Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Athens County Sheriff assults political opponent

Man claims sheriff assaulted him outside fundraiser
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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3:00 am
By SARA BRUMFIELD Messenger staff journalist
An Albany man is claiming he was assaulted by Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly outside of a fundraising dinner for Kelly’s re-election campaign in Jacksonville over the weekend, but the sheriff said the allegations are just “bush league” politics.
The alleged “assault” supposedly involved Kelly stuffing a negative flier into the shirt of David Jenkinson of Albany, although Kelly denies it happened. Even so, County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said he has asked a special prosecutor to look into the matter.
According to Jenkinson, the alleged altercation between he and Kelly came after Jenkinson was passing out literature near a fundraising dinner for Kelly’s re-election campaign at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon.
Jenkinson said he handed a flier to Athens County Commissioner candidate Charlie Adkins outside of the VFW and then Jenkinson went into Jerry’s Bar nearby. He claims that when he came out he saw Kelly walking toward him and Kelly demanded a copy of the flier Jenkinson was passing out. Jenkinson told The Messenger he gave a copy of the flier to Kelly and after he looked it over, Kelly told Jenkinson he had to have a disclaimer on the literature stating it was campaign-related.
Jenkinson claims that Kelly threatened to have him arrested for violating election laws. Jenkinson told The Messenger that the literature was not election-related, but his intent was to have an investigation against Kelly’s son, Joel, reopened.
According to Jenkinson, Kelly crumpled up the flier and shoved it into the front pocket of Jenkinson’s Hawaiian shirt. Jenkinson claims that constituted assault because he has breast cancer and the force of Kelly shoving the paper into his pocket irritated the cancer site.
Jenkinson was not arrested, but he said he provided a statement to the Jacksonville Police Department about the alleged incident.
On Monday, Kelly told The Messenger that he in no way assaulted Jenkinson.
“It absolutely did not happen,” he said. Kelly, who is facing opposition from Republican Steve Kane in the November election, said that Jenkinson’s allegations are politically motivated.
According to Kelly, there were four witnesses outside when he went to talk to Jenkinson about the negative literature he was distributing regarding he and his son.
On Monday, Blackburn said that Jenkinson came into his office to file a complaint about an alleged incident that happened in Jacksonville on Saturday. Blackburn said that because he represents Kelly as county prosecutor, he asked a special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to look into the matter.
Blackburn said that even if the special prosecutor determines that charges are warranted, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be against Kelly. Blackburn noted that making a false allegation of assault can also be a crime.
The literature passed out by Jenkinson is a copy of a letter from special prosecutor James Grandey of Highland County to Kelly in June 2010. Grandey said he was appointed special prosecutor to investigate allegations against Kelly’s son, Joel. No charges resulted from that investigation.
In the letter, Grandey is critical of Kelly for meeting with the stepfather of the alleged victim, but said he did not find the meeting had any criminal intent. The other side of Jenkinson’s flier purports to be an account of that meeting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PI Indicted along with his attorney client

San Ramon Attorney Charged With Tax Evasion And Unlawfully Intercepting Communications

September 18, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. – A six-count Indictment was unsealed today charging San Ramon attorney Mary Nolan with tax evasion and unlawfully intercepting communications, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Nolan, 60, was arrested today in her home in Oakland, prior to making her initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment, which was returned Sept. 6, 2012, alleges that Nolan, the owner of The Law Offices of Mary Nolan in San Ramon, Calif., willfully attempted to evade and defeat a large part of her income tax due and owing by causing false tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service from 2005 through 2008. For the tax years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, Nolan reported taxable income of -$21,395, -$12,472, -$53,934, and -$48,146, respectively, when in fact she knew her taxable income was $306,543, $410,581, $574,769 and $414,319. The unreported taxable income totaled $1,842,159, resulting in additional tax due of approximately $593,916.
The indictment further alleges that, between approximately Aug. 9, 2007, and at least Sept. 9, 2007, Nolan conspired to and procured another person to unlawfully intercept wire, oral and electronic communications. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Nolan referred clients to private investigator Christopher Butler for Butler to install concealed listening devices in the clients’ spouses or significant others’ cars. The indictment also alleges that on numerous occasions, Nolan and her staff, acting on Nolan’s instructions, accessed the listening devices to eavesdrop on conversations by Nolan’s clients’ spouses and significant others with the intent to use the intercepted information to assist Nolan’s client’s legal proceedings.
The maximum statutory penalty for tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201, is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications, in violation 18 U.S.C. § 371 is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for unlawful interception of communications, in violation 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(a) and (4)(a) is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Upon posting $50,000, Nolan will be released on a bond that includes $250,000 of security in the form of a deed that must be posted within two weeks. She is next scheduled to appear in federal court in Oakland on Sept. 25, 2012, for arraignment before Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton.
Hartley M. K. West is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rania Ghawi. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Two Faces Have I

