Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anatomy of Rigging a Trial?



Former Hartford Connecticut Detective Robert Lawlor called himself an "American Patriot" posting the above picture looking for donations all over the US. Lawlor shot 3 minorities in the back in 2 incidents. Do you find it alarming that a White Cop would consider himself an American Patriot for executing a Black, shooting him in the back?

[click here] for more information on Robert Lawlor and his trial going on now. Robert Lawlor committed murder back in May of 2005, and only now is facing a trial for manslaughter.

White Connecticut Police Officer Scott Smith chased down a Black suspect, stood on his back, fired a round next to his boot, through the suspect's back executing the suspect. Smith skated on appeal as the first "trial" was intentionally botched by the prosecutor. When you are important, your trial can be delayed and your prosecutor and judge can be "shopped" for the desired outcome. It looks like the same fixers in Smith's trial are at work in Lawlor's.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Psychology of Imprisonment and Abuse

VIDEO -- Robert King & Terry Kupers: The Psychological Impact of Imprisonment
by Angola 3 News (about the author)

Robert Hillary King, a member of the Angola 3, was released from prison in 2001 when his conviction was overturned after many years of legal battles. The other two members of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, both remain imprisoned today. In 2008, King released his autobiography, entitled From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King. His autobiography won the 2008 PASS Award, and has been reviewed by SF Bay View, Black Commentator, Hour, Alternet, Political Media Review, La Presse, Albany Times Union, and The Times-Picayune

Dr. Terry Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. wrote the introduction to From the Bottom of the Heap and is Institute Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Dr. Kupers is a psychiatrist with a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, forensics and social and community psychiatry. His forensic psychiatry experience includes testimony in several large class action litigations concerning jail and prison conditions, sexual abuse, and the quality of mental health services inside correctional facilities. He is a consultant to Human Rights Watch, and author of the 1999 book entitled Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It.

King and Kupers were interviewed in Oakland, California in October, 2009, when King was in town for Black Panther History Month. This video is only part one, so please stay tuned for more!

37 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and 1973 (more...)

The above is re-posted from and can be found [here]

* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for:

Family Estrangement PTSD Syndrome

* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for "What is prison really like?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More proof of a broken "Justice System"


Are Low-Income Defendants Being Misinformed By Court System?

By EDMUND H. MAHONY The Hartford Courant

November 17, 2009

An arrest three years ago in the case of a missing wallet has resulted in the unusual demand by a federal appeals court that Connecticut justify the way criminal defendants are presented in the crowded, lowest tier of the state's criminal court system.

The order by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals grew out of the appeal from a federal lawsuit in Hartford. That suit alleges that low-income defendants in criminal cases are routinely denied the right to be arraigned by a judge and the right to be informed that they could be eligible for free legal representation.

State officials were preparing a response to the circuit court but said Monday that the court's demand might be based on a misunderstanding of procedure in the busy state court system. The officials said that defendants, on their initial court appearances, are permitted to forgo formal arraignment and arrange informal continuations of their cases to avoid waiting in court all day and missing work.

"We are aware of the request and we are looking into the situation and providing the court with an answer," said Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane. "It appears to be a misunderstanding of the way business is handled in high-volume courts where continuances are given informally as a convenience to the public."

The case arises from the arrest in Torrington on Thanksgiving in 2006 of Fortunato Garcia, a Dominican immigrant charged with sixth-degree larceny, a misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing a wallet lost by a police officer. Garcia was charged even though he says he made repeated efforts to return the wallet.

Garcia, through his lawyer, Gabriel North Seymour of Falls Village, claims in the suit that the violation of his rights took place after he was ordered to appear to answer the charge at Superior Court in Bantam. In court, the suit says, Garcia was denied his right to appear before a judge and enter a plea and was not informed in court that he was entitled to representation by a public defender.

Rather, the suit says, Garcia was directed to a meeting with an assistant prosecutor. The prosecutor told Garcia that the state intended to prosecute the larceny charge and would continue the case to a later date. Garcia left court, according to the suit. In his absence, court officials entered a not guilty plea in his behalf and ordered the case continued.

