A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
The former Marine who was unlawfully detained and placed in a psychiatric institution by authorities isfiling a civil lawsuitagainst government officials involved.
Brandon Raub, 26, was detained on August 16 in connection toFacebook posts critical of the government after authorities from the FBI, Secret Service and local Virginia police questioned him at his home in Chesterfiled, Va.
Now the decorated Marine veteran is suing thegovernment officials who were involved in the unlwaful arrest and detention.
In aninterviewwith his lawyer John Whitehead, Raub said that the experience "made me scared for my country—the idea that a man can be snatched out of his property without being read his rights should be extremely alarming to all Americans."
“Brandon Raub’s case exposed the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that seems to be targeting Americans, especially military veterans, for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state,” Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute,said in statement. “Brandon Raub is not the first veteran to be targeted for speaking out against the government, detained against his will. … Hopefully, by holding officials accountable, we can ensure that Brandon is the last.”
Posted on: 12:01 pm, August 29, 2012, byAlix Bryan
CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)—Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute are preparing to file a civil lawsuit against government officials who were involved in the arrest and detention of the 26-year-old Virginia resident, and Marine veteran Brandon Raub.
Raub was arrested by FBI, Secret Service agents and local police on August 16, 2012, and detained in a psychiatric ward from Aug. 16-Aug. 23, for posting controversial song lyrics and political views on his private Facebook page.
Judge Allan Sharrett, a Hopewell County judge, dismissed the case. He said that the original petition for Raub’s detention contained no facts. In other words, there was no information on why Raub was being held — and the judge deemed this violated his civil liberties.
The Rutherford Institute said that since coming to Raub’s defense, military veterans across the country have contacted them and recounted similar incidents.
According to the press release, Rutherford Institute attorneys plan to take issue with the manner in which Virginia’s civil commitment statutes are being used to silence individuals engaged in lawfully exercising their free speech rights.
Anthony Troy and Brian Fowler with Troutman Sanders LLP of Richmond, Va., will be acting as affiliate attorneys for The Rutherford Institute in preparation of the civil lawsuit.
I'm posting political pieces such as the Silver-Lopez-Lippman stuff below just to show how education politics must be understood before anything really changes for the better in our public schools. My opinion: get the triumvirate out of New York State.
Silver hit by ‘hu$h’ probe
By ERIK KRISS in Albany and JOSH MARGOLIN in NY POST
A state ethics committee created by Gov. Cuomo has launched a potentially damning probe into the six-figure Assembly payout to two of Vito Lopez’s alleged sex-harassment victims — a deal Speaker Sheldon Silver now admits he green-lighted, sources said yesterday.
With his role in the scandal facing intense scrutiny, Silver made a stunning mea culpa last night.
“I now believe it was the wrong one from the perspective of transparency,” he said in a statement, referring to the decision to keep the settlement under wraps.
“I take full responsibility in not insisting that all cases go to the ethics committee.”
He then laid out his mistakes in authorizing the $103,080 settlement:
“The Assembly (1) should not agree to a confidential settlement, (2) should insist that the basic factual allegations of any complaint be referred to the ethics committee for a full investigation and (3) should publicly announce the existence of any settlement, while protecting the identity of the victims,” Silver said.
The rare admission by one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers comes during the opening stages of an investigation by the independent Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), which “will focus on the process’’ that led to the taxpayer-funded settlement, a source said.
Probers are interested in what led to the deal, who did the negotiating and how the final terms were hammered out, sources said.
Cuomo — who created JCOPE last year to police the state government — yesterday said investigators should probe Lopez’s alleged sexual misconduct.
“What’s really troubling here is a person coming forward and saying they were harassed by a public official,” he said. “If there were repeated instances of it, I think he should resign everything.”
Still, the governor defended the use of public funds to settle sex-harass cases.
“This would not be the first harassment case that the state settled . . . It’s the obligation of the state to settle the claims, if you can,’’ he said.
The costly deal involved two women, The New York Times reported.
The deal also was well-known to more state officials than previously thought, The Post has learned. A lawyer in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office reviewed the settlement and made a recommendation on it, although neither the lawyer nor Schneiderman was involved in its approval, said a top aide to the AG. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office cut the check for it.
Lopez, 71, yesterday resigned as Brooklyn’s Democratic Party leader, but vowed to hold on to his Assembly seat, despite calls for his ouster.
He was censured and stripped of his position as head of the Assembly’s Housing Committee by Silver on Friday after the Assembly’s ethics panel charged that Lopez groped at least two young female staffers.
It was then revealed that two other women claimed he had sexually harassed them — but Assembly leaders quietly dealt with them by negotiating the settlement.
The president of the National Organization for Women of New York City, Sonia Ossorio, said Silver’s feet need to be held to the fire.
“This earlier complaint was never reported to the Assembly’s ethics committee,’’ she said.
“Sheldon Silver is now in the hot seat with Lopez, and he has a lot of explaining to do.”
A Silver spokesman previously said that the only time complaints aren’t investigated by the ethics committee is when victims insist that they not be “for reasons of personal privacy.’’
Gloria Allred, lawyer for at least one of the women in the settlement, said in a statement yesterday, “We have never requested or insisted that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.”
Lopez denied the charges in a statement yesterday, saying, “I never sexually harassed any staff, and I hope and intend to prove in the coming months the political nature of these accusations.”
Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer for the two other women whose complaints led to Lopez’s censure, demanded that the Brooklyn kingmaker be immediately forced to give up his Assembly seat.
“The notion that Mr. Lopez will continue to be in a position to sexually harass other Assembly employees is intolerable,’’ Mintzer said.
Lopez, in resigning his local party post, said he did so because of an “onslaught of character attacks.’’
