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George Ryan Trial, Part 1

The second day of the testimony of Scott Fawell, Ryan’s campaign manager and chief of staff, began much more sedate than the first (not attended by this observer). Fawell had been cautioned by Judge Pallmeyer to limit his responses to direct answers and to avoid the theatrics that he had…

Migrant Identity Fraud

Assuring that employers hire only legal residents continues to be a low priority for federal officials and rampant identity fraud continues to hinder efforts to verify employees’ immigration status, according to a recent report from the congressional watchdog called the General Accountability Office. The GAO report said that under the…

Troubled State Treasurer

New Mexico’s state treasurer, Robert Vigil, will continue to collect his annual salary of $85,000 even though he stepped down after being charged with federal extortion. Prosecutors say that Vigil and the state’s former treasurer, Michael Montoya, demanded kickbacks from financial advisors for steering state investment business through them.

Questionable Government Contracts

More than 80% of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by FEMA for hurricane Katrina-related work were awarded without bidding or with very limited competition. Why? Because many of the firms awarded the major contracts have big political connections, not only to Mississippi’s governor but also to President George W.…

Cheating in Chicago

It’s comforting to know that longtime Democratic political consultant and former head of Chicago’s largest public interest group, Robert Creamer, ?never intended to enrich himself? when he ran a check-kiting scheme and failed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes. At least that is what his wife, Democrat U.S. Congresswoman…

Judge Rewarded For Misconduct?

An Orlando Florida circuit judge was removed from the bench eight months ago for judicial misconduct yet he has been collecting his regular annual salary of $139,497 to stay home and go golfing. A Judicial Qualifications Commission found Orange Circuit Judge James Henson guilty of taking on a criminal-defense client…

Kentuck Governing

There appears to be no end in sight to the scandals surrounding Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. The latest involves the indictment of his buddy, Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, for violating Kentucky whistleblower law and seeking revenge against a public employee who reported hiring violations to the attorney general. Recently, nine…

“Your Honor” Is Disgraced

For the first time in 15 years, a state judge has been charged in federal court. His name is David A. Gross and he sits on the bench in Nassau County, New York. Gross was recently arraigned on federal money-laundering charges along with three men described by prosecutors as mob…

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