several non-profits in this administrative capacity only with no continuing role with any of these entities after the initial filings,” Smith wrote. Smith is the founder of her own consulting firm, Dunton Consulting, and previously worked for at least two other politicians facing corruption charges, state Sens. Malcolm Smith and John Sampson. [May 8] Councilman Ruben Wills, 42, of Jamaica, Queens, was arrested Wednesday on charges including scheming to defraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records. Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) — for whom Wills once worked as chief of staff —steered a $33,000 legislative appropriation known as a “member item” to a charity Wills controlled, New York 4 Life, which had vowed to use the money to attack childhood obesity, help single dads and moms, and revitalize neighborhoods. The charity held one event costing $14,000 — and Wills took the rest “for personal benefit,” Ruben Wells also is charged with theft from his 2009 campaign. He created a shell company called Micro Targeting that billed Wills’ campaign $11,500 for work that was never performed. After receiving payment, Wills wrote a $6,800 check to New York 4 Life. Wills then withdrew that money or used it for purchases, such as the Vuitton bag, which he bought at Macy’s.
Judy Rapfogel is married to William Rapfogel and is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff and longtime confidant. She earns $153,385 a year and is widely seen to be among the speaker’s most loyal aides. The fact that Vito Lopez, former member of the New York State Assembly, and the former chairman of the Democratic Party of Kings County, told one of his alleged victims that Silver and Rapfogel had an affair doesn’t make it true. She not attend the hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer have filed for divorce. According to his 2011 and 2012 tax returns, Spitzer received a total of $350,000 in compensation for his work at Spitzer Engineering, plus nearly $5 million in real estate rents, and trusts and partnership income. He also received $2 million from his failed stint at as a talking head on CNN. Silda Wall is principal of NewWorld Capital Group, LLC NewWorld Capital Group is a private equity firm focused on investing in the rapidly-growing environmental opportunities sector, principally in the United States and Canada. NewWorld makes growth equity and control investments in mid-sized and smaller companies in energy efficiency, clean energy, water resources and reclamation, waste-to-value, and related environmental services. The Firm does not accept technology risk and invests only when a strong partnership can be formed with company management. NewWorld comprises a group of experienced investors and business builders from General Electric, McKinsey, and several private equity firms. [August 15 2013] William Rapfogel was canned after his board found “financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies,” the organization said. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Controller Thomas DiNapoli confirmed they are investigating, but declined to further comment. Rapfogel is believed to have purchased insurance policies at inflated prices using the Met Council’s money and then received kickbacks from the agent, Century Coverage Corp., that sold them, a source said. The arrangement has been going on since at least 2009, the source added more Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, is backed by 25 percent of Democratic voters, followed by 16 percent for William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, and 14 percent for Bill de Blasio, the public advocate. Anthony D. Weiner garners the support of 10 percent. Many voters have a visceral dislike for her. She generates the strongest negative emotions of any of the top Democrats. In private, another Ms. Quinn can emerge: controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath. She has threatened, repeatedly, to slice off the private parts of those who cross her. It’s going to be difficult for Quinn to reverse this impression between now and September 10. It may even be impossible, given her prominence as City Council speaker and the messy sausage-making that comes with the job [August 6] Billionaire George Soros endorsed New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor. Soros said de Blasio, a 52-year-old Democrat, would work to reduce economic inequality and guard against too much influence over elections by corporations and wealthy individuals. Soros, who has given the campaign $2,000, was unavailable for interviews. He lives in Katonah in Westchester County, where he’s registered to vote. De Blasio placed second to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a July 29 Quinnipiac University poll of likely Democratic mayoral voters, with 21 percent to Quinn’s 27 percent. Former city Comptroller William Thompson ranked third with 20 percent; former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner had 16 percent; and current Comptroller John Liu, 6 percent. The poll had a 4.6 percentage-point margin of error. De Blasio has raised $6.3 million from 5,631 donors, according to his July statement to the city Campaign Finance Board, which yesterday awarded him $2.2 million in 6-to-1 matching funds on donations of $175 or less. As of July 15, he’d spent about $1.9 million, and had a balance of $4.3 million. Board regulations place a $6.4 million spending limit on the primary election. [July 18]
Anthony D. Weiner and Christine C. Quinn remain at the front of the pack among Democratic candidates for mayor Mr. Weiner, a former United States representative who resigned after exchanging sexually explicit messages with women he knew only online, captured 25 percent of the vote among registered Democrats. He was followed closely by Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, with 22 percent. The difference between Mr. Weiner and Ms. Quinn was not statistically significant, because it was within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Mr. Weiner’s high standing was in part the result of strong support among black Democratic voters. Nearly a third supported him; only 14 percent supported Mr. Thompson, who is black and had been expected to be the most formidable candidate within the city’s African-American electorate. None of the candidates for mayor seems to have anything near the 40 percent required to avoid a runoff; if no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote in the primary, the two leading candidates will face off on Oct. 1. [July 10]
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer leads Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer by nine percentage points in the race for New York City comptroller. Among registered Democrats, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate, Mr. Spitzer outpaces Mr. Stringer 42% to 33% in the Democratic primary, the poll showed. Nearly a quarter of voters were undecided, but two-thirds of Democrats, or 67%, said they believe Mr. Spitzer, who resigned as governor five years ago after he was caught patronizing prostitutes, should be given a second chance. [July 1]
The Assembly ended its session without acting on a bill to bar the state from entering into confidential settlements — despite Speaker Sheldon Silver’s vow in the wake of the Vito Lopez scandal to pass the measure. Silver promised to push the bill at a news conference in May, part of his mea culpa over ex-Assemblyman Lopez. The Manhattan Democrat has been heavily criticized for entering into a secret $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement with the first two women who accused Lopez of harassing them . Some of Silver’s Democratic members were worried that a total ban on confidential settlements could keep sex harassment victims from coming forward .. Silver has vowed that the Assembly will no longer agree to confidentiality settlements . “Which is it?” one insider asked. “You don’t move the bill because it will keep people from coming forward but then implement it yourself? It makes no sense.” Silver has already admitted it was a mistake to settle the initial complaints against Assemblyman Vito Lopez without forwarding the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee – “one that will not be repeated.” “The speaker is deeply committed to ensuring that all our employees are treated with respect and dignity,” Whyland said in the statement. [June 26]
Mr. Weiner has passed City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the longtime front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary, according to a poll released June 25. Mr. Weiner is now backed by 25 percent of registered Democrats, followed by Ms. Quinn with 20 percent, according to the poll, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC New York and the Marist Poll, a rise without the help of any major union endorsement and a testament to just how split the labor vote could be in the primaries. But the newest poll adds flame to the fear of Democrats when Weiner first stirred speculation of a run with the New York Times Magazine profile on him and his wife, Huma Abedin: that his entry could lead to a runoff and, as a result, hand the election to the Republicans. [June 11] http://youtu.be/SisEaYYctEY
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said June 10 no final decision has been made on whether the state attorney general will represent him in two sexual-harassment lawsuits filed by former staffers against the speaker and ex-Assemb. Vito Lopez. The lawsuits, filed in federal and state courts last week, claim that Lopez (D-Brooklyn) routinely groped and harassed young female staffers and that Silver (D-Manhattan) abetted Lopez by quietly settling similar claims made by previous Lopez staffers. Asked if Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, also a Democrat, would represent him or if he’d turn to outside counsel, Silver said: “The matter is in litigation and is being sent to the attorney general as is every litigation against a state officer. . . . We have not concluded with the attorney general, but it is the ordinary course of business.” [June 6]
State GOP Chairman Ed Cox called JCOPE “toothless” and reiterated his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Silver. The Daily News scoop that an omitted email from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics report on the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal accuses Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with an aide has given Republicans a new opening to criticize. State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox used the news to excoriate not just Silver, but aslo Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not seeking a new investigation into the powerful Assembly speaker.
