Right to a Fair Trial and Being Treated as Innocent Until Proven Guilty

30 Mar

RighttoTrialOne of the basic international and constitutional rights is a right to a fair trial, and to treated as innocent until proven guilty.   Unfortunately that has not been the experience of many in Arlington courts and it jail, whether it be a high profile case like that of Michael Gardner, a person who is deaf,* or others, who have been written about from time to time in this blog.

Very unhealthy for modern society; not even fit for Neanderthals.

Read more: Deaf Immigrant Jailed 6 Weeks With No Access to Interpreter*

*: Abreham Zemedagegehu is deaf and he found himself locked up in jail by the Arlington Courts and the Arlington County Sheriff.   He knew he was in jail, but he didn’t know why.  Eventually, Abreham Zemedagegehu learned that he’d been accused of stealing an iPad — an iPad whose owner later found it. He spent the next six weeks in jail, unable to communicate with his jailers because he is deaf. He described a frightening, isolated experience in which medical procedures were performed without his consent and he feared for his safety.

On March 14, 2014, Zemedagegehu struck a plea deal, pleading guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges in exchange for time served. Zemedagegehu says he only took the deal to get of jail, and that he didn’t steal the iPad.

Zemedagegehu’s public defender filed a motion after the guilty plea seeking to have the conviction overturned, saying prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that the man who claimed his iPad was stolen actually had found it some time before the guilty plea. Prosecutors deny withholding evidence.

A judge refused to overturn the conviction, saying the appeal had been filed too late.

Given that it was Arlington, his mistreatment is not surprising — it is routine for the Arlington County judicial system.

A Blatant Admission to Medicaid Fraud by Intercept?

15 Mar

Those of you who are following this news blog, know that we have reported from time to time on the malicious victimization of foster children by some group home operators and Arlington DHS to shift costs for foster care from themselves to Medicaid.   They do this by having the child as having special needs, and then applying for Medicaid to pick up the tab.

Intercept Youth Services is one of those operators who Arlington DHS has used to accomplish this fraudulent deed.   In an incriminating interview with the Chesterfield Observer Mark Bogart, the owner and executive director of Intercept boasted about using this money shifting strategy:

“We haven’t been in the news because we are good operators and keep a low profile,” said Mark Bogert, owner and executive director of Intercept. “We strategically locate to have low impact on neighbors. We avoid locating in bad neighborhoods with bad schools for the sake of the kids and the Commonwealth.”

….Funding for group homes comes from local, state and federal governments. “When we pioneered a federal program that bills Medicaid, we saved the Commonwealth millions of dollars,” explained Bogert. He declined to give further financial information.

Arlington DHS, stop the Medicaid fraud and stop victimizing our kids and their families.

Read more:

Arlington: Aren’t You Glad The County Decided to Not Waste Money on a Streetcar?

11 Mar

Just in case you have not been following it, Washington DC went ahead and spent 200 million dollars on a “starter” streetcar down H Street NE.  It has yet to enter service and before it even opens (assuming it ever opens) numerous accidents have occurred.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is wisely revisiting the basic question: should DC proceed with its streetcar?  It is looks like they are not going to go forward with spending the $2 billion needed to run and expand the starter 2 mile system.

Just think of what DC could have done with that $200 million they spent so far?   Arlington (reluctantly) ultimately made the right decision to not go forward with a streetcar down Columbia Pike.   Kudos to the Board members who fought for stopping that waste of money.

Now…if they could only stop wasting money on the Arlington Department of Human Services and the family courts that are destroying families and ruining children’s lives in Arlington….

Arlington, give back the kids you took from good families and save taxpayer money, too!

Shakedown of Arlington Residents by the Arlington County Sheriff?

2 Mar
Arlington County's Beth Arthur solicits for Virginia Sheriff's Institute

Arlington County’s Beth Arthur solicits for Virginia Sheriff’s Institute

Arlington residents were surprised to receive a letter from “Sheriff Beth Arthur” of “Arlington County”…

The envelope also loudly screams in bold print: “Annual Membership Documents Enclosed”

You better open that letter because it looks like it is from the Arlington County Sheriff and it looks like it involves Arlington County official business.

When you open the letter, it is revealed it is indeed from Sheriff Arthur of Arlington County, acting as an official at the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute in Richmond.

Deceptive at best, fraudulent at worst, Arlington County Sheriff Arthur, is (or was) an official of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute.  That Institute has nothing official to  do with Arlington County!

That institute (according to the website) is “a 501(c)3 organization that encourages charitable and educational activities among the sheriffs and deputies within the Commonwealth of Virginia to educate the public and to do any and all things to promote the enforcement of law and order and the suppression of crime.”    [Wasn’t that what the Commonwealth government is supposed to do with our tax dollars!]

The letter even has a “membership card” (with the Arlington resident’s name already  preprinted on it) presumably so  that resident will feel obligated to “renew” and also so they can show the next Sheriff’s deputy that they encounter that you have a “commitment to law enforcement”

Certainly it is (or should be) illegal for any not for profit and for any Arlington County official to solicit donations under the guise of correspondence that strongly implies it has some official association with Arlington County or that Arlington official’s official position.

So, it is our opinion that Sheriff Beth Arthur — who is supposed to uphold all laws (not simply those that others violate) — to clean up the act of this “institute” and stop all such fraudulent solicitation.   In addition, Sheriff Arthur should send out an apology letter (on her own dime) to every resident of Arlington County for the improper use of her Arlington County title and affiliation.

The law, including requirements for truth in advertising, applies to everyone — even Sheriff Arthur and this Sheriff’s Institute….Hopefully the Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington will prosecute this one and the Board of Arlington will take action to assure that this does not happen again.