CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2009 |
A former high-ranking California State University official collected more than $150,000 in improper expense reimbursements, including claims for unnecessary trips to Amsterdam and Shanghai, meals that exceeded allowable amounts and travel between his Northern California home and the university's Long Beach headquarters, a state audit has found. The audit, released Thursday, scolds the university for a lack of oversight in approving the expenses, saying they were "unnecessary and not in the best interest of the university or the state."
October 7, 2009 |
The sight of airline cabin crews trying to mollify enraged passengers has become all too common. But a recent Air India flight added a twist when crew members mid-flight started punching each other in front of startled passengers. Accounts of what happened differ now that everyone's back on the ground. Exactly who started the brawl and why got a bit lost in the clouds, though one flight attendant has accused a crew member of trying to molest her. What no one disputes is that with New Delhi-bound Flight IC-844 cruising at 30,000 feet over Pakistan around 4 a.m. Saturday, the cockpit and cabin crews broke into fisticuffs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2009 |
Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the brouhaha over videotapes of a conservative group's sting operation against ACORN, the community organizing group credited with helping push Barack Obama to the presidency. Brown's office plans to look into circumstances surrounding both the making of the videos and any possible misdeeds by ACORN employees in California caught on tape. In what has become a staple of TV and radio talk shows in recent weeks, ACORN workers in several states were shown allegedly offering advice on tax evasion, human smuggling and child prostitution.
September 30, 2009 |
In the summer of 2008, with presidential contenders battling fiercely over the swing state of Nevada, Christopher Edwards was racing to register voters. As the field director of ACORN's Las Vegas office, he brainstormed a way to motivate meagerly paid canvassers: If they turned in 21 or more registration cards in a day, they were each given a $5 bonus. "Hey, it's Las Vegas," Edwards testified Tuesday. "It's blackjack." But Edwards' "blackjack bonuses," which he bragged about to other ACORN offices, broke the law, state prosecutors say. Nevada bars quotas or cash incentives in voter sign-up efforts: Officials fear they could lead to false registrations.
September 18, 2009 |
Trying to dodge a growing conservative firestorm, the House and Senate made clear Thursday that the community-based nonprofit organization ACORN was persona non grata on Capitol Hill. House Republicans took over a debate about a sweeping student loan bill to propose a measure that would bar the Assn. of Community Organizers for Reform Now from receiving federal funds. It passed 345 to 75, with 172 Democrats joining all of the chamber's Republicans in support. In the Senate, an amendment that would prohibit ACORN from receiving funding from an Interior Department spending bill passed by an 85-11 vote.
September 15, 2009 |
Moving to contain a public relations mess, Wells Fargo & Co. fired a top executive accused of using a bank-owned Malibu beach house to entertain her family and friends. Cheronda Guyton, a senior vice president responsible for commercial foreclosed properties, broke company rules barring personal use of bank property, Wells Fargo said in a statement Monday. The Times reported last week that Guyton had been spotted by neighbors spending time at the Malibu Colony home with her family this summer.
September 1, 2009 |
Toyota spent years concealing evidence from victims of hundreds of rollover accidents that resulted in death and injury, a former top lawyer for the automaker says. The accusation, spelled out in a lawsuit filed in federal court, has the potential to reopen cases that Toyota Motor Corp. won or settled for two decades, legal experts said. Dimitrios P. Biller of Pacific Palisades, a former managing counsel for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., said in the suit that the company repeatedly forced him to illegally withhold information from opposing lawyers and made him resign in September 2007.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2009 |
In the days before Michael Jackson's death certificate was made public, only a few people had legitimate reason to view the file in the state's password-protected database. Even after the document was released, access was supposed to be limited to authorized staffers. But by the first week in July, the pop star's records had been viewed more than 300 times, said Craig Harvey, the chief coroner's investigator.
July 11, 2009 |
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee triggered a political mystery this week when they leaked a letter disclosing that CIA Director Leon E. Panetta -- four months after taking office -- last month learned his agency had misled Congress about a special project. Panetta canceled the program, and he scheduled closed-door meetings with the House and Senate intelligence panels the next day to brief them. But what was the program? Early speculation focused on waterboarding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2009 |
Two top commanders in the Los Angeles Fire Department's arson and counterterrorism unit are alleging retaliation for alerting superiors about misconduct, including at least one false arrest and fabrication of evidence, according to court records and interviews with sources. Battalion Chief John Miller and Capt.