There is disagreement about whether Garcia was told he could apply for representation by a public defender. It appears, at a minimum, that he was advised to hire a lawyer.

Garcia did not reappear in court on the date to which his case was continued. A warrant was issued for his arrest on the charge of failure to appear in court.

Eventually, the criminal charges against Garcia were dismissed, but he sued a variety of law enforcement and judicial officials over the alleged violations of his rights at the time of arraignment. Garcia claimed in the suit that he and other low-income defendants in criminal cases are systematically denied the right to a complete arraignment before a judge.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny dismissed the suit against state prosecutors, claiming that they are immunized against such suits as officers of the court. The prosecutors were defended by the office of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit issued a brief summary order Thursday upholding Chatigny's dismissal but expressing concern about what it called Blumenthal's failure to address the suit's claims that low-income defendants such as Garcia are routinely denied the right to proper arraignment in court.

"Notwithstanding the foregoing rulings, this Court is disturbed by the allegations of prosecutorial conduct at issue and by the State of Connecticut's ostensible refusal in its brief and at oral argument to admit that were those allegations true, the practices would be, if not unconstitutional, likely illegal and certainly improper," the appellate court wrote.

"Accordingly, we order the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut, within 30 days of this Order, to provide this Court with a detailed report discussing what steps have been taken to address the practice of the State's Attorney at the Connecticut Superior Court in Bantam, CT, and what steps are being taken to ensure that they will not continue in the future."

Blumenthal said he will prepare the report for the 2nd Circuit.

"My office is seeking information from the Chief State's Attorney's Office and the Bantam Superior Court regarding the Bantam court's criminal procedures," Blumenthal said. "Together, we will address the federal Appeals Court's questions and concerns regarding those procedures."

Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

* * * *
* * * *

Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials Notice [found here]

This blogger's email:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Judicial Abuse and the Destruction of Families

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Content Stolen from Legal Blog Watch:

Their url:

Could You Confuse These Rubber Shoes With a Sports Car?

"The question of 'likelihood of confusion' is the signal test to determine if a trademark infringement claim is valid." So says the introduction to the excellent Likelihood of Confusion blog. Using that test, then, I ask you: Would you be likely to confuse a $30 pair of rubber shoes with a $50,000 sports car?

Porschecroc That "likelihood" appears to be the fear of writes in this post that in a recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, Colorado-based shoe manufacturer Crocs disclosed that it is being sued over its use of the name "Cayman." The SEC filing states:

"On May 11, 2009, Crocs Europe B.V. received a letter from Dr. Ing. H.c.F. Porsche AG (”Porsche”) claiming that the Company's use of the “Cayman” shoe model designator infringes upon their Community Trademark Registration of the mark “CAYMAN” in class 25. Porsche is requesting that Crocs Europe B.V. immediately cease and desist use of the Cayman mark and pay Porsche's attorney's fees in conjunction with the issuance of the notice letter. On July 30, 2009 the Company was served with notice of an injunction against Crocs Europe BV's use of the Cayman mark in Germany."

Crocs says it plans to “vigorously defend” itself against the claims.

Others in the blogosphere have been quick to point out that in addition to the remote possibility of confusion here, the word "Cayman" is commonly used in many other contexts. Thus, a certain species of alligator and residents of a British overseas colony may need to contact their lawyers.

Sphere: Related Content

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 11, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stolen from the Criminal Defense blog:

The below picture is the blog banner from the "Criminal Defense blog", and the below and some comments posted on that site were stolen and re-posted from this url:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

VIDEO: Judge Calls Cop Stealing From Defense Lawyer's File "Leeway"

Required watching for every defense lawyer, prosecutor, judge, bailiff, defendant, voter, garbage man, teacher, citizen of the world, is this video where an in-court deputy is seen stealing a document from the file of a criminal defense lawyer.

There's almost nothing that needs to be said about this video.

Well, almost.