                Two Faces Have I

                It’s been popular lately for liberal news and entertainment programs to play inappropriate music in the background during a conservative’s appearance. If turnabout is fair play then the song that should have been playing in the background while  Ex-Ohio Governor Ted Strickland gave his speech at the recent DNC Convention should have been Lou Christie’s “ Two Faces Have I.”
                In his run for Governor Mr. Strickland promised to meet with the Executive Director of Ohio Association of the Security & Investigative Services and the then sitting Chairman of the Governor’s Commission to the Private Investigative and Security Industry to discuss the problems that the 270 small business owners and their 35,000 employees were having in their attempts to do business in the State of Ohio.   
                Of course the soon to be Governor was too busy to make the meeting but his staff falsely promised that the industries problems would be addressed  by Scott North a Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur attorney who had left the firm in order to become the new Governor’s Legislative assistant. This caused the majority of the 270 small business owners to lend their support to elect Ted Strickland Governor of the State of Ohio. Many in the industry now bored a “Republicans For Strickland” bumper sticker  and forwarded monetary donations to his campaign.
                Well as usual, with politicians, after the election was over and Ted was elected the industry never heard from Scott North, Ted Strickland or his staff again and to add injury to insult  he appointed two of the most corrupt Directors of  Department of Public Safety ever to come down the pike. Two documented corrupt political cronies who did nothing but block attempts by the industry, the small businesses, to become successful and profitable.  The Department’s attorney, in violation of the law,  wire tapped anyone attempting to assist the industry and used the Department’s investigators to falsely pressure any dissenters the industry might have.
                As mentioned Lou Christie’s “Two Face Have I” would have been great background music for Ohio’s Ex-Governor.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Private investigator admits skimming from company

Private investigator admits skimming from company

A private investigator in Cincinnati faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting he skimmed more than $1 million from his business. Federal prosecutors say James Simon, the owner of Business Intelligence Inc., used a large amount of the money to support a gambling habit.
Simon, 66, pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati to one count each of tax evasion and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he skimmed most of the money between 2003 and 2008. The tax charges stem from Simon’s failure to report the money he took on his tax returns, which resulted in a tax loss to the IRS of about $385,000. Prosecutors say Simon admitted to enlisting the help of two employees to conceal the source of money he won while gambling at a riverboat casino in Indiana. They say Simon also took payments from clients in cash or cashier’s checks, which he then deposited into his personal bank accounts. U.S. District Judge Herman Weber will sentence Simon in June. In addition to up to 10 years in prison, he could be fined up to $350,000 and ordered to repay the money he took.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PIs Fight anti-GPS Legislation

Private investigators in Virginia have been fighting against proposed anti-GPS legislation since it first was floated nearly two years ago because it excludes them. ISPLA executive committee member, Nicole Bocra of Infinity Investigative Solutions in Virginia, summed up the objections of HB 807 for the Associated Press:  “Private investigators perform a public service by working on insurance fraud, embezzlement and other white-collar crimes,” she said. Their efforts will be hampered if they can’t electronically track suspected embezzlers as well as cheating husbands. “We play a vital role in this system.”  She noted that, unlike police, they cannot obtain a warrant, which by the 2012  U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v Jones is now required of law enforcement. The bill passed out of a Virginia House of Delegates committee. However, Nicole Bocra, and representatives of Private Investigators Association of Virginia and the Professional Investigators and Security Association did not cease their fight to defeat this bill.
On February 20, Phil Becnel of Dinolt Becnel and Wells Investigative Group of Virginia, an ISPLAPAC financial supporter, posted the following announcement:
“I am very pleased to announce that Del. Joe May's GPS tracking bill was killed in the Virginia Senate today by a vote of nine to six. Although there is a slim chance that the bill could be reintroduced this session, this is highly unlikely, meaning that we are probably out of the woods on this issue until next year.
I would like to extend a very special thank you to our lobbyist in Richmond, James Towey, for pulling the right strings behind the scenes and to our members John Morse and John Kipley for helping to represent our industry’s position this morning in Richmond when so many of us (me included) could not make it down there. I would also like to thank Nicole Bocra for pulling everything together at the final hour and for her tireless work on this issue over the past couple years. This was a joint effort of PIAVA, PISA and ISPLA ......and it just goes to show you what we can accomplish when we all work together as an industry.”
A Washington Post article on this legislation is at:
ISPLA stands ready to assist our colleagues in any way it can on this issue in the future. In Michigan, where ISPLA Chairman Peter Psarouthakis of EWI & Associates, Inc. has handled legislative matters, GPS tracking by professional investigators conducting lawful investigations is legal. He has furnished legislative material used to enact the favorable GPS statutes in Michigan to our colleagues in Arizona, Georgia, New York, and Virginia.
Bruce Hulme
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Urges Judges’ Consideration Presenting Expert Testimony to Jurors


Urges Judges’ Consideration Presenting Expert Testimony to Jurors

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges judges and lawyers to consider the following factors in determining the manner in which expert testimony should be presented to a jury and in  instructing the jury in its evaluation of expert scientific testimony in criminal and delinquency proceedings:
  1. Whether experts can identify and explain the theoretical and  factual basis for any opinion given in their testimony and the reasoning upon which the opinion is based.
  2. Whether experts use clear and consistent terminology in presenting their opinions.
  3. Whether experts present their testimony in a manner that accurately and fairly conveys the significance of their conclusions, including any relevant limitations of the methodology used.
  4. Whether experts explain the reliability of evidence and fairly address problems   with evidence including relevant evidence of laboratory error, contamination, or sample mishandling.
  5. Whether expert testimony of individuality or uniqueness is based on valid scientific research.
  6. Whether the court should prohibit the parties from tendering witnesses as experts and should refrain from declaring witnesses to be experts in the presence of the jury.
  7. Whether to include in jury instructions additional specific factors that might be    especially important to a jury’s ability to fairly assess the reliability of and weight to be given expert testimony on particular issues in the case.

The resolution is derived from a report which in part states:

"Many of the reported problems with forensic science evidence have resulted from the failures of trial attorneys to investigate thoroughly forensic science evidence, the misunderstandings of trial attorneys concerning the nature of that evidence and misstatements by trial attorneys concerning the weight to be attributed to that evidence.  Until an elevation in the knowledge base of trial attorneys is achieved, the adversarial system will continue to falter with respect to the proper presentation of forensic science evidence."

Below is a direct link to the 17-page ABA reference material which criminal defense investigators should consider reviewing. Among other things, it comments on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report on forensic science, along with cases such as Daubert:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

THE MICHIGAN Tracking Device Execption

Never thought I said this but: Go Blue
Act 328 of 1931

750.539l Tracking device; placement or installment on motor vehicle without consent; violation as misdemeanor; penalty; exemptions; inapplicability of subsection (2)(j); liability for damages; definitions.
Sec. 539l.
(1) A person who does any of the following is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both:
(a) Installs or places a tracking device, or causes a tracking device to be installed or placed, in or on a motor vehicle without the knowledge and consent of the owner of that motor vehicle or, if the motor vehicle is leased, the lessee of that motor vehicle.
(b) Tracks the location of a motor vehicle with a tracking device without the knowledge and consent of either the owner or the authorized operator of that motor vehicle or, if the motor vehicle is leased, either the lessee or the authorized operator of that motor vehicle.
(c) While being the restrained party under a protective order, tracks the location of a motor vehicle operated or occupied by an individual protected under that order with a tracking device.
(d) While on probation or parole for an assaultive crime or a violation of section 81(3) or (4) or section 81a(2) or (3), tracks the location of a motor vehicle operated or occupied by a victim of that crime or by a family member of the victim of that crime without the knowledge and consent of that victim or family member.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any of the following:
(a) The installation or use of any device that provides vehicle tracking for purposes of providing mechanical, operational, directional, navigation, weather, or traffic information to the operator of the vehicle.
(b) The installation or use of any device for providing emergency assistance to the operator or passengers of the vehicle under the terms and conditions of a subscription service, including any trial period of that subscription service.
(c) The installation or use of any device for providing missing vehicle assistance for the benefit of the owner or operator of the vehicle.
(d) The installation or use of any device to provide diagnostic services regarding the mechanical operation of a vehicle under the terms and conditions of a subscription service, including any trial period of the subscription service.
(e) The installation or use of any device or service that provides the lessee of the vehicle with clear notice that the vehicle may be tracked. For a lessor who installs a tracking device subsequent to the original vehicle manufacture, the notice shall be provided in writing with an acknowledgment signed by the lessee, regardless of whether the tracking device is original equipment, a retrofit, or an aftermarket product. The requirement for written acknowledgment placed upon the lessor is not imposed upon the manufacturer of the tracking device or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
(f) The installation or use of any tracking device by the parent or guardian of a minor on any vehicle owned or leased by that parent or guardian or the minor, and operated by the minor.
(g) The installation or use of a tracking device by a police officer while lawfully performing his or her duties as a police officer.
(h) The installation or use of a tracking device by a court officer appointed under section 8321 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.8321, while lawfully performing his or her duties as a court officer.
(i) The installation or use of a tracking device by a person lawfully performing his or her duties as a bail agent as authorized under section 167b or as an employee or contractor of that bail agent lawfully performing his or her duties as an employee or contractor of a bail agent.
(j) Except as provided in subsection (3), the installation or use of a tracking device by a professional investigator or an employee of a professional investigator lawfully performing his or her duties as a professional investigator or employee of a professional investigator for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to any of the following:
(i) Securing evidence to be used before a court, board, officer, or investigating committee.
(ii) Crimes or wrongs done, threatened, or suspected against the United States or a state or territory of the United States or any other person or legal entity.
(iii) Locating an individual known to be a fugitive from justice.
(iv) Locating lost or stolen property or other assets that have been awarded by the court.
(3) The exemption under subsection (2)(j) does not apply if either of the following applies:
(a) The professional investigator or the employee of the professional investigator is working on behalf of a client who is the restrained party under a protective order.
(b) The professional investigator or the employee of the professional investigator knows or has reason to know that the person seeking his or her investigative services, including the installation or use of a tracking device, is doing so to aid in the commission of a crime or wrong.
(4) A person who illegally installs or uses a tracking device or a person described in subsection (2)(i) or (j) who installs or uses a tracking device is liable for all damages incurred by the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle caused by the installation or use of the tracking device.
(5) As used in this section:
(a) "Assaultive crime" means that term as defined in section 9a of chapter X of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 770.9a.
(b) "Minor" means an individual less than 18 years of age.
(c) "Motor vehicle" means that term as defined in section 412.
(d) "Professional investigator" means a person licensed under the professional investigator licensure act, 1965 PA 285, MCL 338.821 to 338.851.
(e) "Protective order" means both of the following:
(i) An order entered under section 2950, 2950a, or 2950h of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.2950, 600.2950a, and 600.2950h, or under section 6b of chapter V or section 3(2)(o) of chapter XI of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 765.6b and 771.3, or under section 13a of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.13a, or under section 36(16) of the corrections code of 1953, 1953 PA 232, MCL 791.236.
(ii) A foreign protection order as defined in section 2950h of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.2950h.
(f) "Tracking device" means any electronic device that is designed or intended to be used to track the location of a motor vehicle regardless of whether that information is recorded.

History: Add. 2010, Act 107, Eff. Aug. 1, 2010

© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan