Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate what he called “our worst nightmare,” the alleged sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program

Louisville, Kentucky. —

Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate what he called “our worst nightmare,” the alleged sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.

Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad.

“If there has been an injustice, it will be remedied,” Fischer said Friday.

Harvey, who was appointed by President Obama in 2010 as the top prosecutor in the Eastern District of Kentucky and stepped down in January, said he would conduct a “stem-to-stern review” to determine if the investigation was effective and appropriate – and if procedures were not followed, “why not.”

A lawsuit filed last week on behalf of a former scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials. Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn.

Scout: I was raped by Louisville police officers

Council urges independent inquiry into Louisville sex-abuse scandal

The Courier-Journal reported this week that Conrad ended an investigation of alleged “improper contact” between Betts and a teenage girl in the program because Betts resigned in 2014. Wood is still with the force but on administrative assignment.

Conrad told The Courier-Journal on Friday he is “dying” to talk about the allegations but is barred from doing so by a court order sealing the lawsuit. Fischer said he expects the case will be unsealed next week.

The Courier-Journal has filed a motion to unseal the case. The city has also asked that it be unsealed.

Fischer said he first learned about misconduct in the Explorer program last October when he received a heads-up from Conrad that there would be media reports. The mayor declined to comment when asked whether additional police officers or youths were involved, citing a pending criminal investigation by the department’s Public Integrity Unit.

Asked if he still has confidence in Conrad, the mayor initially avoided directly answering the question, saying “what is important is to get to the truth, and I think he agrees with that.” Ultimately, Fischer said he did have confidence in the chief.

Fischer also said Conrad was “aligned” with the decision to hire Harvey, who was retained Friday under a $275-an-hour contract capped at $50,000. Harvey will not have subpoena power but will enjoy the “full power of the mayor,” Fischer said.

The city also will conduct a separate inquiry that will examine all agencies that have programs involving children and teenagers to determine if adequate measures are in place to protect them.

Harvey resigned as a U.S. attorney this year in anticipation that President Trump would name a Republican to the post. He said it would be up to the FBI to decide whether to launch its investigation, but that based on news reports, the alleged misconduct could constitute a federal civil rights violation.

Councilman David James said Friday he was glad the mayor reached out to the FBI. But he said whatever review Harvey conducts should include the mayor’s office because former police commanders who were in the department at the time of the allegations are now in the Fischer administration.

“It’s important we not just limit it to the police department, but knowing who knew what when, and wherever that goes is important,” James said.

Councilman James Peden, who joined James and nine other members in calling for an outside agency to investigate on Thursday, said he was pleased the mayor sought the FBI’s help. But he said he doubts whether hiring Harvey will bear any results.

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know if you hire someone to do studies or investigate, they come up with results you wanted them to find in the first place,” Peden said. “I think that’s a waste of money.”

James, a Democrat, and Peden, a Republican, said they met with Conrad about the Explorer program weeks before the suit was filed. Both said they’ve received information from police officers that there could be more allegations.

“If anything, (Mayor Fischer) finally realizes this has now extended beyond the boundaries of just a bad police officer,” Peden said.
https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBylQdf?m=en-us

No criminal charges will be filed in the March 9 courthouse brawl between an Orange County District Attorney’s investigator and a defense lawyer who won a victory in the county’s jailhouse informant controversy, state prosecutors said Thursday.

Editorial – This District Attorney Tony Rackauckas’ Office and the Courts in Orange County are a Disgusting Hellhole of Corruption – Lies – Rigged Juries – Kiddie Porn Judges – A Psycho Asian Chief of Staff – and Boy Crazy – Republican DA Interns –

California declines to file charges in O.C. courthouse brawl tied to informant scandal

No criminal charges will be filed in the March 9 courthouse brawl between an Orange County District Attorney’s investigator and a defense lawyer who won a victory in the county’s jailhouse informant controversy, state prosecutors said Thursday.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office concluded it was unclear whether either investigator Dillon Alley or Orange attorney James Crawford was criminally at fault in the bloody fight in a court hallway. The state investigated the incident because the involvement of a local District Attorney’s Office investigator created a conflict for that office.

