The human cost of doing police business and at what cost
Sex and more sex scandals
The human cost of doing police business and at what cost
Sex and more sex scandals
Stanford has filed a motion to dismiss a case filed by one of its former professors who claims his supervisor, then the dean of the University’s president graduate school of business, had an affair with his wife and he was punished for it.
The court hearing is scheduled for March 7 for a judge to hear the university’s motion for a summary judgment, and attempt to prevent a trial and instead get a quick judgment on the merits of the case.
Former professor James Phills, in his lawsuit filed in April 2014, claimed that Garth Soloner, then dean of the graduate school of business, was having (sex in the back seat of the car) an affair with his wife, Deborah Gruenfeld, also a GSP (GPS) professor (tracking system). Soloner later stepped down (after stepping up) as Dean, but he remains a professor at the University.
The lawsuit claims that Soloner and Gruenfeld conspired to push Phills out of his job and his campus housing.
However, Stanford claims Phills “brings this meritless lawsuit out of his suspicious attempt to entangle his former employer into into his contentious divorce from Stanford professor Deborah Gruenfeld”.
Stanford claims that it wasn’t until four months after her separation from Phills that Gruenfeld had her first date (and he scored) with Soloner.
But, Phills claims a sexual relationship between Saloner and Gruenfeld started within a month of the couples’ separation, and Saloners romantic interest in Gruenfeld began in 2008 or 2009
According to Phills, he was subjected to discriminatory (inflammatory tongue lashing) actions based on his marital status, race and gender.
And Soloner continued to be involved in employment decisions regarding Phills even after the affair began, his complaint states.
But Stanford insists that decisions surrounding Phills employment and termination were made with Soloner recusal.
Phills lawsuit states he was terminated on June 3, 2015 one day following the filing of his suit. The suit centers around whether Phills’s termination was justified. Stanford claims that by early 2014, Phills had exceeded the acceptable amount of leave time. Phills had stayed on leave 17 months longer than the time allowed.
Faculty in twelve-month appointments, like Phills, cannot exceed 24 continuous months on leave, according to the university.
During his time on leave, Phills took a job at Apple “when Phills refused to return to work, Stanford without consultation with Saloner terminated Phills, ” according to Stanford’s motion. The University claims Phills failed to establish that his race, gender or marital status motivated the decision by Stanford.
Private emails (motivated by sex and more sex)
As far as the harassment claims, the University said Phills centers his claim on comments Saloner allegedly made in private to Gruenfeld. The comments were not made directly to Phills or even in his presence, Stanford said. The electronic messages were obtained without Saloner’s and Gruenfeld’s authorization, the school claims. Phills has admitted to seeing email and text message exchanges between Saloner and Gruenfeld. He alleges Saloner messages were motivated by race. Phills is black and Saloner is white.
These Medford messages referenced “putting Phills into a cage, “calling Phills” elephant seal quote and a tarantula quote, and discussed “castrating Phills in a public square, and putting Phills in an orange jumpsuit, “according to Stanford’s motion.
Solamar denies any of his comments were motivated by race. While Phills alleges Saloner “Harvard race-based animus toward him, “he does not show that anyone discriminated against him, according to Stanford.
(Bogus) Conspiracy theories claimed
Phills’s lawsuits rests on nothing more than his own vague, unsupported, conspiracy theories regarding a “Clark clandestine affair and conflict of interest based on Saloner’s alleged actions, “according to Stanford Phills conspiracy theories do not and indeed cannot rise to the level of any actionable claim against Stanford. ”
Phills, in his complaint alleges that between October and November 2012, Saloner advised Gruenfeld on matters related to the terms of the couples divorce, including advising her to renege on her agreement to freeze her equity in the couples Stanford home in exchange for Phills assuming all responsibility for payment paying the mortgage taxes and insurance on the home.
A hearing scheduled for March 7 on Stanford’s motion for summary judgment Saloner has also filed a similar motion which will be heard at the same hearing if Stanford prevails, Phills case will be dismissed.
The legal battle concerning the Stanford professors is turning into an out right court ordered mediated orgy fest
A former Stanford professor suing the university for discrimination and wrongful termination claims his wife’s lover, who was his supervisor at the time, aided her in making false claims of domestic violence.
Former professor James Phills filed his suit in April 2014 Claiming, Garth Saloner, dean of the graduate school of business, was having an affair with his wife, Deborah Gruenfeld, also a GSB professor.
In March 2013, Gruenfeld filed a domestic violence complaint against Phills, and requested a restraining order against her estranged husband and sole custody of their two children, according to Phills suit.
Before this, the couple had shared equal custody of the kids since their separation in June 2012, he said.
Phills claims Gruenfeld complaint was biased on a “false allegation “that there was a “physical altercation ” between the two on March 3, 2013.