They have “put enormous emotional pressures on my family and close friends. I cannot sit by and allow that to continue,” said the pol, who has a longtime girlfriend.
But a Brooklyn party source said Lopez doesn’t want to give up his Assembly seat because he is still hoping to get rid of Lincoln Restler, a fellow district leader who could challenge Lopez’s protégé, City Councilman Steve Levin.
Former Assemblyman Frank Seddio is said to be a front-runner to replace Lopez as party leader.
Additional reporting by Sally Goldenberg, Rich Calder, Fredric U. Dicker, Dan Mangan, Kate Sheehan
President Obama Announces More Key Administration
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to
nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:
• Jonathan Lippman – Member, Board of Directors of the State
The President also announced his intent to appoint the following individual
to a key Administration post:
• John F. Sopko – Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction President Obama said, “The extraordinary dedication these
individuals bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people. I
am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward
to working with them in the months and years to come.” President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following
individual to a key Administration post: Judge Jonathan Lippman, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the
State Justice Institute
Judge Jonathan Lippman is currently Chief
Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals,
a position he has held since 2009. Judge Lippman has spent his entire legal career
in the New York State court system, serving for 40 years in a variety of roles.
He was Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme
Court, First Department from 2007 to 2009; an Associate Justice of the Appellate
Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts from 2006 to 2007; a Justice of
the Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District from 2006 to 2009; and Chief
Administrative Judge of all New York State Courts from 1996 to 2007. Judge
Lippman is a member of the Board of Directors of the Conference of Chief
Justices, former President of the Conference of State Court Administrators, and
former Vice Chair of the Board of the National Center for State Courts. He is
the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the William H. Rehnquist
Award for Judicial Excellence, which the National Center for State Courts
awarded to him in 2008. He holds a B.A. from New York University in Government
and International Relations and a J.D. from the New York University School of
Cuomo’s on the case
Last Updated:8:05 AM, August 29, 2012
Posted:10:27 PM, August 28, 2012
Gov. Cuomo yesterday took effective custody of the Sheldon Silver-Vito Lopez sexual-harassment scandal — urging his hand-tooled Joint Commission on Public Ethics to work its way to the bottom of Albany’s latest bubbling cesspool.
JCOPE was Cuomo’s idea, and six of the agency's 14 members — including Executive Director Ellen Biben — are Cuomo retainers of some standing.
As is Letizia Tagliaferro, named by Biben yesterday as JCOPE’s director of investigations and enforcement.
These are people of considerable talent, as well. They’re well-equipped to make quick work of the Silver-Lopez scandal — should they choose to do so.
And if they don’t — well, it’s on Cuomo.
Late yesterday, the governor publicly called on JCOPE to investigate the sexual-harassment allegations against Lopez.
Good for the governor.
But any investigation that doesn’t include a thorough public airing of just how the Assembly came to make a surreptitious $103,000, taxpayer-funded payment to make the Lopez claim go away will be no investigation at all.
Silver, of course, had to be right in the middle of it all; no payment of any sort would have been made without the Assembly speaker’s imprimatur.
So a serious probe by definition means that Cuomo and Silver are hell-bent for a major collision.
Fine by us.
Cuomo came to office promising “a new day in Albany” and a vow to “restore honor and integrity to government.”
Not that he’s in any way responsible for Lopez’s misdeeds, of course. Nor for those of Albany’s legion of legislative malfeasors.
Silver, on the other hand, has been an enabler of misconduct for years — going back at least to when he used tax dollars to bail one of his own key aides out of a sexual-misconduct mess.
Authorizing Lopez’s payout, in other words, was just another day at the office for the speaker.
And, in that respect, getting to the bottom of Silver’s behavior is — institutionally speaking — of far more importance than determining who Lopez groped and when he groped them.
Lopez, it appears, is just a pig.
Silver is one of the most powerful elected officials in Albany — not someone who should be rolling around in the muck with all the other oinkers.
Silver said yesterday that he believes the secret payout was “wrong . . . from the perspective of transparency.”
Said Cuomo: “I think JCOPE should do an investigation of the allegations that have been made and let’s have the facts.”
From his lips to Biben’s ear.
We don’t doubt that she’s listening.
From Betsy Combier:
You cant make this stuff up. Let's see how Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Governor Andrew Cuomo get out of this one. We, the public dont need any of these cheats, including Cuomo.
Silver Spokesman Victim Asked for Privacy A spokesman for Silver’s office said that the only situation where a complaint isn’t referred to the ethics committee is when a victim asks for privacy.(WNYC)
Gloria Allred Not True A statement Tuesday from Gloria Allred, an attorney for the woman, said they have “never requested or instead that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.”
The DN editorial board says: Spill the Vito Lopez secrets
Gevalt. The Senate is a mess. The press should focus on this... RT@nydailynewsQueens Sen. Shirley Huntley indicted
There is precedent for such action.
Back in 2003, Silver’s chief counsel, Michael Boxley, plea-bargained his way out of a rape charge leveled by a 22-year-old legislative intern — after which it came to light that two years earlier,anotherstaffer had charged Boxley with sexually assaultingher.he. The first victim subsequently sued — pocketing a $507,500 payment, plus legal fees, with all but $20,000 of the bill being borne by the taxpayers.
Deep Throat: Follow the Money
Daily News The $103,080 does not represent the full size of the settlement"
NYT leaves out Naomi Rivera when writing about the latest Albany scandals. Has never talked about Naomi Rivera
The Bronx establishment is going all-out to save Naomi Rivera.* The Bronx Democratic County Leader Carl Heastie is "unwavering" in his support for Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, who is the subject of four ongoing investigations. [Sally Goldenberg]