As usual, Scott Greenfield covered all the bases in this embarrassment of a scene in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Scott calls it "blatant, outrageous and yes, illegal." He analyzes it this way: "First, this happened in full view of the judge, Lisa Flores, who appears not to have noticed. Later, when confronted with what happened, her first reaction is that her court officers are entitled to "leeway." Her second reaction is to seize upon a statement by Cuccia that this isn't the time to deal with the situation. Her third is that she's got a busy calender and this isn't worthy of her scarce time."

Scott faults everyone, including the defense lawyer:

"On Cuccia's side, she fails to notice, despite a few backward glances as the officer is touching her papers, that something is seriously awry. Once informed of the problem by her client, she asserts herself, but allows herself to be told to "calm down" by the judge, and follows instructions well. Rather than go nuts, inform the court that this is outrageous, far more significant than anything else she has to do that day, and demand that the court address it immediately, loudly and clearly, she demurely allows the matter to be put off to another day."

It's clear the defense lawyer was pushed around, and relented. Scott didn't like that:.

"Rather than go nuts, inform the court that this is outrageous, far more significant than anything else she has to do that day, and demand that the court address it immediately, loudly and clearly, she demurely allows the matter to be put off to another day."

I didn't like that either.

But Scott lives in another world. The world of big time New York criminal defense. Scott suffers from what many of us defense lawyers suffer from: "What I would have done-itis."

Here's the problem: we all live in our own world when it comes to the practice of criminal law. We know judges, prosecutors, cops, and we know what we can and cannot do in certain situations. Maybe this defense lawyer operates in a world of fear of the court, maybe they all do in Maricopa County. I don't know.

She appears to be aggressive in certain areas, and less aggressive in direct confrontation with the Court. She let the judge do the "whatever, I'm busy routine," without putting on the record the seriousness of the cause.

Maybe she has a history with this judge. She did mention "retaliation" in the video. Sometimes doing your job as a criminal defense lawyer results in just that.

What I would have done, is to demand the judge issue a rule to show cause why the officer should not be held in contempt, allow him to obtain counsel, and have a hearing. Then I would have filed a complaint with Internal Affairs, and the state attorney's office alleging theft, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct, with the video attached.

After reading that last paragraph, the sad thing is the some defense lawyers are laughing. "Do that? In my town?"


I often am taken to task by my brethren when they complain about situations and I wonder aloud why they don't do certain things. They tell me about the culture of the city, town, or village, and tell me I don't understand "how things are." Yes, there are many communities in this country where criminal defense lawyers "fall into line" because it's all about the business, and not about the system of justice.

Well, that's me, and what I would do here, in Miami, where I've been practicing criminal defense 15 years and feel comfortable asserting myself. There's been a lot of police corruption here, and a situation like this, here, in Miami, would be looked at differently than in Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County.

Some lawyers are just downright scared. And yes, that's shameful.

I'm not making excuses for this defense lawyer. I've just grown to learn that there are different types of communities with different types of attitudes.

Communities like Maricopa County, Arizona, where stealing a document out of a defense lawyer's file in court results in no contempt finding,

After all, these officers are there to insure courtroom safety. Safety from emotional courtroom observers, out of control defendants, and the file of a criminal defense lawyer.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit

Share/Save/Bookmark rules Post to Twitter


Ron Cooley said...

Yes, this is outrageous. The deputy stole a defense document. The deputy should be fired & prosecuted for theft. Anyone actively involved with him (apparently 2 others) should have similar punishment. Defendant's right to due process of law has clearly been violated & client's right to counsel has been interfered with. If our Constitutions mean ANYTHING our courts must take this extremely seriously. If the courts are to be respected our judges must rail against such injustices happening in open court.

I am curious what happened in the ensuing hearing. Hopefully the judge either found criminal contempt or referred the matter for prosecution. Seeing the judge's reaction to this video would tell us a lot about justice in that Court. Yes, I want to see the NEXT video.

Ron Cooley
Hillsborough, NC

SickOfCorruption said...