“At the time of the incident, Gruenfeld did not call the police or go directly to the police station, “Phills said. “Instead she went directly to Saloners residence on campus. ”
It wasn’t until after the two consulted with Saloner took Greenfield to the Stanford police station where she filed a domestic violence complaint, Phills claims, Soloner was “involved in helping “Gruenfeld make the allegation, he said
Gruenfeld request for an emergency protective order wasn’t granted given her initial statement, he said. Two days later, she filed another request for a restraining order and primary custody of the children “repeating and inflating her original allegations,” Phills claims.
(Aching) Joint custody restored
This request was granted, but according to Phills, Gruenfeld’s claims have since been debunked by additional evidence and interviews. The restraining order was later dismissed.
And a court appointed child custody evaluator recommended in December 2013 restoring joint and equal custody of the children. The terms and conditions of child custody and the restraining order” were constructed as to prevent Professor Phills from being on the Stanford campus, and to place him in jeopardy of violating the order when he was in his own residence, which is located on the Stanford campus,” according to his complaint.
When Phills tried to get information about what Gruenfeld and his two daughters told police, they didn’t hand the information over for three months.
“The children clearly reverted to any allegation that feels engaged in any inappropriate physical conduct on March 3, as falsely alleged by Greenfield, “feels claims.
Phills suit said Soloner and Gruenfeld conspired to push Phills out of his job and his campus housing.
Did Soloner recuse himself (and jump off bed?)
A significant issue in this case is whether Soloner, who was Gruenfeld supervisor, recused himself from decisions regarding the seprated couple after the affair began.
According to Phills, he was subjected to discriminatory actions based on his marital status, race and gender. And Soloner continue to be involved in employment decisions regarding Phills even after the affair began, this complaint says.
Phills was terminated effective June 3, 2015. Stanford claims Phills allegations are “meritless”. The University has filed a motion to dismiss the case, which is scheduled to be heard by a judge on March 7.
SAN FRANCISCO–In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting of an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his offers with electronic stun-guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman interviewed Aram James, a leading opponent of ECWs about their risks. James, a former public defender in Santa Clara County, south of San Francisco, spent over 25 years in the public defender system. Now in private law practice, he is a consultant and advocate opposing the use of Tasers. Following are excerpts from the interview.
Question: You’ve been critical of arguments that ECWs are a nonlethal or less lethal alternative to guns. What are the myths you’ve raised regarding Tasers?
Aram James: That Tasers save lives is the first myth. That’s a lie. That Tasers can be used as a substitute for deadly force–that’s not true, that’s not accurate. A 2011 Department of Justice (DOJ) report found that over 200 Americans have died after being shocked by Tasers and the advocacy group Truth Not Tasers has documented over 900 deaths from them since 2004.
They are the most likely of the intermediate-force weapons, which Tasers were designed as, to kill. Other intermediate-force weapons would be a pepper spray, batons, take-downs, verbal commands, canines, etcetera.
Q: That same DOJ report says several police departments have seen reduced injuries by using ECWs as a “less lethal” weapon. What’s your response?
James: The issue is appropriate use. People have said, “Well, Mr. James, wouldn’t you rather be shot by a Taser than a gun?” And I say, of course, but that’s a red herring. If you have a knife or gun I’m not going to use a Taser to stop you. At that point a police officer needs to have a gun. Alternatively, it’s the most lethal intermediate weapon to use with people who are unarmed. A recent study by the Stanford Criminal Defense Clinic makes it very clear that research on Tasers undercuts arguments for adopting them.
If you talk to law enforcement offices who know Tasers, you don’t take a Taser to a gunfight. Tasers are effective about 70 percent of the time in dart mode, and 60 percent of the time directly applied to the body. So, if I have a knife or a gun in a range close enough to use it against a police officer, you absolutely do not use a Taser. The training is shoot center mass to kill.
Q: So, who are police using ECWs on?
James: A 2014 study from the Nebraska ACLU said that three-quarters of Taser blasts they included were used on vulnerable populations. Over and over again studies have shown that disproportionately Tasers are used on young African Americans, Hispanics, the mentally ill, elders and other groups at high risk for injury. Documented cases there included a nine-year-old boy and a 63-year-old man who was confused.
In 2005, the Houston Chronicle reported that local police officers used Tasers on minorities 87 percent of the time. The paper followed up two years later with an analysis of over 1,000 incidents showing almost all were unarmed. And Houston police used Tasers over 120 times on people with mental illness.
Studies also show that many of the most serious injuries or deaths have occurred when officers inappropriately tased someone repeatedly or with a continuous charge.
Q: How did you get involved with this issue?
James: I first got involved in 2003, with the Coalition for Justice and Accountability in San Jose. It came into existence shortly after the murder of a mentally-ill San Jose citizen, Cau Bich Tran. Police shot her in her kitchen seconds after they entered and saw her holding what turned out to be a vegetable peeler.