An email claims Lopez “repeatedly” told one of the women “that he wanted their relationship to be the same as Mr. Silver’s to his Chief of Staff and was explicit in what that meant. The state ethics committee that investigated sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez omitted it from its final report. Silver’s chief of staff is longtime confidant Judy Rapfogel, who earns $153,385 a year and is widely seen to be among the speaker’s most loyal aides. Rapfogel, who is married to William Rapfogel, chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, called the comments in the email “absurd and insulting to all women.” Salted away in the fine print was $687,000 for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty — twice the $340,000 salary of Met Council executive director William Rapfogel, the husband of Silver’s $154,000-a-year chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel. Chief Executive Officer: William E. Rapfogel William E. Rapfogel has served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) since 1992. During the past two decades, it has grown into one of New York City’s largest and most efficient non-profits. Met Council and its grassroots network of Jewish Community Councils provide over 100,000 New Yorkers with immediate relief and lasting solutions to poverty. Mr. Rapfogel’s advocacy and expertise on the evolving issues surrounding Jewish poverty has won praise and recognition at national, state and city levels, including White House recognition. Through his leadership, Met Council continues to be on the cutting edge in its development of innovative comprehensive social services and community development to aid, sustain, and empower those in need. Prior to joining Met Council, Mr. Rapfogel served as Executive Director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. He also served as Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Metropolitan Region. Mr. Rapfogel spent several years as Assistant New York City Comptroller under Harrison J. Goldin, and three years in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. A graduate of Brooklyn College and the Columbia University Graduate Institute for Non-Profit Management, he serves on the board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Kingsborough Community College Foundation, and as Vice Chairman of Senior Health Partners. He also served on the New York State Food Policy Council, and also serves as a member of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Council. The document — a Feb. 14, 2012, email sent to Assembly lawyers from an attorney representing two Lopez staffers who accused Lopez of groping them — suggests Silver had an inappropriate relationship with a top aide. Lopez “repeatedly” told one of the women “that he wanted their relationship to be the same as Mr. Silver’s to his Chief of Staff and was explicit in what that meant.” The email also claims that the groping victims were so afraid of Silver and his chummy relationship with Lopez — and so upset that the Assembly had failed to “fully investigate” their allegations — that they declined an offer to take another job in the Assembly. The note from lawyer Mariann Wang, does not offer any proof that the Democratic speaker had a relationship with his chief of staff beyond the third-hand account attributed to Lopez, who was using it in an effort to seduce a staffer. Wang, who declined to comment, apparently invoked the alleged relationship to buttress her suggestion that the close ties between Silver and Lopez made her clients feel unsafe. “As I said to you on the phone last week,” Wang wrote to Assembly lawyer William Collins, “we do want to make clear that, from our perspective, the Assembly’s failure to fully investigate the allegations or take any correction action . . . combined with the fact that we understand that Mr. Lopez is quite close to Mr. Silver makes it difficult, particularly for (the victim) to feel safe or secure in returning to the Assembly.” The email is embarrassing to Silver both because of the allegation about his personal life and because it documents the women’s alarm over the Assembly’s “failure” to investigate their complaints. That alarm offers a direct contradiction to Silver’s repeated claim that the only reason he never sent the women’s allegations to the Assembly Ethics Committee was because the women wanted to keep the matter quiet and preferred to settle their complaints rather than see them move forward. The email was among documents turned over to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known at JCOPE, when it started looking into the Lopez matter after two other women came forward with allegations against the former Brooklyn Democratic Party boss. But when the commission released its blockbuster report last month, there was no mention of the Feb. 14 email. The email also was not among the hundreds of supporting documents made public by the ethics commission in conjunction with the report, though several other email exchanges between Wang and Collins were disclosed. The report, which accused Lopez of a “pervasive pattern of abuse” that saw him grope and torment at least eight female staffers since 2010, forced Lopez to resign his Assembly seat last month. It also prompted Silver to apologize for his handling of the matter after the report found Silver and Assembly lawyers ignored the chamber’s own sexual harassment policy by not sending the complaints to the Assembly’s Ethics Committee for investigation. The report found Silver exposed more women to harassment from Lopez by instead settling the case in a deal that cost taxpayers more than $103,000. But the Joint Commission has been criticized for not more aggressively scrutinizing the speaker’s actions. A JCOPE spokesman wouldn’t comment on whether the email was deliberately omitted. “The Joint Commission issued a comprehensive report which included critical evidence related to allegations that Vito Lopez violated the state public officers law, and it was released in its entirety,” said spokesman John Milgrim. Silver has admitted it was a mistake to not send the initial complaints to the ethics committee but has repeatedly maintained it was done to protect the anonymity of the victims. “The only instance in which a complaint would not be handled by the ethics committee would be if a victim insisted for reasons of personal privacy that it not go before the committee,” the Assembly said in a statement last August. “The Assembly would only keep such a matter confidential at the express insistence of the victim.” As recently as last month, Silver insisted his actions were done to protect the victims. “That I allowed this system to be bypassed in the first instance, even though I believed I was acting in good faith, was a failure on my part, and now that we know the atrociousness of the misconduct, it only makes the failure more glaring,” Silver said at a press conference. JCOPE, in its report, notes a Jan. 19, 2012, email Collins sent to Wang complaining that her clients had not responded to repeated Assembly requests for guidance on what actions they wanted the Assembly to take. The report also includes Wang’s immediate reply that it was the Assembly’s responsibility — not her clients’ — to determine what steps to take regarding an investigation. No mention is made, however, of the stronger language in the Feb. 14 email. Silver spokesman Michael Whyland downplayed the significance of the Feb. 14 email and JCOPE’s decision not to mention it in its report. “This is correspondence between lawyers many weeks into a settlement process requested by the employees’ attorney and months after the allegations were first made,” Whyland said in a statement. “The JCOPE report shows we clearly reached out to the victim to determine how she wanted to proceed. In retrospect, this decision was wrong, and, as we have stated, we should have immediately forwarded the initial contact from the victim to the Assembly Ethics Committee,” he continued. “As we said from the start, we have made mistakes in the way this was handled, and we are making major changes in the Assembly to ensure that they do not happen again.” Wang’s email marked the second time Silver has been publicly accused of having inappropriate relations with staff members since the Lopez scandal erupted. In trying to beat back the charges against his client, Lopez attorney Gerald Lefcourt wrote in a submission to JCOPE that “stories of the speaker’s serial and sometimes overlapping personal relationships with his own staff have long circulated in Albany.” Whyland called those allegations “despicable and false.” [May 28] While Schneiderman opposed the settlement as unfair and inadequate, saying losses to shareholders were $6.6 billion. He argued that a prior appeals court ruling meant that approval of the class-action settlement would preclude the state from obtaining damages. Then he dropped the damages claim, the state cited the settlement and the desire to “avoid further delay.” An attorney for Greenberg now argues that by dropping its pursuit of money damages, the lawsuit is fatally flawed. New York “long ago abandoned” any claim for an injunction, such as a bar from the securities industry, Greenberg attorney David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP wrote in an April 26 letter to the appeals court. [May 22]
A New York ethics commission found that Assemblyman Vito Lopez violated state law by sexually harassing four female staff members, and that Speaker Sheldon Silver and his staff concealed the charges in a bid to avoid negative publicity. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, in a long-anticipated, 70-page report released Wednesday, described in graphic detail the accounts of four women who worked for Mr. Lopez, including allegations that he made demeaning comments about their appearance and dress, required them to send him flattering text messages and pressed them for intimate contact. The commission found that Mr. Lopez’s conduct violated three provisions of the state’s public officers law, and referred the matter to the Assembly’s Legislative Ethics Commission, which can fine the assemblyman $10,000. In a statement, Mr. Lopez’s called the report’s findings “fallacious,” saying its findings “are simply not true.” Silver spokesman Michael Whyland, in a statement, noted that Silver has already admitted it was a mistake to settle the initial complaints against Assemblyman Vito Lopez without forwarding the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee – “one that will not be repeated.” “The speaker is deeply committed to ensuring that all our employees are treated with respect and dignity,” Whyland said in the statement. Silver, according to Whyland, reiterated his call for Lopez to resign. more
In the thick of the heated mayoral race, in which Christine Quinn is the Democratic front-runner but has seen her lead ebb somewhat recently, and ahead of a Quinn memoir that will be released on June 11, 2013 perhaps with voters’ questions in mind, Quinn, 46, said she went to rehab at 26 for bulimia and considers herself a recovering alcoholic to this day; that after leaving rehab, she drank rarely — perhaps a glass of wine a month — for years and then stopped altogether about three years ago. Bulimia, or a compulsive cycle of binge eating and then inducing vomiting can be associated with gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and other problems.
[May 9] UPDATE: Schneiderman’s office sent the following statement from spokesman Damien LaVera: “Throughout his career, Attorney General Schneiderman has demonstrated a commitment to rooting out political corruption. He was the first prosecutor to indict Shirley Huntley last summer. Shirley Huntley’s reference to him in her sentencing statement appears to be an attempt at retaliation against Attorney General Schneiderman, who has never hired Melvin Lowe or used his services. He will continue to use every tool at his disposal to ensure New Yorkers have the open and honest government they deserve.” [May 7]
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,on May 6, said, “The charges announced today are very serious, and if true, disturbing.” Schneiderman was part of the deal that installed Sampson, Smith and Pedro Espada as leaders of the New York State Senate in 2010 Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) is identified in court papers as asking ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) to wield her influence on behalf of a businessman who held a Kennedy Airport lease in March 2012 In 2010, Inspector General Joseph Fisch said the selection in January of Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) by Governor David Paterson, Senate Democratic Conference leader John Sampson, Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver followed a process that removed lobbying restrictions and let campaign cash flow to decision makers.Senate leaders leaked an internal memo containing competitors’ bid information to AEG, originally a low-ranked bidder, helping it move up. “These actions by Sens. Sampson and Smith potentially implicate the Public Officers Law’s prohibitions of unduly conferring benefits or favoritism and acting in violation of their public trust,” Fisch said in the report. The statute of limitations on federal crimes such as fraud or bid-rigging is five years. Should Mr. Sampson indeed be charged as expected, his arrest will follow State Senator Malcolm Smith, State Senator Pedro Espada and State Senator Carl Kruger, Councilman Dan Halloran, Councilman Larry Seabrook, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, all charged or convicted in bribery or embezzlement schemes. Furthermore, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was indicted for stealing public funds May 3.
The 12-member jury found Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempt to commit wire fraud, while Jia (Jenny) Hou was found guilty of the latter charge, attempted wire fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements.[ [April 18]
Former Democratic City Council candidate Kevin Kim may run for the position currently held by Republican Councilman Dan Halloran, who was arrested earlier this month on bribery charges. In 2009, Kim defeated a crowded field of candidates — including Paul Vallone and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece — in the Democratic Primary. The general election campaign against Halloran was particularly nasty and racially-charged. Critics said Halloran was pandering to anti-Asian sentiment in a district that is undergoing demographic changes in recent years.The Asian population has surged in northeast Queens, especially in the areas of Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Little Neck and Douglaston. [April 9]