Notice that the second deputy still has paper in his hand when he supposedly handed it all back. He did not have any paper in his hand when he took the swath. He stands off to the left and signals to the first one that he has it. He was off camera for 5 minutes, enough time to duplicate whatever was taken. This time was eaten up by the judge, and they ushered the attorney to the bench instead of allowing her to focus on the papers. Even the defendant's attention is focused on the judge, not the accomplice. Nice slight of hand. Any crook can learn this on the streets of any major city. The old 3 card Monty. I wonder if the defense attorney has caught this?

Mike Foley said...

The hearing was held - and the judge wouldn't find the deputy in contempt without the defendant waiving privilege and letting the court see what the document said. Since the defendant wouldn't waive privilege, the judge said he couldn't find the deputy in contempt without a full opportunity to defend himself.

* * * *
* * * *

Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials Notice [found here]

* * * *
* * * *

added Nov. 11, 2009, 11 AM EST:

Have I started a feud over copyrights? There is a response to my above post found on the source that I "stole" it from. That response, a post, is [found here] on the Simple Justice Blog.

* * * *
* * * *

From the "Simple Justice" blog:

Save the Connecticut 5?

Carolyn Elefant is pissed. That doesn't happen too often, so it's certainly worthy of attention when it does. At My Shingle, Carolyn asks why the blawgosphere hasn't erupted in outrage at the persecution of the Connecticut 5. The first reason is that most people have never heard about the Connecticut 5. That's easily remedied.

Yet the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel, in its Order of Probable Cause and Complaint (H/T to Ben Glass of Great Legal Marketing for publicizing the order) against five innocent lawyers who participated in the Total cooperative advertising website (one lawyer for just a scant two months) thinks otherwise - that John and Jane Consumers are really John and Jane Morons. To the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel, systems like TotalAttorneys subject consumers to "corrupt" and "abusive" practices (Order at 13), "capitalizes on the financially insecure consumer's fear of debt, poor credit rating and shame" and "intrude on the "sacred territory between lawyers and their clients." (Order at 14).
Since I'm not a regular aficionado of marketing blogs, and most of them try to shut the door when they see me coming since I rarely have nice things to say about them, it's no surprise that I hadn't heard of the plight of these "five innocent lawyers." I had, however, been aware of the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel's investigation of Total Attorneys.

[more from the source, the Simple Justice blog]

* * * *
* * * *

Steven G. Erickson is solely responsible for all content posted on this blog. Not all of it is my content. I don't think law enforcement should be able to steal a lawyer's paperwork in court and have it called "leeway". My email is and the below video contains all the points for my core argument for my case of judicial abuse and witnessing misconduct:

I wish there were cameras in the courtroom where my rigged trial where Rockville Connecticut Superior Court Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and Stafford Springs, Ellington Connecticut area Attorney Michael H. Agranoff pretended to defend me.

If cameras were allowed in court, I could show the diagram at the front of the courtroom where the only witness against me, a tenant who vowed revenge for my having started on eviction on her, said that she saw where I was attacked at night from her apartment. The diagram of my rental properties, 3 and 5 Church St., Stafford Springs, Connecticut contained two houses.

Cheryl Gauthier could not have seen through a house to see me being attacked, therefore committed perjury as did the State Police Officers saying that I never asked to make a complaint against my attacker. If there were cameras in my courtroom, Agranoff would not have dared to purposely throw the case he charge me over $17,000 for and Judge Jonathan Kaplan would have had to allow me to speak in my defense. The jury headed by a worker for the police, who I had lodged complaints against, tainted the jury who watched a VHS tape on how to find me guilty, but were shown nothing about finding me innocent and about reasonable doubt!

I used to own $500,000 in real estate, had built up a small business built over 2 decades, had credit, health insurance, a relationship with my daughter, and extended family. All that is gone due to judicial misconduct. I have received no remedy and at this point have no faith in any government in the US and think the US legal system is a total sham.

I had been going to Stafford Springs, Connecticut, State Senator Anthony "Tony" Guglielmo, proposing Civilian Oversight of Police, requesting that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan be removed for bad behavior, judicial misconduct, and for bias against the self-employed. I had told Tony about Prosecutor Keith Courier threatening me with arrest and prison if I evicted prostitute Lana Thompson who would go to Keith in a short dress, big breasts prominently displayed, wearing high heals. I got a year in prison for resisting being beaten up on my own property. I had been stalked by the individual for weeks and he was openly threatening my life. For this I was sentenced to a year in prison! Keith Courier refused to make a plea deal for my having had to defend myself on my own property!

