Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Council candidate menaced for using city’s logo on yard signs

“The city of Mesa, Arizona, has threatened suit against a local businessman, Jeremy Whittaker, who is running for city council in opposition to a longtime city employee who enjoys endorsements from several current elected city officials. His offense? His lawn signs and campaign literature include a single-color version of the city’s logo …as a handy way of identifying the office for which he is running.” It has demanded he surrender all his campaign materials bearing the logo, but he’s not planning to give in. [Paul Alan Levy, CL&P via Mike Masnick, TechDirt]

Food and drink roundup

  • Arizona considers relaxing its law banning potluck meals outside workplace [KPHO]
  • Class action says there is starch in McDonald’s mozzarella sticks and wants money for that [Eater]
  • Small North Carolina brewer pulls out of one market rather than trigger state law forcing it to deal through licensed distributors [Charlotte Business Journal]
  • Speaking of consumer-unfriendly laws that benefit in-state alcohol distributors with political clout, South Carolina considers adding an “at-rest” law to its three-tier regulatory system [Columbia, S.C. Free Times]
  • “These decisions are being made by people who are four to five generations removed from food production.” [Oregon rancher Keith Nantz, Washington Post, on federal land policy]
  • Freakout memes aside, shed no tears for country-of-origin-labeling on meat [K. William Watson/Cato, Jayson Lusk] “Reign of Terroir: How to Resist Europe’s Efforts to Control Common Food Names as Geographical Indications” [K. William Watson/Cato]
  • “Drunk with power — how Prohibition led to big government” [Julia Vitullo-Martin, New York Post reviewing Lisa McGirr, The War On Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State]

Because bad things keep happening to her

“Since the beginning of 2015, three plaintiffs have brought more than 200 lawsuits against Arizona hotels, retailers and restaurants alleging American with Disabilities Act accessibility violations. One of the three, Theresa Brooke, has filed 151 of the 237 total ADA lawsuits that aren’t related to employment. These suits, brought mainly in Arizona by two law firms, allege the defendants’ premises aren’t in compliance with ADA standards.” She is represented by Phoenix attorney Peter Strojnik. [Laura Wilcoxen, Legal NewsLine]

Great moments in public employment: correctional officers’ rights

“Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blamed the state’s largest employee’s union for not being able to remove corrections employees who face charges that range from driving under the influence to assault….Since 2013, more than 200 Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services employees have been charged with crimes that include DUI, assault and having sexual relations with an inmate, yet they remain on the job.” Union officials, however, say the governor is in error, and that it’s state law, rather than AFSCME contract terms, that restrict dismissals. So no problem! [WBAL, auto-plays; earlier on Maryland’s Correctional Officers Bill of Rights law, a younger sibling to its Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR) law for police]

More background on police bill of rights laws, and their origin in the wake of the Kerner commission report on 1960s civil unrest [Scott Greenfield] Veteran police lawyer Herbert Weiner, general counsel to Maryland State FOP Lodge, defends the state’s LEOBR [Al-Jazeera] And commenter Daniel Martin at Popehat on some curious implications of Maryland’s LEOBR, which prohibits investigating cops for some types of misconduct “until the victim, their immediate family, or a direct witness swears out a complaint.”

Yet more: In Pennsylvania, “members of the Fraternal Order of Police are rallying behind legislation to shield the identities of officers who use force.” It’s backed in Harrisburg by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) and Sen. John Sabatina, D-Philadelphia. [Watchdog] And with respect to our post of the other day, a commenter writes that the city of Tucson’s two-tiered informational release — withholding the names of police in a prostitution investigation while releasing those of civilians — was not done at city authorities’ discretion but in compliance with a newspaper’s public records request, in conjunction with a state law shielding police privacy.

September 23 roundup

Tucson’s two-tiered shaming

“Tucson PD releases names of people possibly connected to prostitutes — after removing those who happen to be cops.” That’s the headline atop a Radley Balko post about a decision by authorities in the Arizona city to do a splashy public release of the names and numbers of persons found on cellphones confiscated from massage parlors, despite the police chief’s own confirmation that the “inclusion of information in this list is in no way indicative of involvement in criminal activity”:

…before releasing the names of hundreds of people who appeared in the phones, the city police checked the names against the city’s roster of police officers. They then redacted those names, and released all the others. The police officers’ information won’t be released until they’ve had a chance to clear their names through an internal investigation. As for everyone else, well, good luck explaining…

P.S. But note that according to an anonymous commenter below, the general release of names wasn’t something up to city authorities’ discretion:

the names weren’t “released”, the Arizona Daily Star requested the names from police records (under a public records transparency law.) The police redacted the officer names because under the law they were under active investigation, which is a legal exception carved out due to unions.

If this account is accurate, while the episode had the effect of splashily shaming various Tucsonians who did not benefit from the special privacy protection available to cops, it’s misleading to suggest that that was the city’s intent.

Arizona cops vs. Rhonda Cox’s truck

Cato’s Caleb Brown talks with attorney J. Cabou about the legal fight over Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture law, which authorizes “one-way” fees to be made available to prevailing law enforcement, but not to prevailing citizens. Note, by the way, that the (very real) due process objections to one-way fee-shifting are in many ways equally applicable to one-way fee-shift provisions found in numerous other areas of law, including discrimination and environmental statutes.

Law enforcement for profit roundup

  • One Oklahoma official used asset forfeiture to pay back his student loans, another lived rent-free in a confiscated house [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • Per ACLU, Arizona has a one-way legal fee rule in forfeiture cases, with prevailing police allowed to collect from property owner but not vice versa [Jacob Sullum]
  • From Michael Greve, some thoughts on prosecution for profit and where money from public fines should go [Liberty and Law]
  • About the Benjamins: Philadelphia mayor-to-be cites revenue as reason to let parking officers ticket sidewalk users [Ed Krayewski, Reason]
  • Captive market: with wardens’ and sheriffs’ connivance, prison phone companies squeeze hapless families [Eric Markowitz, IB Times]
  • Former red light camera CEO pleads guilty to bribery, fraud in Ohio [Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica]
  • Taxpayers lose as Maine counties jail indigents over unpaid fines [Portland Press-Herald]
  • “St. Louis County towns continue to treat residents like ATMs” [Radley Balko]

“More than 3/4 of the civil cases filed in Tucson’s federal court last year…

“…originated with one person: a state prisoner upset about his health care behind bars.” Dale Maisano, whose 3,000 lawsuits last year were mostly handwritten, has served much of a 15-year sentence for aggravated assault. “He alone is responsible for a nearly fourfold increase in civil cases since 2012.” [Curt Prendergast, Arizona Daily Star]