More Officials Being Prosecuted: Good News

The first thing that I talk about in the introductory videos is the idea that one must believe it is possible to complain against official wrongdoers and actually have it mean something and have a potential for success.

Below are some of the latest cases that have been reported in the news of lawsuits and successful prosecutions against official wrongdoers.

Never lose sight of the fact that you need to act in your own situation, gather the evidence and file a complaint and legal claim to have any hope of being compensated and/or preventing others from suffering the same fate is yourself.

I see more more examples of officials being prosecuted for their wrongdoing in office and that is a good thing for all of us….


Judge awards $15 billion to Quebec smokers; companies to appeal

In a ruling described as “historic” by one lawyer, a Quebec judge has ordered three major cigarette companies to pay $15 billion to smokers in what is believed to be the biggest class-action lawsuit ever seen in Canada. “These three companies lied to their customers for 50 years and hurt their right to life,” Andre Lesperance, one of the lawyers involved in the case, said Monday. For Lise Blais, the judgment was bittersweet.


Edmonton police chief says more officers admit to steroid use

Edmonton’s police chief says more police officers have come forward to admit to steroid use since two officers were charged with selling the drugs in March. Chief Rod Knecht made the remarks during an informal chat with reporters at police headquarters on Friday morning. Knecht didn’t have specific numbers on how many officers have come forward, saying he couldn’t comment specifically as the internal investigation is still underway.


Lawyer for ex-Quebec lieutenant-governor Thibault seeks leniency in fraud case

Former Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault [convicted of fraud] deserves leniency because she was a kind of “Robin Hood” for the disabled, her lawyer said Thursday during sentencing arguments at her fraud trial. Marc Labelle said the wheelchair-bound Thibault distributed about $1.5 million from her foundation to help the disabled — a charitable act he said the judge should consider as a mitigating factor when deciding her sentence. “She was a sort of Robin Hood who distributed $1.5 million,” he told Judge Carol St-Cyr.


Global banks admit guilt in forex probe, fined nearly $6 billion

By Karen Freifeld, David Henry and Steve Slater NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Four major banks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and, with two others, were fined nearly $6 billion in another settlement in a global probe into the $5 trillion-a-day market. Citigroup Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co , Barclays Plc , UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc were accused by U.S. and UK officials of brazenly cheating clients to boost their own profits using invitation-only chat rooms and coded language to coordinate their trades. “The penalty all these banks will now pay is fitting, considering the long-running and egregious nature of their anticompetitive conduct,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a news conference in Washington.

PENDING? – Information commissioner wants Mounties charged; government rewrites the law

An unprecedented Conservative bid to rewrite the law in order to retroactively erase the RCMP’s mishandling of gun registry records sets the table for legislated, after-the-fact cover-ups of far more serious crimes, Canada’s information commissioner declared Thursday. In a damning new report tabled in Parliament, Suzanne Legault concluded that the practice establishes a “perilous precedent” of rewriting laws — one that could jeopardize the ability of authorities to prosecute electoral fraud or other government scandals. Legault recommended almost two months ago that charges be laid against the RCMP for its role in withholding and destroying gun registry data.

Gun registry access law change could set precedent, watchdog warns MPs

Parliamentarians should consider the precedent being set before supporting government amendments to the Access to Information Act that would retroactively protect the RCMP from prosecution for destroying long-gun registry records, Canada’s information commissioner says. “I think when this bill is being debated and when this bill is voted upon in Parliament that each parliamentarian has to look at himself or herself in the mirror and decide whether their integrity allows them to vote for this bill,” Suzanne Legault told CBC News in an interview. Legault accuses the Mounties of destroying registry records after she told them to preserve the data while she investigated a complaint from a requester who asked for the information.

Lino Zambito pleads guilty to fraud, conspiracy

One of the star witnesses at the province’s corruption commission hearings, Lino Zambito [former mayor of Boisbriand], has pleaded guilty to several charges including fraud and conspiracy stemming from a cash for contracts scheme involving the former mayor of Boisbriand. The

Duke pleads guilty in federal court to environmental crimes, agrees to pay $102 million fine

Duke Energy has pleaded guilty in federal court to environmental crimes and has agreed to pay $102 million in fines and restitution over years of illegal pollution leaking from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants. The company’s plea to nine misdemeanour counts involving violations of the Clean Water Act was part of a negotiated settlement with federal prosecutors. Prosecutors say the nation’s largest electricity company engaged in unlawful dumping at coal-fired power plants in Eden, Moncure, Asheville, Goldsboro and Mt. Holly.