A man already in trouble for serious offenses, sexually assaults a 13 year old and gets probation! [that story]

* * * *
* * * *

Ritt Goldstein proposed Civilian Oversight of police to Connecticut Judiciary Committee Legislators at a special hearing at the Capitol. He was then so terrorized by police that he fled the US to seek political asylum in Sweden. The Mayor of Norwalk, CT, Bill Collins, talks about police wearing ski masks to beat them at abandoned waterfront warehouses. Video and story [found here] on

* * * *
* * * *

If you're getting divorced and have 20 million dollars, lawyers involved in the divorce case would want to put a freeze on the 20 million dollars thinking they can collect 20 million dollars for legal fees! [that story]

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Behavior only covered while working?

Are Connecticut Judicial Branch only immune from honest investigations, audits, and prosecution if they are "working" for taxpayer funds? [post]

Judicial License to Steal?

[click here for more]

* * * *
* * * *
* * * *

Court Officer Accused Of Larceny Forgery

The Hartford Courant

November 8, 2009

CHESTER (Connecticut) - The losing candidate for first selectman in Tuesday's election, who works as a state Supreme Court police officer, has been arrested on forgery and larceny charges related to the sale of a car.

Charles DellaRocco, 41, of Bartkiewicz Road, turned himself in at the Westbrook barracks on Thursday. He is due in Superior Court in Middletown Nov. 17.

DellaRocco is a former Old Saybrook police officer. He took a furlough day Friday and will be on desk duty when he returns to work, said a judicial department spokesperson. DellaRocco is charged with second-degree forgery and third-degree larceny. The police began their investigation in July.

— David Owens

* * * *
* * * *

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Email in from Barbara Johnson:

Supreme Court to decide whether absolute vs. qualified immunity for prosecutors‏

Behind the Black Robes: Failed Justice, available for purchase on or directly at


No one, including prosecutors and judges, should have immunity. Everyone must be accountable for what they do.


At Supreme Court: Can prosecutors be sued for framing defendants?

Two African-American men wrongly imprisoned for 25 years filed a lawsuit against prosecutors for fabricating evidence against them. The Supreme Court hears the case Wednesday.

By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

from the November 3, 2009 edition

Washington - The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question: Do Americans who have been framed by unscrupulous prosecutors for crimes they did not commit have a right to sue the prosecutors when the fraud is finally exposed?

According to the Obama administration, the answer is no.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan argues in a friend of the court brief that local, state, and federal prosecutors must enjoy absolute immunity from citizen lawsuits – even when they sent innocent men to prison for life by fabricating incriminating evidence and hiding exculpatory evidence.

Those are the allegations in a case from Iowa set for oral argument on Wednesday morning. According to legal briefs filed in the case, prosecutors in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, solicited false testimony implicating two innocent African-American teens in the murder of a recently retired police officer in 1977. At trial, the false testimony led to their convictions. They were sent to prison for life.

When the false testimony and other exculpatory evidence was discovered, the two innocent men, Curtis McGhee and Terry Harrington, were released after 25 years in prison. They filed a lawsuit against the prosecutors.

The question before the high court is whether the prosecutors can be held accountable in a civil trial or instead are entitled to absolute immunity from such lawsuits.

"If the allegations here are true, [the Iowa officials] engaged in prosecutorial misconduct of an execrable sort, involving a complete breach of the public trust," Solicitor General Kagan writes in her brief to the court. "But absolute immunity reflects a policy judgment that such conduct is properly addressed not through civil liability, but through a host of other deterrents and punishments."

Absolute vs. qualified immunity

Lawyers for Mr. McGhee and Mr. Harrington argue in their briefs that police officers who fabricate evidence do not enjoy such absolute protection from a civil lawsuit. They say prosecutors who actively participate in the pre-trial investigation of a case must be held to the same standard as police officers, detectives, and agents, who can be sued if they violate clearly-established constitutional rights.