Members of the coalition, including me, initially supported the use of Tasers, believing they’d save lives, having bought the propaganda and the deceptive ad campaign put out by the major manufacturer, Taser International. But we learned that’s simply not true. The company has also lost lawsuits stemming from injuries or deaths when police used Tasers, also believing their claims.
Q: How are Tasers used in police training?
James: Exposure to Taser blasts used to be a mandatory part of ECW training. But the [nonprofit] Police Executive Research Forum came out with a model policy a few years ago saying there’s too much injury to use Tasers in training situations with officers. And the U.S. military has done the same. Their “Electronic Control Weapon Guideline” states, “Agencies should be aware that exposure to ECW application during training could result in injury to personnel and is not recommended.”
So my question is, if law enforcement knows ECWs are too risky to use even in very controlled training circumstance, why the heck would they want to use it on unarmed citizens in uncontrolled street situations? The question I would put to [Police Chief ] Greg Suhr is, are you willing to use these on your own officers in controlled settings to show that they’re safe? If he’s telling the truth, he’s going to say, “No, we’re not going to do that.”
Bottom line: They’re not safe to use on unarmed people and they’re not safe for police to use against armed suspects.
Q: What are appropriate uses of ECWs?
James: None in my view. The alternative, more community police is the key. When police officers are walking the beat and know people in their communities, and their vulnerabilities they’re much less likely to use force in those circumstance.
Community policing, crisis intervention training–a lot of departments have a small percentage of their officers who have been properly trained in crisis interventions. Getting police out of their cars into the communities, walking the beat, riding their bicycles, walking the neighborhood, there’s plenty there to look at in terms of how we can do community policing in a much more effective and constitutional fashion.
New America Media, News Analysis, Paul Kleyman, Posted: Dec 11, 2015
Palo Alto city Council voted early this morning to make permanent the city’s ordinance protecting retail on the ground floor of buildings downtown, and extending the ordinance to other parts of town, despite claims from property owners and developers that it will do permanent harm.
Brad Ehikian of the commercial property management company premier properties, said the ordinance fails to take into get to account that some properties aren’t right for retail.
Developer Chop, Chop Keenan argued the ordinance takes a one size fits all approach, creating inflexibility that would hurt property owners.
Developer Roxy Rapp echoed the same bullshit sentiment saying retail is changing and it’s changing fast.
In a meeting that stretched past midnight, council voted 63 to make permanent and ordnance that prevents the conversion of ground floor retail space into offices.
Council members Liz Kniss, Greg Tanaka of the starship enterprise and co-pilot Adrian Fine voted against this motion.
Kniss said she wanted to separate downtown from an ordinance that applies to other retail areas in town, saying she too was concerned about the “one size fits all” approach.
“Where a quirky town, “she said. One end of the town is very different from the other end, Kniss said.
She made a motion to stick with an ordinance for just the downtown area, but it failed with only Tanka and Fine voting with her.
Fine said that while the downtown area has been studied, he doesn’t think the ordinance is ready to take citywide, asking for more time to iron things out.
The ordinance will include the California Ave., District, Midtown and the El Camino Real area.
Councilman Tom DuBois said the city has been working on the ordinance since 2015, providing plenty of time for feedback.
If the city wants to keep retail in town, Councilman Eric Filseth said the council needs to act now, because once retail is gone, it will never come back.
Council passed an urgency ordinance in May 2015, followed by an interim ordinance approved a month later that is set to expire April 30.
The permanent ordinance expands the boundaries for the downtown protection zone two areas that were removed in 2009.
This vote in 2009 included removing properties along Alma St., High Street near Hamilton Avenue, along the circle ramps connecting University Avenue to Alma Street, and along Kipling and Cowper streets north of University Avenue.
Some of these properties are now office buildings, which means the offices are allowed to stay, but when they go out, retail would have to go in, according to city officials.
Jamie Wong, whose project at 429 Using University Ave. Was approved by Council last week, said the retail boundaries were carefully drawn in 2009 and some of the properties at University Avenue and on my street were not developed with retail in mind.
“It’s a crappy location for retail”, Wong said.
Several people in the peanut gallery argued counsel not to extend the retail protecting boundaries but to compress it to make it more pedestrian friendly.
This is why shopping malls work, said Judy Kleinberg, head of the city’s chamber of commerce.
Property owners and realtors of locations that were previously retail spoke to the struggles they’ve faced while trying to find a retail tenant.
Christian Hansen, owner of the building at almost Street and Addison Avenue that once housed Anthropologie, said he has been marketing the building for more than a year, but no one is interested in the 10,000 square-foot retail space at that location.
Yet the ordinance will require the Anthropologie building to remain a retail location.
Restaurants and fitness center representatives have approached him, but these uses aren’t allowed by the city, Hanson said, asking for a broader definition of retail.