“Both parties tell a different story about how the fight started, and both have two to three witnesses who fully corroborate their version of events,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Julie L. Garland wrote in a letter Thursday to Crawford’s attorney. “Because of the conflicting evidence it is not clear what party was the initial aggressor.”

The fight was not captured by the court’s surveillance camera, the letter said.

Related: Read Harris’ letter about the investigation

“We support the Attorney General’s decision to clear the OCDA investigator involved in the courthouse altercation. We will continue our own review of the facts, including any new information we receive from the AG, to fully determine what happened on that date,” the office of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement.

The letter ends a nearly three-month investigation and was issued on the same day that the Register published a story in which former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp said the probe was taking too much time.

The investigation included nearly a dozen follow-up interviews as well as a review of medical records, surveillance video and witness declarations, the letter said.

The altercation, to some, was indicative of the heated feelings on both sides of the two-year-controversy over whether prosecutors and police in Orange County improperly used jailhouse informants to get confessions and withheld evidence from defense attorneys.

Using snitches is legal, except when the target is represented by an attorney and has been formally charged.

At least six murder and attempted murder cases have unraveled in the snitch crisis, resulting in overturned convictions, reduced penalties and dropped charges.

Crawford was fresh from winning a new trial for a man twice convicted in the double murder of a pregnant woman when he says he was attacked from behind by Alley.

Crawford and Alley had exchanged expletives about the informant controversy when Alley slammed Crawford’s face into a wood bench outside Superior Court Department 40 in Santa Ana and pummeled his head, Crawford said. Crawford that day released photos of his injured face and bloody eye.

Witnesses for Alley agreed both men traded words angrily, but said Crawford took the first swing at the DA’s investigator and was to blame for the escalating tension.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/attorney-718066-crawford-alley.html
http://www.ocweekly.com/news/boy-crazy-6369193
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kline-59382-court-computer.html
http://www.ocweekly.com/news/illegally-park-ed-6402361
http://voiceofoc.org/2015/04/das-charity-events-prompt-questions-about-chief-of-staffs-side-business/

Clifford Polston, former head of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin, was sentenced today to probation and community service

Editorial –

This Loser who we Refer to as Mr. Kiddie actually Lives in Our Neighborhood Across the Street and a Couple of Houses Down – for a Convicted Felon He Sure Seems to have Plenty of Money – New Cars and Trucks – Endless Home Improvements – Kind of Lives Like He’s Under House Arrest – and Looks Bored.

No More Vegas Trips with Money He Took from the Kids – Bummer – Mr. Kiddie. We Think that He May Have Stashed Some Money that he Stole from the Tustin Boys and Girls Club in His Backyard or Something.

Then there’s the “Clueless” Wife – “more than $75,000 of the money went toward a phantom salary for his wife, Elsie, a teacher at Pioneer Middle School” –  Polston would endorse and cash her paychecks.

It’s All Just So Pathetic and Reminds Me A lot of Disgraced Preacher Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker.  LOL

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/04/08/televangelist-jim-bakker-back-440991.html –

Tustin, California –

For years, Clifford Polston used the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin as his personal piggy bank.

He would charge the club he ran for 30 years for trips to Vegas and to Pechanga Casino, high-speed Internet at his home, countless meals, and gasoline as well as toll-road fees.

Clifford Polston, former head of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tustin, was sentenced to 3 years of probation in Orange County Superior Court.

One time, while Polston was vacationing in Tahiti, he had the club pick up his airport parking tab.

As its longtime chief professional officer, Polston was trusted implicitly by the board.

“Mr. Polston literally had the keys to the candy store,” a Tustin Police Department report says.

Once considered a pillar of the community, Polston, 60, admitted to fleecing the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tustin of $114,354 between July 2001 and June 2007.