"When law enforcement officers fabricate evidence with an intent to use it to deprive innocent citizens of their liberty, they violate the Constitution," writes Paul Clement, a former US Solicitor General who is arguing the case for McGhee and Harrington.

"The framing of innocent African-American citizens for a crime they did not commit, lies at the core of what Congress sought to prevent in the Civil Rights statutes," Mr. Clement says in his brief.

Lawyers for the two prosecutors counter that there is no constitutional right "not to be framed."

The critical question is whether the trial is fair, they say. The constitutional infraction occurs not when the false statements are first obtained, but when they are introduced at trial. Since prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity from lawsuits related to the actions they take at trial, any false testimony cannot form the basis of a lawsuit against a prosecutor, they say.

Attorneys general from 27 states and the District of Columbia filed a friend of the court brief urging the high court to embrace this broader view of absolute prosecutor immunity.

However, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Cato Institute, and the American Civil Liberties Union argue for a lower level of immunity that offers prosecutors protection from lawsuits except when they have violated a clearly-established constitutional right.

Confidence in justice system

New Jersey-based group Black Cops Against Police Brutality also filed a friend of the court brief in the case.

"This case is not just about drawing a good lawyerly line between precedents," writes Chicago lawyer Mark Herrmann in a brief for the group. "The facts are that Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee are black and once were young, and that [the murder victim] was white and had been a police captain. Together, these facts made it easy for [the prosecutors] and their accomplices to frame Harrington and McGhee for murder."

Mr. Herrmann writes: "We can imagine few rulings of this Court that would send a more negative message about American criminal justice than to permit white prosecutors to frame African-American suspects for the murder of a white police officer, admit the outrage, and then walk away with impunity, after their victims have wrongfully suffered twenty-five years in prison."

The case is Pottawattamie County, Iowa, v. McGhee and Harrington.


Barbara C. Johnson, Advocate of Court Reform and Attorney in Fact

Apdo #404-4013
Alajuela, Atenas, Atenas
20501-Costa Rica
SKYPE ID: barbaracjohnson74
Phone 506-2446-6724

Author: Behind the Black Robes: Failed Justice, available for purchase on or directly at
False Allegations:
Formerly, Participating Attorney:
Campaign 2002:
The judicial system is very broken. It must be fixed.
There are four people who can do the job:
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
Everybody thinks Somebody will surely do it.
It is a job Anybody can do. But Nobody is doing it.
At least I'm trying. What are you doing?
It is dangerous to be right
when the government is wrong.

All truth passes through three stages.

First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

* * * *
* * * *
* * * *

This blogger's email:

[click here] for Steven G. Erickson's July 24, 2009, letter text to Obama

Steven G. Erickson interviews Barbara C. Johnson by telephone:

* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Disbarred Massachusetts Attorney Barbara C. Johnson

Barbara C. Johnson, past candidate for Massachusetts Governor pictured with her fire engine.

Monday, November 02, 2009



Following is the current text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [ADA], including changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADA was originally enacted in public law format and later rearranged and published in the United States Code.

The United States Code is divided into titles and chapters that classify laws according to their subject matter. Titles I, II, III, and V of the original law are codified in Title 42, chapter 126, of the United States Code beginning at section 12101. Title IV of the original law is codified in Title 47, chapter 5, of the United States Code. Since this codification resulted in changes in the numbering system, the Table of Contents provides the section numbers of the ADA as originally enacted in brackets after the codified section numbers and headings.

Three versions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended are provided below. The first is the text with the amendments incorporated. The second version shows the text with the amendments highlighted by strike through text for deletions and bold text for additions. The third version shows the same highlighted content with additional coding for people who use screen readers.

Current text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 incorporating the changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. (HTML) (PDF)
Text showing the changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 with deleted language shown as strike through font and new language shown in bold font. (HTML)
Text showing the changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 with deleted language shown as strike through font and new language shown in bold font with coding for access by people who use screen readers. (HTML)
Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, before changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (HTML) [archive].

