Rasmea Odeh, a long-time activist in Chicago after her immigration to the U.S., participates in protest against U.S. killings by police.

Rasmea Odeh, a long-time activist in Chicago after her immigration to the U.S, participates in protest against killings by U.S. police.

Court unanimously says U.S. Detroit Judge Gershwin Drain erred in refusing to allow testimony about Odeh’s torture, rape by Israeli military

By Charlotte Silver

EIThe Electronic Intifada

February 25, 2016

A US court of appeals vacated the conviction of Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh on Thursday, returning her case to the district judge for a possible retrial.

U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain

U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain

In November 2014, Odeh, 68, was convicted of immigration fraud for failing to disclose her 1969 arrest and conviction by the Israeli military on her immigration and naturalization documents filed respectively in 1994 and 2005.

Her lawyers appealed her conviction on the basis that US District Judge Gershwin Drain had denied Odeh the opportunity to present a complete defense by prohibiting her from speaking about the torture and abuse she endured that led to her signing a false confession in 1969.

Drain refused to allow Odeh to call Mary Fabri, an expert on torture, who had submitted an affidavit for the defense stating that that Odeh suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from her torture, including rape, by Israeli interrogators.

Torture testimony

Fabri testified that Odeh’s PTSD may have affected her state of mind when she failed to disclose her military court conviction on her citizenship application.

Protest at U.S. District Court in Detroit during Rasmea's trial.

Protest at U.S. District Court in Detroit during Rasmea’s trial.

The panel of three justices reviewed Fabri’s testimony and unanimously agreed that the trial judge erred on his basis for excluding it from Odeh’s trial.

Judge Drain had barred it on the basis that Odeh was charged with a “general intent” crime rather than a “specific intent” crime – a legal distinction he held would make her state of mind irrelevant to the case.

“Regardless of whether [it] was a specific or general intent crime,” the ruling states, “Dr. Fabri’s proffered testimony is relevant to whether Odeh knew that her statements were false.”

Now Judge Drain must determine if there is another basis on which to exclude the expert testimony. Failing that, Odeh will be allowed to have a new a trial with the expert testimony.

Attorney Michael Deutsch with Rasmea Odeh.

Attorney Michael Deutsch with Rasmea Odeh.

“I feel confident she will get a new trial,” Michael Deutsch, Odeh’s lead attorney, told The Electronic Intifada.

“I don’t see another reasonable reason to exclude the expert testimony.”

Deutsch called the appellate court’s ruling a “a great victory.”

The Rasmea Defense Committee is calling today’s decision a “partial victory.”

“The conviction wasn’t overturned altogether, but at least Judge Drain will be forced to rethink his decision on the torture evidence,” Nesreen Hasan said in a press release.

The Center for Constitutional Rights had filed a brief supporting Odeh’s appeal, on behalf of five organizations with expertise on the impact of torture, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, Bellevue/NYU Program For Survivors of Torture, Public Committee Against Torture In Israel, REDRESS and the World Organization Against Torture.

Prejudicial material

The Israeli military has been exposed for its rampant beatings and torture of Palestinian children.

The Israeli military has been exposed for its rampant beatings and torture of Palestinian children.

Odeh’s defense had also argued that the government should not have been permitted to use Israeli military court documents during Odeh’s trial.

The documents included the Israeli military’s indictment against Odeh.

In 1969, Odeh was convicted of helping coordinate two bombings in West Jerusalem that caused the death of two civilians.

Odeh maintained that the conviction by an Israeli military court was the result of her prolonged torture.

Her defense argued that these details were prejudicial in a trial that was concerned with alleged immigration fraud, not her decades-old conviction.

One of the justices in the appellate court agreed that those details should have been excluded.

Attorney Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada that if there is a retrial, Odeh’s defense will argue again that those military court documents should be left out of the courtroom.


Related from VOD:



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Ironically, Judge Hathaway sat on the Judicial Tenure Commission until Dec. 31, 2015. He is in second row at right.

Ironically, Judge Hathaway sat on the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission until Dec. 31, 2015. He is in second row at right.


Hathaway gave security guard Tigh Croff PROBATION after he chased and killed unarmed homeless grandfather Herbert Silas in cold blood

Judge Vonda Evans gave killer cop William Melendez  13 mos. to 10 years in near-fatal beating of Floyd Dent

 Hathaway likens Detroit grandmother, caregiver to criminal banks, Bernie Madoff

 Prominent attorneys filed motions to recuse Hathaway for “extreme bias” in Homrich 9 water-shutoffs trial 

Join the “Free Mary Stafford Committee,” call her daughter Monique Stafford at 313-458-6464

By Diane Bukowski 

February 17, 2016 

Mary Stafford

DETROIT— Comparing her to global banks which caused the 2008 mortgage meltdown and to Bernie Madoff, author of the largest financial fraud in U.S. history, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway yesterday sent 66-year-old grandmother and long-time Detroit community advocate and caregiver Mary A. Stafford to prison for one to 10 and one to five years on two charges involving a Wells Fargo mortgage she was not party to.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Stafford is now housed at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti.  Send letters of support to her at Mrs. Mary Stafford, #972040, 3201 Bemis Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197-0911. She can also be reached by signing up for JPay, at www.jpay.com .  Emails and funds can be sent through JPay, as well as photos and Ecards. Funds for Mary’s legal defense can be sent to https://www.crowdrise.com/vindicatingmaryoffalsechargesbygovernmentterrorists5.

In contrast to Stafford’s brutal sentencing for a non-violent crime in which the alleged “victim,” Wells Fargo, says they never asked for prosecution, Judge Hathaway sentenced security guard Tigh Croff to PROBATION in 2011 for shooting unarmed 52-year-old grandfather Herbert Silas to death after chasing him down the street. When Silas turned around with his hands up, Croff told him he was going to kill him, and then did so. Hathaway reduced Croff’s original second-degree murder charge to manslaughter. In chambers, he told the prosecution and defense he would have done the same thing. Croff had testified he thought Silas was going to break into his house.

Tigh Croff

Tigh Croff

The prosecution moved unsuccessfully to disqualify Hathaway from hearing the case. To see what kind of person Hathaway freed, look at Croff ‘s XXX-rated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tigh.croff.

“We love you, Mary Ann,” her family and friends called out to her as she was escorted out by a Deputy Sheriff for processing into the Michigan Department of Corrections system.

“Free my mama,” her daughter Monique Stafford said afterwards. “She has never done anything, not even get a parking ticket, except spend her life taking care of other people.”

At the age of 50, Stafford donated a kidney to Monique, who had gone into renal failure, becoming one of the first living organ donors. Stafford explained this in a letter to the judge. On February 16, Monique had just come home from hospitalization for pneumonia, but raced to her parents’ house to be with her father in the wake of her mother’s incarceration.

Staffords' home on Gilchrist for 25 years. Clifford Stafford was a UAW worker for 37 years.

Staffords’ home on Gilchrist for 25 years. Clifford Stafford was a UAW worker for 37 years. The family was illegally foreclosed on and lost the home. After that, they fought for the rights of others in the same plight.

For 25 years, while Stafford and her husband Clifford lived at 15474 Gilchrist, she acted as latchkey caregiver to all the children on the block who got home before their parents made it back from work. She even cared for the children of Emmett and Trenise Wyldon.

The latter individual, the actual signer of the mortgage in question, was charged as a co-defendant in the case, said she would inform on the Staffords and others, and got her charges dismissed.

The Michigan Department of Corrections probation report noted that Stafford had taken care of her six younger siblings growing up, had never been convicted of any offense, and made only $700 a month in Social Security benefits. That report recommended an 18-month sentence of probation.

Bernard L. Madoff leaves US Federal Court January 14, 2009 after a hearing pending trial. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Bernard L. Madoff leaves US Federal Court January 14, 2009 after a hearing pending trial.  TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Hathaway commented cynically, “Well Bernie Madoff didn’t have a criminal record either.”

Stafford’s sentence was almost identical to that earlier handed down to former cop William Melendez, 13 months to 10 years for the near-fatal beating of motorist Floyd Dent in January, 2015. Melendez was earlier sued in a dozen cases in federal court, two involving killings of unarmed men.

