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Weird National Briefs (03/24/2021)

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A top aide to a district attorney in suburban Philadelphia has been demoted because he was caught moonlighting for DoorDash during work hours.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced the punishment Thursday against prosecutor Gregg Shore, who was demoted from the office’s first assistant district attorney to being a deputy district attorney.

Weintraub said Shore had been working for DoorDash, delivering food during work hours, from October to February. The Bucks County Courier Times said Shore’s salary as first assistant was $125,000.

“I primarily worked the job at nights and weekends, however, I made the incredibly poor decision to deliver during the workday at times,” Shore told the paper Thursday.

Shore told the Courier Times he was motivated by personal circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic to work the delivery job.

Weintraub said Shore repaid the county with unused vacation time for the money he made delivering food while on duty.

Weintraub cited the importance of redemption and second chances as reasons to keep Shore on the office payroll.

Shore has also worked for the state attorney general’s office, as a Lehigh County prosecutor and was a deputy secretary in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry during the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett.

TME – Tough to fault a guy for trying to double his billable hours.

Welcome to the neighborhood

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (AP) — A Florida couple came up with a great way to meet their new neighbors after moving into their home during the coronavirus pandemic. They offered free beer.

Amanda and Thomas Evans decided to move from Fort Myers to nearby Cape Coral just before the pandemic started last year.

“It was a different experience I think than most first time homebuyers,” Amanda Evans told ABC7 television station.

They were not sure when they would get to meet their new neighbors.

“Luckily, we have a rescue dog that we walk around the block every day, so we met some people in passing,” she said. “Typically, you would bring people cookies or pie or invite them over for dinner, but we weren’t sure about how people were feeling,” Amanda added.

Instead, they created a flyer:

“Hi, we’re new to the neighborhood and would like to meet our lovely neighbors. We will be in our driveway with drinks, ready to meet any neighbors who would like to stop by. We can’t wait to meet you.”

Her husband wasn’t sure anyone would show up. But once the “Free Beer” sign was placed outside, the neighbors started venturing over.

“It’s always funny to see a sign on the table that says free beer, just to get people to stop and turn their head and drive by and say what did that sign just say. We had a few people do a double take, free beer is a pretty easy way to get people to show up,” said Thomas Evans.

They say it’s a great ice-breaker for anyone who is new to a neighborhood.

TME – With neighbors like these, who needs friends?

Zoo ado

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A father has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after he carried his 2-year-old daughter into the elephant habitat at the San Diego Zoo to take a photograph with the animals.

The man bypassed multiple barriers and “purposely and illegally trespassed” into a habitat for Asian and African elephants Friday afternoon, zoo spokesman Andrew James said.

A witness video provided to NBC San Diego shows a man dropping the child as they flee the enclosure as a trumpeting elephant charged at them. The man picked up the toddler and was able to get her out safely.

Police said the 25-year-old man wanted to take a photo with the African bull elephant. James said the elephants were not harmed.

San Diego County jail records show Jose Manuel Navarrete was being held on $100,000 bail for investigation of child endangerment. He was set to be arraigned on March 30.

It wasn’t immediately known if he had a lawyer who would speak on his behalf.

Witness Lori Ortale told KSWB-TV she heard a woman yelling “Jose, stop” before a man jumped the fence and through the elephant enclosure.

“These guys right away were saying, ‘That elephant is going to charge,’ and it did,” Ortale said.

“We told him to get out and he turned around and he saw it thankfully just in time,” said Jake Ortale, who also witnessed the incident. “He runs, throws his baby through the gate and it’s seconds from hitting him. He jumps through the gate, falls on the ground and then it roared.”

“The baby starts crying and people were just mad at this guy,” he said.

After Navarrete’s arrest, the child went home with her mother, police said.

TME – One thing’s for sure – it’s a day that elephant will never forget.

A fool for a client

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A man convicted of using a fake gun to try robbing a McDonald’s restaurant where he once worked has been granted a new trial.

In a unanimous ruling, New Jersey’s Supreme Court held that a trial judge unfairly prevented Thomas Outland from acting as his own attorney at his 2017 trial.

Outland was convicted of conspiracy and possession of an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose after he and an accomplice were accused of trying to rob a McDonald’s in Union County in 2015.

According to trial testimony cited in Tuesday’s ruling, Outland and the accomplice entered the restaurant and demanded money. But the caper was foiled when an employee noticed that Outland’s shotgun was a fake and called him out on it. When Outland took off his mask, a manager recognized him as a former employee.

Outland laughed, said it was a joke and tried to hug the manager before leaving, according to testimony.

When Outland indicated he wanted to act as his own lawyer, the trial judge questioned him on his knowledge of rules of evidence and other legal concepts.

In awarding a new trial, the Supreme Court ruled the judge’s questions were “more like a bar exam than colloquy to determine whether defendant understood the consequences of acting as his own attorney at trial.”

TME – He better hope he’s better at lawyering than he is at jokes.

Meanwhile, in Florida …

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — An assistant principal at an elementary school is accused of accessing the school district’s internal system to cast fraudulent votes for her daughter who was elected homecoming queen at her high school, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

On Monday, agents arrested Laura Rose Carroll, 50, and her 17-year-old daughter on multiple charges stemming from the October homecoming vote at Tate High School in Pensacola.

The investigation began in November when the Escambia County School District reported unauthorized access into hundreds of student accounts, according to a news release from the agency.

Investigators found that in October, hundreds of votes for the school’s homecoming court were flagged as fraudulent, the news release said. There were 117 votes from the same IP address within a short period of time, the investigation found.

That’s when investigators found evidence of unauthorized access to the system linked to Carroll’s cellphone and computers at her home. There were 246 votes cast for homecoming court from those devices. Carroll is an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School in Pensacola.

Multiple Tate students told investigators the daughter described using her mother’s system access, or of watching her mother access records, for years, the report said. Investigators learned that since August 2019, Carroll’s account accessed 372 high school records and 339 of those were Tate students.

Investigators said Carroll had district level access of the school board’s program.

System users are required to change their password every 45 days, and Carroll’s annual training for the “Staff Responsible Use of Guidelines for Technology” was up to date, the agency said.

Carroll was booked into the Escambia County Jail and bond was set at $8,500, the agency said. It was not immediately known whether Carroll and her daughter are represented by a lawyer.

Her daughter was taken into custody and transferred to the Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The case has been turned over to the state attorney’s office in Escambia County.

Escambia County School District Superintendent Tim Smith told the News Journal that Carroll has been suspended from her job. He declined further comment.

Her daughter has been expelled from Tate High School, agents said.

Each are charged with offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communications device; criminal use of personally identifiable information and conspiracy to commit those offenses.

TME – Voting irregularities in Florida – there’s a surprise.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 March 2021 05:05


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