Family Corruption In The Big Easy

A Public Diary On Themes Around A Book

Archive for December, 2007

Handling Domestic Violence Complaints

Posted by familydynamics on December 31, 2007

Do you think that police officers are equipped to handle domestic violence complaints? Some state law officials believe that the average police officer is not equipped with the basic knowledge to handle what may be a life or death situation. Take for example the City of Baltimore:

State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Baltimore police Lt. Vernell Shaheed have proposed that specially trained detectives handle serious domestic violence incidents. Under the plan, counselors also would be available around the clock to help victims apply for protective orders, find another place to live or get treatment.

It is great that this City has acknowledged that domestic violence is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.


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Are You A Deadbeat Parent?

Posted by familydynamics on December 30, 2007

If you are a deadbeat parent, in the State of Wisconsin, you could be soon outed.

Deadbeat parents could face public shaming on the Internet under legislation a Fox Valley lawmaker plans to introduce in January.

State Rep. Steve Wieckert, R-Appleton, said the state needs to post online the names of people behind on child support payments, just as it does with delinquent taxpayers.

More than 100,000 people who owe at least $500 in child support could face listing under the plan, which aims to get people to pay up.

Do you think this is a good idea? After all, our children should be our first priority.

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SoCal Bribery Case Upheld

Posted by familydynamics on December 29, 2007

VENTURA, Calif.—A state appeals court upheld a $10 million award in a lawsuit that said a trash company and a billboard firm bribed a San Bernardino County official in the 1990s to get contracts worth millions of dollars.The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the judgment made three years ago in the county’s suit against former Chief Administrative Officer James Hlawek and officials from the Norcal Waste Systems and the Oakridge billboard company.

“Their criminal conduct did not involve a single act, but rather a pattern of deceit in a well-formulated and complex scheme that required continuous manipulation of the county over an extended period of time,” appeals Justice Steven Z. Perren wrote.

Hlawek, Norcal Vice President Kenneth James Walsh and Harry Mays, a former county administrative officer who became a Norcal consultant, were found liable in 2004 for fraud and other improprieties. A Ventura judge ordered them to pay nearly $10 million in damages and restitution.

Hlawek, Walsh and Mays also pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Former county Supervisor Jerry Eaves, who also was accused of taking bribes from the billboard firm, pleaded guilty in 2004 to violating state conflict-of-interest laws.

Billboard company owner William McCook was acquitted of federal charges and the state court case against him was dismissed.

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Are You A Victim Of Emotional Infidelity?

Posted by familydynamics on December 28, 2007

According to an on-going poll of over 1,000 women conducted by, about 51 percent of women believed that viewing porn was emotional cheating. In a similar WomanSaver’s poll, 63 percent of all women felt that online affairs constituted infidelity. The main difference between physical infidelity and emotional infidelity is physical contact.

Physical infidelity involves people meeting directly and then engaging in physical intimacy. Emotional infidelity can occur in distant locations with absolutely no physical contact occurring. The primary difference between traditional cheating and emotional infidelity is actual, physical contact. With emotional infidelity, there may be a meeting, but it can occur on a cell phone or a computer.

Some people who emotionally cheat don’t consider the act to be a true form of infidelity because there is no physical contact. Others see no difference between physical and emotional infidelity because emotional infidelity has the same basic behavioral actions as traditional infidelity.

Do you believe there is a difference between physical and emotional infidelity?

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Exjudges Will Begin Sentence In Bribery Scheme

Posted by familydynamics on December 27, 2007

Two corrupt judges will begin their sentence for bribery today:

Former Circuit Judge John Whitfield and former Chancery Judge Wes Teel, both of Harrison County, were convicted in March of bribery and mail fraud.

Whitfield, 45, was sentenced to more than nine years. Teel, 57, was sentenced to almost six years.

Paul Minor, who was convicted of bribing the two, already is serving an 11-year sentence in a federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla. The 61-year-old Minor once was considered among the top trial lawyers in Mississippi, amassing a fortune from tobacco, asbestos and other litigation.

Prosecutors say Minor orchestrated a complicated scheme in which he guaranteed loans for the judges, then used cash and third parties in an attempt to conceal the fact he paid off the loans. The judges were convicted of giving Minor’s clients favorable rulings in civil cases in exchange for the money.

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Drug Rehab Helps Save Life

Posted by familydynamics on December 26, 2007

IT WAS THE best Christmas gift she could have gotten — one that came wrapped in a hug instead of paper and ribbon.

For Julie Hamilton, a United Airlines flight attendant who lives in Renton, it happened Sunday at the Cross Church and Discipleship Center, a church in White Center that offers a residential faith-based drug rehab program and a food bank, among other services.

Julie and her husband, Denny, have been married 35 years. They have three grown children — a daughter and 26-year-old twin sons. One of them is Zach, a son who has tested both his parents’ patience — and their love — over and over again. Along the way, he’s taken more missteps than most people do in a lifetime.

He has battled drug addiction, sacrificing relationships, jobs and opportunities along the way.

Four years ago, coming down hard from a cocaine high, he tried meth- amphetamine.

“It turned my life upside down,” he says now. “It was a roller coaster headed straight to hell. I should be dead right now. I almost died four or five times.”

Over the years, he has entered in- or outpatient drug rehab programs more than a half-dozen times. Monthlong programs didn’t work for him. In early 2007, he entered a faith-based program run by the church in White Center. The men’s program is designed to run a minimum of six months.

Zach bailed after 2 1/2.

