Saturday morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper reported that District Court Judge John Stegner has denied Kootenai County’s petition for judicial confirmation to fund the lease of a privately-owned jail. The article is headlined Judge: Jail Plan Unconstitutional.
OpenCdA’s post dated June 15, 2014 entitled Judicial Confirmation – Bypassing Voters discussed Idaho’s judicial confirmation statute and some of its application in this particular issue, the expansion of the Kootenai County Jail.
We can not comment specifically on Judge Stegner’s decision, because we have not yet obtained and studied his written decision and order. His written and filed decision and order will necessarily be a detailed explanation of the legal basis for his decision. It would help guide both the petitioner and the respondents on any future legal actions.
However, we will offer our opinion on some of the information included in this morning’s Press article. (more…)
OpenCdA has been following the Canadian news media’s reporting of the Quebec corruption scandal and its investigation by the Charbonneau Commission.
The focus of the Charbonneau Commission’s investigation is Quebec’s “…deeply-rooted system of kickbacks, bribes and illegal fundraising that link the province’s construction industry to politicians and civil servants.” We touched on that in our June 22, 2013, post entitled “Corruption becomes a kind of cancer”.
In its online story on August 26, 2014, headlined Bending of rules cost Verdun taxpayers $1.5 million in lost revenue, mayor says, the Gazette [montrealgazette.com] provides an ultra-simple explanation of how officials in Montreal’s borough of Verdun managed to make sure their cronies enriched themselves at the expense of Verdun’s citizens. Verdun has a population of about 66,000.
Fortunately, that kind of cronyism and favoritism never happens here in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
After reading this invitation, OpenCdA is speculating that incoming Chief Lee White may be having second thoughts about Coeur d’Alene.
On July 9, 2014, a Coeur d’Alene police officer shot Arfee, a pet dog, inside its owner’s parked van . Arfee’s owner had reportedly parked in the adjoining parking lot while he was patronizing Java on Sherman coffee shop.
In the late 1950′s the state of Maryland convicted John Brady of first degree murder . His conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1963 because the prosecutor had withheld the existence of potentially exculpatory evidence from Brady. (see Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963))
Because of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department’s misleading press release announcing the officer-involved shooting of Arfee on July 9, it will be interesting to see if the 1963 Brady decision and later decisions expanding it may play a role in the Arfee shooting outcome in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2014. (more…)
We are disappointed that Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer seems to be following the lead set by his predecessor Sandi Bloem.
Bloem liked to pack unelected committees and commissions with cronies and headnodders who would apply the rubber-stamp of approval to almost any big-dollar deal without considering if it was in the best interests of the City’s reputation or its people.
Thursday’s Coeur d’Alene Press “news article” titled Four corners report reveals that Widmyer is showing he’s no different. In fact, he likes to use some of the same cronies and headnodders. Of the nine advisory committee members named in the “news article,” eight have exceedingly well-developed headnodder muscles toned by years of subservience. To us, only the BLM realty specialist might appear to be considered objectively independent. (more…)
In March and April OpenCdA put up several posts concerning the DBSI federal securities fraud trial. The DBSI fraud resulted in millions of dollars in losses to victims nationwide.
Today, Idaho Federal District Court Judge Lynn Winmill sentenced former DBSI president Douglas Swenson to 20 years in federal prison for his role in defrauding investors in the defunct Meridian property management company. The details of the sentencing are in the Idaho Statesman’s online article headlined UPDATE: Former DBSI president to serve 20 years for defrauding investors.
The article also reports that one of Swenson’s co-conspirators, former DBSI legal counsel Mark Ellison, will be sentenced later this afternoon.
ADDENDUM at 7:07 P.M.: Attorney Ellison got five years.
At its June 17, 2014, regularly scheduled meeting, the Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a five year lease (see item 10 on the Consent Calendar) for space at 1424 E. Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene. The space is to be a police substation. We first reported on this proposal in our May 31 OpenCdA post entitled Coeur d’Alene Proposes (Another) Police Substation. Also approved was a five-year contract for fiberoptic service to that substation.
The online packet for the June 17 Council meeting included a draft of the relevant agreements including lease (see packet pages 35-55/118). According to the lease for the office space, the lease was to commence on July 1, 2014.
On August 15, 2014, we did a drive-by of the address and saw no signage anywhere indicating that the police substation which the City began renting on July 1 was open for business. The existing all-tenants signage (visible in the lower right corner of the photo) makes no mention of the police department, and the proposed 4′ x 8′ police department sign has not been installed. There’s nothing to indicate that it is a police substation that is open for business to the public.
So when is the highly-touted Coeur d’Alene Police Department substation at 1424 E. Sherman Avenue going to be open to fight crime in the big city?
And from today’s Coeur d’Alene Press story headlined No recording of Arfee shooting, we learn that the Coeur d’Alene police officer who shot and killed Arfee the dog inside a lawfully parked van on July 9 had not activated his body-worn camera when he handled a suspicious vehicle call in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The skewspaper article said, “Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood confirmed that the camera worn by the officer was not recording at the time. [...] ‘I really can’t (comment) because that would go right to the heart of the personnel matter,’ Wood said.”
So contrary to the earlier and repeated assurances from Mayor Steve Widmyer and acting Police Chief Ron Clark that the results of the investigation would be released only after review by the City and by an impartial third party, we now have the police department’s public information officer giving out information from inside the investigation. (more…)
Today’s Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper story concerning the Arfee saga is headlined Arfee inquiry nearly done.
The article included two photos, both claiming to show Coeur d’Alene Police Department Lieutenant Turner making measurements on Craig Jones’ van in which his dog, Arfee, was shot by a Coeur d’Alene Police Department officer.
OpenCdA urges our readers to read today’s newspaper article and carefully examine the photos.
From our perspective, the article and photos raises the question: Is the City of Coeur d’Alene diligently investigating the Arfee shooting or is it engaging in theatrical public relations? (more…)
The infection of two American medical aid workers in Liberia with the ebola virus has attracted considerable attention, in part because the two workers have been treated with an experimental drug not yet approved by the FDA for use on humans.
The ebola virus is one of the group of viral hemorrhagic fevers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The current ebola outbreak in west Africa is now the largest in recorded history. Here is a Q&A about the outbreak.