Ehikian said he had a tenant for the space formerly occupied by North face before it moved to the Stanford shopping Center, but more parking was needed. However, the city’s ordinance wouldn’t let him demolish 2000 ft.² of the building to add more parking, so the place sits vacant he said.
Housing for 4146 El Camino Real, an empty lot next to the Zin motel and across the street from Starbucks in South Palo Alto.
The zoning for the lot currently allows 15 housing units per acre, but the owners want to want it rezoned for 30 units per acre.
This change would allow up to 23 units on the .76 acre site, and 21 units were proposed.
“This is an opportunity for better land use, “Hayes said, adding that it would provide much needed housing.
Vice Mayor Liz Kniss mentioned that leading up to the November election, candidates for city Council spoke to the need for more housing in the city, but she said now counsel is approach approaching a proposal for more housing rather cautiously.
A density bonus
Councilman Tom DuBois said his initial thoughts is to keep the zoning as it is, and he encouraged the developer to consider the state “density bonus, “which would allow a larger project if it included more low income housing.
Developers can get the bonus, which allows them to exceed local limits, in exchange for building affordable housing or senior housing.
In regards to the density bonus, Councilwoman Karen Holman said she was concerned that the belt developer could come back with an even bigger project than the current 21 condos proposed.
Under the bonus, the project could have as many as 80 additional housing units on top of the proposed 21, according to city officials.
Following his presentation, Councilman Eric Filseth said he hasn’t yet seen a compelling benefit for residents to allow more housing on the site.
Not ready for prime time
While Kniss said the area along El Camino Real is one of the areas in town where the city ought to look at more rather than less, she agreed that she didn’t think the proposal was ready for prime time.
Councilman Adrian Fine, however, wanted to see even more housing on the site. Fine said it’s nice to see a housing project. This is a more efficient use of scarce land, he said.
But find encouraged the property owner to look at a zoning change that would allow even more housing on the site maybe up to 40 units per acre.
The project is on El Camino, which is near retail and services, and an ideal spot for housing, he said.
“I think it would be great to have housing rather than a vacant lot on El Camino, “Fine said.
The lot was previously occupied by a home before it was a lot demolished in 1997. A lone billboard stood on the property until it was taken down last year. Councilman Greg Tanaka offered up another idea, saying the property owner should consider “microunits, “which would be about 300 square-foot apartments.
Last nights meeting was a preliminary review of the project to get councils feedback. The property owner hasn’t yet submitted a formal application to the city.
It’s 2017. Silicon Valley is thriving and the home of Hewlett Packard, Google, Facebook, and many business success stories, the City of Palo Alto California, is unable to balance its books and fund all its obligations.
The City recently announced a possible deficit of $ 4 – 6 Million Dollars. And that’s not all. Unfunded pension liabilities rose 14.8% in ONE year to $43,700,000 for a Total of $338,000,000. $43,700,000 is more than City Sales tax revenue ($31.8 million)More than Property tax revenue ($39.1 million)
More than Hotel Tax revenue ( $ 22 Million) but only 31% of what’s needed to pay retired city employees next year!
In 2009, the general fund budget was around $140 million. This year it is $193 million. The budget is around 33% larger than 7 years ago. What did the extra $53 million per year provide the residents of Palo Alto? Police department staffing is less. Street sweeping was moved from General Fund to utilities We got a Chief Public Relations Exec, a Chief Green Exec, a 2nd Assistant City Manager to do the work of the City Manager, a remodeled city hall lobby (palace), a design competition to build a bike bridge over Highway 101 (the design was too expensive to build and rejected).
What else did we get during this recent ‘recovery?’ A bigger pension liability. CALPERS lost billions of dollars again last year and we (and every other city in California) make up that pension deficit. What is our unfunded liability to CalPers?
Nobody talks about that much.
The City Council expanded office space for years. Now the city’s day time population increases by 3 x as workers pour in during the day and leave at night, contributing little towards the City’s needs. City residents are essentially subsidizing developer projects.
Has the City Government tried to do some good things ? Yes. They tried. City spent about $ 6,000,000 on the Cal Ave. “redesign” which narrowed a busy street from 4 lanes to 2 wiping out some old time tenants. Change is good so long as it doesn’t wipe ‘you’ out. The city built the unused, unwanted and unsafe Jordan School ‘bike lane.’ Created the ‘Road Diet’ for Charleston Avenue which also intensified traffic.
The City sought to retain its valuable and talented employees with increased salaries and benefits (which make up 61 percent of the General Fund). The City says salaries are expected to continue their growth, fueled in part by efforts to “align local salaries with the regional marketplace.”
In other words, unionized and executive city salaries can only go up because we only compare our city to other cities where salaries only go up. There is no competition. Government employees complain that they are so talented that they are worth more than people in private enterprise, even though Government jobs are secure, without competition, with little fear of lay offs and include guaranteed pensions, medical, etc.