The Wayne County Prosecutor listed Wells Fargo Bank as the complainant in the case, which involved a mortgage on a Belleville, Michigan home obtained by Trenise Wyldon. Wells Fargo, however, told VOD they had never asked for a criminal prosecution. They said any criminal restitution charges should go to Fannie Mae instead.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas said Fannie Mae, not listed as a complainant, had already received $206,748 plus insurance costs for the sale of the house, and was not asking for restitution. However, Hathaway set restitution at $75,000.

But Douglas then re-worked the sentencing guidelines in the case to a higher level of 10, with Stafford assessed as a “leader” in the alleged offenses over her husband and previous co-defendant Wyldon, the actual signatory to the mortgage. Judge Hathaway nodded approval every step of the way. Wyldon was earlier tried on a misdemeanor count of filing a false credit request, pled guilty, then had her charges dismissed after she agreed to testify against others in the case.

Attorney Anthony Lubkin

Attorney Anthony Lubkin

Attorney Anthony Lubkin, who represented Clifford Stafford at the preliminary exam before 36th District Court judge Ronald Giles, earlier told VOD that Judge Hathaway had agreed Sept. 2 to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence, including Wyldon’s missing testimony, in response to briefs he filed after the exam, then mysteriously changed his mind Sept. 8 and set a trial date.

“What happened in those six days to change his mind?” Lubkin asked. Hathaway was appointed to his position in 2001 and then ran for re-election three times. He is up for re-election this November, but he has asked the Secretary of State for an exemption on filing his campaign finance reports.

Lubkin said he had recommended that the Staffords’ new attorneys, Patrick McQueeney and Steve Lockhart, file an interlocutory motion to the Appeals Court objecting to setting the trial. That was never done.

On the court record Dec. 4, the last day of Stafford’s trial, Hathaway firmly ordered an evidentiary Ginther hearing on a pro se motion for a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel, even after Stafford said she had changed her mind and wanted to withdraw the motion for the hearing.  But on Feb. 16 Hathaway said he was holding a “third” sentencing hearing after earlier reschedulings.

Atty. Craig Tank

Atty. Craig Tank

Stafford’s newly-retained attorney Craig Tank made no motion for the record objecting to a sentencing hearing, although he had been retained to conduct the Ginther hearing. He later told this reporter that Ginther hearings are only held AFTER sentencing hearings, a legal falsehood.

In his first meeting with them, Tank told the Staffords that charges of “obstruction of justice” for filing a “quiet title” lawsuit in the case using two attorneys, and then making a complaint to the Wayne County Deed Fraud Task Force, violated their First Amendment rights. He said nothing of the sort during sentencing.

Tank never obtained the trial transcripts prior to the hearing, as he told the Staffords would do, and repeatedly said he had not been present at the trial. He told Hathaway, “All I ask the court to do is give a sentence tempered by justice and fairness,” never once asserting any belief in his client’s innocence.

Stafford told VOD before the hearing that Tank had “promised” her she would get probation, an unethical promise also made by her previous attorney Steve Lockhart. Sentencing is solely up to the judge, even if he DOES promise something off the record.

Hathawaybiasbox2Judge Hathaway, dressed in wrinkled clothing and at times mixing up facts, painted Stafford as an incorrigible villain guilty of extreme offenses.

“Nationally, we experienced the greatest crisis in history, the 2008-09 mortgage meltdown and deep recession which followed, a huge disaster,” Hathaway opined. “One can actually point to and ascribe blame to specific individuals and organizations, cite the excesses, fraud and greed of the mortgage banking industry, with dozens if not hundreds of mortgage bankers who should be in prison. The lender [Wells Fargo] in this case was abysmally negligent, the mortgage brokers and title insurance companies downright crooked, but they could not act without crooked borrowers who had no intention to pay back the loans.”

Hathaway then repeated an act of misconduct committed by AP Douglas at trial, saying, “You could see her [Stafford’s] signature right up there on the screen. Anybody that saw the evidence could not have come to any other conclusion.”

Douglas had displayed a clearly Xeroxed copy of a warranty deed (a line ran down the middle because the Xerox was running out of ink), next to Stafford’s original signature on the Deed Fraud Task Force complaint, and asked the jury to use their own judgment as if they were certified forensic handwriting experts.

Deed Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams-Jones testified during trial that she had whited out the signature on the alleged original of the document, made 30 copies, and had Stafford sign each one, contradicting a Michigan State forensic examiner’s advice to obtain 30 DIFFERENT examples of Stafford’s signature on OTHER documents made PRIOR to the execution of the questioned document.

Deed Fraud Task Force Invest. Mary Jones, a 25-year police department veteran with no real estate training.

Deed Fraud Task Force Invest. Mary Jones, a 25-year police department veteran with no real estate training.

Douglas could easily have used one of those copies for display on the screen.

Stafford contended all along that she was a victim of identity theft, that the name of her company and her own name and signature had been stolen for the profit of others, and that neither she nor her husband was present at any session in which the Belleville home was purchased.

Bank records show Stafford signed a $44,000 check from Reliant Title over to Valerie Kauth of the same company. Kauth also endorsed a check made out to “Private Consumer Consulting Services” although she had no business connection to the Staffords’ company at all. Other parties referred to as complicit but not charged by Judge Hathaway:


Uncharged parties in Nautica ripoff: Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, Valerie and Kevin Kauth of Reliant Title, Avis Washington and Glen P. Boggess, Jr, Brokers of NOVA 2000 and Loan Origination Concepts.

In a moving letter to the Court, Mary Stafford wrote before her sentencing: 

This is my life as sister, wife, mother friend and caregiver and loving human being who has shown kindness to all my family and others in my life. This is what life is all about; you should help those who cannot help themselves.

This is the first time in my life I have faced a life change involving charges that could send me to jail for committing a crime!

Black family                   Date one: In December 1982 I, met Clifford Stafford based on blind date. In December of 1983, we went out for dinner and after that we said let’s get together after the New Year.  We got married May 9, 1983 in the State of Ohio, Lucas County. Clifford was married and got divorced. He had 2 children in that union, Clifford L. Stafford Jr. and Lashawda Stafford. One year later I gave birth to our son, Kevin L. Stafford born on May 18, 1984. Clifford received full custody of his children, at that time, Lashawda was 14 years old, Clifford was 12 years old, and also Monique was 12 years old.

In 1985 his daughter at the young age if 15 years old got pregnant; she had Nathaniel Hardrick. He came to live we us at 9 months old, under a court order. Lashawda went to Job Corps in Ohio.  Nathaniel lived with us until  age 15 in 1999.  Kevin and Nat grew up like brothers, not like uncle and nephew.

Grandmother and child                   I would like to go to March 2000. This is when my sister Rosalind Green and my daughter Monique M. Stafford, also my brother Larry Sheridan, moved in to the same home that my husband and I had. This gave me and my family an easy way to take care of my sister and daughter.

My sister Rosalind Green was a victim of street violence; she was shot in the head and the police never found out who shot her!

My sister suffered with seizures and was paralyzed on the left side of her body for the rest of her natural life. Rosalind did not have any children but she a loving family that care for her. My sister passed December 28, 2015

Around that say time my daughter Monique went in to kidney failure. Monique was only 25 years old when she found out she was born with one kidney. My daughter came in to this “WORLD” 2 1/2 pounds 3 ounces, she is fighter to live her life to fullest.

At the age of 50 years old I gave my kidney to my daughter Monique through Henry Ford Hospital as a living donor. I was one of the first living donors.

The gift of a kidney.

The gift of a kidney.

In 2004 Monique lost the kidney that I gave her and she went back on dialysis, and back on the transplant list, as of today. [She is a fighter for life].  All at the same time my girlfriend Sherry asked me for help while she was working. Her mother had dementia. I would take Monique to dialysis and go to Sherry’s home, to bathe and dress and also give her mother Florence breakfast and lunch. I sat with her until 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Florence passed on at the age of 82 years, October of 2005.

