California spending $14,000 annually for prisoner health care, Texas pays only $3,650

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While the state of California spends an average of $14,000 per year on health care for its 170,000 prisoners, millions of ordinary citizens and taxpayers have no coverage at all. “I’m not happy about the fact that our incarcerated inmates are getting better health care than people who aren’t incarcerated,” says state Assemblywoman Alyson Huber.

So it goes with the federally-mandated receivership under which the California prison health system has operated since 2006. The state has no voice in how billions in taxpayer dollars are spent each year, and watches helplessly as the figure sharply rises each year, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Four years ago, a federal judge ordered the prison’s health care system to be supervised by receiver J. Clark Kelso, after the court ruled that the state had not done enough to improve the system since 2000, and that prison conditions violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

In 2006, federal authorities claimed there were 48 “possibly preventable” deaths in California prisons, and 18 that were “likely preventable.” Kelso said that under his oversight, that number has fallen to 3.

Thanks to the federal oversight, California’s 33 prisons now employ one doctor for every 435 inmates, as compared to one for every 2,000 in Texas, a state in which its prisons were at one time supervised by a federal receiver. Texas, the only state that has a prison system comparable to California’s, spends only $3,650 per prisoner annually on health care services.

Besides the ongoing cost of providing health care, dental and mental health care, the state has spent about $82 million since 2007 on plans, environmental reviews, and blueprints for seven new medical facilities, which did not materialize. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger abandoned those plans for a smaller single facility in Stockton that contains 1,700 beds, and ordered several former juvenile prisons retrofitted to be used as medical facilities.

According to a report from the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, since the creation of the federal receivership in 2006, the cost of providing prison health care jumped 83 percent in just 4 years, from $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion.

As part of the state’s budget deficit reduction plan, last year Kelso agreed to an $820 million cut to inmate medical services for the fiscal year 2010-2011. So far, according to the Assembly report, only $94 million in cuts have been identified.

Kelso told state legislators that the quickest was to reduce costs of operating the prison health care system is to release the sickest patients, largely responsible for a disproportionate amount of medical expenses. “You let me unload 1,500 inmates, and I’ll give you a 30% drop in costs,” he said.

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Oklahoma judge charged with stealing child welfare funds

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An Oklahoma County district judge has been charged with felony fraud for taking foster care payments for twins that she adopted, but secretly gave to another woman to raise.

Judge Tammy-Bass LeSure, 43, and husband Karlos Antonio LeSure, 46, took $22,000 in foster care reimbursements from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services beginning in January 2008, when they agreed to become foster parents of the infant boy and girl. The DHS paid the pair $730 per month.

Around the same time prosecutors allege, they gave the children to LeSure’s bailiff’s sister, who has been raising the children ever since. The woman who has custody of the children told investigators that other than DHS payments to day-care providers, she had not received any compensation or assistance for the care of the children.

The judge was charged with 30 counts of making fraudulent claims and two counts of perjury, while her husband was charged with two counts of making a false claim and two counts of perjury. The district attorney’s chief investigator said that the judge used some of the money in Texas and Maryland “at spas, nail salons and casinos,” according to an affidavit that was part of the filing.

Prosecutors said that the judge took repeated actions to suppress the truth about who had custody of the children “through trick, false appearances and/or unfair acts.”

Bass-LeSure was first elected to the bench 12 years ago, and until recently, handled criminal cases. Last year, she moved to probate, guardianship and adoption cases after she was accused of misconduct while handling a high-profile criminal case.

The judge and her husband have had financial troubles in recent years, filing for bankruptcy in 2009, reporting debts of more than $1 million.

The judge currently earns over $120,000 from her post.

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Why the Golden State is so broke, after taxing so much

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If there’s any wonder why the State of California is in so much fiscal trouble, after collecting more taxes that any state in the nation- and most nations on earth, take a quick look at all the agencies that taxpayers support.

Over the next 18 months, incoming Gov. Gerry Brown says the estimated budget deficit, before his proposed tax extensions and budget cuts, is $25 billion.

Perhaps if we eliminate one-quarter of these agencies, we’ll have money left over to educate our children.

