New York City

October 26, 2016 – The DoJ in D.C. announces it is launching a civil rights probe into Eric Garner’s death

“The federal investigation into the death of Eric Garner is under new scrutiny two years after the Department of Justice announced that it was launching a civil rights probe.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., is reviewing the case, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The case has been primarily handled by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York.

“This is kind of like doing due diligence on the investigation,” said Richard Frankel, an ABC contributor and former FBI agent who oversaw the federal Garner investigation when the feds first came in.

Garner died on July 17, 2014, after being placed in a chokehold by Officer David Pantaleo during an arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes in New York City.

(…) Pantaleo’s attorney, Stuart London, told ABC News that the DOJ should accept the recommendation not to indict Pantaleo “rather than impair the integrity of the investigation by allowing politics to replace the rule of law.”

“This matter has been thoroughly investigated by a state grand jury as well as experienced FBI agents and assistant U.S. attorneys. The recommendation is apparently that there was no civil rights violation. It is unprecedented to continue shopping for new FBI agents who support a predetermined result,” he said in a statement.” (Read more: ABC News, 10/26/2016)

April 2016 – NYC purges 200,000 voters and it isn’t a mistake

(Credit: public domain)

“In anticipation of voting in the April 19, 2016, presidential primary in New York, Kathleen Menegozzi checked her registration online. The Brooklyn resident, a registered Democrat since 2008, learned three weeks before the election that she had been struck from the rolls. Another Brooklyn Democrat, Casey James Diskin, who first joined the party in 2012, discovered five days before the primary that he was not registered at all.

In Manhattan, Michael Hubbard, a Democrat since 2015, checked his status online 17 days before planning to vote, only to find that he too was no longer registered. Meanwhile, in Queens, Benjamin Leo Gersh, who also had been a registered Democrat since 2015, checked on his voter status, and saw two weeks before the primary that he too had been purged.

Then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would eventually reveal that they were among 200,000 New York City voters who had been illegally wiped off the rolls and prevented from voting in the presidential primary. But by January of 2017, when Schneiderman announced that he would intervene in a federal lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the news fell on deaf ears.

The announcement had come just seven days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Although it was the first time the total number of purged voters had been disclosed, the media was consumed with a different statistic: the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. At the same time, a snowballing narrative that Russia had hacked the U.S. election would overshadow the indisputable fact that a domestic government agency had committed election fraud.

The lack of media attention was in stark contrast to the recent barrage of headlines about a right-wing push to purge eligible voters from the rolls. Much of the media ignored New York’s proven case of election fraud, perhaps because it had been facilitated by Democrats, and not by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican with a national profile for championing stricter voter ID legislation.

Schneiderman’s lawsuit, which was initially launched by a coalition of three voter rights groups, never went to trial – the New York City Board of Elections didn’t even try to dispute the attorney general’s findings. “The New York City Board of Elections got caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” said Jose Perez, general counsel for one of the plaintiffs, Latino Justice PRLDEF.

In October of 2017, the city’s elections board quietly settled the lawsuit by admitting it broke federal and state election laws. It agreed to a vague list of reforms in a consent decree, including that it “overhaul its voter registration and list maintenance procedures, adequately train relevant staff, submit to regular monitoring of its voter registration and list maintenance activities, and review every registration cancelled since July, 1, 2013.” (Read more: City & State New York, 11/06/2018)

April 20, 2015 – False Philanthropy? First Interim Report Concerning Public Disclosures of The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

Credit: Austin Hargrave/The Hollywood Reporter)

By: Charles Ortel

The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive

My interest in the Clinton Foundation financial disclosures was originally sparked by an article written in the New York Times entitled “Unease at Clinton Foundation over Finances and Ambitions.”

Considering this article with the benefit of hindsight after having poured through reams of public filings and comments made by the Clinton Foundation as well as related parties, one wonders how seriously management, directors, and other employees take their manifold legal duties, particularly when it comes to making truthful and complete disclosures.

Since August 2013, few investigative reporters have dug deeply enough below the surface of Clinton Foundation filings, seeking and finding answers to questions concerning the stated financial performance of significant constituent entities as well as the consolidated whole.

I have completed a summary review of these filings, and have attached a report which answers a few key questions. Specifically:

  1. What do Clinton Foundation disclosures tell informed readers about the stewardship of billions of dollars in “charitable contributions” sent to Little Rock, to New York City, to Boston, to London, and to Stockholm from numerous donors with modest means, from wealthy and powerful donors, and from a host of governments and government-connected benefactors?
  2. Did management exercise vigilance to ensure that the Clinton Foundation actually carried out its original and its amended tax-exempt purposes?
  3. Did directors take reasonable care, as fiduciaries, under applicable state, federal, and foreign laws to operate this charity serving, at all times, a public interest?
  4. Are all business arrangements with material “related” parties fully and adequately disclosed in annual, publicly available filings that comparable charities regularly complete on time?

Or, do the Clintons, and others who operate the Clinton Foundation, function as Robin Hood in reverse? Do they dupe small, modest income donors to enrich themselves and cronies?

Headline Conclusions of the First Foundation Report

The truth is that it is difficult to perform penetrating analysis of publicly available financial information pertaining to the Clinton Foundation because, so far, it is not technically complete in numerous material respects.

The numbers that the Clinton Foundation supplies to the public in its legally mandated filings do not add up, are frequently incorrect, and appear to be materially misleading. In numerous cases, the Clinton Foundation appears to have followed inconsistent policies adding in appropriate portions of the various activities it pursued around the world to create “consolidated” financial statements.

As the attached report notes, In several instances portions were added only for some of the years in which the entities remained in operation, artificially enhancing purported financial results. In other cases, important elements of activity were improperly characterized and combined.

Meanwhile the Foundation solicits donations even though its informational filings are not in compliance with applicable law. Regulators at Federal, State, Local, and international levels are not doing what they should do to protect the public.

Why?

And how long must we wait before regulators at home and abroad remedy rampant and persistent deficiencies in the Clinton Foundation’s operating and disclosure practices.

The attached print report details ten specific concerns about the most recent Clinton Foundation filings. I invite your considered reaction. (Charles Ortel, ‘False Philanthropy’ Report, 4/20/2015)