News Roundup

As USA Today reports, Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that began with torch-bearing marchers parading through the campus of the University of Virginia chanting racist slogans and ended with a participant killing a counter-demonstrator.  In the aftermath, Charlottesville law enforcement agencies were criticized for their limited efforts at ensuring public safety.  An anniversary rally reportedly is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville has preemptively declared a state of emergency.  Keep reading for more news.

Bail.  Jessie previously has blogged about national efforts towards bail reform and noted that a report from the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice recommended that North Carolina pursue pretrial justice reform, including reforms related to bail.  The Durham Herald-Sun reported last week that Orange County groups advocating for bail reform recently hosted a screening of a film titled “The Bail Trap” and a panel discussion focusing on the range of negative consequences criminal defendants who can’t afford bail experience relative to those who are able to secure release pretrial.

Buncombe.  WLOS reports that an investigation into corruption in Buncombe County yielded more indictments this week, with three former county officials being charged with several dozen crimes.  Along with Wanda Greene, who already had been charged with various offenses, former Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton and former County Manager Mandy Stone were indicted on a range of federal crimes arising from their alleged participation with an unnamed contractor in a bribery scheme.  WLOS says that the contractor bought gifts and paid for leisure trips for the officials in exchange for county business.

Country Roads.  The News Roundup previously noted that the justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court were in dire straits, with each of them facing impeachment after being accused of varying degrees of misuse or overspending of state funds.  Things have not improved.  The ABA Journal reports that draft articles of impeachment involving four justices were approved by state legislators this week.  The report also notes that a justice who retired before he could be impeached is expected to plead guilty to federal wire fraud.

Insider Trading.  A member of the U.S. House of Representatives was indicted for securities fraud this week after being accused of passing insider information about a biotech company to his son in order to avoid substantial investment losses.  As CBS News reports, New York Representative Christopher Collins allegedly learned in his capacity as a member of the board of an Australian biotech company that a drug trial had failed and immediately informed his son of that fact prior to it becoming publically known.

Offenses Against Dignity.  The News Roundup has noted several instances of conduct that is as shameful as it is criminal.  We’ve seen everything from grandsons stealing from grandmothers to burglars defiling a home after ransacking it.  Add two more to this low list – an armed robbery of a lemonade stand in Monroe and bison-taunting in Yellowstone.

#LipSyncChallenge.  If you haven’t already, you really owe it to yourself to check out the #LipSyncChallenge videos from North Carolina law enforcement agencies.  A number of them are collected in this post, and the Winston Salem entry just dropped.

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