Mike Duffy precedent means Senate has little choice but to suspend overspenders

[more senators being investigated pending new charges] The Senate may have have no choice but to suspend any current senators flagged by the auditor general for improper spending because that’s what was done to Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, some legal experts say. “I think they should be treated the same way as Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau,” says University of Ottawa law professor Pierre Thibault. Just what the Conservative leadership in the Senate is thinking about this isn’t at all clear.

Judge sentences 3 ex-SaskTel managers to jail for fraud

Three former SaskTel employees who were found guilty of defrauding the Crown corporation are going to jail. On Friday, a Queen’s Bench judge sentenced Joan Yasinowski, Barry Richardson and Dan Crites, all ex-managers at the phone company, to 18 months in jail. An investigation was launched in 2009 after SaskTel called in the RCMP.


US appeals court rules NSA’s bulk collection of phone records is illegal, asks Congress to act

The unprecedented and unwarranted bulk collection of Americans’ phone records by the government is illegal because it wasn’t authorized by Congress, a federal appeals court said Thursday as it asked legislators to decide how to balance national security and privacy interests. The National Security Agency’s collection and storage of U.S. landline calling records — times, dates and numbers but not content of the calls — was the most controversial program among many disclosed in 2013 by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden. Some NSA officials opposed the program, and independent evaluations have found it of limited value as a counterterrorism tool.

Not a prosecution but a win…

Philadelphia family wins back seized rare Double Eagle gold coins possibly worth $80 million

A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict. U.S. Department of the Treasury officials insist the $20 Double Eagles were stolen from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia before the 1933 series was melted down when the country went off the gold standard. Langbord’s father, jeweler Israel Switt, had dealings with the Mint in the 1930s and was twice investigated over his coin holdings.

Jordan MacWilliams, Delta police officer charged with murder, claims victim pointed gun

A Delta, B.C., police officer charged with second-degree murder claims he shot a hostage-taker out of fear the man would kill himself or others. Jordan MacWilliams says Mehrdad Bayrami pointed a gun at members of an emergency response team seconds before he was shot. “Mr. Bayrami moved the position of the handgun in his right hand from pointing more or less straight up in the air to a position where it was levelled and pointed in the direction of Constable MacWilliams,” the response reads.

Disgraced Corner Brook cop Sean Kelly sentenced to 10 months

Sean Kelly, a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer who was founded guilty of making an indecent phone call as well as a mischief charge, was given a jail sentence Monday. Judge Wayne Gorman sentenced Kelly to 10 months on both counts: six months

G20 officer committed battery, violated rights of protester, court rules

A police officer who gained widespread notoriety for telling a protester at the infamous G20 summit that “this ain’t Canada right now” committed battery when he manhandled him, Ontario’s top court has concluded. The ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal overturns a lower court finding that Sgt. Mark Charlebois had only touched Paul Figueiras at the June 2010 event in downtown Toronto. “Even if Sgt. Charlebois was authorized to stop Mr. Figueiras and demand that he submit to a search, I do not accept that the grabbing and pushing that occurred here were ‘necessary’ to achieve this purpose,” the Appeal Court found.

‘Roller Girl’ Angela Dawson wins $15K damages from Vancouver police

Dawson, who was born with the legal name Jeffrey Allan Dawson, claimed she was entitled to be treated as a woman by police, but that in six separate incidents with police, she was mistreated and identified as a man. Vancouver Police Board has now been ordered to pay Dawson $15,000 as damages for “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect,” after the tribunal found the treatment she received amounted to discrimination on the basis of her sex.


Texas state bar asks court to punish prosecutor for handling of 1992 death penalty arson case

A prosecutor who handled the case of a Texas man executed for the fire deaths of his three daughters has been formally accused of misconduct over allegations that he concealed evidence during the 1992 murder trial. The State Bar of Texas has asked a court to discipline John H. Jackson following questions raised by the New York-based Innocence Project, which investigates potential wrongful convictions. Jackson was the lead prosecutor against Cameron Todd Willingham, whose case has become a flashpoint for death penalty opponents who contend that he was wrongly executed.

Military cops guilty of “wrongdoing and incompetence” in suicide case: Kenney

Defence Minister Jason Kenney says a report by a federal watchdog has clearly demonstrated military police were guilty of “wrongdoing and incompetence” in their investigations, and he promises to fix that. The watchdog said it identified “serious flaws” in three separate investigations into Langridge’s death, and painted a portrait of a police service where officers were unsupervised and even lacking in basic policing techniques. The report included 46 recommendations for improvement, the vast majority of which were rejected by the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service, which oversees military cops.

60s Scoop: Aboriginal adoptees sue Ottawa for loss of culture, emotional trauma

David Chartrand, who joined the lawsuit, was taken from his Manitoba family at the age of five and moved to Minnesota. A class-action lawsuit by some survivors in Ontario in 2009 is still making its way through the courts.