In the real working world it’s now widely acknowledged that people will have 10 or 12 real jobs in their lifetimes, spread over 3 or 4 industries. While a Palo Alto City employee will work for just one employer, the city, without fear of job loss, with little stress, for 20-40 years and retire with a guaranteed pension and medical plan. Who gets that in the business world? No one. And the City Pension Liability is titanic.
Put a City Org Chart on line with employee compensation. Transparency. (As wages and benefits increased, access to this information decreased.) What a surprise. Stop giving away fire equipment to Mexico for pennies on the Dollar. Lay off the staff who do “real work” and outsource their jobs to private companies via a competitive bid process that encourages efficiency. Keep a small number of sharp managers who can effectively monitor and negotiate with the hired contractors thus reduce expenses 25%+. Downsize the remaining ‘dead wood.’ End the city’s obsession with the Agenda 21 ‘bike first culture.’
Instead, fund police, fire, roads, parks and infrastructure.
Remember, Palo Alto is not Amsterdam. Forget emotional vanity plans, projects and resolutions like Israel divestment, the 5K Save the Breasts run. Close the zoo, close the children’s theatre, close the museum. Let kids exercise their minds and dream up their own fun.
Outsource Animal Services (as most cities do). Drop the Ten Million Dollar Bike Bridge (we already have a bike bridge). Leave the $ 65 Million Dollar Buena Vista Trailer Park Rescue alone. Do we need to build a brand new slum, or subsidize an old one? Fire the Useless Security Guards on the railroad tracks, especially the ones caught masturbating or sleeping on duty.
Dump the Anaerobic digestion plants at the library. Let weeds grow. Stop wasting council meeting time on bizarre ideas to save the planet, save the decrepit post office, or save the creek flea.
End Mental health support fiascos that bolster children’s self esteem while eliminating their self control. No hidden pay offs or raises to City Administrators, Executives like City Manager Jim Keene who is currently paid more than the Governor and nearly as much as the President of the United States. No more Home Loans or sweetheart deals for City employees.
And most important, No more hideous, expensive public art. Plant trees (that don’t need much pruning).
Any of these ‘solutions’ would be a financial leap out of the spending hole we’re in. But first, we need a City Council that is willing to admit that it can’t make everybody happy. As bizarre as it may sound now, the planets will mis-align again. God wound up the celestial clock with certain markers that come due. Markets go up.
And Markets crap out. People may tire of Fakebook and Internet porno and Amazon junk and the next i-What. The ‘Valley,’ always faster, cooler, newer may just wear us all out with too many versions, upgrades, releases that just fall flat. Sales for the Quarter, the Year, just not enough. And Whoosh. Down it all may go. For a bit. Maybe a long bit.
So we may ‘hope for change,’ that the City will tighten up before the bubble pops. But who’s kidding who? Nobody’s watching the store. Most people are too busy just trying to keep their job, meet the next Quarter’s numbers, house payments, car payments. Whose got time to watch Public Servants, some of whom are eager for higher office and willing to do anything that might buy a vote.
If the City won’t think ahead now, when times are flush, where will we get the money when things turn up ‘snake eyes’ faster than an Uber or Lyft. The time to panic, is before everyone panics. That could be, right now.
A prolific home burglar who stole more than $500,000 in property from homes in San Mateo County was sentenced yesterday to 34 years and eight months in (house arrest) state prison, a prosecutor said.
Between September 2015 and January 2016, Johnny Fobbs, 24, a transient burglarized 38 homes, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. In each case, residents said that their rear sliding glass door was smashed, (mouth) why staff said. Guns, jewelry, cash and safes were stolen, the DA said.
Fobbs, meanwhile, faces other burglary charges in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, Wagstaffe said.
Police placed an electronic tracker on a car linked to the suspect. On January 21, police tracked the car from the East Bay to San Carlos, where prosecutor said, another home was burglarized.
Police chased the car after it failed to stop, prosecutor said. burglars finally stopped in Oakland and then fled on foot. Fobbs was arrested and found with jewelry from the San Carlos home, the DA said.
Fobbs was ordered to pay $620,000 in restitution (in pennies) 228 of his victims, Wagstaff said. The other 10 victims will be paid an amount yet to be determined as they had not yet filed your paperwork yet.
Fobbs will initially be sent to San Quintin, where he will spend a few months while the prison evaluates where he should be sent. He would then be sent to a maximum security prison, Wagstaffe said. Some prisons Fobbs might be sent to include Corcoran, Pelican Bay, Folsom, and Soledad.
Fobbs worked with a team, Kim Park Jr., 24 of Oakland, and Derwin Upshaw, 31, of Oakland, according to Wagstaffe.
Parks was sentenced to eight years in prison, after pleading guilty on October 12, according to Wagstaff. Upshaw and Parks will be in court on May 12, Wagstaffe said.