Former Gov. David Paterson believes a “lower caliber type of legislator” is now inhabiting Albany but his criticism of the Legislature does not extend to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Paterson, speaking on an Albany radio show this morning, offered a very vocal show of support for Silver and rejected the notion – floated in a media report Monday – that Gov. Cuomo is working behind-the-scenes to remove the powerful Manhattan Democrat. [April 4] At a meeting with Mark Stern, while allegedly promising at least $20,000 in City Council pork in exchange. on Sept. 27, 2012, an undercover agent said he had funneled $6,500 in illegal contributions to Halloran’s Congressional campaign, by paying off straw donors so that the agent’s name wouldn’t appear in official documents. The issue of straw donors has attracted Federal authorities’ attention for years. Straw donors are used to circumvent limits on campaign contributions. The campaign treasurer and a fundraiser for another Queens politician, City Comptroller John Liu, are going on trial April 15 for that very practice. Moses “Mark” Stern, The Satmar Hasid from Monsey teamed up with an undercover federal agent in the sting as part of a secret cooperation agreement is according to the Jewish Daily Forward, a “key Orthodox power broker” in the upstate Jewish community. The State attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s office said Stern never directly contributed funds to the attorney general’s campaign, but acknowledged a connection between the two. Stern and Schneiderman were so close that Stern helped fundraise for the attorney general and attended his 2011 inaugural party. Stern, a father of nine who lives in a gaudy mansion, has a penchant for expensive liquor, cigars and fancy cars. Stern is also a cousin of Tuvia Stern — the notorious swindler who threw lavish a bar mitzvah in his jail cell in the Tombs in 2009. Before he was locked up, Tuvia spent 20 years on the lam after he was busted in 1989 for stealing $1.7 million. more [April 2]
City Councilman Dan Halloran, a 42-year-old lawyer and former city cop, ran for Congress last year, but lost to then-Assemblywoman Grace Meng. During that campaign, the state Board of Elections had referred his campaign to the Albany DA for investigation and possible prosecution because he had not filed state campaign-finance reports for more than two years. Halloran later filed the appropriate forms. During the campaign, Councilman Halloran said:”“In my race, my opponent had her father arrested and indicted in federal court yesterday for scamming $80,000 out of a Chinese businessman, on tape, by FBI. And he bundled one quarter of her money for her race, but they don’t even mention her! Don’t even mention her!” Mr. Halloran was likely referencing a report that Mr. Meng had fundraised “heavily” for his daughter, although the exact amount he helped raise isn’t easy to ascertain. “If that had been me, it would have been as if I committed the crime,” he added. “Why? Because I’m a Republican.” According to the indictment unsealed April 2, Mr. Halloran set up a meeting at which the undercover agent and the witness met Joseph J. Savino, the Bronx GOP chairman, and Vincent Tabone, vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, and negotiated the amounts of the bribes for the documents. In exchange, Mr. Halloran sought and received more than $20,000 in cash for himself, prosecutors said. Mr. Tabone and Mr. Savino were paid cash bribes of more than $40,000 and were promised $40,000 more, and they in turn, agreed to use their official capacities with Republican Party county committees to obtain the documents Mr. Smith would need to run for mayor as a Republican. Mr. Smith, in exchange for help from Mr. Savinio and Mr. Tabone, agreed to use his senate office to help win state funds for a road project in Spring Valley that would benefit a real estate project that Senator Smith believed was being built by a company belonging to the undercover agent. The complaint said that on Nov. 16, Mr. Smith met the undercover agent and the cooperating witness at a hotel in White Plains and asked the witness to contact a Republican Party county chairman identified in the charges only as “County Chairman #1” to try to “change him” by persuading the chairman to support Mr. Smith rather than another mayoral candidate whom the chairman had publicly supported. Later that day, the person said, Mr. Halloran met the undercover agent at a Queens restaurant in order to receive a bribe in exchange for taking what the charges refer to as some unspecified “unrelated official action.” During that meeting, the agent asked Mr. Halloran if he knew “County Chairman #1” and Mr. Halloran said that he did, and that he knew Mr. Savino. Mr. Halloran agreed to ask the county chairman and Mr. Savino what they would want in exchange for their support for a mayoral candidate, the complaint said. And on that same day, the undercover agent met Mr. Smith at a hotel in Manhattan, and told him that the agent could arrange a meeting with “County Chairman #1” and Mr. Savino during which the agent would attempt to negotiate their support for the senator, the complaint said. Mr. Smith, the complaint said, told the undercover agent: “You pull this off, you can have the house. I’ll be a tenant.” Several months later, Mr. Smith met the cooperating witness in Rockland County, the complaint said. As they sat in a parked car, the witness told Mr. Smith that getting the certificates from the Republican county committee leaders would cost “a pretty penny,” the complaint said. In response to the question, “it’s worth any price?” the senator, according to the complaint, responded: “Look, talk to me before you close it. But it’s worth it. Because you know how big a deal it is.” Two weeks later, Mr. Halloran met the undercover agent and the witness at a Manhattan hotel and told them that Mr. Savino wanted $25,000 “in an envelope” in exchange for signing the certificate, the complaint said. Mr. Tabone, the person said, wanted $50,000 — half of the money before he signed and the balance afterward. The arrests immediately reverberated through the mayor’s race. Mr. Tabone is a paid consultant to the Republican mayoral campaign of John Catsimatidis, the grocery store magnate. Records show Mr. Catsimatidis has paid Mr. Tabone $3,000 so far this year. Another Republican mayoral candidate, Joseph J. Lhota, recently welcomed the endorsement of Mr. Halloran, who was also arrested on Tuesday morning. [earlier] To get on the GOP ballot in the election for Mayor, State Senator Malcolm Smith allegedly enlisted Halloran, a Republican, to set up meetings with party leaders and negotiate thousands of dollars in bribes. The money was masked as payments for legal and accounting services. Halloran allegedly collected thousands in bribes for himself along the way. He is separately charged with taking bribes from a consultant in return for up to $80,000 in City Council discretionary funding. The feds were already investigating Halloran when they got wind of the alleged ballot-manipulating plan in November, the sources said. Smith met with his alleged co-conspirators as recently as February. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is expected to detail charges later Tuesday. Smith, a Democrat, was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2000 in a special election. He was elected minority leader in 2007, succeeding David Paterson. Authorities say New York State Senator Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran were arrested Tuesday morning as part of an ongoing corruption case. They will be arraigned later today in federal court in White Plains. Also arrested were Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret. Two others, identified as Vicent Tabone and Joseph Savine, are also facing charges in the corruption probe. Jimmy Meng, 69, , a former State Assemblyman whose daughter is a newly-elected Congresswoman from Queens was sentenced March 12 to a month in prison for accepting a fruit basket stuffed with $80,000 from a defendant who was hoping to buy a shorter sentence in a tax-fraud case. He was also fined $30,000, ordered to serve two years of supervised release after completing his prison term and given 750 hours of community service [March 18]
Democratic mayoral contender Comptroller John Liu’s numbers are actually worth boasting about. Though the raw amount he’s raised doesn’t compare to his rivals, when you factor in publicly-matched contributions, Mr. Liu appears to be sitting on the second-highest pile of campaign cash behind only Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has already raised the maximum amount allowed for the primary [March 11] John Liu, who is the City Comptroller objected to the mayor’s take on to the shelter system: “Only an out-of-touch mayor who travels by private jet and limo would make such a tone-deaf wisecrack about a homeless crisis that has only worsened under his careless watch,” the mayoral candidate says. Patrick Markee, of the Coalition for the Homeless, took offense to the mayor’s dismissive tone: “It’s pretty ludicrous to claim that there are people flying in private jets and taking private limos to the shelter system,” he says. Later adding: “He didn’t seem to want to take responsibility for the fact that there are more than 50,000 people sleeping in city shelters, including 21,000 children.” [February 11] on January 8, Oliver Pan, a donor to current Comptroller John Liu‘s mayoral campaign, was ruled competent to stand trial. There had previously been some doubts after Mr. Pan was involuntarily committed for mental health reasons, but now the joint trial against Mr. Pan and Jenny Hou, Mr. Liu’s former campaign treasurer, will proceed as planned on April 15th. [February 6] A trial of City Comptroller John Liu’s former campaign treasurer and a fundraiser that has seemed to temper enthusiasm for his expected mayoral run got delayed indefinitely February 5 after one of the defendants was involuntarily hospitalized for treatment of a mental health condition. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan announced the development at a hearing a day after the trial was originally scheduled to start. Sullivan did not elaborate on the illness of the former fundraiser, Xing “Oliver” Wu Pan, except to say he was undergoing treatment and it was unclear when he would be recovered enough for trial. He sealed some records related to the illness. But he said he would direct authorities to seek a diagnosis and opinion on Pan’s mental competency for trial by Friday. If the hospital cannot provide it, the judge said he would seek to appoint an expert to determine Pan’s status. The judge set an April 15 date for the trial but said he reserved the right to begin it sooner if Pan is ready. He asked Gerald Lefcourt, the attorney for Liu’s campaign treasurer and co-defendant — Jia “Jenny” Hou — if he wanted to renew a request he had made last year for a separate trial. He said he did not because he hopes to question Pan on the witness stand on his client’s behalf. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty. They were charged with conspiring to use straw donors to evade campaign finance laws. [January 7] “Just make sure the handwriting looks as close to the donors’ as possible,” Ms. Hou wrote in an electronic message to Jorge Fanjul, who, like Ms. Hou, worked in Mr. Liu’s government office. “If too difficult, don’t take risk.” “Gotcha,” Mr. Fanjul replied. February 4 Trial begins for Jia “Jenny” Hou, ex-treasurer for New York Comptroller John Liu’s campaign, and fundraiser Xing Wu Pan. more [December 7 12] In the run for Mayor, with no candidate close to the 40 percent threshold, a runoff looms: Council Speaker Christine Quinn leads with 23 percent, with former City Comptroller Bill Thompson at 15 percent, Comptroller John Liu at 9 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 8 percent and Undecided voters—at 37 percent—dominate the field. [October 13] Prosecutors have rejected claims that authorities tried to pressure a former fundraiser for New York City’s comptroller into helping “manufacture” a case against the comptroller. The U.S. Attorney’s office filed papers in Manhattan federal court October 10. It offered a defense of the tactics used in the probe that’s led to the indictments of the former fundraiser, Xing Wu Pan, and an ex-campaign treasurer for John Liu. The U.S. Attorney’s office allegedly put pressure on John Liu fundraiser Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan prior to his arrest last November to force him into helping them “manufacture a criminal case” against the embattled controller, An idea floating in political circles says the federal government is really seeking bigger fish in its case against Jimmy Meng, a former assemblyman allegedly caught red-handed taking an $80,000 bribe for influence peddling — the bigger fish being City Comptroller John Liu. The idea is that the elder Meng may know something that would help make a case against Liu, whose campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou, is under indictment for allegedly using straw donors to beef up his war chest for a mayoral run and lying about it to the FBI. Liu fundraiser Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan was also indicted, but the comptroller himself — who still refuses to pay the city half a million dollars in fines for posting illegal campaign signs — has not been charged. Meng and Liu are not exactly political allies, in “Asian politics” in Flushing. But that doesn’t mean Jimmy Meng might not have damaging information on Liu, [August 23] Citing cost problems associated with a similar Parking Meter arrangement in Chicago. John Liu predicted rates would rise “all because of the mayor’s misguided belief that private firms do a better job than city workers.” “If the controller had it his way, city government would function as a full-time employment agency for as many unionized workers as the taxpayers could fund” says Mayoral spokeswoman Julie Wood. Former Queens Assemblyman Jimmy Meng – the first Asian-American elected to the state Legislature – was charged with wire fraud July 24 for claiming he could bribe prosecutors to fix a criminal case, authorities said. Meng, whose Assemblywoman daughter is running for Congress, was pinched outside his Flushing lumber yard July 24 as a cooperating witness – who had been secretly recording their chats for months – handed him a fruit stuffed with $80,000. “I am shocked and deeply saddened by these allegations. Prior to this afternoon’s reports, I had no knowledge of my father’s actions or the investigation,” said Queens assemblywoman and congressional candidate Grace Meng, in a statement. “I am independent of my father — always have been, always will be. Until more facts emerge and we have a better understanding of the situation, the only thing further I’ll say is that I urge my father to fully cooperate with all authorities.” Meng has retained with Abbe Lowell, who successfully represented former Sen. John Edwards recently in a federal corruption trial in North Carolina. [June 2]The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, has ruled NYC Comptroller John Liu ignored the data he collected on wages of similar workers in the industry and just applied the rates from a union’s collective bargaining agreement to the movers. As comptroller, Liu sets the prevailing wage rate that city contractors are required to pay their employees. The goal is to protect workers and keep companies from driving down wages by lowballing contract bids. Liu would review the pay of those in several different occupations receive and set the salary accordingly. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says an audit on New York City’s 911 system shows “a new level of intellectual dishonesty” by Comptroller John Liu. Liu said this week that a contractor hired by the city to overhaul its 911 system may have received millions in unjustified payments. Bloomberg said Friday on WOR Radio that the contract was registered with Liu’s office and finished under the budget approved by Liu’s office. He questioned if Liu even read the contract. Liu has asked prosecutors to investigate whether there was any criminal fraud associated with the contract. The mayor said “what Liu missed” is that the city now has a brand new, state-of-the-art 911 system. “It’s pretty hard to answer something as stupid as this charge.” [Apr.29] UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK . UNITED STATES OF AMERICA . SUPERSEDING . INDICTMENT . XING NU PAN, S1 12 Cr. 153 (RJS) a/k/a “O1iver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” Defendants..– – – .. – – COUNT ONE — The Crand Jury charges: . The Defendants – – 1. At all times relevant to this Indictment, XING wu. PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” the defendant, was an individual who sought to raise money for the 2013 campaign of a candidate (the – “Candidate”) for citywide elective office in the City of New York (the “City”). . . 2. From at least in or about December 2010, up to and including at least in or about February 2012, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, was the treasurer JIA HOU for the 2013 campaign of the Candidate. . The Scheme to Defraud 3. “Straw Donors” are individuals who, in violation of campaign finance laws, make campaign contributions in their own names with money they have received from other individuals orl for which?they receive reimbursement from other individuals. 4. XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, . a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, together with others known and unknown, engaged in a scheme to defraud the City by using Straw Donors, and by taking steps to conceal the use of Straw Donors, to attempt to obtain campaign matching funds through interstate ‘wires to support the Candidate’s campaign for Citywide elective office. Statutory Allegations 5. From at least in or about 2009, up to and including in or about February 2012, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and_JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, and others known and nunknown, willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated and agreed together and with each other to violate Section 1343 of Title 18, United States Code. 6.. It was a part and object of the conspiracy that XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, and others known and unknown, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, willfully and knowingly would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing 2 . – such scheme and artifice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. OVERT ACTS I In furtherance of said conspiracy and to effect the illegal object thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were committed in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere: a. On or about July 10, 2011, JIA HOU, a/k/a I “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, spoke to a volunteer for the Candidate’s campaign about imitating the handwriting of campaign donors on donor contribution forms. .- b. On or about July 14, 2011, HOU offered to reimburse an individual if the individual made a campaign donation to the Candidate. c. On or about August 17, 2011, XING wU PAN, – a/k/a “O1iver Pan,” the defendant, during a fundraising event I (the “Event”) for the Candidate, collected from Straw Donors completed fraudulent contribution forms and caused the forms to be submitted to HOU. . d. On or about August 17, 2011, during the Event, HOU and PAN reviewed the fraudulent contribution forms collected from Straw Donors. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.) . – 3 . The Grand Jury further charges: 8. From at least in or about 2009 up to and including` in or about February 2012, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, having devised and intending – to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, . representations, and promises, willfully and knowingly did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice and attempting to do so, to wit, PAN, HOU, and others engaged in a scheme to defraud the City by using – Straw Donors, and by taking steps to conceal the use of Straw Donors, to attempt to obtain campaign matching funds through interstate wires, in order to support the Candidate’s 2013 campaign for Citywide elective office. (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349, 1343, and 2.) COUNT THREE The Grand Jury further charges: 9. From in or about December 2011, up to and including the present, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, willfully, knowingly, and corruptly, did obstruct, influence, and impede I official proceedings and attempt to do so, to wit, in response to Grand Jury subpoenas, HOU did not provide the Grand Jury with documents that she knew contained information that was responsive I to the subpoenas in order to conceal that information. (Title United States Code, Section coum Fcuk The Grand Jury further charges: . 10. On or about February 27, 2012, in the Southern District of New York, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, willfully and knowingly, did I. falsify, conceal, and cover up by trick, scheme, and device a material fact and did make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, and did make and use a false writing and document knowing the same to contain materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and entries, to wit, HOU falsely claimed to special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the list of intermediaries publicly I disclosed by the Candidate’s campaign on or about January 17, 2012, contained the names of all intermediaries that HOU knew about and no one was left off, and that in response to Grand . I 5 – Jury subpoenas, HOU had produced all responsive documents, after, among other things, looking at every single email in her email account. – – (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.) FORFEITURE ALLEGATION 11. As a result of committing one or more of the wire fraud offenses alleged in Counts One and Two of this Indictment, wu PAN, a/k/a “Oliver and JIA Hou, a/k/a ??Jenny the defendants, shall forfeit to the United States, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461, all property, real or personal, constituting or derived from proceeds traceable to the wire fraud offenses alleged in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. Substitute Asset Provision 12. If any of the above-described forfeitable . property, as a result of any act or omission of.the defendants: . a. cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence; b. has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with, a third person; I c. has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court; – – d. has been substantially diminished in value; or 6 . e. has been commingled with other property which cannot be subdivided without difficulty; it_is the intent of the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p), to seek forfeiture of any . other property of the defendants up to the value of the above forfeitable property.` (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981, 1343 and 1344; Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p); Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461.) FOREPERSON I PREET BHARARA . United States Attorney
At Cannes, Warner Bros. was “involved,” but the project “isn’t being developed at” the studio. Brett Ratner is going full steam ahead with his new project, “The Libertine,” starring Johnny Depp as a Dominique Strauss-Kahn-like politician accused of sexual assault — despite all the controversy surrounding the star. Ratner announced his plans for the film at the Cannes Film Festival on May 11.
Less than two weeks later, May 23, Depp was hit with divorce papers from Amber Heard, and the actress and her friends have leveled intense allegations of physical abuse against Depp, while his pals defended him.
“The Libertine” will star Depp as “a powerful French politician who endures house arrest in a luxury NYC apartment while awaiting trial for sexual assault against a hotel maid,” Deadline reported. The film’s “loosely based” on the 2011 DSK sex-abuse scandal. Criminal charges were dropped against DSK, who settled a civil suit with the maid for an undisclosed amount. Ratner added, “The whole movie takes place in one location, and I’ve never done that before. It’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. People are surprised, because I’ve always been a commercial filmmaker, and this is a much smaller movie.”
But an insider told Page Six of the project,“Everybody agreed it would be impossible to still use Depp in light of the [abuse allegations].” Casting Depp “would create some controversy; they decided it was too hot to go near. You can’t do it. Brett would be devastated as this is a dream project.” But a rep for Ratner said of dumping Depp, “It’s not true,” adding the film is in “active development” with the actor attached. The film’s produced by Lloyd Braun and Andrew Mittman.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s hopes of rehabilitation suffered a blow June 16 2016, when he was ordered to pay €10,000 to anti-prostitution campaigners after losing a civil court case. The former managing director of the International Monetary Fund knew full well that the women with whom he had sexual relations at orgies were prostitutes, Douai appeal court ruled. Mr Strauss-Kahn, 67, was acquitted of aggravated pimping last year after telling a criminal trial that his recreational activities included sex with strangers at libertine parties
[August 19 2015 Dominique Strauss-Kahn: a layered comedic dramatization from Warners? ]
Warner Bros., which has pre-emptively picked up the spec script titled The Libertine by Ben Kopit. The script is described as being a layered comedic dramatization on the scandal. Kopit, the son of Nine playwright Arthur Kopit, is also a Columbia University undergrad and a recipient of the 2013 Sloan Screenwriting Fellowship, and the 2013 David C. Baumgarten Endowed Award in Comedy Writing, among several awards.
[July 2 Polls & more PR for the striver]
Saturday, February 14, 2015 changed Saturday, February 21, 2015 – 12:22
“Just for them’ has worked since 2004 for education and literacy in rural areas to the Morocco, Myriam l’Aouffir, founder of the Daenerys consulting agency ‘ Com and former head of Digital Marketing at France Télévisions launched in 2006 the project “A bike for her”then”A career for her”to enable girls to achieve their college, usually located a few kilometres from their home, and thus be able to continue their education.
Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the cabinet had decided to terminate the services of the 65-year-old economist, who is now on trial in France accused of pimping.
“The Central Bank of Sri Lanka had hired LSK and Partners,” headed by Strauss-Khan,(LSK & Partners. DSK holds 20.2% via Parnassus ]la société Parnasse, créée en 2012]) without the proper authority to do so, Senaratne told reporters.
[September 14 2014 DSK’s Myriam L’Aouffir out at French TV]
Daenerys’Com is an agency based on the great communication at the heart of digital, as strategies of image communication and opinion. This agency Council also specializes in digital marketing, strategic and competitive intelligence, crisis communication, training and lobbying more generally. Daenerys’Com aims to develop hubs of international influence and create such bridges around Morocco.
Soyez Maître de votre image
Marketing and Advertising
Myriam l’Aouffir launches Daenerys’Com
Director at DAENERYS’COM
Myriam L ‘Aouffir “now wishes on the basis of experience gained around strategies and digital innovations, to experience a new challenge.” The advocacy agency Daenerys’Com
[July 20 2014 DSK Global Investment Fund: Vanessa Strauss-Kahn redux]
The consulting firm of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, made 2.55 million euros in turnover in 2013.
Blacklisted in France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has always been rated abroad. DSK created Parnassus in September 2012 to monetize his lectures and advice to investors. In 2013, the former IMF chief has “pocketed” 2.55 million euros in turnover via Parnassus, four times more than in 2012, when the exercise was, it is true, lasted only four months. Once expenses paid – including that of a driver for 18 149 euros and 358 euros in fines – and taxes paid, the former presidential posted a comfortable profit of 766,334 euros, on which he chose to immediately pay 700,000 euros in dividends.
DSK delivers its opinions on the global economy for a price ranging from 50,000 to 150,000 euros for half an hour. a Chinese internet company, a group of Korean media and a Ukrainian forum have already paid up. DSK also charged consulting services to the Serbian government, a bank of South Sudan and the Russian development bank regions.
This is not all. In September 2013, the former Minister joined his friend Thierry Leyne to create the banking LSK & Partners. Listed on Euronext, it is now worth 57 million euros. DSK holds 20.2% via Parnassus. Finally, in March 2014 with Thierry Leyne and his economist daughter Vanessa , he launched the DSK Global Investment Fund. The partners hope to raise $ 2 billion from institutional investors. Strauss-Kahn, who has never managed money for investors, will be running the fund, with his daughter, Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, a Paris-based professor of economics at ESCP Europe, overseeing the firm’s research. Institutional investors, such as public pension plans, often require a three-year track record before committing large amounts of money to funds. “If someone is highly experienced and connected in the world of academia and finance, that’s all well and good but without money-management experience, it is hard as a fiduciary to entrust our funds with them,” said Michael Rosen, chief investment officer of Angeles Investment Advisors LLC, a Santa Monica, California-based firm that advises clients on hedge fund investments. “Maybe he will surround himself with a great team of portfolio managers and analysts but realistically I wouldn’t invest in someone with no track record.” DSK was first married in 1967 to Hélène Dumas, whom he met in 1963 in the south of France when she was 16 and he was 14, when he was in the equivalent of 12th grade. When his parents opposed their living together, the pair got married. They would have a daughter, Vanessa.
In this busy schedule, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, however, will find a place for the Carlton Affair trial in February 2015. With 12 others, he will be judged in Lille Criminal Court for “aggravated pimping meeting.”
The ex-husband of Myriam l’ Aouffir, Johnny Cloutier, was divorced a year and a half ago . 49 years old, a freelance Canadian music producer, he denounced the indifference and brutality of which he is the object . on 11 February, the Paris court awarded Myriam l’ Aouffir temporary custody of their two son, aged 4 and 14 years, Cloutier says he is ready to do battle, outraged by this decision: “I m ‘worried because my children alongside DSK, , who does not really embody the moral rectitude to which I aspire for them, “.
