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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County probation officials say they have made substantial strides in reducing criminal misconduct committed by department employees. They said the improvement -- from 74 cases in 2011 to 32 last year -- was the result of an expanded internal investigations team and the imposition of more stringent professional standards for the department's roughly 5,000 employees. Officers supervise criminals upon their release from jail or prison, or those who are sentenced to probation.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County probation officials have made substantial strides in reducing criminal misconduct committed by department employees, according to a report released Tuesday. Officials said the improvement - with cases falling from 74 in 2011 to 32 last year - was the result of an expanded internal investigations team and the imposition of more stringent professional standards for the department's roughly 5,000 employees. "We've come light-years from where we were to where we are today," probation Chief Jerry Powers said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2014 | By Kim Christensen and Jessica Garrison
Roy Paul Gressly, who owned and operated at least a half-dozen hazardous waste hauling businesses, eluded regulators' detection for years as he moved from one location to another. Sometimes he left toxic waste behind, court records state, and sometimes he took it with him. If not for a leaking tanker truck, he might still be hoarding an illegal stockpile of hazardous material on an industrial lot in Santa Fe Springs. After a neighboring business owner spotted a stream of black sludge moving toward a storm drain, firefighters traced the flow to Gressly's rented site on Greenstone Avenue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A pipe bomb that was found Monday in front of the main entrance to the El Dorado County Probation Department near Sacramento failed to explode possibly because it malfunctioned, authorities said. The pipe was about 8 inches long and capped on both ends. It was attached to what looked like a makeshift fuse and "appeared to have been hastily dropped by unknown individuals," according to a news release from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.  About two dozen people from the Shingle Springs, Calif., probation office were evacuated while an explosives team investigated.  Authorities declared the scene clear about three hours after the pipe bomb was discovered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Peter Azevedo is a hard man to keep on the straight and narrow. Released from state prison in early 2012, he has been in and out of L.A. County jail at least half a dozen times, serving a few days, a few weeks or a few months for skipping out on probation, using drugs and carrying a knife. As of Christmas Eve, he was gone again. Two years into a major redistribution of responsibility for convicted felons, Los Angeles County officials are struggling to deal with a recalcitrant group of former state inmates like Azevedo, who keep absconding and cycling through an overcrowded jail system.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
H. Ty Warner, the billionaire creator of the popular Beanie Babies toys, is urging a federal judge to sentence him to probation for tax evasion. The 69-year-old tycoon pleaded guilty to a single count of felony tax evasion in October, acknowledging that he failed to report millions of dollars of interest income from a secret Swiss bank account from 1999 to 2007. Warner was on a list of 285 names that Swiss banking giant UBS gave to the Justice Department in 2009 in an attempt to mitigate its own criminal liability in a massive U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2013 | By Paige St. John
One in every four GPS devices used to track serious criminals released in Los Angeles County has proved to be faulty, according to a probation department audit - allowing violent felons to roam undetected for days or, in some cases, weeks. The problems included batteries that wouldn't hold a charge and defective electronics that generated excessive false alarms. One felon, county officials said, had to have his GPS monitor replaced 11 times over a year; for five days during the 45-day audit period, his whereabouts were unknown.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Chris Brown's probation has been revoked again after the singer briefly appeared in court Monday for a progress hearing related to his 2009 conviction in an assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. The move stems from the R&B singer's October arrest in Washington and subsequent misdemeanor assault charge following an altercation in which Brown was accused of hitting a man trying to take a picture of him outside the W Hotel. (Brown is scheduled to appear in D.C. court in connection with the case on Jan. 8.)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Richard Winton
A judge revoked Chris Brown 's felony probation in his 2009 conviction for assaulting Rihanna but chose to let him remain free after Brown showed progress during a stay in rehab. The R&B singer made a brief appearance Monday in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse, where a judge found that he violated the terms of his probation by being arrested in October for a misdemeanor assault charge in Washington, D.C.  L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin had previously ordered Brown to undergo 90 days of rehab, complete 24 hours a week of community labor and submit to periodic drug tests during his probation.
NATIONAL
December 12, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
A defense psychologist called it “affluenza,” a syndrome that keeps someone from a wealthy background from learning that bad behavior has consequences. That explanation helped a North Texas teenager get a sentence of probation after he drove while drunk and killed four pedestrians. The 16-year-old was sentenced Tuesday in a Fort Worth juvenile court to 10 years of probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the June 15 crash on a rural road. According to officials, the teenager and some friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store.
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