California Access for Infants and Mothers * California Acupuncture Board * California Administrative Office of the Courts * California Adoptions Branch * California African American Museum * California Agricultural Export Program * California Agricultural Labor Relations Board * California Agricultural Statistics Service * California Air Resources Board (CARB) * California Allocation Board * California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority * California Animal Health and Food Safety Services * California Anti-Terrorism Information Center * California Apprenticeship Council * California Arbitration Certification Program * California Architects Board * California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board * California Arts Council * California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus * California Assembly Democratic Caucus * California Assembly Republican Caucus * California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General * California Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California Bay-Delta Authority * California Bay-Delta Office * California Biodiversity Council * California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists * California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors * California Board of Accountancy * California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology * California Board of Behavioral Sciences * California Board of Chiropractic Examiners * California Board of Equalization (BOE) * California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection * California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind * California Board of Occupational Therapy * California Board of Optometry * California Board of Pharmacy * California Board of Podiatric Medicine * California Board of Prison Terms * California Board of Psychology * California Board of Registered Nursing * California Board of Trustees * California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians * California Braille and Talking Book Library * California Building Standards Commission * California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education * California Bureau of Automotive Repair * California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair * California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation * California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine * California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services * California Bureau of State Audits * California Business Agency * California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) * California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) * California Business Portal * California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency * California Cal Grants * California CalJOBS * California Cal-Learn Program * California CalVet Home Loan Program * California Career Resource Network * California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau * California Center for Analytical Chemistry * California Center for Distributed Learning * California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California) * California Chancellors Office * California Charter Schools * California Children and Families Commission * California Children and Family Services Division * California Citizens Compensation Commission * California Civil Rights Bureau * California Coastal Commission * California Coastal Conservancy * California Code of Regulations * California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis * California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth * California Commission on Aging * California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation * California Commission on Judicial Performance * California Commission on State Mandates * California Commission on Status of Women * California Commission on Teacher Credentialing * California Commission on the Status of Women * California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office * California Complaint Mediation Program * California Conservation Corps * California Constitution Revision Commission * California Consumer Hotline * California Consumer Information Center * California Consumer Information * California Consumer Services Division * California Consumers and Families Agency * California Contractors State License Board * California Corrections Standards Authority * California Council for the Humanities * California Council on Criminal Justice * California Council on Developmental Disabilities * California Court Reporters Board * California Courts of Appeal * California Crime and Violence Prevention Center * California Criminal Justice Statistics Center * California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library * California CSGnet Network Management * California Cultural and Historical Endowment * California Cultural Resources Division * California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch * California Data Exchange Center * California Data Management Division * California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission * California Delta Protection Commission * California Democratic Caucus * California Demographic Research Unit * California Dental Auxiliaries * California Department of Aging * California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control * California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) * California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) * California Department of Community Services and Development * California Department of Conservation * California Department of Consumer Affairs * California Department of Corporations * California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation * California Department of Developmental Services * California Department of Education * California Department of Fair Employment and Housing * California Department of Finance * California Department of Financial Institutions * California Department of Fish and Game * California Department of Food and Agriculture * California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) * California Department of General Services * California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing * California Department of Health Care Services * California Department of Housing and Community Development * California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) * California Department of Insurance * California Department of Justice Firearms Division * California Department of Justice Opinion Unit * California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit * California Department of Justice * California Department of Managed Health Care * California Department of Mental Health * California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) * California Department of Personnel Administration * California Department of Pesticide Regulation * California Department of Public Health * California Department of Real Estate * California Department of Rehabilitation * California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch * California Department of Social Services * California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) * California Department of Technology Services (DTS) * California Department of Toxic Substances Control * California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) * California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) * California Department of Water Resources * California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados * California Digital Library * California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Division of Apprenticeship Standards * California Division of Codes and Standards * California Division of Communicable Disease Control * California Division of Engineering * California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control * California Division of Gambling Control * California Division of Housing Policy Development * California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement * California Division of Labor Statistics and Research * California Division of Land and Right of Way * California Division of Land Resource Protection * California Division of Law Enforcement General Library * California Division of Measurement Standards * California Division of Mines and Geology * California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) * California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources * California Division of Planning and Local Assistance * California Division of Recycling * California Division of Safety of Dams * California Division of the State Architect * California Division of Tourism * California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit * California Division of Workers Compensation * California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources * California Economic Strategy Panel * California Education and Training Agency * California Education Audit Appeals Panel * California Educational Facilities Authority * California Elections Division * California Electricity Oversight Board * California Emergency Management Agency * California Emergency Medical Services Authority * California Employment Development Department (EDD) * California Employment Information State Jobs * California Employment Training Panel * California Energy Commission * California Environment and Natural Resources Agency * California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) * California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) * California Executive Office * California Export Laboratory Services * California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) * California Fair Political Practices Commission * California Fairs and Expositions Division * California Film Commission * California Fire and Resource Assessment Program * California Firearms Division * California Fiscal Services * California Fish and Game Commission * California Fisheries Program Branch * California Floodplain Management * California Foster Youth Help * California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) * California Fraud Division * California Gambling Control Commission * California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) * California Geological Survey * California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board * California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons * California Governors Mentoring Partnership * California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services * California Governor’s Office of Homeland Security * California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research * California Governor’s Office * California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan * California Health and Human Services Agency * California Health and Safety Agency * California Healthy Families Program * California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau * California High-Speed Rail Authority * California Highway Patrol (CHP) * California History and Culture Agency * California Horse Racing Board * California Housing Finance Agency * California Indoor Air Quality Program * California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission * California Industrial Welfare Commission * California Info People * California Information Center for the Environment * California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) * California Inspection Services * California Institute for County Government * California Institute for Education Reform * California Integrated Waste Management Board * California Interagency Ecological Program * California Job Service * California Junta Estatal de Personal * California Labor and Employment Agency * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency * California Labor Market Information Division * California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) * California Lands Commission * California Landscape Architects Technical Committee * California Latino Legislative Caucus * California Law Enforcement Branch * California Law Enforcement General Library * California Law Revision Commission * California Legislative Analyst’s Office * California Legislative Black Caucus * California Legislative Counsel * California Legislative Division * California Legislative Information * California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus * California Legislature Internet Caucus * California Library Development Services * California License and Revenue Branch * California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program * California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board * California Maritime Academy * California Marketing Services * California Measurement Standards * California Medical Assistance Commission * California Medical Care Services * California Military Department * California Mining and Geology Board * California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American Heritage Commission * California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program * California New Motor Vehicle Board * California Nursing Home Administrator Program * California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board * California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board * California Ocean Resources Management Program * California Office of Administrative Hearings * California Office of Administrative Law * California Office of AIDS * California Office of Binational Border Health * California Office of Child Abuse Prevention * California Office for Deaf Access * California Office of Emergency Services (OES) * California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment * California Office of Fiscal Services * California Office of Fleet Administration * California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI) * California Office of Historic Preservation * California Office of Homeland Security * California Office of Human Resources * California Office of Legal Services * California Office of Legislation * California Office of Lieutenant Governor * California Office of Military and Aerospace Support * California Office of Mine Reclamation * California Office of Natural Resource Education * California Office of Privacy Protection * California Office of Public School Construction * California Office of Real Estate Appraisers * California Office of Risk and Insurance Management * California Office of Services to the Blind * California Office of Spill Prevention and Response * California Office of State Publishing (OSP) * California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development * California Office of Systems Integration * California Office of the Inspector General * California Office of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California Office of the President * California Office of the Secretary for Education * California Office of the State Fire Marshal * California Office of the State Public Defender * California Office of Traffic Safety * California Office of Vital Records * California Online Directory * California Operations Control Office * California Opinion Unit * California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network  * California Park and Recreation Commission * California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) * California Performance Review (CPR) * California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD) * California Physical Therapy Board * California Physician Assistant Committee * California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services * California Policy and Evaluation Division * California Political Reform Division * California Pollution Control Financing Authority * California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo * California Postsecondary Education Commission * California Prevention Services * California Primary Care and Family Health * California Prison Industry Authority * California Procurement Division * California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) * California Real Estate Services Division * California Refugee Programs Branch * California Regional Water Quality Control Boards * California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee * California Registrar of Charitable Trusts * California Republican Caucus * California Research and Development Division * California Research Bureau * California Resources Agency * California Respiratory Care Board * California Rivers Assessment * California Rural Health Policy Council * California Safe Schools * California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy * California San Joaquin River Conservancy * California School to Career * California Science Center * California Scripps Institution of Oceanography * California Secretary of State Business Portal * California Secretary of State * California Seismic Safety Commission * California Self Insurance Plans * California Senate Office of Research * California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program * California Smart Growth Caucus * California Smog Check Information Center * California Spatial Information Library * California Special Education Division * California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board * California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) * California Standards and Assessment Division * California State Administrative Manual (SAM) * California State Allocation Board * California State and Consumer Services Agency * California State Architect * California State Archives * California State Assembly * California State Association of Counties (CSAC) * California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and Agriculture *California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) * California State Children’s Trust Fund * California State Compensation Insurance Fund * California State Contracts Register Program * California State Contracts Register * California State Controller * California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) * California State Disability Insurance (SDI) * California State Fair (Cal Expo) * California State Jobs Employment Information * California State Lands Commission * California State Legislative Portal * California State Legislature * California State Library Catalog * California State Library Services Bureau * California State Library * California State Lottery * California State Mediation and Conciliation Service * California State Mining and Geology Board * California State Park and Recreation Commission * California State Parks * California State Personnel Board * California State Polytechnic University, Pomona * California State Railroad Museum * California State Science Fair * California State Senate * California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) * California State Summer School for the Arts * California State Superintendent of Public Instruction * California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) * California State Treasurer * California State University Center for Distributed Learning * California State University, Bakersfield * California State University, Channel Islands * California State University, Chico * California State University, Dominguez Hills * California State University, East Bay * California State University, Fresno * California State University, Fullerton * California State University, Long Beach * California State University, Los Angeles * California State University, Monterey Bay * California State University, Northridge * California State University, Sacramento * California State University, San Bernardino * California State University, San Marcos * California State University, Stanislaus * California State University (CSU) * California State Water Project Analysis Office * California State Water Project * California State Water Resources Control Board * California Structural Pest Control Board * California Student Aid Commission * California Superintendent of Public Instruction * California Superior Courts * California Tahoe Conservancy * California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists * California Tax Information Center * California Technology and Administration Branch Finance * California Telecommunications Division * California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS) * California Transportation Commission * California Travel and Transportation Agency * California Unclaimed Property Program * California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board * California Unemployment Insurance Program * California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission * California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial * California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee * California Veterinary Medical Board * California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board * California Volunteers * California Voter Registration * California Water Commission * California Water Environment Association (COWPEA) * California Water Resources Control Board * California Welfare to Work Division * California Wetlands Information System * California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch * California Wildlife Conservation Board * California Wildlife Programs Branch * California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) * California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board * California Youth Authority (CYA) * Central Valley Flood Protection Board * Center for California Studies * Colorado River Board of California * Counting California * Dental Board of California * Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage) * Humboldt State University * Jobs with the State of California * Judicial Council of California * Learn California * Library of California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy) * Medical Board of California * Medi-Cal * Osteopathic Medical Board of California * Physical Therapy Board of California * Regents of the University of California * San Diego State University * San Francisco State University * San Jose State University * Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy * State Bar of California * Supreme Court of California * Teach California * University of California * University of California, Berkeley * University of California, Davis * University of California, Hastings College of the Law * University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles * University of California, Merced * University of California, Riverside * University of California, San Diego * University of California, San Francisco * University of California, Santa Barbara * University of California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California