At the hearing, the deceived husband said after 22 years together he did not see coming: “In 2007, Myriam took a year off to work at the Embassy of Morocco to be responsible for external relations and promotion the exhibition of the kingdom at the International Exhibition of Tangier 2012. At this time, at a reception, she met Dominique Strauss-Kahn, “he says. But it was not until September 2012, from the media, that he discovered their relationship. “She denied, I believed …” dad admits wounded,”Two months later, she told me she was going to live with Dominique and she left me in the apartment . In the months that followed the revelations, Myriam l’Aouffir never was installed with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who simultaneously maintained a relationship with the writer Marcela Iacub (January-August 2012), who wrote a book ( Belle and Beast ). “So, it was he who came to spend the night in our apartment when I was not there It was crazy, neighbors sent me text messages: you know that DSK is with her? She had changde locks. I was in the hole, no money to rent a studio, I slept at the hotel and in my office, “said John. The cheated husband recently returned to the apartment Hauts-de-Seine,, Myriam l’Aouffir moved with his sons a few steps from the apartment to DSK, on boulevard Raspail.
“Ambitious, energetic,” . “She is in love with life that DSK lives. Myriam’s father, a Moroccan who had made a fortune in real estate in Rabat, died when she was five, and her mother, a loving German kingdom had her offered a golden childhood, “sighs sadly Cloutier. Who fears that his ex-wife finally will be established in Morocco. “DSK has a big house with swimming pool in Marrakech, they go there almost every weekend there is a room for my sons… I can not fight. ” For now, the businesswoman is dedicated to launching his company and traveled the world, sometimes enjoying the contacts of her famous companion, such as during a recent trip to Russia.
France 2 featured a documentary on the euro where Dominique Strauss-Kahn comes, without jargon, among other witnesses.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was a flop on France 2 May 16, only 1, 9 million viewers. Just ten days of the European elections and on the eve of the release of the film in France Welcome to New York from Abel Ferrara (inspired by the case of the Sofitel), France 2 has convinced DSK to speak on the euro in pre-recorded interview conducted by David Pujadas and Daniel Cohen. In fact, this interview is divided into several sequences in a set where others are expressed during the documentary aired Thursday at 20 h 45 with a debate in stride.
In total, the confidences of DSK does not exceed five minutes, but the announcement of his presence is a small media event insofar as his last televised speech of September 2011 on TF1. This return to the front of the stage for the former IMF chief is certainly also a factor in mobilizing public television viewers but the audience on a European issue seen by DSK,attracted only 1.9 viewers. Probably in the first half of 2015, ithe trial of the case of Carlton “affair” is expected.
On May 15 in the evening, a discussion that will bring together European policymakers with guest star Dominique Strauss-Kahn (thus signing his big TV return from his legal troubles). [sic]
Abel Ferrara’s “Welcome to New York”, based on the sex scandals and legal battles of French economist and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, will instead be released on the internet in France.Though no theatrical release date is set in stone for now, Cannes organisers have said the US director’s film may still be screened at the festival. The Cinéma de la Plage, May 16, midnight
“In France, since the law forbids simultaneous releases in cinemas and online, we chose the internet,” The producers have said the film will be available on various internet platforms, including iTunes.
[December 13 2013]
Dominique Strauss-Kahn will advise Serbian Deputy PM Aleksandar Vucic, the finance minister and the prime minister, and help Serbia reschedule its debt. He is expected to arrive in Belgrade next week.
Serbia has asked Dominique Strauss-Kahn to become a government adviser as part of its drive against corruption.
The disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund was approached because of his ability to reassure international investors after the finance minister was sacked this week, ministers said.
Aleksandar Vucic, the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the biggest party in the ruling coalition, said that a foreigner without ties to domestic politics would be less inclined to corruption.
ITEM: “Sex parties attended by Dominique Strauss-Kahn were described by witnesses as ‘carnage with a heap of mattresses on the floor,’ a newspaper said Wednesday, citing a report by judges who charged him with pimping.” Pretty hottt, oui? Hard to think of anything that gets us excited more than heaping mattress carnage, but we tried:
1. Having Gerard Depardieu as a seatmate.
3. The opening titles of “Basic Instinct.”
4. Threesome with Guy Fieri and a loaded baked potato.
5. The New York Aquarium’s “Conservation Hall.”
6. Ten hours of uninterrupted sleep in your flannel pajamas.
7. Sharing popcorn with Mickey Rourke.
In a document justifying why they chose to send him to trial – leaked to Le Figaro newspaper – the two investigating magistrates in charge of the case said he was clearly the “lynchpin” of a prostitution ring operating out of the Carlton hotel in Lille, northern France.
The indictment states that “all those present could not have been unaware” that prostitutes had taken part in these soirées as “the age and appearance of these female participants left little doubt as to their activities”.
The judges said these get-togethers, mainly in hotels, amounted to “sexual consumption”, or even “carnage on a pile of mattresses on the floor”.
Their nature made it clear “this was in no way a question of libertine acts” but about “factory line sex” and “orders for services”.
Text messages made it clear that DSK, as he is known in France, “kept control over the planning of the soirées, which were organised according to his diary availability,” they wrote.
Some took place in a flat rented by Mr Strauss-Kahn, which suggests, they wrote, that he “committed a material act of pimping” as “making premises available for prostitution is pimping”.
The judges also argue that Mr Strauss-Kahn deliberately sought to “cover his tracks” by giving one of his mobile phone cards to one of the alleged organisers of the sessions and using coded language for female participants including “gifts” and “equipment”.
Last month, Mr Strauss-Kahn blasted an “exclusively incriminatory judicial investigation” after the prosecutor chose not to appeal the judges’ decision to send him to trial along with 13 other defendants.
His lawyer, Richard Malka, slammed a “relentless” and “absurd” judicial onslaught on his client tantamount to a “witch hunt”.
The Carlton case is one of a series of probes that were launched in the wake of Mr Strauss-Kahn’s 2011 arrest in New York on suspicion of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.
The judges’ scathing assessment of the one-time French presidential favourite comes after he said he gave two interviews in which he claimed he had “no problem with women”, and that his political career was “in the past”.
He said his new career as an economic consultant to big business and politicians was booming, amid reports the Serbian government is considering contracting him as an adviser.
There will be the trial of the Carlton Affair. On July 26, the Lille judges announced referral of Dominique Strauss-Kahn to the Criminal Court for “aggravated procuring in a meeting alongside 13 others. Magistrates investigating the so-called Carlton Affair – allegations of hotel orgies with prostitutes in France, Belgium and the United States – decided today to overrule the state prosecutor and send Mr Strauss-Kahn for trial.
Both the prosecution and Mr Strauss-Kahn, 64, can appeal against the ruling. If they fail, the former IMF chief and French finance minister will finally face a trial for sexual misconduct after a series of failed prosecutions or out-of-court settlements in other cases. An allegation of sexual assault against writer Tristane Banon in Paris in 2003 did not result in criminal charges because it had passed the legal time limit. In October last year, French prosecutors decided to drop an inquiry into allegations of gang rape at a hotel in Washington after one of the women involved who had made the claim retracted her evidence.
The state prosecutor had recommended that the Carlton affair charges against Strauss-Kahn be dropped on the grounds of a lack of evidence.
Magistrates decided otherwise; they put aside a charge of “aggravated pimping as part of an organised gang”, but maintained the lesser charge of “aggravated pimping as part of a group”. He is facing trial along with 12 other defendants.
In France pimping can cover a wide range of crimes including aiding or encouraging prostitution. A trial is expected to take place next year. If convicted, Strauss-Kahn could face up to 10 years in prison and a €1.5m (£860,000) fine.
Can DSK appeal??
No, Dominique Strauss-Kahn can not appeal his removal to the criminal court. The prosecution, he has the ability but he has, at this time, not stated such an intention . [July 27] Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to face trial on pimping charges, French prosecutors say.
DSK is one of 13 people, including a senior police officer and two businessmen, who were sent for trial yesterday for “aggravated pimping as part of a group” for their alleged part in organising hotel orgies. A more serious accusation of “conspiracy” was dropped.
Under French law “pimping” can mean any action, paid or unpaid, which assists an act of prostitution. It is not suggested that Mr Strauss-Kahn was paid but that he helped to organise the parties with a series of telephone text messages.
A civil party l’association Équipe d’action contre le proxénétisme – Team Association action against pimping – campaigning for the appearance of the former IMF chief. In its brief is to provide judges and which Le Figaro had access, it argues that DSK should be judged not only for “pimping” but for “concealment of pimping.” The reasoning of Mr. David Lepidi, his lawyer (the association is also vice-chaired by senior judge, Yves Charpenel), is as follows. First, Dominique Strauss-Kahn “knew the quality of girls recruited prostitutes for his own benefit” – that has always challenged the person. In addition, “he was the instigator of these evenings having initiated sex (…) the introduction of a system based on the convenience of its immediate environment in order to satisfy his sexual needs.” The proof is mainly based on the many SMS exchanged between DSK and his friend entrepreneur Fabrice Paszkowski where the words “friends”, “gift” or “material” would not have been used to designate libertines, as claimed by the ex-presidential candidate, but prostitutes. For the lawyer, the vocabulary is characteristic of areas of prostitution. DSK would have “encouraged prostitution activity he drew an immediate profit in nature having sex with prostitutes was not paying.”
It would also “provide the means to help the prostitution of others” by organizing parties in an apartment avenue d’Iena in Paris or paying for hotel rooms. Finally, “he generously offered prostitutes relatives,” says the lawyer. In fact, in the folder, one SMS sent to a friend – “X, it will work. I saw her tonight and gave her a gift “- is actually ambiguous. As for the offense of concealment of pimping is formed under Lepidi Me: “By not paying the services of prostitutes, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has the proceeds of the offense of procuring knowing that prostitutes were offered him by pimps. ”
In support of its submission, the lawyer produced a jurisprudence of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in 1994 that validated the conviction for procuring a prostitute who had lent his van to a “colleague” to enable it “to pursue his amorous activities.”[rough Google translation]
The question is now whether DSK will continue its multiple activities, including international, without the sword of Damocles of a trial in 2014.
The association EACP is recognized as public utility since 4th march 1970 decree. It is the only French association able to constitute itself as civil plaintiff by law n°75-229 from 9th April 1975, thanks to its founder initiative Mr. Jean SCELLES, former Member of Parliament. The association takes in charge welcome of the victims and supports them with one of our volunteer lawyer until charge deposit.
DSK will join the Board of the Russian Bank for Regional Development, a financial institution controlled by the Rosneft oil company . He is listed as a representative of DSK‘ s consulting firm “Parnassus”。
Three former employees of Morgan Stanley (MS) left OAO Rosneft after eight months at the firm as Russia’s largest oil company switched its bank’s strategy to focus on corporate and consumer banking.
Rair Simonyan and Elena Titova, Morgan Stanley’s two top bankers in Moscow, and Walid Chammah, a former head of its international unit, departed from the Russian Regional Development Bank, Rosneft said in an e-mailed statement today.
Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin who runs Rosneft, hired the trio and Igor Kan, former head of Russian equities at Citigroup Inc. (C) in Moscow, to help hedge the company’s oil risk. Simonyan, Titova and Chammah joined from Morgan Stanley in November along with 10 of the U.S. bank’s support staff.
Sechin didn’t respond to requests for more information on Rosneft’s banking plans. Chammah declined to comment by phone.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, was appointed to the bank’s supervisory board, a spokeswoman for Rosneft said on the usual condition of anonymity. Strauss-Kahn left the IMF in 2011 after facing allegations including the attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York. He denied the charges, which were later dropped, and he settled the maid’s lawsuit last year.
