The Teamster Indictments: Putting the Fear of God into Local 25

2015 08 21_3000The four of the five Local Teamsters 25 defendants are described as members of Local 25; the fifth, defendant Mark Harrington is its secretary-treasurer who is usually the guy who runs the show.

They are all charged with extortion under the Hobbs Act or conspiring to extort property of the Top Chef company namely: “money to be paid as wages for imposed, unwanted, and unnecessary and superfluous services” through the “wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear of economic and physical harm to [Top Chef] and others.”

The indictment sets out the acts leading up the crime. It first tells how Top Chef came to the area and had filmed shows at the Museum of Science, Fenway Park and Cheers. (Didn’t Boston U.S. Attorney say they were chased out of Boston. That hardly seems the case but then again Ortiz likes to use bombastic language.) Now here are the criminal acts set out in the indictment.

The Strange Federal Case of Boston Police Detective Brian Smiglieski

2015 08 21_3000On September 8, 2015, the prosecutors in Fred Wyshak’s Public Corruption Unit brought a charge by means of an information against Boston Police Detective Brian Smigielski for actions that took place between late 2009 and April 2011, four years after the last incident.  The charge was a conspiracy to defraud the United States as set out in 18 U.S.C. s. 371,

That law reads: “If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

Smigielski is describes as: “a highly decorated detective.” Smiglielski in March 2014 was awarded the Boston police commissioner’s commendation for a 2013 arrest; likewise in 2008 he received the award for catching a suspect after shots were fired; and in 2009 he was awarded the state’s George Hanna Medal of Valor after he was hit in the head while he chased a man with a loaded gun into a backyard. Though stunned, he stopped the suspect from fleeing over a fence and arrested him.

The Inanity of Federal Secrecy: Everything Must Be Hidden in the Fog

2015 08 21_3000Here’s part of the language in the indictment against the five teamsters who are charged with extortion by violation of the Hobbs Act.

“Beginning in the spring of 2014, Company A, a non-union production company, began scouting locations to film . . . in Boston.”

Why is the identity of the company hidden in the indictment? All the articles tell us it is the “Top Chef” company. Would it be too difficult to spell it out in the indictment?

Then there is:

“On or about June 9, a representative from the City of Boston called the Omni Parker House?”

At some point we are going to find out who that person is. Why is it hidden at this point?

And this:

“[A] producer for Company A had a conversation with a Local 25 official.”

You would think both the producer and the local company official had no names. Why aren’t they named?  Is there a problem with identifying them at this time?

We are told that Company A was planning to film in Milton. (I wonder why they put the name of the town in the indictment. For consistency should they not have said “a town in Massachusetts.”)

Are Some People Too Big To Prosecute? How Money Rules Our Prosecutors

justice weepsThe laws I have set out below are being openly flaunted by people and nothing is being done. Walking through South Station the other day billboards announcing the ongoing taking of these bets were everywhere; watching football on television over last weekend it appeared that the people running these gaming operations were closing in on spending the same amount as the beer or automobile advertisers.

The Patriot Ledger reported on September 17, 2015, that Attorney General Maura Healey was “reviewing the legality of the Boston-based fantasy sports website Draft Kings.” Another article about her is here.

What is there to review? Fantasy football is pure and simply gambling.

You want the real proof it is gambling well here is DraftKing’s site. Here’s what it says: “Build your team in only minutes and watch your scores update live online.” What skill is involved in that? Absolutely none. Anyone with enough money can take a chance.

You want more proof it is pure chance. I could go on the site and construct my own team. I know next to nothing about the teams or the players. Any chance of me winning would be pure chance and that is why its operation is a felony under the Massachusetts General laws.

Mayor Martin Walsh’s Sit Down When It Was Time To Stand Tall

IMG_2796Here we go again. Are we going to see the old one-two-three-four play? Most of us are now familiar with the act. It has been used too often to fool us.

The steps are one, the editorial or spotlight report slanting the facts; two, the follow-up news stories, three, the columnists then carrying the ball, and four, the Boston U.S. attorney getting involved.

The last time we saw this it involved a taxi cab owner who was a real mean guy who made his drivers earn every penny they made. A spotlight started it;  news stories,  columnists,  and a raid by the U.S. attorney followed along in step.

The only problem with the last time it played there was no allegation the cab owner committed any crimes. As of yet it isn’t criminal to be a cheap old rich guy who treats his employees poorly. So why did Boston U.S. attorney conduct a raid? For that matter how did she get a search warrant to raid the taxi company with agents and cops running in with drawn guns where there was no crime? It all remains a big mystery. Was it done by the U.S. attorney just to please the demands of the newspaper with the spotlight?

How The Massachusetts Judges Stuck It to The Massachusetts People

hare_2074103iYears ago when I was a young man the people of the Commonwealth got fed up with having judges who were very old deciding cases. At one time in Massachusetts a judge could sit in judgment of people even if the judge could no longer make a decision for himself or herself. Like we have today in the federal court, there was no age limit on a judges sitting on the bench. An appointment for life meant that. Once the judge fit on the robes the people were stuck with him or her forever and ever and ever.

You understand that to get a Constitutional Amendment passed in the state it takes quite a bit of work. That is especially so when it involves something most people seem to have little concern over which is the ability of a person in the robes to make proper decisions. The Legislature in Massachusetts has shown its concern over and over again by passing laws that dictate a person convicted of certain crimes must do a mandatory sentence. Those laws exist because the Legislature determined that some judges no matter their age were just unable to appreciate the gravity of these crimes and were not sufficiently punishing people.

It’s A Good Job if You Can Get It: Full Pay and Perks for 1/4 Time Work

() judgeHere’s a situation that occurs more often than you think. You will probably glow with envy hearing about it. You may think it is not true. But it is so pay close attention. Imagine that you are into your middle to late sixties. You feel yourself getting worn down and wanted to ease up a bit. You decide to do something about it.

You go into your boss, Smiley Goodfellow. You tell him the work is getting a little too much and you’d like to spend more time away from the office. Smiley listens and sympathetically suggests perhaps this is a time for you to retire. He says: “You know having worked here 15 years you are entitled to get 100% of the pay you are making. You can go off into the wide blue yonder and do what you damn please.”

You say to Smiley: “Yeah, boss, I know that. But I don’t know what I would do in retirement. What I’d like is this. I want to keep my title. I’m sort of fond of it now and I like the way people squirm in front of me. I want my full pay, I want to keep my office,secretary, clerks and all the other perquisites I now have. I want nothing to change but I want to only work no more than a ten-hour week.”

Black Massacre – Boston’s U.S. Attorney’s Woeful And Evil Pursuit of A Good Man

hare_2074103iNone of us like to be wrong. That goes in spades for government agencies such as the U.S. attorney’s office in a place like Boston or the FBI wherever it is located. You make a bad decision based on warped ideas or biased inputs and then find having started down the road you fear turning back toward the truth. So you double down and twist and turn situations to have them fit your erroneous original assumptions.

The most fundamental error in the Whitey Bulger saga which when looked at objectively is how the truth has been massacred. To do this, Whitey Bulger has had to be elevated far beyond his second-rate hoodlum status to one, as described by one of the authors benefiting from this elevation, as the most evil man on the planet. How that could possibly apply to Whitey, when even among his associates greater evil was to be found, shows how having erred in the beginning the Whitey pursuers have to reach to heights of absurdity to keep the show going on.