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A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge has rejected a former Mountain View police officers claim that the city fired him as a result of his military status and for not meeting quotas, city officials announced yesterday.
Nicholas Emmerling, 36 said he was terminated in May 2014 after working for the police department for six years because he was serving in the National Guard, which prevented him from writing the number of tickets and making the number of arrests required.
However, Judge Maureen Folan granted the city’s motion to dismiss the suit on Tuesday. “The court agreed with the city that, as a matter of law, there was no merit Mr. Emmerling lawsuit and found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the city, so he was not entitled to a trial,” said city Attorney Jamie Quinn.
When Emmerling was terminated in 2014, he claims that when he asked why he was being fired, his boss wouldn’t give an explanation, according to the lawsuit. And Emmerling asked another officer if he knew anything, he responded that he heard “stats was an issue “.
However police chief Max also disputed the use of quotas. “I want to be clear, the city does not have quotas “, but also said in a statement “MVPD officers work 10 and 12 hour shifts only a portion of which spent responding to public safety calls.
When they are not responding to those calls, officers are respected to stay proactive, keeping an eye out for criminal activity and, above all keeping our community safe. ”
The city claims Emmerling was terminated for failing to sufficiently engage in self initiated activity and failing to respond to coaching from his supervisors, “according to court documents.
Emmerling argues that he was “an exceptional police officer consistently had excellent performance evaluations, “and that “his self initiated activity was higher then that alleged by the city.”
Emmerling was deployed to Iraq for the second time in 2009 while working as a reserve police officer. He returned from Iraq in 2010, and he submitted his application for a full-time position in February 2012. At this time, another officer, the lawsuit didn’t name, warned Emmerling not to emphasize “his military experience as the department had a history of not promoting or hiring activity actively serving her reservists or national guardsman due to concern that their service somehow demonstrated a lack of commitment to ‘real’ jobs on the police.”
The lawsuit, filed May 20, 2015, said the departments discrimination based on military status is “particularly transparent when reviewing his history of hiring and promoting, which punishes members of the military.”
The lawsuit gives an example of a former unidentified officer who was repeatedly passed over for promotion while she was serving in the Army reserves.
But when she retired from the military, the department immediately promoted her to detective. In her ruling, Folan stated that the man Yuling didn’t “produce sufficient evidence demonstrating that his failure to be promoted and subsequent termination resulted from his military status. ”
As for Emmerling’s claim that other officers were also discriminated against for their military service, Folon said the testimony of other officer, Frank Rivas, failed to show this city took any unfavorable employment actions against him because of military leave.
Emmerling’s lawyers, are Frank Busch, of Kerr & Wagstaffe in San Francisco.
Before retiring as a public defender, Aram James handled thousands of probation violations. In his essay, he writes that to fully evaluate Judge Persky’s sentence of Brock Turner, the public needs to account for what being on probation really means to those convicted of a crime.
Former Stanford student and potential Olympic swimmer Brock Turner, a 19-year-old freshman at the time of this incident, was convicted in March of three felonies: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. The victim was a 22-year-old female college graduate, from another university, who attended the same alcohol-fueled Stanford fraternity party as Turner.
On June 2nd, Judge Aaron Persky of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, the same judge who presided over the trial, and after reviewing and considering a very detailed probation report prepared by a senior female member of the Santa Clara County Probation Department — including statements from the victim and defendant, and numerous letters attesting to Turner’s good character — sentenced Turner to six months in the county jail, with three years of formal probation. The sentence imposed was entirely consistent with the probation officer’s recommendation. Turner had no prior record.
The perceived leniency of Persky’s sentence set off a near public lynching of both the defendant Turner and Persky. A media and social media lynching that were witnessed by the entire nation. Calls for Persky to resign or face a recall election over the case continue to this day.
What is often overlooked when the public hears about the terms of a sentence, is the gravity of probation, and how perilously close a violation could be, which triggers a lengthy prison comittment.
Before retiring as a career public defender I handled hundreds, if not thousands, of felony probation violations. I can attest to the fact that young offenders, closely supervised on felony probation, frequently fail to make it through formal probation unscathed.
The numerous potential pitfalls of formal probation are an important reason why the six-month initial county jail sentence cannot be viewed in a vacuum. To understand the severity of the punishment, one must understand the part probation plays in the overall sentencing scheme.
Defendants, who may have initially received what appears to be a light sentence for a serious crime, often end up serving some, if not all, of the maximum prison time they could have received at the time of the original sentencing.
In Turner’s case, this means if he violates probation he could well end up serving a prison sentence of three to 10 years, or more — hardly a slap on the hand.
Given the infamous cause celeb status that this case has achieved, Turner is now one of the most reviled defendants in American. He will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized on probation. Turner will be on a very short leash.
A defendant on probation is spared prison only so long as he agrees to severe limits on his freedom. The terms and conditions of probation define the quality and limits of a defendant’s freedom.
Even a minor violation — e.g., failure to report to your probation officer, even on one occasion, or a one-time violation of a no drug or alcohol condition — can result in the revocation of probation and imposition of a previously suspended prison sentence.
So what does three years of formal probation really mean in the context of the Brock Turner case? Based on the nature of Turner’s convictions, the terms and conditions of his probation are multiple, complex, restrictive and appropriately oppressive.
As an example, while on probation, Turner was ordered by Persky to participate in and complete an approved sex offender program, of not less than one year, and up to the entire three-year term of his probation. His failure to complete this program, or for that matter any other program ordered by the court, would trigger a revocation and a potential prison sentence.
As part of the sex offender program, Turner will be required to submit to polygraph exams to monitor and ensure compliance with the program.
As a further public safety measure, Turner will be required to waive his psychotherapist-patient privilege, allowing his therapist to speak directly to Turner’s probation officer re his progress or lack thereof.
Turner must register annually as a sex offender for life, and each time he changes his residence. He must reregister within a few days of moving. Failure to register in a timely manner would be both a new crime, allowing for the potential of new charges and a separate prison sentence, and a violation of his current probation.
Turner must submit to drug and alcohol testing to ensure he is complying with the terms of his probation, that he not consume alcohol or drugs, or frequent places where alcohol is sold or consumed as a primary business.
He must waive his Fourth Amendment rights, to be free of illegal and warrantless searches, and thus submit to random searches and seizure of his person, vehicle and place of residence, at any time.
Upon an alleged violation of probation, Turner, would be returned to court to face a hearing. Unlike with a new offense, there is no right to a jury trial when charged with a probation violation. A judge sitting alone hears the matter.
To find a violation the judge need only determine that the evidence proves the violation by a preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond reasonable doubt, as required at a jury trial.
If the judge, after hearing evidence of the alleged violation, concludes that Turner has in fact violated his probation, the judge can then sentence him to the maximum sentence, he faced at the time of the original sentencing.
In my experience, judges assigned to hear probation violations are some of the most putative jurists on the bench. Need I say, that given the media attention and wave of vitriol directed at Tuner, he will be the closest watched probationer in America.
Given the dizzying probationary maze faced by Turner, it is hard to quarrel with Persky’s initial sentence.
As a society ruined by the scorch of over incarceration, it is critical that we have judges who have the discretion to encourage a rehabilitative model-first approach, while at the same time imposing severe conditions of probation that maximize public safety and protect us from truly violent predators.
The sentence in the Turner case more than adequately balances both the public safety and the rehabilitative purposes of probation.
Many of the same progressive voices who have spoken out long and passionately against over incarceration, mass incarceration, the disproportionate sentences imposed on the poor and people of color, are now doing an about face in the Turner case.
They are shouting out that more of the same cruelty and barbarism should have been handed down in the Turner case. The same mentality that has brought us to our current failed state of mass incarceration.
Instead of blindly demanding that a white male elite be sentenced to prison for his first offense, the better logic is to demand the same measure of justice and mercy, for similarly situated defendants of color and the poor. We must look to rehabilitation and restorative justice first, and harsh and unforgiving prison sentences, only where absolutely necessary.
The vengeful model of sentencing has proven over and over again to lead to recidivism, overcrowded prisons, and little or no true comfort or safety, for the victims.
We should support Persky’s rehabilitation-motivated sentence, as an extension of the progressive movement’s call, for an end to our country’s failed mass incarceration polices.
(A version of this article was originally published in the Daily Journal.)
A rotten egg incubated by reality television and hatched by retrograde thinking about women and the world, the presidency of Donald Trump is creating anxiety, fear, and a growing sense among progressives that an American psycho now occupies the White House. Many, like me, are turning to John Steinbeck for understanding. But that consolation has its limits.
As Francis Cline observed recently in The New York Times, one positive result of the groundswell of bad feeling about Trump is that “[q]uality reading has become an angst-driven upside.” Anxious Americans yearning to feel at home in their own country have a rekindled interest in exploring their identity through great literature: “Headlines from the Trump White House keep feeding a reader’s need for fresh escape.” “Alternate facts,” when “presented by a literary truthteller” like John Steinbeck, are “a welcome antidote to the alarming versions of reality generated by President Donald Trump.”
The literary tonic recommended by Cline may or may not have the power to clear the morning-after pall of Trump-facts and Trump-schisms (the two sometimes interchangeable) afflicting our panicked public dialogue, our beleaguered press, and, for those as apprehensive as I am, the American-psycho recesses of our collective mind. Perhaps counter-intuitively, his prescription for mental wellness includes works by a group of novelists with a far darker worldview than that of Steinbeck, who felt an obligation to his readers to remain optimistic about the future whenever possible.