Let go back to 2003 when my husband Clifford moved his sister Shirley J. Stafford into our home. She was born disabled at birth, mentally challenged. Around the same time in 2004 we found out Shirley had breast cancer. She didn’t deserve that kind pain and suffering. Shirley was a sweet warm-hearted, happy and friendly human being I knew. She loved sports especially college games like basketball and she knew all the players on every team. Shirley received chemotherapy at Botsford Hospital. I think she received three (3) treatments and then went to Garden City Hospital where she received six  (6) radiation treatments with medication.  Shirley had some side effects from all the treatment. She made it through all that. Shirley was then a cancer survivor for four years. She got her blood drawn every month for the rest of her life.

In the middle or end of 2010 Shirley’s cancer returned. Now she is going to Providence Cancer Center on Foster Drive off 9 mile. Again she received six (6) chemotherapy treatments, but the cancer spread to her left breast; it had to be removed. She was put on hospice and they sent her home because it nothing else they could do. Shirley passed June 14, 2014. I sat with her until Shirley took her last breath and she was gone.

Related stories:






#FreeMaryStafford, #VoteNOonJudgeMichaelHathaway, #TighCroff, #CliffordStafford, #MaryJones, #forgery, #mortgagefraud, #bankfraud, #unjustconviction, #biasonthebench, #toobigtofail, #mortgagemeltdown, #WayneCoTreasurer, #WayneCoROD, #questioneddocument, #FreeRevPinkney, #Beatbackthebullies, #AdvocatesforBaxter

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


VIDEO ABOVE: Flint water activist collapses into coma

NBC 25’s Dave Bondy talked to an emotional Sharon Moore following the congressional hearings in Washington on February 3. Moore’s son Jerome contacted Bondy on Friday, Feb. 12 telling him that Sharon collapsed earlier in the week while protesting during Governor Rick Snyder’s 2017 Budget Presentation at Lansing Capital building. Jerome Moore tells us his mother remains in a Lansing hospital after waking up from a coma. She is now conscious and talking to nurses.


Time cover FLintNo Flint water crisis if no Karegnondi Water Authority

KWA started “greatest water war in Michigan history”

GLWA widened war, taking over all of  DWSD

KWA initiator Jeff Wright, a Democrat, tied to scandal-plagued Synagro, alleged money-laundering, shady campaign financing 

Wright prioritized selling untreated water to DTE, other businesses over the people’s need for treated water


By Diane Bukowski

February 14, 2015

DETROIT – The mass lead poisoning of the people of Flint, Michigan, a cold-blooded act of domestic terrorism, was contrived for the profit of the Wall Street bond market, corporations and politicians by both Republicans and Democrats with their own agendas

Karegnondi Water Group members get Bond Buyers' "Midwest Deal of the year award in 2014.

Karegnondi Water Group members get Bond Buyers’ “Midwest Deal of the Year” award in 2014. Without them, the poisoning of Flint would not have happened.

The two parties are battling the matter out in electoral debates, with Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder justifiably though hypocritically castigated by Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton for his role in this unspeakable catastrophe.

“The governor of that state acted as though he didn’t really care,” Clinton said during the NBC News debate in Charleston, S.C. “If the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would’ve been action.” Clinton’s Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders simply asked Snyder to resign.

In the most  cynically exploitative campaign move so far, Clinton just published the video below. It calls for donations to a Flint non-profit, rather than pledging billions from the U.S. Treasury to save Flint, just as the U.S. Treasury bailed out General Motors, which left Flint, taking with it 72,000 jobs.

No politician has expressed any intention of locking Snyder and cronies up for life without parole, the only sentence appropriate under Michigan law, or of providing the billions of dollars necessary to rebuild not only Flint’s water infrastructure, but the city itself, devastated for decades by its abandonment by General Motors and other corporations.

Ten Flint residents have already died from Legionnaire’s disease linked to contamination of the city’s water.  Tens of thousands more, especially children and babies, face irreversible life-time damage due to the neurological and behavioral effects of lead, according to the World Health Organization.

GMFlintboxA petition to recall Snyder has finally been approved by the notoriously recalcitrant State Elections Board and will no doubt receive mass support, as it should.

But make no mistake—getting rid of Snyder will not cut out the cancer of racism and profiteering that has devastated Flint, Detroit, and cities across the U.S. for years.

The most blatant example of the bi-partisan midwifery of the Flint water catastrophe is the creation of the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), in what a Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) spokesman called “the greatest water war in Michigan’s history.”

He was quoted before the creation of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), which has since robbed the people of Detroit, the largest Black majority city in the U.S., of the entire DWSD, the country’s third largest water and sewerage system, founded in 1836, which had been serving 40 percent of Michigan’s population.

The poisoning of the city of Flint, which is also a majority Black, would not have happened without the creation of the KWA at the instigation of Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright, a white Democrat who has been Drain Commissioner since 2001 and spent 23 years prior to that in the department under former Drain Commissioner Anthony Ragnone.

According to U.S. Census figures, Genesee County is 75.2 percent white, and 20.6 percent Black, with a 21 percent poverty level. Flint is 37.4 percent white, and 56.6 percent Black, with a 41.5 percent poverty level.

In 2013, the KWA began building a 63-mile pipeline to Lake Huron that runs parallel to DWSD’s pipeline for the region. While boasting it will lower water rates, the Authority admits the pipeline will only deliver raw water, unlike the DWSD, which delivers fully treated water. Communities which sign on to it will have to treat their own water, creating ways to do so at additional costs to customers and profits to contractors. Wright said in 2011 that he wanted to bring raw water in for the benefit of businesses in the area.

The pipeline was supposed to have been up for operation by 2015.

Jeff Wright, CEO of KWA, Genesee County Drain Commissioner

Jeff Wright, CEO of KWA, Genesee County Drain Commissioner

The KWA now includes the “Genesee County Drain Commissioner, Lapeer County Drain Commissioner, Lapeer City, Sanilac County Drain Commissioner and the City of Flint,” according to its website. St. Clair County is reportedly also considering membership as Wright courts more regional customers.

Wright, who has a history of shady dealings with water contractors, began the push to create the KWA in 2006. Snyder’s appointee, Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz, later endorsed it as well. In 2013, Wright got the Democratic City Council of Flint to agree to disconnect the city from the DWSD, which had supplied high-quality water to Flint residents since 1967, and connect with the KWA instead.

Due to KWA construction delays, however, Snyder and Kurtz ordered the ultimately disastrous long-term use of the polluted Flint River in the interim, falsely claiming that Detroit had refused to negotiate better rates for its Genesee County customers. While the Flint Water Treatment Plant, using the Flint River, has always been a back-up water supply to DWSD, which gets its water from Lake Huron, the plant was never outfitted to operate with river water for more than 20 days, on an emergency basis.

DTE's Greenwood Energy Center

DTE’s Greenwood Energy Center in Avoca, MI is on the proposed Karegnondi line.

VOD reader Peter Bernard wrote, “DTE has been involved in the formation of KWA since the beginning. DTE didn’t need treated water to run its turbines. Was it the demand of DTE for untreated water as soon as Flint withdrew from DWSD that caused Flint to pump untreated water into its supply system? I worked for Detroit Edison as a summer intern 60 years ago and they always thought pure water was an extra expense since super-heated stem automatically purified the water driving the steam turbines.”

In 2011, Ron Fonger of the Flint Journal reported that DTE told the KWA board it was interested in purchasing up to three million gallons of untreated water per day from the Authority for its Greenwood Energy Plant.

“Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright called the news ‘very encouraging’ during a meeting of the KWA Board of Directors today, and said others could follow ‘as more businesses are made aware of (what we are doing and) the lower cost of untreated water,'” Fonger wrote, adding that Wright said KWA would work with DTE.

Map shows KWA pipeline in red, DWSD pipelines in blue.

Map shows KWA pipeline in red, DWSD pipelines in blue.

In 2014, the Bond Buyer magazine gave KWA the Midwest Bond Buyer of the Year award during an elaborate ceremony in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, for its second sale of $220 million in bonds to finance the pipeline, an intake facility, and two pumping stations.

