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Posts tagged ‘Jackie Battle’

Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison.


Image: Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Former NYPD Commissioner and 9/11 hero Bernard Kerik has filed a complaint with the New York state bar accusing his high-profile attorney Joe Tacopina of working with prosecutors to send him to prison.

Kerik was sentenced to time behind bars after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges and admitting accepting $165,000 in apartment renovations from a company that was allegedly tied to the mob, The New York Daily News reports.

Tacopina, representing Kerik, assured him his legal troubles were over, but two years later Kerik was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison.

Kerik now accuses his attorney of helping federal investigators put him behind bars.

In his complaint to the bar, Kerik accuses Tacopina of being involved in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and/or misrepresentation.”

He also accuses Tacopina of revealing information crucial to his defense to federal investigators, improperly contacting Kerik in 2007 after he was indicted, and attempting to defraud Kerik of a seven-figure finder’s fee as part of a real estate deal.

The charges were filed before the disciplinary committee of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

Tacopina denies the claims, and his attorney Lanny Davis says that if any of the accusations were true, Tacopina already would have been sanctioned.

“Mr. Tacopina in 22 years of law practice has never received a bar complaint, let alone any discipline,” Davis told the Daily News. “Mr. Tacopina’s spotless record with the bar speaks far louder than the lies and innuendo that are being spread by those with an obvious agenda.”

One of Kerik’s major complaints is that Tacopina met with prosecutors, an accusation Tacopina denies. He says he only met with prosecutors once or twice for less than two hours to authenticate financial records.

But Kerik says that in March 2007, prosecutors disqualified Tacopina from representing him and then converted him into a witness against his former client.

Kerik says Tacopina then contacted him, which is against court rules. Tacopina’s attorneys deny that claim.

Kerik is also considering a malpractice suit against Tacopina, said one of his attorneys, Boston-based Raymond Mansolillo.

“We’ll assess the information that we’ve gleaned, and we’ll determine which avenue to take,” Mansolillo said. “I’m looking into whether any [of Tacopina’s representation] had any indirect or direct effect on where Bernie ended up.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in White Plains, which prosecuted Kerik, declined requests for comment.

But documents obtained by The Daily News show that the office questioned Tacopina.

“You can’t talk about things that would lead your client into an ambush,” Mansolillo said. “We have information that they did talk. We don’t know why. Those questions may have to be revealed by the U.S. attorney. It could go in a lot of directions.”

The men were close friends and business partners for years before Kerik faced the federal charges.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Poll: Most Believe Gov’t Corruption is Worse Under Obama.


Image: Poll: Most Believe Gov't Corruption is Worse Under Obama

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Most Americans believe that government corruption has gotten worse under the Obama administration, according to a new national survey conducted by two conservative organizations.

The survey, conducted by the conservative Judicial Watch in partnership with Breitbart.com, shows 77 percent of the 1,000 adults questioned are concerned about government corruption and 52 percent of them think the problem has gotten worse over the past five years since President Barack Obama first took office.

The Judicial Watch-Breitbart poll shows that the American people are thoroughly disenchanted with a government they see as corrupt and secretive,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“The support for the rule of law on immigration runs against the establishment narrative pretending there is overwhelming support for mass amnesty. On a host of issues – ranging from corruption to transparency, to election integrity, to Obamacare – President Obama is completely out of touch with the American people.”

The poll taken Dec. 15-16 also sought information on attitudes concerning other subjects, including voter fraud, immigration policy, and Obamacare.

When it comes to government corruption, Republicans tended to be more concerned, the survey revealed, with 88 percent being most concerned, followed by independents at 75 percent and Democrats at 68 percent.

Overall, the poll found that Americans think the government is doing a worse job at policing its own corruption, with 52 percent saying matters have gotten worse in the past five years. Only 18 percent of those surveyed thought the government is doing a better job at self-policing. The survey also found specifically that four out of five respondents do not believe that Obama has fulfilled his 2008 campaign pledge to have “the most open and transparent [government] in history.”

The respondents also expressed skepticism about several other Obama agenda items, including immigration and healthcare reform. Forty-nine percent said they believe immigration laws currently on the books should be enforced, and think illegal immigrants should return home rather than stay in the U.S. Of those polled, 71 percent favor enforcing current immigration laws, while 21 percent support changing the laws.

The survey also revealed that most respondents are more confident in their states’ ability to handle healthcare issues than they are the federal government’s. But nearly one-third of the respondents don’t have confidence in government at any level to coordinate healthcare.

As far Obamacare, two-thirds of those surveyed said they are satisfied with the insurance they have now.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Perry to Sebelius: Don’t Blame ‘Pesky Texans’ for Obamacare Problems.


Image: Perry to Sebelius: Don't Blame 'Pesky Texans' for Obamacare Problems

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Gov. Rick Perry is defending Texas‘s decision to strengthen qualification requirements for Obamacare navigators, saying it’s not the state’s fault that President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare program has so many problems.

“Obamacare offers virtually no protection for consumers shopping for health coverage through these so-called navigators,” the Republican governor wrote in an scathing op-ed piece that appeared Thursday in The Austin American-Statesman.

The former GOP 2012 presidential candidate, and possible 2016 candidate, also took Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to task for suggesting that Obamacare enrollment would be going a lot smoother if “it weren’t for all those pesky Texans getting in the way,” as the governor put it.

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is implementing “commonsense” rules for navigators who “probe Texans for their most personal and private information in the name of signing consumers up for Obamacare,” Perry wrote. “These rules are especially important given the minimal federal requirements navigators must meet.”

The rules include basic measures like criminal background checks, Perry said, to help protect Texans.

“Secretary Sebelius herself admitted federal navigators underwent no background check at all and could, in fact, be felons,” he continued. “TDI’s rules will help ensure felons, including convicted sex offenders, are not knocking on Texans’ doors under the guise of signing them up for insurance, and that Texans aren’t giving out their most private and sensitive information to someone already convicted of fraud or identity theft.”

Further, Perry noted that even though Sebelius has “bragged” that navigators get 20 hours of training, “it hasn’t prevented fraud documented in published videos showing navigators — who have already completed Secretary Sebelius’ training — encouraging applicants to lie about their income and misstate their smoking habits in order to snare higher subsidies and lower premiums at taxpayer expense.”

A new report by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also points out the need for overseeing the navigators, he added. The report shows instances in which he said “navigators openly encouraged applicants to commit tax fraud to obtain subsidies they otherwise are not qualified to receive.”

But consumers are still at risk even if they don’t use navigators, the governor said, noting “security flaws” in the Healthcare.gov website that been “widely reported.”

“Clearly, Texas’ concerns about this program are well-founded,” he added.

Perry went on to describe Obamacare as “a colossal disaster and getting worse.”

“Until the Obama administration places the privacy and protection of American consumers above political pushback, Texas will hold the line on protecting our citizens,” Perry declared.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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