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Jose Garcia

Jose Garcia's Journal
Jose Garcia's Journal
December 13, 2022

Biden's Nuclear Waste Guru Out of a Job After Alleged Luggage Theft

Source: Daily Beast

A Biden Administration nuclear waste official, Sam Brinton, is out of a job after being accused of stealing airport luggage in two separate incidents.

“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee,” a Department of Energy spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. “By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters.”

Brinton, who attracted attention as one of the federal government's first non-binary officials, was first charged with a felony last month for nabbing a woman’s suitcase from the baggage carousel at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in September. They initially denied taking the bag—which was reportedly worth more than $2,500—but later said they had grabbed it by mistake.

Brinton checked the luggage on at least two other flights following the alleged theft, including a Sept. 18 flight back to Washington D.C. and an Oct. 9 trip to Europe, according to The Star Tribune.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-bidens-non-binary-nuclear-waste-guru-sam-brinton-out-of-a-job-after-accused-of-luggage-stealing

December 12, 2022

Florida COVID data critic Rebekah Jones reaches agreement on felony charge

Source: Tampa Bay Times

FORT LAUDERDALE — A fired Florida health department data manager charged with illegally accessing state computers after she publicly accused officials of wanting to make COVID-19 statistics look less dire has reached an agreement with prosecutors that should result in the case being dropped.

Rebekah Jones, who helped design the state’s coronavirus website, signed an agreement with prosecutors admitting guilt to a charge of illegally accessing the state’s computer system and requiring her to pay $20,000 to cover the investigation’s costs, perform 150 hours of community service and see a mental health counselor monthly. If she completes those requirements, the charge will be dropped within two years. The agreement was filed late last week at Tallahassee’s circuit court.

Jones, who lost a bid for Congress last month, was charged in January 2021 with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices. Investigators say that in late 2020, months after she was fired, Jones illegally accessed a state emergency-alert messaging system known as ReadyOp.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Jones downloaded and saved confidential data and sent a message to 1,750 state employees that urged them to “speak up before another 17,000 people are dead” — the number of Floridians who had died of COVID-19 by that point.

Read more: https://web.archive.org/web/20221212192927/https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2022/12/12/florida-covid-data-critic-rebekah-jones-reaches-agreement-felony-charge/

The moral of today's story is to not believe someone just because they are telling a story which reinforces what you already believe.
December 9, 2022

Florida GOP donor, DeSantis ally under 'active investigation' weeks before death, authorities say

Source: Politico

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Kent Stermon, a prominent Jacksonville-area Republican donor and friend of Gov. Ron DeSantis found dead in his car Thursday night, was under “active investigation” by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“This investigation remains ongoing at this time and will continue until its completion,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told POLITICO.

Waters said that because the investigation remains active, there is “limited information available to release at this time.” The Florida Times-Union reported, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, that authorities were examining allegations of sexual misconduct.

Stermon was president of Jacksonville-area defense contractor Total Military Management. Since 2017, he had given $140,000 in state political contributions, of which $50,000 went to a political committee aligned with DeSantis.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/09/kent-stermon-death-investigation-00073317

December 9, 2022

Energy department official accused of stealing luggage from Las Vegas airport

Energy department official accused of stealing luggage from Las Vegas airport
by: Vanessa Murphy

Posted: Dec 8, 2022 / 03:35 PM PST

Updated: Dec 8, 2022 / 06:59 PM PST

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An energy department official is accused of stealing luggage from Harry Reid International Airport, the 8 News Now Investigators learned Thursday.

A felony warrant was issued for Sam Brinton, a deputy assistant secretary, sources said. The charge is for grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000, records showed.

Brinton is a deputy assistant secretary of the office of spent fuel and waste disposition, according to the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website.

Brinton faces charges for a similar incident at the Minneapolis airport. He was on leave after charges were filed in connection with that incident, an energy department spokesman said in November.

December 6, 2022

Judge Dismisses Ethics Complaints Accusing Aileen Cannon of Bias in Trump Special Master Order

Source: National Law Journal

A federal judge dismissed a handful of ethics complaints that were filed against U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon over her handling of former President Donald Trump’s challenge to the seizure of documents from his Mar-a-Lago home.

The complaints filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit accuse Cannon of political bias in her decision to appoint a special master to review the seized documents, and claim she failed to base her order on sound legal reasoning.

In dismissing the complaints, Chief Judge William Pryor said the allegations lacked sufficient evidence showing that Cannon was out to favor Trump or had a conflict of interest. He also wrote that allegations concerning the merits of a judge’s decision can’t go forward under judicial misconduct rules.