Morgan Stanley, based in New York, was Russia’s top mergers and acquisitions adviser in 2010 and 2011. It tumbled to seventh position last year after the Rosneft defections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The U.S. bank advised Rosneft on its $10.4 billion initial public offering in 2006, Russia’s largest. It was one of the first U.S. financial firms to enter Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed, opening an office in Moscow in 1994.
MOSCOW, May 31 (UPI) — Clients of a bank owned by Russia’s largest oil company are under investigation for possible laundering of almost $1 billion, interior ministry officials say.
The money was sent from the All-Russian Regional Development Bank in three multimillion-dollar transfers to Belarus in 2011 and 2012.
The transfers allegedly paid for imported foreign goods.
Approximately 85 percent of the bank, the 78th largest in Russia, is owned by Rosneft, an oil company lead by Igor Sechin, a government official when Vladimir Putin was prime minister.
In announcing the investigation, an Interior Ministry spokesman said the criminal case is “not against the bank or its employees but in relation to unnamed clients of the bank.”
No arrests have been made and police say they have no official suspects.
A bank source said Rosneft has no connection to the alleged money laundering, ITAR-Tass reported.
The bank has 20,000 clients, the source said.
Belarusian imports and exports are hard for Russian banks to track because of the country’s membership in a customs union with Russia.
Investigators made the jaw-dropping discovery when they arrested Dominique Strauss-Kahn in May 2011, law enforcement sources said.
“He was wearing a money belt around his waist with stacks of foreign currency in different denominations,” said one source. “He also had stacks of foreign currency in his pants pocket. Bleary-eyed detectives counted each bill and handed DSK a receipt for the cash to claim once his criminal case was resolved.
The thinking of the Lille prosecution in moving to dismiss charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahnis now available in reports, here in rough Google translation. It appears to turn on a reading of the text messages exchanged with Fabrice Paszkowski , the business manager of Pas-de-Calais.
The offense of procuring also means’ aid, assistance or protection of the Prostitution of Others (…) or having been the instigator or aiding in the organization of a prostitution ring. ” By sending SMS [“Short Message Service” –text] to his friend entrepreneur Fabrice Paszkowski to ask for the “material” or provide evenings around the world with “small”, DSK was considered by the judges as the instigator of the parties and the primary beneficiary. This is not the opinion of the prosecutor. According to him, ” the organization of the network requires a more sophisticated use of SMS communication system . ” The term “material” ? It may include, according to prosecutors, libertine as prostitutes.
According to the prosecutor, it is clear that DSK, then head of the IMF, was courted. But ” it probably took advantage of his position, his reputation, if the men around him trying to get back personal advantage, its expected for the presidency of the Republic accession, this does not make it a pimp . ” His “friends” who always defended him saying hiding the professional nature of the parties, they should be referred to the court.
SMS messages were leaked in 2011 The Lille judges, who retain their records, investigate indeed now on SMS exchanges between DSK and Fabrice Paszkowski , the business manager of the Pas-de-Calais indicted for pimping and misuse of corporate assets.The individual is suspected of having organized thin parts to Paris and Washington have paid part of the services with the business.
The newspaper Liberation announced Thursday a series of messages exchanged between the two men, from the beginning of summer 2009. It is a question every time evenings with young women. “I’m taking a small boxes to Vienna (Austria) Thursday, May 14 It tells you to come up with a lady? “And DSK wrote in June 2009. A few days later, he re Lille interlocutor to ask him if he thought “the book suite with swimming pool.” A few weeks later, on July 4, it comes to an evening in Spain. “Do you (can you) to discover a beautiful naughty club in Madrid with me (and equipment)?” DSK proposes to his accomplice.
Then it comes to be found in Belgium, in late July 2009. “OK.Well received. In Ghent, you must tell me quickly what it is.This is a box or a private party? “. Finally, on July 30, 2010, DSK wrote: “At 2 o’clock in the morning, we took a bottle of champagne over. I’ll avoirdes huge debts. ”
“Perfect for Mosco, I’ll tell you Monday”
In May 2011, just before the Diallo case, DSK wrote a new message revealed by our colleagues in the point : “You come together in Washington?” and insists “I know her?”. These messages are sent by DSK mobile Fabrice Paszkowski. The businessman had indeed forgotten his phone at the end of organized at Hotel Murano thin part and it is DSK who had recovered. Whoever is then further IMF chief then sends SMS with the cell his friend.
The Lille judges also interested in posts mentioning executives PS, without apparent connection with unbridled sexual life of two friends. June 21, 2009, DSK writes: “Perfect for Mosco, I’ll tell you on Monday.” A few days later, he wrote “Call Christophe Borgel says him and asks that you can call home Aubry.” Christophe Borgel is the time for the leadership of the Socialist Party Martine Aubry alongside. The other part of the PS mentioned in trade is Jean-Marie Le Guen, deputy of Paris. “Le Guen said that you called” DSK sends 23 September 2009. Then on October 8: “You tell me Le Guen.”
Investigators will have to define links with Fabrice Paszkowski cadres PS. The case is even more troubling than the Lille business leader was close to DSK but never played a particular political role.
The judge in charge of the case now has one month to decide whether to follow the prosecutor’s advice or to insist on Strauss-Kahn standing trial.
In France, it is not unusual for judges to ignore prosecutors’ recommendations but Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers voiced confidence their client would be cleared.
“I’m happy the prosecutor shares our view that there is no admissible evidence of any crime or offence having been committed,” lawyer Henri Leclerc said
French prosecutors are seeking to have charges dropped against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a case involving a hotel prostitution ring.
Charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn and another man “were not sufficient”, the prosecutors said in a statement.
Mr Strauss-Kahn had faced charges of “aggravated pimping”.
He has admitted attending sex parties in northern France, but says he did not know that some of the women present were paid prostitutes.
The investigating judge in the case will now decide whether or not to drop the prosecution.
Myriam L’Aouffir and Dominique Strauss-appeared on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Jim Jarmusch’s vampire tale “Only Lovers Left Alive”. The story takes place in two evocative settings: Tangier, where Eve (Swinton) wanders the ancient streets in slow motion, wearing beige silk that swings with her long vampirish hair, and Detroit, where her life-long lover Adam (Hiddleston), a musician, hangs out listening to vinyl records and composing on his many stringed instruments, while awaiting his blood supplies. We also have a third character in Tangier, a cultivated old man named Marlowe (John Hurt), who perhaps is actually Shakespeare.
Vincent Maraval, the co-head of Wild Bunch, which is distributing the film Welcome to New York in Cannes: “There’s a dozen lawyers working on the project. Every scene shot is validated by lawyers, even the improvised ones – everything is checked. There is also an error and omission insurance so that everyone we sell the film to is insured against possible legal action.”
The characters in the film are given fictional names. He said the film was a “Shakespearian” look at a fall from grace, the running theme in all of Ferrara’s work.
Maraval added: “He couldn’t care less about Dominique Strauss-Khan or French politics. What he’s interested in is what it means to be publicly disgraced for an addiction, in this case a sexual one, and what the implications are for a couple who’ve been living in denial. When the issue is out in the open does it bring them together or tear them apart?”
Strauss-Kahn said he planned to open the National Credit Bank (NCB), as well as explore investment opportunities in the new nation. Few details have been made public about the NCB bank, although AFP quoted officials as saying the Swiss-backed private venture was being launched in cooperation with South Sudanese partners. Straus-Kahn was greeted by South Sudan’s minister of commerce, Garang Diing, following his arrival in Juba. Sudan said on May 14 it had received the first crude shipments from South Sudan since 2012.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn , is working with an investment bank, the ARJIL member of Altium Group, a European network of teams investment bankers. The bank specializes in mergers and acquisitions and manages “big issues” of international dimension. DSK, they say, has an office on the premises of ARJIL, in Paris , however, “DSK and ARJIL are business discussions, as ARJIL is in discussion with other business and DSK has no office in the premises of the bank,”. The former IMF chief has an advisory role on some issues. A job that he would in conjunction with the various international conferences he has given abroad in recent months.
Paris, September 2011
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Jacqueline Bisset , aged 68 , will replace Isabelle Adjani in the role of Simone in the film prepared by the filmmaker Abel Ferrara about the former director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn , replacing Adjani who has withdrawn from the role based on Anne Sinclair, aged 64.
2013Dancing on the Edge (TV series)
– Episode #1.5 (2013) … Lady Cremone
– Episode #1.4 (2013) … Lady Cremone
– Episode #1.3 (2013) … Lady Cremone
– Episode #1.2 (2013) … Lady Cremone
Diana – 2010
2011-2012Rizzoli & Isles (TV series)
– What Doesn’t Kill You (2012) … Constance Isles
– Burning Down the House (2011) … Constance Isles
– Rebel Without a Pause (2011) … Constance Isles
actress Isabelle Adjani has announced that she’s leaving the project, in which she was supposed to play Strauss-Kahn’s wife Anne Sinclaire. Her reasoning involves what she called the film’s “destructive intrusion into the private sphere of these two people.” “In the current context that notes that the destructive intrusion into the private sphere of these two figures, the bias to interpret this film can not match me today. ”
Myriam L’Aouffir is the Online Communication Manager and the Social Media Marketing Manager for France Television. She manages the e-Presence and the e-Reputation of the brands of France Televisions and defines digital communication strategies which take into consideration the new uses and new consumption patterns, related to the screens and the enhanced television. Prior to her current role, and after being in charge of the communication at France 2, she joined the Moroccan Embassy in Paris as External Relations Manager.
November 1, Dominique Strauss-Kahn conducted a workshop for a handful of senior execs by an investment company based in Singapore. His return to the circuit leading speakers was hailed by the media: “Invited by the group NetEase, one of the giants of the Internet in China.” Strauss-Kahn serves as an external consultant for the firm. DSK also spoke at a conference organized by Netease in Beijing, China The internet company that operates 163.com, a popular web portal. NetEase has a market value of US$7.8 billion as of May 2012, and over 6000 employees as of 31 December 2011. Some of the company’s most prominent clients came from overseas just to take part in the workshop.
During the workshop, Strauss-Kahn spoke mainly about the European and US markets and expressed pessimism about prospects of global economic recovery. He claimed that governments needed to take the required measures and affect reforms, otherwise the situation would deteriorate. He was more optimistic about the upcoming year, saying he foresaw no economic calamities on the horizon.
Strauss-Kahn stayed at a discreet boutique hotel so as not draw attention and kept a low profile throughout the visit.
So far, Abdel Ferrara has not raised the funds to start filming the DSK Sofitel movie; no French TV or producer in France has signed on. Filming is expected to begin this fall and be held in New York. More below
Composite photo illustrating rumor: Anne Sinclair and Pierre Nora, historian and member of the French Academy, 81 years old, 17 years older than Anne Sinclair
The magazines named in the suit are VSD and Closer, which had published photographs of Mr Strauss-Kahn and Myriam L’Aouffir embracing and other shots of the pair on vacation.
Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said he was seeking 80,000 euros (£65,000) in damages from VSD, the first magazine to publish the photographs, and 50,000 euros from Closer.
Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Richard Malka said it was clear the photographs were not in the general interest, adding sarcastically: “All this is not being done to sell copies, it’s just to inform us.”
The VSD photographs showed them on holiday in Corsica and claimed that with his new girlfriend, “DSK has become a gentleman again”.
L’Aouffir’s lawyer Laurent Jourdan said she was seeking 100,000 euros from each publication
Unlike the United States, French law (article 9) says “each person has the right to the respect of their private life” even when they are public figures or public officials. Even though Article 9 does not specifically mention a right over one’s image, the French courts have interpreted it as giving individuals a droit à l’image. What is protected is not the image itself, but a person’s right not be photographed without her consent. Article 9 provides protection even if the person is famous.
Paris lawyer Christophe Bigot argues that “all the events of a private life made public by a political figure should in principle become events about which investigation and news are legitimate.” In Ressiot and Others v. France, the ECHR held unanimously in June 2012 that the French Government had not proven that a fair balance had been struck between the different interests at stake.
Query: does the filing of the lawsuit not further display DSK’s separation from Anne Sinclair? Was the public display of affection not an answer to the interviews Anne Sinclair has given lately? Is it a warning to the producers of the film now being made [see below]? Or, was the suit filed to stop rumours
Dominique Strauss-Kahn filed on September 1 the statutes of a new limited liability company with the Commercial Court of Paris. “The company aims to advice, information, conferences in the economic, social, real estate, politics, both in France and abroad. And, more generally, all (…) relating to the subject indicated above or any other similar or related nature to promote, directly or indirectly, the aim of the company, its expansion and development. ” The official document then gives the name of the company: Parnasse [Parnassus],
The company’s offices are in Montparnasse in Paris’ 14th arrondissement, where Mr Strauss-Kahn now lives after splitting up with his wife of two decades, Anne Sinclair,
Raison sociale PARNASSE SARL
Dirigeants 5 dirigeant(s) + de détails
Adresse HAB MORNE ETOILE
97250 SAINT PIERRE EN MARTINIQUE
Forme juridique / Date de création S.A.R.L., Crée le 01/08/1993
Derniers statuts à jour+ de détails
Capital Social 15.244 €
SIRET 392-723-482 00015
APE 0122Z / Culture de fruits tropicaux et subtropicaux
Gérant M ERNOULT Serge (16/07/1954)
Directeur Commercial Ces informations font partie de la fiche complète
[September 22]DSK continues his comeback in Morocco
In a riposte to the Sinclair interview, a DSK public display of affection?
[Sep 1]Isabelle Adjani will play your character in a film by Abel Ferrara inspired by the DSK case. Did she contact you? I have no other information on the subject than what I have read in your newspaper. If Adjani requested it would you meet her? You say yes? Yeah, I love this woman . But if it is to talk about the specific topic you mention. In France, the press is free, , oh, the movie is free, oh. And I am free to live my life the way I want without being accountable to anyone.or telefilms There are also in preparation bestselling books of the case, Ariane Chemin and Raphaelle Bacque … Mitterrand had beautiful phrase: “Do not offend wants. ” How is your personal life from your separation from Dominique Strauss-Kahn? I look good, I took a vacation, I reworked hard, I am Building on the American elections. I still have a strong bond with my six children. And I’m very well, thank you.
[August 30]The US director Abel Ferrara — whose work includes steamy films such as “Bad Lieutenant” — is due this year to film a movie about the scandal with Gerard Depardieu in the starring role and Isabelle Adjani as Strauss-Kahn’s wife.: This will be the story of a couple caught in the storm. Even if we do not bear the names of the persons in question, who is fooled? It should be exciting because there is a director who is not French commands and it will go where it hurts. With him, there is no risk of political correctness. The idea is that Gerard Depardieu will not his hair white, and I’m not going to take 10 pounds heavier. No! ” It is not surprising that Abel Ferrara, famous for his sulfurous cinema, his attraction to the shallows, vice and the darkness of the human soul, was interested in such a story. Shooting is about to begin in New York, Washington and Paris.. Dsk, a one-time presidential hopeful and head of the International Monetary Fund, has been a political pariah in France since his arrest in New York last year over the alleged attempted rape of an immigrant hotel worker, Nafissatou Diallo.
20 June, 2016
According to LTC Tudor Martea, Commander of Special Forces Battalion “Fulger”, the exercises included 4 modules of training: advanced firing techniques, close quarters combat, artillery fire call, and a field training exercise.
LTC Martea mentioned that within the exercise, over 80 service members were trained by their American colleagues to carry out different missions. Also, they carried out shooting drills with heavy and light infantry weapons of National and US Armies.
June 7, 2016 WARSAW, Poland — Poland has kicked off its joint multinational exercise with heavy US Army participation in order to test readiness and interoperability using 31,000 soldiers from 24 countries, 100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles.
[October 8 2015 nuclear smuggling
The United States and Moldova have been working together for years to counter nuclear smuggling, said Eric Lund, spokesman for the Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
• In July 2010, police seized 1.8 kilograms of Uranium 238, known as yellowcake, in a garage in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. The uranium was worth €9 million ($10.1 million at today’s rates), but the suspects had tried to sell the uranium for €5 million ($5.6 million). Seven people were arrested, including two officers of the former Soviet army.
At the time, Moldova said it wasn’t sure where the uranium came from.
• In 2011, seven people were caught trying to sell 1 kilogram of Uranium 235 that had come from Moldova’s separatist Transnistria region. The suspects had sold a sample to undercover investigators. One of the suspects escaped, though others were arrested. A year later, an appellate court in Chisinau freed three and sentenced the rest to three to five years in jail.
When uranium is mined, it is 99.3% Uranium 238 and 0.7% Uranium 235, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.
Nuclear reactors must have a higher concentration of Uranium 235 than naturally exists in the mined material, so the U 235 isotope is enriched to about 5%, the commission says.
• In February 2015, authorities arrested two Moldovans in the capital on suspicion of trying to sell a half kilogram of radioactive Caesium 135. The arrest came after the suspects sold a sample of 83 grams for €100,000 ($112,440).
Moldovan authorities cooperated with the FBI in all three investigations, Balan said.
[August 10 Moldova: bank failures prompt IMF visit]
An IMF mission was now expected to visit from September 21 to look at prospects for a new support program after bamk failures.
Fraudsters in Moldova in November 2014 pulled off a $1 billion bank theft, led in turn to the bankruptcy of the country’s three major banks, a currency crisis, and a sharp economic slump. The mechanisms used for shifting the funds from BEM and Banca de Sociala – in particular the tell-tale use of Scottish shell companies established at the same addresses – repeat the mechanisms used in previous corporate raids and major money-laundering schemes in Moldova. This suggests that at least the engineers of the scheme were high-placed Moldovan insiders. But why would high-placed insiders implement such a scheme for the benefit of an outsider such as 28-year-old businessman Ilan Shor ? Or is Shor rather a proxy or fall guy for them?
The Scottish shell companies involved, Manitoba Management Limited, was registered at the 41 Duke Street address; another two companies, Dixon Corporation and Ayden Management Limited, were registered at 69 Brunswick Street and 71 Brunswick Street, respectively. Fortuna Limited and Novland Limited, were registered at the 18/2 Royston Mains Street address.
[May 21 Moldova at Riga EU meeting tempted by Russia]
While the European market is much bigger and richer than Russia’s, Mr. Putin imposed tight trade restrictions in 2013 on Moldova in retaliation for its flirtation with the West. For now, exports to Europe have not yet risen enough to make up for what was lost in Russia
Apr 21, 2015 “Wind Spring 15” – NATO military exercise in Romania, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border
“Wind Spring 15” – Over 2.000 military and 500 army vehicles, of which 400 tanks and armored vehicles, involved in a NATO military exercise in Romania, at the Smardan firining range in Galati county, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border.
[March 21 Russia warns against U.S. military maneuver, convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers departs Estonia]
A “Dragoon Ride” will take 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, troops from training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and convoy them through Latvia and the Czech Republic to Vilseck.The US Army squadron wrapping several months of training with allies in Poland will take its Strykers through the Baltics March 21 through April 1, stopping in a new community each night. The vehicles are part of an armored brigade’s worth of equipment the Army plans to station in Europe. The U.S. military maneuver, set to begin March 21, will involve a convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers. Over ten days, the eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles will stop in a different border area community each night to showcase the ability of U.S. forces to transport troops quickly, and to assure Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of NATO’s commitment.
Such an exercise, Russia’s foreign ministry said March 20, undermines the Russia-NATO Founding Act. “According to our estimates, in case of the deployment of U.S. armour on the permanent basis on NATO’s eastern flank in the mentioned amounts there will emerge solid reasons for calling in question the alliance’s compliance with these liabilities.”
March 6 Riga summit, on 21-22 May 2015: “deliverables”]
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the EU initiative covering relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is the wish of the hosts that all countries be represented at the level of heads of state and government, this was a decision to be taken by consensus among the 28 member countries. The previous such summit, held in Vilnius in November 2013. Member states had no consensus on offering membership perspective to the Union to any of the countries covered. Some EU countries wanted “deliverables” a jargon term for the possibility of granting a visa-free regime to Ukraine and Georgia. In EU jargon, this is called “visa liberalisation”, while “visa facilitation” is offered to countries less advanced in the process of lifting the visa barrier with the EU.
[February 25 2015 U.S. Army Second Cavalry Regiment in military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day.]
The soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment were taking part in a military parade to mark Estonia’s Indepen- dence Day.
[February 24 Moldova:pro-Western businessman the country’s next Prime Minister.]
[February 17 Moldova: a slumping domestic economy]
The leu has lost 25 percent against the dollar since the start of 2015, pressured by a rapidly slowing domestic economy, a currency crisis in Russia and conflict in Ukraine. Former Soviet countries are feeling the pain as Russia, for many the main trading partner, suffers from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a weak oil market, which sent the rouble down about 40 percent against the dollar last year. Moldova’s economy, which grew 9.2 percent in 2013, is expected to have contracted by up to 2 percent last year. “The national exchange rate mirrors the economic situation, which was hit by three shocks,”citing a Russian embargo on Moldovan wine and certain food products, a decline in exports, and a fall in remittances from migrant workers, 400,000 of whom work in Russia.
[January 27 Moldova: Two pro-European parties plus Communists may form government]
Two pro-European parties have agreed to form a minority government in Moldova but will need support from the Communist Party to pass legislation. They have 42 seats in the 101-seat legislation. The Communists, with 20 seats, say they will support the government depending on who is proposed as prime minister.
[January 1 Putin Christmas wish, U.S. Marines in Balti]
December 31 2014: In a New Year’s address Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti a Merry Christmas and “expressed hope” that the two countries would work together “in order to strengthen regional stability and security.” Some experts fear that the eastern pro-Russian Moldovan territory of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, will be the next area in Eastern Europe to take up a violent separatist campaign with the help of Russia.