The writers mentioned by Cline include Sinclair Lewis (It Can’t Happen Here), George Orwell (1984), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), William Faulkner (The Mansion), Jerzy Kosinski (Being There), Philip Roth (The Plot Against America), and Philip Dick (The Man In The High Castle). As an antidote to Donald Trump, they are bitter medicine. Is Steinbeck’s better?
As the Trump administration pushes plans to litter federally protected Indian land with pipelines (“black snakes”) that threaten to pollute the water used by millions of Americans, John Steinbeck’s writing about the dangers of environmental degradation seems more relevant, and more urgent, than ever. To mark the 100th anniversary of Steinbeck’s birth in 2002, the award-winning author and journalist Bil Gilbert wrote an insightful article on the subject for The Smithsonian entitled “Prince of Tides.” In it he notes that “Steinbeck’s powerful social realism is by no means his only claim to greatness. He has also significantly influenced the way we see and think about the environment, an accomplishment for which he seldom receives the recognition he deserves.”
Judging from “The Literature of Environmental Crisis,” a course at New York University, Gilbert’s point about Steinbeck’s stature as an environmental writer of major consequence is now more generally accepted than he thinks. Studying what “it mean[s] for literature to engage with political and ethical concerns about the degradation of the environment” the class will read “such literary and environmental classics as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath” to “look at the way literature changes when it addresses unfolding environmental crisis.”
“Before ‘ecology’ became a buzzword,” Gilbert adds, “John Steinbeck preached that man is related to the whole thing,” noting that Steinbeck’s holistic sermonizing about nature’s sanctity reached its peak in Sea of Cortez, the literary record of Steinbeck’s 1940 expedition to Baja California with his friend and collaborator Ed Ricketts, the ingenious marine biologist he later profiled in Log from the Sea of Cortez. In it Steinbeck seems to foresee how America’s precious national resources—and collective soul—could one day become susceptible to the manipulations of an amoral leader like Donald Trump:
There is a strange duality in the human which makes for an ethical paradox. We have definitions of good qualities and of bad; not changing things, but generally considered good and bad throughout the ages and throughout the species. Of the good, we think always of wisdom, tolerance, kindness, generosity, humility; and the qualities of cruelty, greed, self-interest, graspingness, and rapacity are universally considered undesirable.
And yet in our structure of society, the so-called and considered good qualities are invariable concomitants of failure, while the bad ones are the cornerstones of success. A man – a viewing-point man – while he will nevertheless envy or admire the person who through possessing the bad qualities has succeeded economically and socially, and will hold in contempt that person whose good qualities have caused failure.
“Donald Trump has been in office for four days,” observes Michael Brune, the national director of the Sierra Club, “and he’s already proving to be the dangerous threat to our climate we feared he would be.” The executive actions taken by Trump in his first week as president (“I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist, I believe in it. But it’s out of control”) appear to fulfill Steinbeck’s prophecy about the triumph of self-interest over social good. That’s a hard pill to swallow for anyone who cares about the planet.
Whether Trump becomes the kind of full-throttle fascist described in It Can’t Happen Here remains to be seen. Sinclair Lewis’s fantasy of a future fascist in the White House appeared the same year as Tortilla Flat, Steinbeck’s sunny ode to multiculturalism and the common man. Unfortunately, I’m not as optimistic about the American spirit as John Steinbeck felt obliged to be when he wrote that book more than 80 years ago. I’m afraid that the man occupying the high castle in Washington today is an American psycho with the capacity to do permanent harm, not only to the environment, but to the American soul Steinbeck celebrated in his greatest fiction.
This piece was written for Steinbeck Now. It is being published here with the author’s permission.
Not your ordinary poppycock story
Two mountain view residents were arrested at their home in connection with the largest opium poppy pod seizure in city history, police said yesterday.
Officers allegedly found about 50 pounds of opium poppy pods and more than 30,000 in cash in a case.
Jasvir Singh, 34, and his wife Donna Santo, 45 are are accused of importing poppy from overseas and storing it in lockers before grinding it into a powder and selling it.
The powder can be brewed into a tea, which can cause nausea, slowed breathing, vomiting and in high enough doses, death, police said.
Officers received a tip in October that Singh and Santo were allegedly importing the poppy and on Tuesday officers served a search warrant at Singh’s home in the 200 block of Monroe Drive.
At the home, officers allegedly found the opium poppy pods and cash. Officers also obtained a search warrant to search lockers where the pair allegedly stored more poppy.
In the lockers, detectives allegedly found nearly 4,000 pounds of pods with a street value of $400,000, police said.
Police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said police are not revealing where the lockers are located. Singh and Santo were arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs and child endangerment because their children were allegedly living with them and exposed to the pods and powder, Nelson said. Singh and Santo are being held in the Santa Clara county jail without bail, according to police.
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