“To the extent complainant’s allegations concern the substance of the subject judge’s official actions, rulings, findings, and orders in the above-described case, the allegations are directly related to the merits of the subject judge’s decisions or procedural rulings,” he wrote in one of the decisions.

Read more: https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2022/12/06/judge-dismisses-ethics-complaints-accusing-aileen-cannon-of-bias-in-trump-special-master-order/?slreturn=20221106155444

December 1, 2022

Gaetz friend gets 11 years for sex crime, other counts

Source: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal probe into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes.

Joel Greenberg, former tax collector for Seminole County, had pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, also including identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official. Prosecutors said he paid at least one girl to have sex with him and other men.

“Nothing justifies my actions. My conduct is so shameful. I feel remorse for what I’ve done,” Greenberg said in court Thursday.

Greenberg’s attorney had asked U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell for leniency, saying that his client had assisted in investigations of 24 people, including eight for sex crimes. Defense attorney Fritz Scheller said that Greenberg’s cooperation has led to four federal indictments, and that he believed additional ones were expected in the coming month.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/crime-arrests-florida-congress-government-and-politics-d657eda08a857f4c0a07d293bb109308

November 29, 2022

Rubio says he won't vote for any deal that lacks support of rail workers

Source: The Hill

Amid pressure on Congress to pass a bill that would avert a rail shutdown, ​​Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he won’t back any deal that lacks support from rail workers.

“Just because Congress has the authority to impose a heavy-handed solution does not mean we should. It is wrong for the Biden Administration, which has failed to fight for workers, to ask Congress to impose a deal the workers themselves have rejected. I will not vote for any deal that does not have the support of the rail workers,” Rubio said in a statement.

A shutdown looms due to an ongoing labor dispute between rail workers and operators. President Biden on Monday urged lawmakers to “immediately” pass legislation that would adopt a tentative labor agreement “without any modifications or delay” in order to avoid what the president said could be “a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.”

The tentative agreement, which negotiators reached in September but has been rejected by some rail unions, would boost union members’ wages by 14 percent and increase wages and medical care for workers whose pay had been frozen.

Read more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/policy/transportation/3754746-rubio-says-he-wont-vote-for-any-deal-that-lacks-support-of-rail-workers/amp/

November 23, 2022

Club Q shooting suspect is nonbinary, defense attorneys say

Source: Denver Post

The person suspected of killing five and wounding 18 after opening fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs is nonbinary, their defense attorney wrote in court filings Tuesday.

Joseph Archambault and Michael Bowman, the state public defenders for suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, filed a slew of motions Tuesday and included a footnote about Aldrich’s identity.

“Anderson Aldrich is nonbinary,” the footnote states. “They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.”

They are scheduled to make their first court appearance virtually from the jail on Wednesday.

Read more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.denverpost.com/2022/11/22/anderson-lee-aldrich-club-q-shooting-non-binary/amp/

November 14, 2022

Iran Votes to Execute Protesters, Says Rebels Need 'Hard Lesson'

Source: Newsweek

After numerous calls for harsh punishments in recent days, the Iranian parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty for protesters.

Iran has been experiencing unprecedented levels of protests and civil unrest since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman was arrested by the country's "morality police" for supposedly wearing an "improper" form of hijab during a visit to Tehran and allegedly beaten severely while in custody. The beatings are believed to have led to her death from a fatal head injury, but Iranian authorities have denied the accusation.

In the wake of Amini's death, there have been large-scale nationwide protests the likes of which Iran has not seen in decades. Female protesters have notably taken to burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in public in defiance of the rules imposed by Iran's Islamic government, under the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian lawmakers have, in recent days, called for strict punishments for the protesters who have been arrested. On Monday, CNN reported that a letter signed by 227 members of the Iranian parliament urged that the protesters be given harsh punishment that "would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time."

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/iran-votes-execute-protesters-says-rebels-need-hard-lesson-1757931

November 3, 2022

Milwaukee Election Commission official Kimberly Zapata fired after fraudulently requesting

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Election Commission official Kimberly Zapata fired after fraudulently requesting military ballots, mayor says

A Milwaukee election official could face criminal charges accusing her of fraudulently requesting absentee ballots reserved for members of the military and sending them to a Republican lawmaker known for embracing unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

Milwaukee Election Commission deputy director Kimberly Zapata, 44, of South Milwaukee, was fired by Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson this week after Johnson discovered she had requested the ballots. Johnson said Zapata said she committed the crime to show voter fraud was possible.

Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2022/11/03/mayor-says-milwaukee-election-worker-fired-over-ballot-fraud/69616108007/

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