The Des Moines Register reports that a man left the store a little before 9 a.m. Tuesday with two rolls of copper wire. Police say a security worker asked him to go back inside and pay for the wire, but he ran to a car and yelled “Go! Go! Go!” to the driver.
The worker got in front of the car.
Police say her legs were bumped five times before she moved aside and the car raced away.
The car license plate was traced to the home of a woman who told police that the car was being driven by her son who no longer lived there.
Behavior detection officer Minnetta Walker, 43 — whose position gave her free reign at Buffalo Niagara International Airport — used her status to help drug boss Derek Frank’s gang avoid full body scanners, luggage X-ray machines and secondary screening at the gates, authorities said.
Frank and 23 other suspects have been arrested in the continuing probe, a law enforcement official said.
Walker’s duties placed her “in a unique position to help individuals bypass normal security procedures and to detect the presence of law enforcement activity,” the complaint noted.
In some instances, she personally escorted drug suspects so they could fly without being searched, one time even allowing Frank to fly under an assumed name, the complaint also noted.
On Aug. 28, 2010, Walker helped Frank fly to Phoenix on a standby Southwest Airlines flight without any luggage using the name of someone else, the complaint stated
Her corrupt activities, the feds added, included tipping off suspected drug traffickers tied to Frank’s ring while they were under surveillance at the Buffalo airport by making cellphone calls to them and their associates.
Authorities were tipped off to Walker’s illegal activities, which she had allegedly carried out since February 2010, after she was caught on wiretaps, a source said.
Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Immigration and Custom Enforcement, the TSA and airport authority officials all collaborated on the probe, authorities said.
Walker is charged with violating federal security requirements and conspiracy. If convicted, she could get up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine.
Frank is charged with criminal enterprise, possession with intent to distribute and the distribution of 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiracy. If convicted, he faces a mandatory prison term of at least 20 years and up to $2 million in fines.
MOBILE, Ala.Mar 3 2011 (AP) — Mobile police say 51 manhole covers were taken from the city’s streets during February, and investigators think thieves are selling the cast-iron covers as scrap metal.
Some of the manhole covers are from streets near the routes of two upcoming Mardi Gras parades.
City crews have inspected the routes and will erect barricades around missing manhole covers.
Police spokesman Officer Christopher Levy says officers have not found any scrap companies buying stolen covers.
John Windley, superintendent of public works for the city, says the covers cost $140 each, while grates can cost $300 apiece, and it can take up to a month to acquire and install a replacement.
McDonald said the man whose name was not released suffered a leg injury and was taken to SS. Mary Elizabeth Hospital.
He said the vehicle was traveling at a slow speed and no charges are expected to be filed against the driver, McDonald said.
Joseph Gajdos was among 13 district employees laid off in June as part of the school board’s efforts to balance the 2010-2011 budget. In August Mr. Gajdos brought suit in federal court, claiming his termination violated the terms of his five-year employment agreement with the district.
The suit said his contract was supposed to run from Dec. 10, 2007, to Dec. 9, 2012. His annual salary was $53,430.
Of the settlement total, $43,075 is to be paid to Mr. Gajdos and $21,925 is to be paid to his attorney, Joseph Chivers.
In return, Mr. Gajdos agreed to drop all claims against the district in the matter and not to seek future employment with the district. He also agreed not to discuss the details of the settlement.
The financial details of the settlement were released Monday in response to a Right to Know request filed by the Post-Gazette.
Mr. Gajdos will receive the full amount due to him from the settlement even though he and his wife, Lyndie, owe the school district $7,053 in delinquent real estate taxes on two properties they own in West Mifflin. Solicitor Jack Cambest said the check would go directly from the district’s insurance carrier to Mr. Gajdos.
The district must pay a $5,000 deductible, and the insurance carrier will pay the remainder of the settlement.
The Allegheny County civil court docket shows a default judgment was filed against the Gajdoses in September 2008 for back real estate taxes from 2006 in the amount of $15,547. But school district records — obtained through a Right to Know request filed by the Post-Gazette — indicate the Gajdoses had paid down the debt to $7,053 as of Feb. 23.
The county civil court document also indicates that the Gajdoses face an IRS tax lien in the amount of $40,818 that was filed in December. The lien document filed in the court docket indicates it relates to the “small business/self-employed area.” The Gajdoses operate a security firm that supplies guards to the West Mifflin Area School District.
Mr. Gajdos’ settlement agreement with the district stipulates that he is responsible for all tax liabilities that may result from his receipt of the money.
The board voted 5-4 on Feb. 17 to approve the settlement, with school directors Ted Cale, Nick Alexandroff, Michael Price and Phil Shar opposed.
The district faces a second lawsuit resulting from the layoffs. Former public relations coordinator and grant writer Robyn Tedesco brought suit against the district in January, maintaining her termination violated a five-year employment contract that was to run from April 16, 2007, to June 30, 2012.
