Friday, March 5, 2010

Two State Legislator Criminals

"The former assemblyman Anthony S. Seminerio, who prosecutors said took more than $1 million in payments from people and organizations doing business with the state, was sentenced to six years in prison before a federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday. ... Federal prosecutors said that from 1999 to 2008, he lobbied legislative colleagues and government officials on behalf of clients of a company he created called Marc Consultants. 'When you were elected, you were given a great privilege,' the judge, Naomi Reice Buchwald, said as Mr. Seminerio stared down at his clasped hands. 'You abused the trust placed in you.' ... Mr. Seminerio, 74, is among more than a dozen state lawmakers who have been forced to resign in recent years over ethical issues or have been convicted of crimes. ... A hearing in October to establish sentencing parameters included recordings of wiretapped conversations in which Mr. Seminerio talked with hospital executives, government officials and an undercover FBI agent, who paid $25,000 to Mr. Seminerio while posing as a developer looking for his help in securing tax credits and inserting language into legislation", Colin Moynihan at the NYT, 5 February 2010, link:

"State Rep. Terri Hodge provided a dramatic twist to the FBI's public corruption investigation Wednesday by agreeing to resign from the Texas House after pleading guility to failing to pay taxes on $74,000 in income, including more than $32,000 in bribes. Hodge, D-Dallas, also admitted that she never paid taxes on another $41,000, some of which was money she pilfered from her own campaign war chest for personal expenses. Neither prosecutors nor Hodge offered details. ... Hodge pleaded guilty to accepting money from prominent developers Brian and Cheryl Potashnik in the form of rent and utility payments. The Potashniks, both of whom have since pleaded guility to bribery, let her live in one of their affordable housing complexes for reduced rent and also bought her about $2,000 worth of carpet. ... 'People have to keep in mind that the role of the prosecutor is not to seek victory, but to seek justice,' said [John] Ratcliffe, now in private practice. The upside for the government is 'she's out of a position of public influence and trust, and she'll be held accountable for the rest of her life.' ... In pretrial filings, prosecutors alleged that Hodge 'received payments from families of Texas prison inmates oin return for her political support and assitance on proceedings affecting the inmate before the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole [BPP]'," Jason Trahan at the Dallas Morning News, 5 February 2010.

What's Seminerio's crime? Not working for the NY Fed where he can pass out multi-billion favors to his cronies Why does the FBI and DOJ waste time with this small-time corruption? Because this is all they are permitted to look at.

What happened here? Hodge ran afoul of the "prison-industrial complex" and its prison building campaign. The BPP is a corrupt joke. Who is Ratcliffe? The Dallas area former US Attorney. He's now a partner in John Ashcroft's (JA) law firm. Small world. We know JA, see my 17 January 2008 post: Compare Hodge's treatment to Olenicoff's, my 20 May 2008 post: It's not for nothing I call it the (in)Justice Department.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such small potatoes.

The problem with the "Justice" Department not actively enforcing justice against the banks and other multinationals is that people grow uneasy. Because they sense and get hints that these mammoth companies are protected and rarely (RARELY) ever are prosecuted.

We are all incredulous that NO ONE has been charged in the largest financial crisis in 80 years.

The people want a government that protects them... not a government that protects corporations.

Greece. It could happen here.