More than $75,000 of the money went toward a phantom salary for his wife, Elsie, a teacher at Pioneer Middle School. Polston would endorse and cash her paychecks.

His sentencing Monday, to three years of formal probation, 200 hours of community service, and $260 in fees, has some former colleagues feeling he got off lightly.

“I, like others, think he should have gotten some jail time,” said Bill Kliss, a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs. “I thought for what he did, he deserved it. When you think of what he was doing, he was taking advantage of disadvantaged children, and that’s terrible.”

Kliss believes a year behind bars was called for, as does Gary Green, chief volunteer officer the Boys & Girls Clubs.

“He would have gotten the message,” Green said.

Even Judge Erick L. Larsh, who handed down the sentence, said he believed the crime called for prison time. But Larsh still signed off on the plea agreement.

Polston could not be reached for comment.

POLSTON’S HAPPY

His attorney, Gregory Bartone, said Polston’s previously clean record and years of community involvement were factors.

“From a defense perspective, this was a great outcome,” Bartone said. “He’s very happy he’s not going to prison. He thinks it’s a fair resolution.”

Bartone said Polston is paying greatly for his crime.

“He has three years of probation,” Bartone noted. “If he makes one slip-up, he’s toast.”

“He’s also kind of a social pariah now.”

Recent cases involving embezzlement show a range of penalties.

A former financial officer at the Orangewood Children’s Foundation recently pleaded guilty to stealing $780,000 from the group and was sentenced to 12 years in prison and more than $1,150,000 in restitution.

A former PTA treasurer in Placentia was sentenced in August to 3 years of probation, 60 days in jail, and paying restitution for stealing $11,424 from the Melrose Elementary School PTA.

CHANGED PLEA

Polston originally pleaded not guilty, in July, to 27 counts of forgery, three counts of grand theft and one count of false entries in records or returns.

In November, in a plea agreement worked out with the District Attorney’s office, Polston pleaded guilty to a single count of grand theft, along with a sentencing enhancement for taking funds exceeding $50,000.

Polston’s guilty plea could have resulted in a maximum of four years in prison.

It is rare for judges to reject plea agreements. One recent notable exception involved the federal case against Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli for his role in an alleged stock-option scam.

Susan Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said one of the considerations was making sure that the Boys & Girls Clubs got its money back as soon as possible.

Factoring in interest, Polston owed the Boys & Girls Clubs about $140,000 – almost the same amount that had accumulated in a life insurance fund the club purchased for him years ago.

Polston agreed to sign over those funds to the club.

“We really respect the wishes of the victims,” Schroeder said. “And in this case, the victim’s primary goal was to make sure the money went back to help the children as soon as possible.”

“We wanted some money to come out of his pocket, and that didn’t happen,” Kliss said. “But we’re happy with what we’ve got.”

CLUB STILL OUT $60,000

The Boys & Girls Clubs, however, still is out about $60,000, according to Green.

About $50,000 went to attorney’s fees to defend a civil lawsuit filed by Polston after he abruptly resigned as chief professional officer in 2007, after the board confronted him about suspicious financial transactions.

Polston sued the club to receive the life insurance funds, as well as for alleged unreimbursed sick time. The board countersued. The civil actions died when Polston agree to plead guilty.

The added $10,000 was for a forensic accountant who unearthed the embezzlement scheme. The probe only went back to 2001, because the club did not have the funds to dig further, Green said.

According to the Tustin police report, “The amount could be substantially more if one were to go back further in time.”

Green said the theft hurt the club’s reputation and finances, but that the club, whose annual budget is just over $1 million, is doing well. He and other board directors have reached out to donors to assure them their money is going where it should.

“This club is now buttoned-up tight,” Kliss said of new financial controls.

Added Kliss: “I thought the DA did a good job – I just wish the penalty had been a bit stronger.

“I think the message to other (charitable) organizations should be, ‘Hey, you’re going to have to pay for this crime.'”

Register staff writer Larry Welborn contributed to this story.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/polston-222585-club-years.html