ADA Home Page ADA Publications Enforcement Site Map Search

Last updated, March 25, 2009

* * * *

The above found:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

More common than not?

Home > News > Connecticut News

2 Trials Might Include Corruption Allegations Involving Shelton Officials, Builders

By EDMUND H. MAHONY The Hartford Courant

November 1, 2009

SHELTON — - A half-dozen years ago, at the peak of a building boom reshaping the Naugatuck Valley, a hot-tempered developer of strip malls named James Botti boasted that he had enough evidence of small-town graft to "collapse town hall" just by calling the FBI.

"I can do that," Botti said.

Botti had the collapsing part right, the FBI now says. The roof fell in, figuratively. The problem for Botti is that it fell on him after someone else made the call.

On Monday,Botti is scheduled to go on trial in federal court in New Haven after six years of investigation and an indictment, in which he is quoted on the integrity of local government. He is charged with hiding cash and then distributing it among city offices in Shelton to expedite his development projects.

It is small-fee, small-town stuff compared with the string of corruption cases that, over the past decade, sent two of Connecticut's big city mayors, a former state treasurer and former Gov. John G. Rowland to prison.

The backdrop to the charges against Botti was a development boom driven by homeowners priced out of Fairfield County, just to the west. Botti was competing to win local government approvals to do his part to transform the Naugatuck Valley's gritty factory towns into high end suburbs. If the allegations in the indictment are proved, they could besmirch the reputations of several builders and public figures in Shelton, the fastest growing of the rapidly changing valley towns.

Chief among those figures is longtime Mayor Mark Lauretti, who, as misfortune would have it, will wrap up his campaign for a record 10th term just as the trial unfolds. Lauretti is a political power in the lower Naugatuck Valley, a pro-development, anti-tax Republican regularly touted as a future congressman.

Lauretti is neither named nor charged in the indictment. But over the course of pretrial arguments it has been disclosed that he is the mysterious "Public Official #1" in the indictment. Botti is accused of bribing Public Official #1 with cash, benefits and favors. In return, the indictment says, the official used his political muscle to push Botti projects through town boards, in particular the inland wetlands and planning and zoning commissions.

The indictment says Botti began conspiring with Public Official #1 early in 2002, when Botti, through intermediaries, paid for an addition to the official's house. Building records show that Lauretti applied in February 2002 to add an attached, two-car garage and expanded living space to his home.

Coincidentally, it was widely reported about two years later that businessmen pursuing state contracts did free renovation work at Rowland's cottage upriver in Litchfield. Botti was overheard telling an associate that "what the governor did was nothing compared to what was done at" Lauretti's house, according to the indictment.

Within weeks of the Rowland reports, Lauretti wrote Botti a belated check for $19,654, the indictment says.

The indictment refers specifically to two commercial developments undertaken by Botti in Shelton, projects known as Crown Point and 828 Bridgeport Avenue.

Two months after Crown Point was approved in March 2004, the indictment says, Botti wrote a check for $8,925 to a business Lauretti owned "for services purportedly rendered." At the time, Lauretti owned a restaurant in Shelton.

The approval process for 828 Bridgeport Avenue, a Chili's restaurant and two other businesses, was more complicated. The planning and zoning commission signaled its lack of support for the project with a preliminary 4-2 vote against it on June 13, 2006 — even though, the indictment says, Botti packed the hearing with his employees, who supported the development without revealing where they worked.

Both Botti and Lauretti lobbied commission members to turn the vote around, according to the indictment, and Lauretti instructed an unidentified commission member to line up supportive votes and put the project back on the commission agenda. The project was approved a week later, 4-2.

Botti gave three of the commission members gift certificates, and, according to the indictment, provided the fourth with $2,000 for an event Botti held at his business.

Lauretti was "permitted to take cash from Botti's office safe," the indictment says. The amount is not stated, but elsewhere in the indictment Botti is accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in the safe in violation of federal cash reporting law.