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New report says FEMA paid $643 million in bogus Katrina claims

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A report issued Monday by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general Richard Skinner, said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency improperly paid out $643 million in claims to 160,000 applicants and should immediately move to recoup the monies before it’s too late.

The amount represents about 9 percent of the $7 billion paid to victims of recent federally-declared disasters, primarily hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Once a federal disaster is declared, victims may apply for federal assistance for medical care and property damage.

The monies were disbursed as a result of fraud, human error, poor departmental oversight and internal controls. FEMA officials vowed to make an effort to collects the money, but it’s unclear how successful they might be.

Officials said that payments were made for fraudulent claims in which phony names and addresses were used, while some of the payments were to claimants that unintentionally “double-dipped.” Those claimants received payments from FEMA immediately after the hurricanes, and subsequently received monies from their insurance companies for the claims, not understanding that they weren’t legally permitted to be paid twice for the same claim.

The report said that FEMA paid some $17 million in rental assistance payments to applicants that had been provided free-of-charge trailers by the agency. FEMA also distributed about $20 million for claims that were submitted twice- once for each hurricane disaster, but covering the same loss on the same property.

FEMA was barred from pursuing the collection of improper payments by a federal court order in 2007. The ruling required FEMA to revise its collection procedures before it could resume its collection effort. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the part of the court order requiring FEMA to redo its collection procedures, but the agency hasn’t yet re-started the process.

New procedures have been in place since 2008, but neither Bush administration officials nor current FEMA head, Craig Fugate, have approved them.

A spokesperson for the agency, Rachel Racusen, said “at FEMA, we are committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, and not only do we agree with the inspector general’s recommendation to recoup disaster assistant payments that were improperly disbursed to individuals in recent years, but we are and have been actively working with state and local leadership and other stakeholders to finalize plans to recoup misspent funds, while continuing to support Gulf Coast communities as they recover.”

The agency says that the approval of the new procedures should begin soon, but didn’t provide a date. Some of the changes in the new procedures include a second review of improper payments and a clear explanation of the appeal process in the initial demand letter sent to recipients of the improper payments.

Summing up the report, Skinner wrote, “Further delays only make aging debts more difficult to collect.”

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10th lawsuit filed against Philly Housing Authority after exec director Greene fired

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A former employee of the Philadelphia Housing Authority has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming he was fired for reporting that others in the agency were involved in waste, fraud and theft. John Tatum, a former assistant general manager who supervised 400 employees, was terminated after telling his superiors that employees were using the agency’s Home Depot credit cards to steal building materials.

Tatum was head of maintenance for thousands of freestanding houses scattered through the Philadelphia area. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, after informing his supervisors about his suspicions, he was demoted and then reassigned to managing two people at an apartment complex in North Philadelphia.

The lawsuit said that Tatum began suspecting employees were stealing building materials in 2007. In July 2008, police raided a North Philadelphia “chop shop” and recovered a large amount of building materials stolen from the PHA.

During the subsequent police probe, Tatum told investigators and his supervisor, Daniel Quimby, that he had information and documents detailing how the thefts were being carried out. Shortly thereafter, Tatum was demoted and reassigned. On Jan. 5, 2009 he was fired.

In September, the Philadelphia Daily news reported that the FBI was conducting an investigation of a major theft ring at the Housing Authority.

Tatum also alleged in his lawsuit that former PHA executive director Carl R. Greene falsified his performance reports to increase his annual bonus by downplaying the amount of work orders on scattered housing sites. Requests for repairs were often recorded as “closed” and subsequently moved to other departments where they were handled by non-agency subcontractors, making it appear that Greene was managing the department more efficiently.

Besides the Housing Authority, Greene, Quimby and Diane Rosenthal, head of finance at PHA, were named in the lawsuit.

Greene was fired in September after the PHA board discovered he had been concealing a number of sexual harassment lawsuits and settlements. Since then, nine other lawsuits have been filed against Greene and the agency.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Connecticut Judge rules that illegal aliens rounded up in deportation raid can sue top immigration officials and agents

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A federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut ruled last week that the civil rights of a group of illegal aliens were violated when immigration officials rounded them up in raid and jailed them. In a controversial move, Judge Stefan Underhill ruled that the immigrants could bring direct legal action against immigration agents as well as top officials, including the agency’s then-national director, Julie L. Meyers. The immigrants are also suing the U.S. government.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency asked that the lawsuit be dismissed on the grounds that senior agency officials could not be held personally liable in that they were far removed from the action, and that immigration agents could not be sued for doing their jobs.

The raids took place in New Haven, and were part of a national campaign called “Return to Sender.” Immigration agents in four teams arrested 32 immigrants, mostly from Mexico, while they were in their apartments. The raids took place in the summer of 2007. Read more

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Philadelphia Housing Authority snags another lawsuit, thanks to former head Carl R. Greene

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Getting rid of executive director Carl R. Greene in September apparently hasn’t relieved the embattled PHA of continuing fallout from his time there. Now it’s been learned that one of the woman who settled a sexual harassment claim for $350,000 with the agency in 2008 over Greene’s unwanted advances, has filed a lawsuit in Common Pleas Court charging PHA employees with intimidation and harassment after she left the agency.

The lawsuit asks for damages of $600,000 for PHA’s failure to adequately discipline Greene.

Greene can't be happy about all the harassment lawsuits that he and PHA have attracted.

Moneke Thomas, 38, claims that current and former PHA employees inflicted emotional distress to keep her silent and to frighten other women in the organization so they wouldn’t speak out about the goings on inside. Thomas said that she was followed while driving in her car, had her mail tampered with and flowerpots were turned over in front of her home.

While the lawsuit does not specifically name Greene, in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thomas said that she believe Greene was behind the activities. “He will do everything in his power to keep me from speaking,” she said.

Thomas’ earlier sexual harassment settlement specifically includes a non-disclosure provision, preventing her from discussing the alleged sexual harassment, and the current lawsuit sidesteps that matter.

Greene was fired in September when the PHA board learned the agency had secretly paid $648,000 to three female employees to settle sexual harassment complaints, and that a fourth woman was pursuing the same claim against the agency. Since Greene was fired, three more women have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts against Greene and the agency for sexual harassment.

Greene has denied wrongdoing in all the previous sexual harassment complaints.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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