It earlier sold $35 billion in bonds despite Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

“Long before Detroit filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case in the summer of 2013, Flint and Genesee County, Michigan saw the need to break away from their dependence on the Detroit water system,” the narrator of a video shown at the ceremony said in a disingenuous, factually inaccurate introduction.

“In 2010 they formed the Karegnondi Water Authority, the two governments’ long-term strategy to deliver a more reliable water supply at more reasonable rates. After years of planning and crafting a bond structure with dual backstops to protect investors, the Authority hit the market in early April with its inaugural issue for $220 million in bonds. . . .The governments expect to cover the debt repayments with system revenues, and both put their limited tax GBO payments behind the bonds.”

The narrator said that Genesee County also pledged to cover Flint’s portions of the bonds if it is not able to do so under state emergency management.

Former Detroit CFO Sean Werdlow and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick receive Bond Buyer award in 2004 for disastrous $1.5 billion COPS deal.

“Entering a market where local governments across Michigan faced heightened penalties, the authorities sold the bonds to more than 30 investors and achieved borrowing costs below projections,” the narrator said. “The deal paves the way for the County to trade in annual rate increases of about 11.5 percent for ones closer to five.”

The presentation recalled a similar Bond Buyer award given to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his then-CFO Sean Werdlow in 2004, for the disastrous sale of $1.5 billion in “Certificates of Participation,” or “Pension Obligation Bonds,” an amount that ballooned to $2.8 billion with default penalties and interest swaps. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr cited the deal as one reason for his improperly authorized 2013 Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, but never followed through on a lawsuit he filed calling it “void ab initio, illegal and unenforceable.”

In 2013, Tucker, Young, Jackson and Tull (TYJT), a Detroit-based engineering and consulting company, was contracted by the Michigan Department of Treasury to provide a study of the proposed KWA, contrasting it with the advantages of Flint remaining with the DWSD. The study strongly contradicted claims the Bond Buyer made at the 2014 awards ceremony, and other made in a study contracted by the community of Swartz Creek. (See full TYJT study at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/FLINT-KWA-TYJT-water_report.pdf,)

DWSD spokesman Bill Johnson

DWSD spokesman Bill Johnson

“The Flint City Council’s approval of the Genesee County Drain Commission-backed idea to link Flint and a proposed multi-county connector effectively launched the greatest water war in Michigan’s history, “ Bill Johnson, communications head for the DWSD, said in a press release. “The action ignores a credible state-sponsored study that came out against the ill-advised Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) project. And the vote makes no connection to Flint’s fiscal reality. All things considered, the City of Flint is best served by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).” (See full release at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/water_war_undermines_flint-dwsd_relations-2013-14.pdf.)

The study concluded that the cheapest and safest option out of eight through 2042 for Flint’s water supply was to provide it directly through an adaptation of DWSD’s Imlay City pumping station, which is closer to Flint. DWSD has always provided water for the area through its Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant at Ft. Gratiot, Michigan, which sends it to the Imlay City station to go to Flint. Flint then supplies it to other regional customers.  (See graph below.)

DWSD v KWA chart

TYJT noted that the KWA proposal did not account for cost overruns on construction contracts, an almost inevitable occurrence, or provide a back-up water supply as does the DWSD for all its customers in the event of failure of the primary supply.

Why did Wright ignore this study? His connections with shady contractors during his tenure as Genesee County Drain Commissioner beginning in 2001, and earlier in his 23 years serving under former Drain Commissioner Anthony Ragnone, are well-known.

Southwest community organizer Denise Hearn leads protest against Synagro boondoogle outside the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant July 31, 2008.

Southwest community organizer Denise Hearn leads protest against Synagro’s Detroit boondoogle outside the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant July 31, 2008.

Wright himself formerly owned a water consulting business called Tara/Aqua Management. During his term as Commissioner, he has signed multiple contracts with Synagro Technologies, Inc. for sewage sludge removal, dewatering, and land application at the county’s Linden and Ragnone treatment plants, from 2002 through 2009, according to a 2010 Flint Journal expose by reporter Ron Fonger.

At least two of the Genesee Drain Commission Synagro contracts, in 2003 and 2005, were signed by James Rosendall, former Synagro vice-president of development who went to prison for 11 months, in connection with the Synagro/Carlyle  bribery scandal that brought down former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, DWSD head Victor Mercado, and former City Council President Monica Conyers, among other Black city officials.

Synagro VP James Rosendall.

Synagro VP James Rosendall.

Rosendall was the only white who was jailed, while Black officials who refused to act as FBI informants received terms as long as five years. Judge Avern Cohn barred the defense from asking why Synagro and the Carlyle Group were not charged in the RICO indictment.

Wright was an FBI informant against Conyers’ aide Sam Riddle during the probe. Many officials involved in the probe acted as informants rather than being charged as well.

Synagro was purchased by the insidious Carlyle Group in 2007, one of the largest private equity and alternative investment firms in the world which has extensive ties to the global defense industry.

The Carlyle Group’s board has included politicians from around the world, including former U.S. Presidents George H. W Bush and George W. Bush, and their former cabinet members U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, also former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Arthur Levitt, who served under Pres. Bill Clinton. It is connected to the Bin Laden family and to former Phillippines dictator Fidel Ramos, among numerous others. Synagro went bankrupt in 2013 and was sold.

carlyleconnectionsThe KWA’s current major contractors include the omnipresent L D’Agostini & Sons, based in Macomb, at a starting cost $24.6 million for the pipeline and $11.06 million for the intake station on Lake Huron. D’Agostini earlier sued the DWSD because it was barred from further contracting with the department after its involvement in the RICO indictment of Kilpatrick et. al. was exposed. D’Agostini previously did 70 percent of its business with the Department.

The Alabama-based American Cast Iron Pipe Company, which operates one of the largest ductile iron pipe casting plants in the world, has a contract with a starting cost of $84.1 million, while the Flint-based E & L Construction’s contract for the Imlay City pump station has a starting cost of $11.78 million. All this work duplicates DWSD pipelines and intake and pumping stations already servicing the area.

Pipe for Karegnondi Water Authority is hoisted into Lake Huron.

Pipe for Karegnondi Water Authority is hoisted into Lake Huron.

Recently, Channel 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff interviewed Jeff Wright in a story focusing on the profits made by contractors on the Flint water switch. They included Kurtz campaign contributors AECOM, with $18 billion in revenues in 2015, and the engineering firm hired to ensure that the switch to Flint River water would be safe, LAN (Lockwood, Andrews and Norman). LeDuff reports that firm’s original contract began at $140,000 and ballooned later to $4 million, despite the fact that it did NOTHING to ensure the safety of the city’s water.

(VOD takes issue with LeDuff’s initial contention that Flint ratepayers decided to opt for the KWA because they were paying “outrageous” rates to Detroit. That is a claim that has been made by DWSD’s wholesale customers in six counties for decades, never with an addendum that the communities involved add their own surcharges to the wholesale rates. LeDuff also appears to conclude at the end that water flowing through Flint’s pipes now from DWSD is safe, which it will not be until complete replacement of the corroded infrastructure. )

Some related stories from other media:




Related articles from VOD:












#JeffWright, #FlintWater, #KWA, #FlintLivesMatter, #Waterislife, #Beatbackthebullies, #DAREA, #Detroit2Flint, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit, #DetroitWater, #OurWaterOurVote, #Right2Water, #Saveourchildren, #StandupNow, #SaveFlint, #SaveDetroit 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Posted to YouTube by Joe Brunner

February 11, 2016       


Carrier Air Conditioner [parent company United Technologies] is moving production to Monterrey, Mexico putting 1,400 Indianapolis Jobs south of the border in 2017.

From TheIndyChannel.com Staff

February 10, 2016

Carrier A/C plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Carrier A/C plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS — There were gasps of anger and disbelief. There was yelling. At least one person in the crowd of Carrier employees shouted things that cannot be written here.

The employees had just been told the heating, cooling, air conditioning, and refrigeration company was relocating its Indianapolis plant to Monterrey, Mexico.

Carrier workers react with rage to announcement by Chris Nelson, seen speaking at top.

Carrier workers react with rage to announcement by Chris Nelson, seen speaking at top.