The U.S. attorney's office will not discuss the Shelton investigation or Lauretti's alleged involvement. Prosecutors have not identified him as Public Official #1, but sources with knowledge of the case did when Botti was indicted in November 2008. When Botti's lawyer, William F. Dow III, identified the mayor late last month as a target of the Botti investigation during an unusually forthright hearing in federal court, prosecutors did not disagree.

Lauretti, in an interview, didn't address the allegations specifically, but implied that, eventually, they will be shown to be no more than political muck slung by partisan opponents.

"Over the years I've been accused of many, many things," he said. "Political adversaries have filed complaints with state agencies. The state's attorney investigated a road that we paved. I'm just going to say, which one of these allegations has come true? In 18 years, which one has come true? I'm not going to be the one to answer that. But people down here know the answer.

— - "Historically, I've never interfered with ongoing investigations. I've let them run their course. It's very difficult for me to sit on the sidelines and say nothing. Very difficult. My city is prospering, big time. I do my job. And this whole thing is unfair. It's unfair to me and it's unfair to the city."

Switching to campaign mode, Lauretti said that, in the midst of general economic collapse, he is not raising taxes, not cutting services and not seeking municipal employee givebacks, and he predicted that the value of taxable property in Shelton will increase this year.

"Who else can say that?" he asked. "There is a clear record of consistency in how I've done things. And this is a new level of attack. I think more and more people will become aware of Shelton as time goes on and it won't be this dark cloud that is trying to be portrayed by some."

Chris Jones, Lauretti's Democratic opponent for mayor, also declined to wade into the particulars of the investigation but suggested it may create enough of a distraction to keep Lauretti from governing effectively.

"Right now the question is not about guilt or innocence," Jones said. "The question is: Is the mayor governing the city of Shelton effectively with this black cloud over Shelton?"

Botti declined comment through his attorney.

The silence by federal prosecutors on the subject of Lauretti has led to speculation among the defense bar that the prosecution has been unable to use Botti to implicate the mayor. Two days after Botti was indicted, the U.S. attorney's office charged his 80-year-old father with conspiring to help his son illegally structure cash transactions. The elder Botti has pleaded guilty, but no sentencing date has been set.

Botti is charged with conspiracy to defraud the citizens of Shelton of honest government; bribery; mail fraud; conspiracy to illegally structure cash transactions; illegally structuring transactions; and making false statements to the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted, he could be imprisoned and ordered to forfeit money or property.

On Sept. 22, Senior U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. granted a motion by Botti when he ruled that prosecutors will have to try Botti twice: first, on Monday, on charges related to structuring of cash transactions, and later on corruption-related charges. Haight agreed with the defense that the two sets of charges are sufficiently distinct to merit separate trials.

Some of the most intriguing disclosures about the investigation emerged in the pretrial sparring leading to Haight's ruling. Dow asserted that two more well-known southwestern Connecticut developers are unindicted co-conspirators. He said two witnesses have been granted immunity. He said the government obtained orders for two wiretaps that were used "against Lauretti" and that "four or five" people allowed the FBI to record their conversations.

Some memorable remarks are attributed to Botti in the indictment. He once predicted that Lauretti would not interfere with one of his projects because Lauretti owed him money. Elsewhere, he announced that, should Lauretti or any other officeholder in Shelton "interfere" with him, he would blow the whistle on the corrupt activities of "17 developers and a good chunk of town hall."

It was disclosed during pretrial argument in late September that Haight has repeatedly instructed Botti to tone down his language. Prosecutors accused Botti of using intimidation in an effort to influence his wife's testimony at his trial. The couple is divorcing. Prosecutors said they intend to call Botti's wife to testify about her knowledge of his structuring of cash transactions.

Haight also warned Botti after he walked into the Shelton Police Department and made a rude remark about another man. Dow said the remark was allegedly inspired by Botti's concern over his wife's new, live-in boyfriend.

A 20-year member of the inland wetland commission triggered the investigation in 2002 when he called the FBI to express concern about a ruling by the planning and zoning commission. It is Connecticut's first, significant public corruption case since Rowland's sentencing in March 2005.

View My Stats