January 1, 2015: U.S., Marines headed into the small, former Soviet republic to talk anti-armor best practices with local troops. A mix of about 15 assaultmen and anti-tank missilemen with the Romania-based Black Sea Rotational Force arrived in Balti, Moldova for the weeklong joint training exercise.
The detachment of Marines led a mix of conscripts and career soldiers with varying specialties — most were artillerymen — in discussions about doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. The event, which included a live-fire exercise, saw the troops use the FGM-148 Javelin, AT4 Anti-Tank Weapon and shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapons, as well as Moldova’s rocket propelled grenade system and 70mm recoilless rifle.
First Lt. Ben Skarzynski, executive officer for the rotational force’s weapons company who oversaw the exercise, would only go so far as to describe it as giving the Moldovans the “capability to provide for themselves.”
;December 20 Putin forgets Moldova]
“We have basically only two bases abroad, and those are in terroristically dangerous directions: in Kyrgyzstan after militants from Afghanistan entered that country, at the request of the Kyrgyz authorities, and in Tajikistan — also on the border with Afghanistan.”
in Transnistria, Russia keeps about 1,500 troops in the Moldovan breakaway republic, based in the de facto capitol Tiraspol as well as in the Bender Fortress. On August 4, Moscow accused Moldova and Ukraine of trying to block Russia’s access to its troops in Transdniester.
Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and it relies heavily on remittances from the several hundred thousand Moldovan citizens working in Russia. Most Moldovans convert the rubles they earn into dollars or euros before
[December 17 MEPS compensate Moldova’s producers for their Russian losses]
Moldova will be able to export up to 40,000 tonnes of fresh apples, 10,000 tonnes of fresh table grapes and 10,000 tonnes of fresh plums to the EU duty free, thanks to a proposal backed by MEPs on Wednesday. This should compensate Moldova’s producers for their losses due to Russia’s politically-motivated ban on imports of Moldovan produce.
Moldova will be able to import duty-free
40,000 tons of fresh apples (= 0.4% of EU output)
10,000 tons fresh table grapes (= 0.6% of EU output)
10, 000 tonnes fresh plums (= 0.7% of EU output)
Most of these imports are likely to go to Romania.
MEPs approved the concession by 551 votes to 67, with 23 abstentions.
[December 2 pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40% in parliamentary elections]
The United States congratulates the people of Moldova on the November 30 parliamentary elections, another milestone in their nation’s democratic development. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) found that the technical conduct of the elections yesterday was in line with international standards and norms. We share ODIHR’s concern with the decision of Moldova’s Central Election Commission to remove one party from the ballot only a few days before the elections.
[earlier]With nearly 80% of votes counted, the three pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40%.
The subsequent inevitable tough bargaining will be watched closely by Russia.
[November 30 Moldova’s central election committee declares elections valid]
With about 30% of the vote counted, the pro-Russian Socialist Party was in the lead with about 23%, election officials said. The main opposition party – the Communist Party – was running a close second with 20%.
The Liberal Democrats, who want Moldova to achieve EU candidate status by 2017 and full membership by 2020. They were polling about 18%.
Its coalition partner, the Democratic Party, was polling about 16%.
The most strongly pro-EU and pro-Nato party, the Liberals, was on about 7%.
Tough post-election bargaining is predicted.
About 2.7 million people are eligible to cast their ballots, electing a single-chamber 101-seat parliament by a system of proportional representation. The turnout was just under 56%.
[Earlier]Moldovans are voting in parliamentary elections November 30. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation not to attempt to destabilize Moldova, on March 23.
On March 23, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top military commander warned that Russia had a “very sizable” force on Ukraine’s eastern border that could easily pass through Ukraine to seize Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.
The Russian annexation of Crimea is threatening to reignite a conflict in an often forgotten corner of Europe: the self-styled breakaway republic of Transnistria.
Transnistria, a thin strip of land sandwiched between Ukraine and the former Soviet republic of Moldova, has close ties with Moscow. Last week lawmakers in the region formally asked the Duma, Russia’s parliament, if it could
Ms. Merkel nonetheless reiterated Germany’s position that it won’t recognize the annexation of Crimea, Mr. Seibert said.
Moldova’s central election committee declared the elections valid with turnout at 39.2 percent of voters as of 3:30 p.m. local time, Interfax reported, citing the body’s chairman, Yury Chokan.
[February 28 MAKO Group’s Oleksandr Yanukovych and deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych have Swiss assets seized, also Austria and Liechtenstein]
Geneva’s chief prosecutor’s office searched the premises of a company owned by Oleksander Yanukovych. The Swiss authorities have frozen all assets of Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, and launched a money laundering investigation into him and his son.
The foreign ministry said all assets and bank accounts held by Yanukovych and 19 other people of his entourage in Switzerland were blocked
Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein announced a similar asset freeze.
Yanukovych’s MAKO Group of companies (majority shareholder is Oleksandr Yanukovych) was assessed by (auditor) PricewaterhouseCoopers as having $212 million in assets in 2011, grossing $663,000 from sales. (In March 2012 Yanukovych’s net worth was estimated to be at least $130 million by Kyiv Post.) In 2011 time MAKO consisted of 16 enterprises located in Ukraine, Switzerland and the Netherlands and it employed some 700 people in 2011.MAKO Group is primarily involved in property development and construction, banking, and the export of high-grade coal. MAKO started to grow heavily since 2010. Before 2013 the company had denied it has bid for government public procurement contracts, taking part in government privatizations of state assets, or being involved in the extraction of natural resources. In November 2012 Forbes Ukraine reported that companies linked to (Oleksandr) Yanukovych in 2012 at no cost had taken over majority stakes worth an estimated $10 million in five coal enrichment plants from the state.[ This had been denied by Yanukovych; he claimed it was Black PR aimed against his father. As of February 2013 Forbes Ukraine claims (Oleksandr) Yanukovych earned most in Ukrainian Public Procurement contracts then any other businessmen since the beginning of 2012. Forbes.ua reported in February 2014 that in January 2014, for example, his businesses won 50% of all state tenders.
In early 2014 his personal assesses were claimed to be over $500 million
14 June, 2016
Actress-singer Sky Ferreira is set to reteam with the Oscar winner on Edgar Wright‘s “Baby Driver,” Sky Ferreira is boarding the Sony/MRC crime movie starring Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Lily James and Jon Bernthal, After working with Kevin Spacey on “Elvis & Nixon” ” Release: Tribeca Film Festival April 15, 2016 (USA)
[February 13 2015]
Singing sensation Sky Ferreira has signed on to join Oscar winner Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood in the indie crime thriller “The Trust,” .
Benjamin and Alex Brewer are directing from a script that Benjamin Brewer co-wrote with Adam Hirsch.
Story follows two corrupt cops, Jim Stone (Cage) and David Waters (Wood), who are stuck working in the evidence room of the Las Vegas Police Department. When Stone discovers a vault holding drug money sealed in the back of a convenience store, he and Waters team up to pull off a bold heist.
“The Trust” is a Hassell Free Production in association with financier Electric Shadow Fund and Prettybird Pictures. Highland Film Group is handling international sales, while Saban Films acquired North American rights at last year’s AFM.
Braxton Pope and Molly Hassell are producing the film, which is currently shooting in Las Vegas. Mike Nilon is executive producing along with HFG’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier.
[May 16 2014 New York Times places Ferreira “squarely at the center of contemporary female pop”]
Notwithstanding its happiness or lack thereof, Night Time, My Time has done pretty well, bagging big reviews everywhere from online hipster music site Pitchfork (which gave it an 8.1 out of 10) to The New York Times, which placed Ferreira “squarely at the centre of contemporary female pop”. Its sound is smart and unpolished – Courtney Love meets Saint Etienne meets the Jesus and Mary Chain – with bold hooks, gnashing guitars and squelching synths.
Sky Ferreira has now arrived in Australia.
Her London gig lasted just six songs before collapsing under the weight of its own incompetence, but since then things have been bolstered and tightened up. Her band of skinny boys with undercuts may be a drummer short – they had to borrow one from a band in Melbourne – but they’re tight and confident.
Nearly every song starts with a buzzsaw synth before Ferreira plunges in. She does air-punching hedonism (24 Hours), angsty self-destructiveness (I Blame Myself) and pouty, pedal-to-the-metal pop (You’re Not the One) in equally convincing style. As the gig wears on and Ferreira gets more confident – she even takes her shades off – you have the feel of a project, long mired in difficulties, finally starting to fly.
[October 27 2013]
Sky Ferreira has hit out at her record label for not making her new album available on vinyl and says she’ll make them herself.
Ferreira’s long-awaited new album Night Time, My Time is due to be released digitally on October 29th, however she took to Facebook yesterday to express her anger over her record label not being able to produce the album on vinyl. The singer has since deleted the post and it’s unknown as to what will actually be happening in regards to the vinyl print
But she will appear with Cole in commemoration, an Elliott Smith tribute has been planned at Brooklyn’s Glasslands on October 21. The bill includes Cat Power, DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith performing alongside Sky Ferreira,
Sky Ferreira, 21-year-old ascendant pop star is on doctors’ orders not to sing for a little while due to an illness affecting her vocal cords, according to a Facebook post. “Sadly, the timing will force me to miss this week’s shows with Vampire Weekend,” Ferreira wrote. She apologized to the band and her fans.
But.”People have always said I’m a drug addict, just based on the fact that I have dark circles around my eyes— which I’ve had since I was a kid— or because I come across a certain way or dress a certain way. So that’s not something that’s new. But I would be in rehab; I would not be on this Vampire Weekend tour. And I wouldn’t be able to go on stage everyday and deal with this. ”
No one actually knows what happened besides Cole and I and the Saugerties police.
Long-delayed debut album “Night Time, My Time,” out Oct. 29 from Capitol and filled with smart, self-aware, unpolished pop songs, will likely enhance her reputation further.
Sky Ferreira and her boyfriend, DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith, were arrested for drug possession after allegedly being found carrying ecstasy and heroin. Police in Saugerties, New York state, slapped the couple with a litany of misdemeanour charges, including driving without a permit and possessing stolen property. According to Hudson Valley news site the Daily Freeman (via Pitchfork), police stopped their 1990 Ford pickup truck after observing numerous traffic infractions early Saturday morning. A registration check allegedly uncovered that Smith was wanted on outstanding traffic warrants and that the truck’s licence plates were stolen. The officers then found a bag containing “42 decks [small bags] of heroin” (reportedly about $400 worth), apparently owned by Smith, and a quantity of ecstasy, carried by Ferreira. She is also accused of resisting arrest. The two musicians were taken to the nearby Ulster County jail and eventually released on bail. On Saturday night, Smith performed as scheduled at the BasilicaSoundScape music festival: Ferreira joined DIIV for a rendition of Cat Power’s Nude as the News.
Ferreira, 21, of 66 North 4th St., Apt. A, Brooklyn, faces misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. . Her debut album, “Night Time, My Time,” was officially announced on Friday morning — less than 24 hours before the arrest — after years of delays.