Police said the incident occurred in January at the man’s home in Kirkwood. They did not identify the man. No charges have been filed.
School district officials said the incident involved a student at Troy Buchanan High School.
Troy School District Superintendent Terry Morrow sent an e-mail to parents saying a teacher had been arrested for “alleged inappropriate conduct.”
The letter said the district’s procedure is to place the employee on administrative leave pending the completion of a police investigation.
Milwaukee County WS March 3 2011 The county has doubled up on its courthouse and other building security, as 21 of 27 guards laid off a year ago in an abortive privatization move are back on the job.
But 21 private guards the county hired in an emergency budget move in March 2009 by then-County Executive Scott Walker also remain on the job at a cost to the county of about $95,000 a month, county Public Works Director Jack Takerian said Wednesday. Walker was elected governor in November.
“We are basically paying for the service twice now,” said John Ruggini, the county’s assistant budget administrator.
A court ruling in January reversed the outsourcing, saying Walker’s emergency justification for it fell short. The county did not appeal and most of the fired county guards came back to their posts, including several who had gone to work for G4S Wackenhut, the private firm brought in by Walker.
The private guards earn about $10 an hour, $5 an hour less than the county workers they temporarily displaced, and pay much higher costs toward health insurance. About a dozen of the Wackenhut guards who had been stationed at the courthouse were shifted to Milwaukee County Transit System, but nine remain at posts in the county jail, the Vel Phillips Juvenile Justice Center and the county’s City Campus buildings at 2711 W. Wells St., Takerian said.
The 21 county security guards once again staff the courthouse and Safety Building entrances, where visitors must pass through metal detectors.
Some will lose jobs
A dozen of the Wackenhut security guards will be out of work at the county in about a week, Takerian said. The county gave the firm a required 30-day notice to terminate a portion of its contract, he said.
The county will keep nine Wackenhut guards for the jail, the juvenile center and City Campus at a cost of $31,550 a month, Takerian said. That’s cheaper than hiring additional county employees as guards, he said.
The full cost of the court ruling has not yet been calculated, but none of the estimated $153,000 in annual savings is expected to materialize. The court ordered back pay for the county guards, minus any unemployment or retirement benefits or earnings from another job.
A few county security guards who retired a year ago when Wackenhut was brought in have been allowed to reverse their retirement and return as active employees. The amount of any pension benefits they already received will be deducted from their back pay, Takerian said.
An earlier estimate said the county could wind up spending an extra $430,000 on security, as a result of the outsourcing reversal ordered by the court.
Uncertainty remains for county security guards back at their old jobs. The court ruling guarantees their jobs for only six months, the county will have a new executive after the April 5 election for the remaining year in Walker’s county term, and Walker’s state budget-repair bill would strip most collective bargaining for public employee unions.
Kurt Zunker, who heads the union local that represents the security guards, said he was worried the county might try to re-privatize the guards if Walker’s repair bill passes. He said a mediation session scheduled for this week had been abruptly canceled.
“Everything has pretty much come to a standstill,” said Zunker, president of Local 882 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. District Council 48 of AFSCME, the largest of the county’s unions, is working under terms of a contract that expired in 2009.
Interim County Executive Marvin Pratt has “no intention to change anything” with the guards, said Bill Zaferos, a spokesman for Pratt.
Andrew L. McCoy, 53, was arrested March 1, after troopers searched his Smyrna residence and confiscated computers and financial records, according to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
McCoy is accused of orchestrating four separate theft schemes over the last three years, police said.
A Dover Downs spokesperson would not discuss the alleged thefts in detail, but said they only affected the company’s administrative finances. Gambling winnings and tax revenues paid to the state were not impacted, nor were any casino or hotel customers, the spokesperson said.
The company representative also would not disclose the dollar amounts of the alleged thefts, but said they were well below Dover Downs’ $150,000 insurance deductible.
Dover Downs management reported the alleged thefts to the state police’s Division of Gaming enforcement late last month, spurring the investigation.
McCoy worked at the company for 10 years and has been fired, the spokesperson said.
He stands charged with three counts of felony theft, one count of misdemeanor theft and four counts of falsifying business records.
McCoy was arraigned and released on unsecured bond and has been banned from all Delaware casinos, police said
ROSHARON, Texas March 3 2011– Two men are dead after a predawn skydiving accident in Southeast Texas.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office identified the men killed in the 1:42 a.m. accident Wednesday as 27-year-old Scott James of Houston and 63-year-old Arthur Bill of Spring.
A sheriff’s office statement says the two were skydiving when they flew into each other and their parachutes became tangled and deflated.
That resulted in a free-fall of from 100 to 200 feet.
James was pronounced dead at the scene, while Bill was pronounced dead after being airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, about 30 miles north of the accident site.