Around 1,400 people work at the plant. According to a release from Carrier, there will be no immediate impact on jobs.

The relocation process will take place over a 3-year period, according to the company. The work movement is expected to start in 2017, with completion in 2019.

Chris Nelson, president of HVAC Systems and Services North America, released a statement about the move.

“This move is intended to address the challenges we continue to face in a rapidly changing HVAC industry, with the continued migration of the HVAC industry to Mexico, including our suppliers and competitors, and ongoing cost and pricing pressures driven, in part, by new regulatory requirements. Relocating our operations to a region where we have existing infrastructure and a strong supplier base will allow us to operate more cost effectively so that we can continue to produce high-quality HVAC products that are competitively positioned while continuing to meet customer needs.”

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

“This decision is difficult and we recognize the impact on employees, their families and the community,” Nelson said regarding the status of the employees. “We are committed to ensuring that our employees are treated respectfully and to working closely with their representatives throughout this transition.”

VODAccording to its website, United Technologies had $57.9 billion in net sales in 2014, and employs nearly 200,000 people across the world.

“A leader in the global building systems and aerospace industries, United Technologies invents new and better ways to keep people safe, comfortable, productive and on the move,” the site boasts. “By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, we create the smart, sustainable solutions the world needs.

The F-35 Lightning II jet, the next-generation fighter for the United States and its allies, is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine. The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B variant is on track for initial operational capability in 2015, followed by the Air Force’s F-35A in 2016 and the Navy’s F-35C in 2019.

The F-35 Lightning II jet, the next-generation fighter for the United States and its allies, is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine. The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B variant is on track for initial operational capability in 2015, followed by the Air Force’s F-35A in 2016 and the Navy’s F-35C in 2019. Photo: UTC

“Our commercial businesses include Otis elevators and escalators and UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a leading provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, fire and security systems, and building automation and controls. Our aerospace businesses include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines and UTC Aerospace Systems. United Technologies also operates a central research organization that pursues technologies for improving the performance, energy efficiency and cost of its products and processes.

To view full company profile, click on http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/UTC_Company_Overview_151104_FINAL.pdf

And the beat goes on–while Pratt & Whitney helps the U.S. obliterate people in wars across the world, its parent company UTC is obliterating the jobs of people here at home. Most comments on a Twitter post called on people to vote either for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

WAKE UP AND RISE UP, FOLKS! No matter who is elected, the next assault on U.S. workers in pursuit of war-mongering profits is coming to your neighborhood soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


RICOBUSTERSPublished on Jan 28, 2016

We are on a mission of “Vindicating Mary of False Charges by Government Terrorists”

Please go to our CrowdRise fundraising website: https://www.crowdrise.com/vindicatingmaryoffalsechargesbygovernmentterrorists5/fundraiser/cliffordstafford


The ordeal of Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford at the hands of the Domestic Terrorist unit known as the Wayne County Deed Fraud Task force continues.

Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford

Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford

Mr. Stafford was sentenced to 18 months probation Jan. 13 for “obstruction of justice” related to a predatory Wells Fargo mortgage neither Stafford was connected to. Wells Fargo itself stated it did not initiate the criminal complaint although it is listed as the complainant.

On the same day, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway (of “MO’ WATER SHUT-OFFS’ fame ***), ordered that a postconviction “Ginther hearing” be held for Mary Ann Stafford, after reviewing her pro se motion for the hearing.

The motion alleges “ineffective assistance of counsel” during the Staffords’ trial Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, 2015, referring to attorney Steve Lockhart, and also references both prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

Judge Hathaway first assigned attorney David Goldberg to conduct the hearing. When Goldberg told Mrs. Stafford that he was not going to hold the hearing as ordered, Mrs. Stafford fired him and retained another attorney at significant cost, Craig Tank, to do so.

Judge Michael Hathaway

Judge Michael Hathaway

However, Mr. Tank has now informed VOD that he cannot hold the Ginther hearing because there is no time to review trial transcripts before a sentencing date Judge Hathaway set for Friday, Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. Instead of objecting to Hathaway’s action, Tank said he would deal with Ginther issues AFTER the sentencing.

However, the Michigan Supreme Court decision in Ginther says such an evidentiary hearing must be held at the trial court level:

Although Ginther would have us reverse his conviction, until he establishes the factual substantiality of the claims that the judge should have disqualified himself, that another lawyer should have been substituted and that the plea of guilty was impermissibly induced, the only relief we could properly grant would be to require an evidentiary hearing concerning those claims.

A defendant who wishes to advance claims that depend on matters not of record canproperly be required to seek at the trial court level an evidentiary hearing for thepurpose of establishing his claims with evidence as a precondition to invoking the processes of the appellate courts except in the rare case where the record manifestlyshows that the judge would refuse a hearing; in such a case the defendant should seek on appeal, not a reversal of his conviction, but an order directing the trial court to conduct the needed hearing.

Click on http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/People-v-Ginther.pdf

Meanwhile, another pro se motion alleging prosecutorial misconduct against Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas and misconduct as a public official against Investigator Mary Williams-Jones is being prepared in defense of Mrs. Stafford. With reference to that motion, see story below:

Prosecutor who sent innocent man to death row is disbarred

Anthony Graves, sent to death row on falsified evidence.

Anthony Graves, sent to death row on falsified evidence.

February 6, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas — A former prosecutor who used false testimony and withheld evidence to send a now-exonerated man to Texas’ death row has lost an appeal to overturn his disbarment.

The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1TPB1fq ) reports that the Board of Disciplinary Appeals on Monday upheld the decision of the State Bar of Texas to disbar Charles Sebesta. The board’s decision is final.

The bar revoked the Burleson County district attorney’s law license in June, finding he had engaged in prosecutorial misconduct in the case of Anthony Graves.

Graves was sentenced to death in 1994 in the slayings of six people in South Texas two years earlier. A federal appeals court reversed his conviction in 2006.

Prosecutor Charles Sebesta loses law license.

Graves spent 18 years in prison, including 12 on death row. He filed a complaint in January 2014.


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com




Related stories:




*** http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/12/02/judge-michael-hathaway-seizes-water-protest-verdict-from-black-detroit-jury-halts-trial/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Greek workers from wide swath of unions participate in general strike against austerity measures, pension cuts Feb. 4, 2016

Greek workers from wide swath of unions participate in general strike against austerity measures, pension cuts Feb. 4, 2016

Opposition to pension reform has cut across wide swath of occupational groups

Youth participation widespread

AP logo 2

February 4, 2016

Services across Greece ground to a halt Thursday as workers joined in a massive general strike that cancelled flights, ferries and public transport, shut down schools, courts and pharmacies, and left public hospitals with emergency staff.

Riot police in Athens duck petrol bomb thrown by protesters Feb. 4, 2016

Riot police in Athens duck petrol bomb thrown by protesters Feb. 4, 2016

Well over 20,000 supporters of a Communist party-backed union were marching through central Athens, while around 10,000 more people — including about 1,000 lawyers in suits and ties — were gathering for a separate demonstration. A heavy police presence was deployed in the capital, as previous protests have often degenerated into riots.

Unions are angry at pension reforms that are part of Greece’s third international bailout. The left-led government is trying to overhaul the country’s ailing pension system by increasing social security contributions to avoid pension cuts, but critics say the reforms will lead many to lose two-thirds of their income to contributions and taxes.

Opposition to the reform has been vociferous, uniting a disparate group of professions, including farmers, artists, taxi drivers, lawyers, doctors, engineers and seamen among others.

Taxi drivers block traffic, battle police

Taxi drivers block traffic, battle police

Demonstrations were also planned in Thessaloniki — where about 200 taxi drivers drove through the city centre honking their horns in protest Thursday — and other Greek cities.

Thursday’s general strike is the most significant the coalition government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has faced since he initially came to power about a year ago. As an opposition party, Tsipras’ radical left Syriza party had led opposition to pension reforms, but he was forced into a dramatic policy U-turn last year when he faced the stark choice of signing up to a third bailout or the country being kicked out of the eurozone.

Syriza has even issued a statement backing Thursday’s strike.

