courts

Immigration
5:56 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Alabama Agrees To Permanently Gut Immigration Law

Parents arrive to pick up their children from a school in Montgomery, Ala. After a tough immigration law was enacted in 2011, Hispanic students began to disappear from classrooms in the state's public schools.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 6:33 pm

Opponents of Alabama's strict immigration law are declaring victory Tuesday, as the state agreed not to pursue key provisions of a measure critics had called an endorsement of racial profiling. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal of a federal court's ruling that gutted the law.

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the long arm
2:18 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Before It Releases Subpoena, Hartford Waits to Hear From Feds

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra say they are still waiting to hear from federal prosecutors as to whether they can release a federal grand jury subpoena.

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Looking for answers
3:29 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Hartford Officials Refuse to Release Federal Subpoena

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra told reporters last week that federal prosecutors had served a subpoena on city hall. His attorneys won't release them.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Federal prosecutors served a subpoena on Hartford City Hall last week, and attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra are refusing to release it to the public.  But a recent case suggests that the city may be violating the state's Freedom of Information laws.

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Courts
12:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Trial of Terror Suspects Delayed

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

It's been a year since two terror suspects were extradited from Britain to a supermax prison in Connecticut. Government authorities say Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan operated a group of websites that allegedly recruited fighters, and provided cash, military equipment and training to terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. 

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Occupational Safety
11:45 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Trucking Company Violated Whistleblower Laws

Two Palumbo Trucking workers reported a potentially unsafe truck to police and the DMV in 2012.
Credit Veronica538 / Creative Commons

A North Branford trucking company has been ordered to withdraw a lawsuit against two former employees who blew the whistle on dubious safety practices at the business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ordered Palumbo Trucking, and owner David Palumbo, to withdraw a retaliatory lawsuit that the company filed against two former workers. 

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:22 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Malloy's Cali Trip; Skakel's New Trial; a Short History of the High-Rise

Governor Dannel Malloy on Wednesday said he doesn't believe he solicited a state contractor for a campaign contribution.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Governor Dannel Malloy made a recent fundraising trip to California on the state Democrats' dime, and now questions are being asked about whether he approached an executive who works for a company that does work for the University of Connecticut. More on that below, and discussion of why Michael Skakel will get a new trial, in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Courts
8:36 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:59 pm

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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Courts
5:06 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Michael Skakel Granted a New Trial

In a decision, Honorable Thomas Bishop pointed to defense counsel as ineffective.
Credit State of Connecticut Judicial Branch

From the Associated Press in New Haven:

A Connecticut judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975. Judge Thomas Bishop's ruling marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. 

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Civil Rights
3:53 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Post-Verdict, What’s Next For East Haven?

East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo, Jr.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

The city of East Haven does not have a positive national reputation. Earlier this week, a guilty verdict was reached in the case of two local police officers on charges of violating civil rights. Now that the trial is over, how does the town recover and move forward?

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The Wheelhouse Digest
12:55 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

UConn Complaint; East Haven Ambivalent; Hartford Council Calls for Criminal Investigation

Lawyer Gloria Allred.
Credit Luke Ford / Wikimedia Commons

It's a day for discussing where certain things fall on the range of just-a-bad-idea to downright criminal. The verdict is out in the East Haven trial of two police officers, Dennis Spaulding and David Cari, who were both found guilty of violating the civil rights of Latinos. Residents there appear divided in their response. In other news, seven women have filed a federal discrimination complaint against UConn, and Hartford's City Council wants a formal state investigation into Hybrid Insurance Group. More below in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Sexual Assault
11:41 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Seven Women File Federal Discrimination Complaint Against UConn

Kylie Angell, a recent UConn graduate, has said she felt unsafe on campus.
Credit University of Connecticut

Seven women who say they were victims of sexual assaults while students at the University of Connecticut have filed a federal discrimination complaint against the school. Their attorney, Gloria Allred, says the complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights alleges UConn failed to respond appropriately to the women's allegations. 

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East Haven
3:51 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

East Haven Officers Found Guilty of Violating Hispanics' Civil Rights

East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding and his wife leave court in late September in Hartford.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

A federal jury in Connecticut has found two police officers from the town of East Haven guilty of violating the civil rights of Hispanics. The Justice Department has said the town systematically discriminated against Latinos.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Harp's Cash; UConn Moves in on Stamford; Jepsen Seeks Review

State Senator Toni Harp has raised the bulk of her mayoral campaign funds from outside the city of New Haven.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Campaign season in New Haven comes to an end in three weeks, when the mayoral election takes place on Tuesday, November 5. The two candidates have been busy, but one is drawing more heavily on financial support from city residents, while the other seems almost more poised for a gubernatorial run. That story and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:38 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Debt Ceiling Impact in Connecticut; Federal Courts Operating for Now; Living in Stolen Luxury

Keith Phaneuf, budget reporting guru.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's all about cash money in The Wheelhouse Digest. While the government is coming close to hitting the debt ceiling again, with federal dollars in a state of seizure, someone else is in the news for stealing public money from a Connecticut town, and leading a "double life." Can anyone make an honest dollar anymore? That and more below.

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Courts
4:15 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Bonnie Foreshaw Granted Clemency

Bonnie J. Foreshaw takes an oath at the start of her clemency hearing Wednesday morning.
Credit CT-N

A state board has voted unanimously to release Bonnie Foreshaw from prison. Foreshaw has served 27 years for fatally shooting a pregnant woman, but had garnered support from advocates who said she was unfairly tried and convicted.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:37 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Foreshaw Asks for Clemency; Explosives in Fairfield; Debt Crisis

Tamara Miller, daughter of victim Joyce Amos, testifying at today's clemency hearing for Bonnie Foreshaw.
Credit CT-N

The federal shutdown has been tough on a lot of people, as was made eminently clear this morning during the Wheelhouse episode of Where We Live, when plenty of impassioned callers made their frustrated views known. Making matters a little tougher, the U.S. Treasury Department is running out of cash to pay its bills. More on that below in The Wheelhouse Digest, plus a link to watch the Bonnie Foreshaw clemency hearing live from Niantic.

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Political Influence
8:47 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Rally in Hartford Centers on Campaign Contribution Cap

U.S. Supreme Court.
Credit Noclip / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of Connecticut citizen's groups rallied outside the federal courthouse in Hartford Tuesday. They're concerned about a case before the Supreme Court that could expand the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns.

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Bonnie Foreshaw
3:32 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Female Prisoner Has the Chance for Early Release

Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.
Credit Connecticut Department of Correction

Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, a woman believed to be Connecticut’s longest-serving female prison inmate, will have the rare chance for early release Wednesday. The clemency hearing is to be held at Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.

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Government Shutdown
8:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Could Deplete Funding for Connecticut's Federal Public Defender

Credit Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s federal public defender, Terence Ward, said money to fund his office may run out early next week if the government shutdown continues. "The shutdown, it’s a nightmare," he said. During the first ten business days of the shutdown, his office of 17 employees is operating on funds money from court fees.

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Civil Rights
8:28 am
Fri October 4, 2013

East Haven Police Officers on Trial

East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding and his wife leave court in late September in Hartford.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

Two police officers from East Haven are facing charges that they harassed Latinos and violated their civil rights. Prosecutors are making their cases against David Cari and Dennis Spaulding in Hartford federal court. As they do, they're calling members of East Haven's largely Ecuadoran community to testify.

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Courts
8:24 am
Fri October 4, 2013

A Look at the East Haven Civil Rights Trial

East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding and his wife leave court in late September in Hartford.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

WNPR News talked with Evan Lips, a reporter for The New Haven Register who has been covering the trial in East Haven of two police officers accused of violating the civil rights of several Latinos during arrests. The officers are David Cari and Dennis Spaulding, who were charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights. Spaulding was also charged with excessive force. Lips shared his observations about the early stages of the trial.

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Foxwoods
2:43 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Pequot Tribal Treasurer Resigns

The treasurer of the tribe that owns Foxwoods Resort Casino has resigned from the tribal council as he awaits trial on federal theft charges, the Associated Press reports.

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It's Late! It's Tate! You Gained Weight!
10:20 am
Thu September 26, 2013

A Strange Artifact from the Trial of an Ex-UConn Star

Tate George, forever linked to a buzzer-beater shot for UConn, is now on trial in Trenton, N.J., facing charges of running a $2 million Ponzi scheme that bilked many people -- including former UConn star Charlie Villanueva -- of "investment" money that instead went into George's pockets.

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Bridgeport
12:51 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Supreme Court Mulls Vallas Verdict

Paul Vallas.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Paul Vallas, the Superintendent of Bridgeport Schools. Vallas is disputing a lower court ruling that he is not qualified for his position. The case centers on a certification waiver that was issued to Paul Vallas when he took up his position as Bridgeport Superintendent. He didn't have the conventional qualifications, but the state's education turnaround efforts allow for people to be recruited from out of state to help failing school districts.

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Equine Fury on Trial
8:46 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Horse Dangerousness Before State Supreme Court

Credit Serge Melki / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut Supreme Court justices heard an appeal Tuesday that all started with a horse named Scuppy. He allegedly bit a boy, and the family sued. An attorney representing horse owners in Connecticut asked the justices to overturn an appellate court ruling. That court found Scuppy's owner to be liable, saying the species is naturally vicious.

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East Haven Cops In Court
12:23 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

WNPR On NPR: 2 Connecticut Police Officers Accused Of Intimidating Latinos

Customers line up for lunch at Guti'z Bakery in East Haven last week.
Credit Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The town of East Haven has gotten national attention for years for its alleged treatment of Latinos.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has said the town's police department had a deeply-rooted practice of discrimination.  And four of the town's police officers have been arrested.  Now, this week, two of those officers are on trial in federal court in Hartford.

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Civil Rights
4:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Opening Statements in Trial for Two East Haven Police Officers

Connecticut jurors heard opening statements Monday in the trial of two police officers accused of multiple civil rights violations in East Haven. The cops are charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice stemming from a federal racial profiling investigation.

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Justice
5:05 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Who Pays For Indigent Defendants?

Connecticut Supreme Court.
Credit John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s Supreme Court is receiving briefs in a case that could affect how the state pays for indigent defendants.

Dr. Lishan Wang is accused of the 2010 murder of a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor in Branford. Wang was briefly represented by the public defender’s office, but later won the right to defend himself.

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Coming Home Project
3:19 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Meeting the Legal Needs of Veterans

Margaret Middleton is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Homeless veterans have told the VA  that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need.  Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.

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Education Funding
8:56 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Education Funding in Connecticut

Chion Wolf WNPR

A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.

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