He lived — off and on — with his parents, lying if he was using. They kicked him out numerous times, then took him back when they believed he was clean.

Then came a day last fall when Denny and Julie decided they’d had enough. They ordered him to leave.

“He was in such bad shape,” Julie says. “He was taken over by this drug. It was not my son. Denny and I said a prayer. We released him to God.”

And they shut the door — to their home — not to their hearts.

Sometimes Julie would drop by Liberty Park in downtown Renton to see if Zach was crashing there. Once, she thought she saw him sleeping on a bench. It was another man.

Zach, though ordered out of his parents’ house, didn’t exactly leave. He’d break in to steal credit cards and checks.

Once, Julie found him asleep on the floor of what once was his bedroom. She ordered him out.

“I’m starving Mom,” he told her.

“Go eat with the homeless,” she responded.

“It was hard because he was so hungry,” she says now. “He had fungus on his feet and could barely walk. So he limped down the stairs looking at me with those eyes that were starving. He went into the kitchen and just grabbed some bread. I said, ‘Lord, let this end.’ “

And then came the day Denny called Julie from work. He told her Zach had called and wanted to go back to Cross Discipleship.

“Denny picked him up,” she says. “When they got here Zach was in the car crying and he looked terrible.”

At the church a man came out.

“We don’t have a bed for you,” he told Zach. “You’ll have to sleep on the floor.”

And so, he did.

Three months later, Zach is still there. He has been moved from a bunkhouse where men seeking help initially live to one of several “work houses” the church owns and uses to house men as they go through the program. (There also is a program for women.) Like others in the program, he spends long hours in Bible study and does “work blessings” — lawn care and painting and other jobs that get donations for the church.

After Zach went into treatment, Julie and Denny switched from the church they had been attending to the one in White Center.

“Going into that church was the most awesome feeling,” Julie says now. “These are people there who have been down and out. Some have been in prison. But the love they give you is amazing.”

By nature, Julie is a relatively shy person.

But last Sunday, during the portion of the service in which the congregation is invited to give testimonies, Julie stood up to speak. Just a few months earlier, she said, her son had been breaking into her house to steal checks and credit cards.

“I have the best Christmas present I could ever have — having him clean and walking a line I never thought possible,” she said.

Around her, members of the congregation stood and began applauding.

Zach reached out and wrapped his arms around her.

She was weeping.

So was he.


For information on the Cross Church and Discipleship Center, go to

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Bribed Officials Served After 2001

Posted by familydynamics on December 25, 2007

The El Paso County commissioner who allegedly was bribed by an investment banker who pleaded guilty to a bribery charge last week was in office sometime between 2001 and 2007, according to a public record that became available Monday.

However, the federal “information” document used to detail the charge against Christopher Chol-Su Pak, known in El Paso as Chris Pak, does not say if the commissioner is still in office.

Pak, a vice president for Bear Stearns investment company, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of engaging in a scheme to bribe an elected county commissioner. A second investment banker, Robert “Bobby” Ruiz, also with Bear Stearns, pleaded guilty to a combined four counts of fraud and bribery charges.

The guilty pleas are part of the ongoing public corruption case that so far has had six people plead guilty and has implicated dozens of other El Pasoans.

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Discount NY Continues To Pay For Money Laundering

Posted by familydynamics on December 24, 2007

The price being paid by Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) subsidiary Israel Discount Bank of New York for the settlement of the money laundering case continues to climb. Discount Bank’s financial report for the third quarter of 2007, implies that the cost will reach $46-47 million, spread over 2005-07. It is not yet clear whether it will be necessary to report a special provision in 2008, however the bank has consistently low-balled its estimates regarding the cost of the affair.

Under the settlement between Discount New York with the Banking Department of the State of New York and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the bank paid a fine of $16.5 million to the New York State Banking Department, FDIC and Finance Crimes Enforcement Network, for which the bank made a provision in 2006. The bank also estimates the cost of implementing of the improvements and examinations at $16.1 million in 2006 and $11.4 million in January-September 2007, and an additional $2-3 million through the end of the year.

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Burglary Rings Busted Before Last Minute Holiday Rush

Posted by familydynamics on December 23, 2007

Be careful, during this holiday season, because burglars may be trying to steal your loot. Residents, however, of at least three Bowling Green neighborhoods can breathe easier because police have captured suspects from three different crime sprees.

Those arrested include Reva Withrow, Cornelius Simmons, Terrione Morrison, Patrick Ingram and Scottie Day.

The break in the cases began two weeks ago with the arrest of Patrick Ingram, who is also accused of robbing Farmers National Bank.

As you head out today and tomorrow, to do your last minute holiday shopping, make sure your home and vehicle doors are locked. Happy Shopping!!!

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Chat Line Boss Had Child Porn On Computer

Posted by familydynamics on December 22, 2007

Chat lines can be a dangerous place for people these days. Many people have become victims of various scams. One scam in particular targets unsuspecting women. – “The Romance Scam”. Have you ever thought about what type of person would run some of these chat lines?

Recently, a MAN who ran a sex chat line business escaped a prison sentence after he admitted possessing child porn.

Defendant David Lee, 51, admitted possessing two images and making a third by downloading it off the internet.

A total of 43 illegal images had been found on his laptop – together with large quantities of legal adult porn.

But the prosecution accepted that he had only been responsible for downloading three.

However there was also concern about two photographs he had on his digital camera – one of a girl and one of a doll.

Recorder Nic Parry said Lee operated for profit in a high risk trade of extreme adult material.

You never know what runs through the minds of these perverted individuals, do you?

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