A passenger looks at an announcement board inside the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, as flight controllers hold a work stoppage during a 24-hour general strike against planned pension reforms in Thursday. (Michalis Karagiannis/Reuters)

A passenger looks at an announcement board inside the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, as flight controllers hold a work stoppage during a 24-hour general strike against planned pension reforms in Thursday. (Michalis Karagiannis/Reuters)

Athens pensioner Yannis Kouvalakis said Tsipras’ government “fooled” Greeks by promising to reverse austerity cuts.

“Because they are from the left, what happened? Was the situation saved? Things got worse. They’d said they’d give some money to pensioners or the unemployed, increase the minimum wage to 750 euros (per month),” he said. “They cut five euros from my pension … What can they give? Forget it.”

The strike comes as the government negotiates with Greece’s international debt inspectors, who returned to Athens this week to review progress on the country’s bailout obligations. The central Athens hotel where the inspectors were staying was heavily guarded by police.

Farmers blockade Athens to Thessalonki highway.

Farmers blockade Athens to Thessalonki highway.

Ferries between Greece’s islands and the mainland remained tied up in port as part of the strike, while only limited public transport was operating in Athens for a few hours in the day and taxis also stayed off the streets. More than a dozen domestic flights were cancelled, while farmers maintained their blockades of highways that have forced motorists into lengthy detours.

State-run hospitals were functioning on emergency staff, while state schools, many shops and gas stations were shut.

Greece strike disrupts transportation, services; brief clashes break out

Greek government pledges quick passage for bailout reforms

Greece settles terms with EU to get $14B bailout for banks

Greece election: Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza to hold 145 of 300 seats

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Terrance Kellom's father Kevin Kellom, stepmother Yvette Johnson, with family members of two others killed by police, Kimberly Griffin and Mertilla Jones, during national tour against police brutality.

Terrance Kellom’s father Kevin Kellom, stepmother Yvette Johnson, with family members of two others killed by police, Kimberly Griffin (Kimoni Davis) and Mertilla Jones (Aiyana Jones), during national tour against police brutality.

Dearborn cops on wild again, killing Detroiter Janet Wilson Jan. 28 

No justice yet for Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 3

Dearborn cops illegally demanded ID from Terrance Kellom’s stepmother Yvette Johnson, a jitney passenger

Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who refused to charge cops in Kellom execution, resurrected previously dismissed case vs. Johnson

Johnson held 12 days before release on bond

Dearborn cop threatened to arrest reporter making legal request to view Yvette Johnson’s file 

By Diane Bukowski

February 4, 2016

Janet Wilson, killed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016

Janet Wilson, killed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016 in Dearborn

Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 23, 2015

Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 23, 2015 in Detroit

DEARBORN – The Dearborn police appear not to have been deterred by a large protest and cries of outrage over their recent killings of unarmed mentally ill Black Detroiters, Kevin Matthews on Dec. 23 and Janet Wilson, 31, on Jan. 28.

Now they and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy have targeted Yvette Johnson, the stepmother of Terrance Kellom, 19, killed in his father’s Detroit home by an inter-agency police task force last April. Worthy faced extreme pressure and criticism for not charging police in the young dad’s death.

Johnson has been active along with her husband Kevin Kellom in fighting for justice for their son, rallying in Detroit and traveling to various cities to build the national movement against racist police killings.

Terrance Kellom with baby son before he was executed by police task force in April, 2015.

Terrance Kellom with baby son before he was executed by police task force in April, 2015.

“I was coming home in a jitney when the Dearborn police stopped us Jan. 21,” Johnson told VOD. “They made the driver and me show our ID’s, then they did a warrant search, and arrested me.”

The reason for the stop is unknown. The Michigan Legal Aid Society says such searches of passengers are uncalled for.

“You must show identification if you are stopped while driving or if you are in a place that sells alcoholic beverages,” Legal Aid says on their website. “At any other time, you cannot be legally arrested for failing to present identification to a police officer. However, you may be asked to state your name, age, and address.”

Court records in the case indicate that Dearborn police officer Cpl. Daniel J. Goebel stopped the jitney Jan. 21, 2016 at 19401 Hubbard, the address for Henry Ford Medical Center in Fairlane.

Janet Wilsons car, punctured by bullet holes, after it was rammed by Dearborn cops.

Janet Wilsons car, punctured by bullet holes, after it was rammed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016.

Just a week later, Dearborn police rammed Janet Wilson’s car from both sides a short distance away, at Hubbard near Southfield, then shot her to death, twice in the chest, through her windshield. They claimed she had tried to run down a cop.

According to news reports, Wilson had just left a store in the Fairlane mall after suffering a schizophrenic episode and was attempting to go home.

Ericka Erickson of Fox 2 News reported that Daryl Burke, a close family friend, said “She was murdered. That’s how I feel. She was murdered.” He said she was not dangerous and he had never been afraid of her.

Michigan State Police ICHAT records on Yvette Johnson do not show any outstanding warrants. But at the request of Dearborn police, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy re-instituted several 2014 felony charges against Johnson related to possession of a painkiller that Johnson said had been dismissed with prejudice in Garden City. The Dearborn court tacked on an outstanding bench warrant related to a 2012 Dearborn parking ticket.

Pros. Kym Worthy with Terrance Kellom

Pros. Kym Worthy with Terrance Kellom’s autopsy diagram, as she refuses to charge cops who killed him.

Judge Vesta Svenson, who works weekends in a Romulus courthouse, arraigned Johnson on a “Controlled Substance” charge Jan. 24. The arraignment took place only after Kevin Kellom said he called the Dearborn Police Department repeatedly about his wife’s detention.

Kellom told VOD that Dearborn Police falsely claimed there was no longer a 72-hour limit on detaining an individual without charges. The Custody Order on Johnson incorrectly dates her arrest as Jan. 24, 2016. Johnson told VOD that a Dearborn cop appeared with her on-screen, and objected to Svenson’s original declaration of a personal bond.

Instead, Johnson was given a $4,000 bond, 10% cash, with a requirement for a tether.

Dearborn police station where Yvette Johnson was held.

Dearborn police station where Yvette Johnson was held.

The Kellom family had trouble raising $400 to bond Johnson out, but eventually with donations, bond was posted with Sheriffs at the Wayne County Jail on Fri. Jan. 29, after a lengthy wait. One of the members of the team that killed Terrance Kellom was a Wayne County Sheriff.

There were further abnormal delays over the weekend, and Johnson was not released from the tether unit at Dickerson Jail until Mon. Feb. 1. In all, Johnson had been incarcerated for 12 days, part of that time in the Dearborn police station.

Kellom said that during one call to the station, he heard a woman crying in the background, and a cop telling her “Oh, shut up, Sandra Bland.”

Sandra Bland, who died under suspicious circumstances in Texas jail cell.

Sandra Bland, who died under suspicious circumstances in Texas jail cell.

Despite the fact that Dearborn borders Detroit, which is at least 82 percent Black, and that Detroiters frequent numerous establishments in Dearborn, the Dearborn police force has no Black officers, according to attorney Craig Tank. Its police chief Ronald Haddad is Arab-American, as are some of its officers, but there is not a lot of love lost between Detroit’s Black community and Arab-American merchants in Detroit.

When this reporter went to Dearborn’s 19th District Court to review Johnson’s file Feb. 1, she was escorted to Judge Sam Salamey’s chambers to do so by a court employee. Salamey is the judge set to conduct Johnson’s probable cause and bench warrant hearings Feb. 5.

Black defendant (right)being arraigned by 19th District Judge Sam Salamey Photo by Joe Slezak

Black defendant (right)being arraigned by 19th District Judge Sam Salamey Photo by Joe Slezak

While this reporter was reviewing the file, Salamey’s clerk Michelle and an Arab-American Dearborn cop, Officer Hazise, entered. Obviously enraged, Hasize snatched the file out of the reporter’s hand and physically advanced on her, threatening her with immediate arrest if she did not leave the chambers.

He said she had no right to review the file because it involved felonies.

However, Michigan statutes permit any citizen to review court files and obtain copies, unless limited by local ordinances, a fact that is well known in other courts this reporter has dealt with. Court administrator Eric Cyman eventually apologized for the actions of the two court employees, and gave the file back for review and copying to this reporter.

Related stories:









Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Judge Evans lectures Robocop for 20 minutes: “Today is payback for resorting to an act of cowardly brutality. . . .It ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.”

Dent: “I may be able someday to forgive what he did to me as a man, but no one should ever forgive what he did as a police officer.”

Melendez (poem): “Those of us that carry badges can’t always be a saint. We work most Sundays and at times talk tough because the streets can be awful rough.” 

Squires: “How many people has he put in jail, maimed and destroyed their lives, like he framed my son and gave him a record? He should have been locked up a long time ago.” 

#FloydDent, #Robocop, #WilliamMelendez, #Jailkillercops, #Beatbackthebullies, #Blacklivesmatter, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit, #StopPoliceBrutality, #StopPoliceMurders, #Saveourchildren, #Standupnow, #StopwaronBlackAmerica, #PoliceState, #PrisonNation, #Policeviolence

By Diane Bukowski

February 3, 2016

Media including Kevin Dietz of Channel 4 (l), who pursued Dent story, interview Floyd Dent (r) with attorney Gregory Rohl (center) after Melendez sentencing Feb. 2, 2016.

Media including Kevin Dietz of Channel 4 (l), who pursued Dent’s story, interview Floyd Dent (r) with attorney Gregory Rohl (center) after Melendez sentencing Feb. 2, 2016.

DETROIT—Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans sentenced former Detroit, Inkster, and Highland Park cop William Melendez to 13 months to 1o years in state prison Feb. 2 for his near fatal-beating of Floyd Dent in Jan. 2015.

“Robocop’s” police dashcam video of the grisly incident had captured worldwide attention.

A majority-Black jury convicted Melendez of “assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder” and “misconduct in office” Nov. 19, before his remand to Wayne County Jail. Judge Evans said a jail time credit of 90 days was to be applied to the second count only.

Judge Vonda Evans castigates actions of 'Robocop' Melendez for 20 minutes prior to sentencing him.

Judge Vonda Evans castigates actions of ‘Robocop’ Melendez for 20 minutes prior to sentencing him.

Melendez had faced a total maximum sentence of 15 years on both counts.

“The victim involved was a 58-year-old Black man driving a Cadillac in Inkster Jan. 28 before his life was changed forever,” Evans said prior to delivering the sentence.

“He was stopped for minor traffic offenses, had his hands extended out of his window, then was grabbed out of the car, thrown on the ground, struck 16 times in the head, kicked and tased by a group of angry and anxious police officers that celebrated afterwards by fist-bumping as shown on the video.”

Below is the dashcam video from “Robocop’s” own car that garnered world-wide attention and outrage.

Judge Evans said she was most struck by a police station video showing a bloodied Dent in an Inkster cell, shaking his head in disbelief at what had occurred.

Floyd Dent, bloodied and seriously injured, in police cell. No medical attention was given for hours.

Floyd Dent, bloodied and seriously injured, in police cell. No medical attention was given for hours.

“He must have been asking himself, ‘What crime did I commit: being a Black man in a Cadillac stopped by a group of racist police?’” she surmised.

Judge Evans notably said that Dent had BOTH hands out of the car before he was dragged to the ground by Melendez’ partner, an issue that was hotly contested by Melendez and his attorney James Thomas during the trial. They claimed Dent was reaching his right hand to the other side of the car.

However, a still frame from the video of his beating clearly shows Dent with both hands out after he opened his car door. Note the photo below, which shows his left hand reflected as a white shape in the glare of the police headlights, while his right hand is on the handle of the car door.

Dent shows both hands as Melendez trains gun on him during Jan. 28, 2015 stop.

Dent shows both hands as Melendez trains gun on him during Jan. 28, 2015 stop.

The police station video, which included a section showing Melendez and other cops wiping Dent’s blood off their uniforms as they laughed and mocked Dent, was released only due to the dogged persistence of WDIV (Detroit Channel 4) reporter Kevin Dietz.

Judge Evans also cited racist texts from and to Melendez’ volunteer auxiliary cop partner John Zielenewski, including one that said, “At least give me the satisfaction of knowing you are out there beating up n*****s right now,” one text  to Zieleniewski read.

Auxiliary Inkster cop John Zielenewski testifies at trial.

Auxiliary Inkster cop John Zielenewski testifies at trial.

“LOL,” Zieleniewski said in his response. “Just got done with one.” Zieleniewski was the cop who dragged Dent out of his car.

“The way you denigrated that man was awful, making fun of him while you wiped his blood off your uniform,” Judge Evans told Melendez directly. “Today is payback for resorting to a cowardly act of brutality. There’s a saying, ‘It ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.’ I can only punish your conduct, but it’s up to God to change your character.”

Judge Evans was constricted by sentencing guidelines of 29-57 months that included no previous convictions. Melendez has never been charged for two killings, beatings, frame-ups and death threats alleged in numerous lawsuits during his 25 year tenure on the Detroit and Inkster police forces. 

Wayne County Jail mugshot of William Melendez Nov. 19, 2015.

William Melendez mugshot.

'Robocop' in battle gear.

‘Robocop’ in battle gear.

He was charged federally in 2003 for being the ringleader of an LA “Ramparts” style squadron of Detroit Third and Fourth Precinct cops which brutalized poor people for years, but a jury acquitted him and the others despite the testimony of 17 Black Detroit officers against the defendants.

“He got off light, I was hoping at least three to four years,” Dent said after the sentencing. Most present seemed to deem it likely the state parole board would release Melendez after his minimum sentence, a situation that rarely occurs in the cases of more than 50,000 others in Michigan’s prison system.

“Going to prison is different than jail,” Dent added. “But I feel that no man should be away from his family. I have already forgiven him and have no hatred towards him. Physically and emotionally, I’m doing pretty good considering I can barely move my left arm, and the beating messed up my speech a little bit. But I would be willing to give up the settlement with Inkster if I could go back to my life as it was before Jan. 28.”

Floyd Dent with niece Dynisha Miller, who read his victim impact statement.

Floyd Dent with niece Dynisha Smith, who read his victim impact statement.

Dent’s attorney Gregory Rohl negotiated a settlement of nearly $1.4 million with the City of Inkster after thousands of people marched repeatedly on the Inkster and Highland Park police stations in Dent’s support.

Rohl said, “This sends a message to other police officers, that they face prison time in the future [for such offenses]. For once, a Black man has finally seen this happen.”

Earlier, Dent’s niece Dynisha Smith, wearing a T- shirt declaring, “Stop Police Brutality,” read his “Victim Impact Statement,” which he dictated to her.

“I would first like to thank the court for the kindness and respect shown toward me when I testified . . . I am here as a free man at least,” she read in part. “I am not the one going to court. . . But I will never be the same after Jan. 28. The beating has left me mentally and physically crippled for the rest of my life. I am grateful to all who supported me against the actions of ‘Robocop.’ I may be able someday to forgive what he did to me as a man, but no one should ever forgive what he did as a police officer.”

Dent was originally charged with possession of cocaine and other offenses later dismissed by the Wayne County Prosecutor.

Cornell Squires of Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

“Justice was served somewhat,” reacted Cornell Squires, who said his son was framed up by Melendez in 1999.

“Now he has a criminal record, now he will get to feel what it is like to be on the other side,” Squires said. “But he’s still getting preferential treatment—this is the second time they didn’t put handcuffs on him when they led him off. How many people has he put in jail, maimed and destroyed their lives, like he framed my son and gave him a record?  He should have been locked up a long time ago. They need to revisit every case he had a part of; everyone should be exonerated. I’m glad that he got some time, thank God for a Judge like Vonda Evans that had the guts to have him incarcerated. She’s doing what most judges should do and don’t do.”

Squires is a member of the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

Omar Gaither

Omar Gaither

“This is just business as usual,” Omar Gaiter, a Detroiter who was in court, told VOD. “It is superhard for a Black man out here, with cops who get paid to beat my a–. You get more time for beating a dog, like Michael Vick did, than [Melendez] got. The police don’t deter crime, the justice system does. They are nothing but a team of paramilitary bullies running around. There are thousands of innocent people in prison. I am afraid for my children in this system.”

The courtroom was packed with Melendez’s family including his wife Terry Melendez, and dozens of white cops, several of whom spent time glaring threateningly at Dent. Although not in uniform, some carried their police sidearms displayed prominently on their hips.

Also present was his former attorney David Lee, who defended him in the 2004 federal trial. Lee was at his side throughout most of this trial.

Melendezbox 2Melendez himself spoke, citing his military record as an MP, his long service as a cop, his founding of organizations including one for fallen police officers, and the dangers a cop faces working in [majority Black and poor] cities like Detroit, Highland Park and Inkster.

Addressing Dent and his family, he said, “I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your life and hope it has not caused animosity toward law enforcement. That was not my intent. Please have faith in law enforcement—many would risk their lives for you.”

He also read a poem called “The Final Inspection,” which he said he uses at funerals for “fallen” cops.

“Those of us that carry badges can’t always be a saint,” said one verse. “We work most Sundays and at times talk tough because the streets can be awful rough.”

Melendez’ current attorney, James C. Thomas, said he planned to appeal the sentencing, but did not say on what grounds.

Thomas claimed during the hearing that Dent was not seriously injured according to medical records from Garden City Hospital, where he spent three days after the beating, and from two brief visits to Henry Ford Hospital locations. He also asked Judge Evans for permission to access Dent’s records of psychiatric treatment prior to the beating, a request she denied.

He continued to insist in court that Dent was a drug user and had cocaine on him when he was stopped, despite extensive testimony by a Michigan State Police (MSP) expert at trial that secondary tests did not confirm the presence of cocaine.

Michigan Department of Corrections Probation Officer Eilea Murray, who did the pre-sentencing report on Melendez, took the stand at Judge Evans’ request. In her report, she said, she cited testimony by a Michigan State Police Investigator that although Melendez claimed he found drugs after an extensive search of Dent’s car, no other officer confirmed that allegation.

Melendez atty. James Thomas speaks after conviction Nov. 19, 2015, as Channel 4

Melendez’ atty. James Thomas speaks after conviction Nov. 19, 2015, as Channel 4 reporter Kevin Dietz listens.

She recommended that Melendez be incarcerated. Judge Evans spent extensive time peppering her with apparently brutal questions about issues such as her non-inclusion of actual copies of citations given to Melendez by police departments, and medical records from Garden City and Henry Ford Hospitals. Judge Evans said Murray appeared to rely on reports provided by doctors paid by Dent’s attorney, but Judge Evans did not question their expertise.

Murray said she had to prepare the report in a short time frame before Melendez’ original sentencing date of Dec. 4 and did not have those records. But she maintained that even if she did, her recommendation would not have changed.

Despite lengthy suggestions for correction of the sentencing report from Thomas, Judge Evans said it would do no good to have Murray re-do the report since she had already said she would not change its final result.

Video below, courtesy of Jet Magazine, contains full text of Judge Evans’ statement before she sentenced Melendez.

Related stories:











Earlier stories from the Michigan Citizen and Free Press

Serial Killer Kop and other stories MC

Feds break blue wall Melendez et al


Robocop Melendez Freep

Alleged Victims Say Cops Harassed Them Melendez et al

Vendetta Son of prominent anti police brutality activist convicted in police frame up MC DB

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Maryanne Godboldo with photo of her daughter Ariana, 13 when she was seized by a police SWAT team. forcibly medicated with harmful drugs, and abused in a state hospital. FREE OUR CHILDREN NOW!

Maryanne Godboldo in front of her home, with photo of her daughter Ariana, 13 when she was seized by a police SWAT team, forcibly medicated with harmful drugs, and abused in a state hospital. Maryanne’s battle is known world-wide, and has inspired others to fight state kidnappings of their precious children.

By Ambyr Amen-Ra

January 25, 2016

Police swat tanks roll down Linwood to kidnap Ariana from her mother in their home June 24, 2011.

Police swat tanks roll down Linwood to kidnap Ariana from her mother in their home March 24, 2011.

Our parental rights are being undermined. Maryanne Godboldo sought to provide the best health care for her child; she disagreed with The State of Michigan, Department of Human Services and Child Protective Services’ demand that she medicate her child with Risperdal, a drug that has TERRIBLE side effects.

On March 24th, 2011 Maryanne was forced to protect herself and her daughter in the wake of an over-reaction by Child Protective Services and the Detroit Police officers on the scene. CPS claimed they had an order to remove her child from her custody and asked Detroit Police to gain access to her house to do so.

Pillow talkIt was later revealed in court that the order was never presented to Maryanne on the scene, it was rubber stamped and never presented to a judge for sign off and Detroit Police were never meant to take her child. Once the Statof Michigan removed Ariana from her mother, a CPS worker signed off on a myriad of drugs to be administered to Ariana , even though she was not a doctor. At age 13, Ariana was taken from her mother for over 5 weeks and repeatedly drugged and abused while in the State’s custody.

Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy has vowed to continue to punish Maryanne.  It has been almost five years and she is still fighting. After losing four court cases, Worthy has filed a fifth appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. They have reversed the appeal and now Maryanne must fight for her freedom a FIFTH time. All she wants is to be left alone to repair the damage that was done by the State of Michigan. Please consider donating to Maryanne’s legal fund so that she can finally leave this all behind her and focus solely on her daughter, Ariana.

DONATE BY CLICKING ON https://www.gofundme.com/9d27zak4 

” Providing health care for one’s children is not something that should be surrendered to any state authority.” ~Maryanne Godboldo

Related stories:

































Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Posted on Theresa Ellis Youtube channel

January 24, 2015

Video: Rachel Maddow interviews Michigan Radio reporter on Gov. Snyder’s refusal to comply fully with order from Environmental Protection Agency on Flint water crisis.

Protest against Flint water poisoning, high bills.

Protest against Flint water poisoning, high bills.

Keith Creagh, the new Director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, is questioning the legality of an order from the USEPA that Michigan make some substantial changes in their response to the catastrophe in Flint. The political and regulatory blame game taking place as Flint’s water and public health crisis unfolds, took another turn Friday with the new head of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality saying the state will comply with a federal order regarding the handling of the emergency, but is taking a combative stance in doing so.

First, DEQ Director Keith Creagh questioned the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal authority to make such demands. Then he disputed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s contentions in her emergency order sent to the state Thursday that the state has delayed corrective action in Flint, where high lead levels were found in drinking water.

Keith Creagh, new head of MDEQ, previously led the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, which led campaign for state take-over of Belle Isle. Here, Monica Lewis-Patrick speaks at rally againt takeover Spet. 22, 2012.

Keith Creagh, new head of MDEQ, previously led the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, which led campaign for state take-over of Belle Isle. Here, Monica Lewis-Patrick speaks at rally againt takeover Spet. 22, 2012.

[…] In Thursday’s order, the EPA said despite ongoing efforts in Flint even after the city switched back from Flint River water as its source to Lake Huron in October, there remained “underlying problems” and “fundamental deficiencies” in the response by both

The state and the city of Flint. It ordered them to inventory all the lead service lines in the city — an unknown number — and demanded the state create a publicly accessible website to post results of water sampling and reports.

Maddow will host a Town Hall Meeting in Flint, “American Disaster: The Crisis in Flint” on Wed. Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. Guests will include Flint Mayor Karen Weaver; U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow; Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center; Lanice Lawson, creator of Bottles for Babies; Curt Guyette, reporter for the ACLU in Michigan; Brynn Mickle and Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal; and Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer.

Related stories:









#FlintWaterCrisis, #BoycottMichigan, #Beatbackthebullies, #Blacklivesmatter, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit, #Detroit2Flint, #StopWaronBlackAmerica, #Waterislife, #Flintlivesmatter, #JailSnyder, #OurWaterOurVote, #PrisonNation, #PoliceState, #StandUpNow, #Saveourchildren, #SaveDetroit, #SaveFlint, #SavePontiac, #SaveBentonHarbor, #SaveHighlandPark, #DirectActionNow, #GeneralStrike

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment