Archive for Wednesday, June 30, 2004


June 30, 2004



Twelve indicted in corruption case

A former city treasurer, a powerful city lawyer and 10 others were indicted Tuesday in a municipal corruption investigation that became public when a bugging device was discovered in the mayor's office.

It is the second round of indictments to come out of the investigation.

The latest indictment alleges that in 2002 and 2003, attorney Ronald A. White gave cash and gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars to then-Treasurer Corey Kemp to influence which financial services companies were selected to handle bond transactions for the city.

The probe became public in October, when police conducting a security sweep discovered an FBI listening device in the City Hall office of Mayor John Street. Street has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Washington, D.C.

U.S. finds truckers, pilots with terror links

Government background checks of foreign airline crew members and truckers licensed to haul hazardous materials in the United States turned up 38 with possible terrorist connections, Homeland Security Department officials said Tuesday.

Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, said the agency reviewed the backgrounds of all 450,000 foreign crew members who flew into the country since March and identified nine pilots with potential ties to terrorists.

The Federal Aviation Administration has barred all nine from flying into the country, Hutchinson said. He declined to provide any individual information about the nine or to describe their links to terrorists.

New York

Cash-advances firm agrees to reforms

A company that offers cash advances to people with pending lawsuits has agreed to tell its customers more clearly how much the service costs.

Cambridge Management Group will now itemize its fees and financing rates, among other changes, under reforms negotiated with the state, New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer said Monday.

Because the customers repay the cash advances only if their lawsuits end in a court award or settlement, the contracts are not technically loans and are exempt from state regulations, Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Pritchard said.

The reforms are the first in a growing new industry, with companies typically charging 5 percent a month in interest, or 60 percent a year, Spitzer said.

Salt Lake City

Boy Scouts sued for nearly $14M

The federal government and the state of Utah sued the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday for nearly $14 million to recover the costs of a 2002 fire at a Scout camp.

The lawsuit alleges that about 20 Boy Scouts ages 11 to 14 were left without adult supervision for a night outside an approved campground. Some of the boys built fires that were left to smolder and spread across more than 14,000 acres, the lawsuit says.

U.S. Attorney for Utah Paul Warner said the complaint sought $13.3 million for the federal costs of fighting the fire and reclamation of the charred land in the Uinta Mountains. The state is asking for more than $600,000 to cover its firefighting expenses.

The Boy Scouts have not admitted responsibility for the fire.

North Carolina

Judge told to restore God reference in oaths

The state Supreme Court ordered a judge Tuesday to restore references to God in the words used when he enters the courtroom and when witnesses swear to tell the truth.

The high court sided with angry officials from two counties who complained that District Judge James Honeycutt had taken it upon himself to change courtroom procedures.

The high court ordered Honeycutt to stop using a revised oath missing the phrase "so help you God" and administer the witness oath as spelled out in state law. The court also ordered the judge to allow bailiffs to begin court sessions with a proclamation that includes "God save the state and this honorable court."

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