Archive for October, 2010

Gay dad can’t be Scout leader in University Park

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly, Sad on October 21, 2010 by punauni

 

Jon Langbert, a gay father of triplets who lives in University Park, has been told that he can’t serve as a leader in his 9-year-old son’s Cub Scout troop.

For the last two years, Langbert has been in charge of the popcorn sales fundraiser for Pack 70 at University Park Elementary, according to Park Cities People. In 2009, Langbert helped the troop raise $13,000, up from $4,000 the previous year. And in September of this year, Langbert and his son, Carter, were invited to recruit new scouts on the school’s morning televised announcements.

But then someone complained about Langbert’s “homosexuality.” And now he’s been told he can’t wear his Scout leader T-shirt or serve in a leadership position, according to The Dallas Morning News:

“What message does that send to my son? It says I’m a second-class citizen,” Langbert said.

Robert McTaggart, the Cubmaster for Pack 70, said Langbert will be allowed to continue as a popcorn fundraiser. That position is not considered a leadership role and can be held by a volunteer.

The Boys Scouts of America has had a long-standing policy that rejects leaders who are gay or atheist. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the organization’s rules in a 5-4 decision.

“Our policy is not meant to serve as social commentary outside the Scout program,” said Pat Currie of the Circle 10 Council, the umbrella organization that oversees Pack 70. “We respect people who have a different opinion from us. We just hope those same people will respect our right to have a different opinion.”

Langbert says he plans to stay on with this year’s popcorn fundraising campaign. But he’s also contacted attorneys and plans to challenge the Cub Scouts’ decision in court. He noted that the Highland Park school district, which includes UP elementary, allows the troop to use its property despite the discriminatory policy.

Langbert and his partner were featured on 20/20 several years ago, when they lived in New York. Langbert, described as a wildly successful entrepreneur, is the father of triplets, two girls and a boy, who were conceived with donor and surrogate mothers using vitro fertilization.

E-Mails From Police Chief To Teen Released

Posted in News, Police Behaving Badly with tags , , on October 14, 2010 by punauni

WARREN, N.H. — More details have been released detailing why the police chief in Warren was suspended several months ago.  A 150-page investigation by the Grafton County Sheriff’s Department revealed e-mails sent to a 17-year-old girl whom Warren Davis, 57, is accused of stalking.  “A day without you would be like a day without sunshine,” one of the e-mails read.Davis served as the elected police chief and a custodian at the Village School.  Another e-mail read: “Noticed that my rose bush has tons of buds ready to blossom, and each one made me think of you!””  A team of Budweiser Clydesdales couldn’t pull how I feel about you out of this heart,” read another.  Davis has reportedly known the girl since she was in elementary school.  He was suspended from his job as police chief in July, when the town requested a criminal investigation. But the attorney general’s office and the Sheriff’s Department said there was not enough evidence to seek charges.Selectmen are concerned about the conduct, and said they haven’t gotten an explanation from the chief.”We’ve been waiting for Chief Davis to respond to the Town Council. To the best of my knowledge, that hasn’t happened yet,” said Patricia Wilson, from the Warren Board of Selectmen.According to the report, Davis told investigators he “never asked for anything more than a friendship.  “The 17-year-old told police she felt uncomfortable after the chief contacted her online and went to her workplace, the report said.  Selectmen planned to meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.  Davis is not being paid as police chief, but he is still a custodian at the school.

Witness: Police, prosecutor ‘coached me’

Posted in News with tags , on October 12, 2010 by punauni
Chad Povish, the paid informant who says police and Wayne County’s top drug prosecutor told him to lie in court, testified Monday that he was ready to sue when he wasn’t fully paid after helping engineer a 47-kilo cocaine bust.

Povish said he met with former federal prosecutor-turned-high-profile defense lawyer Richard Convertino when he didn’t get his expected 10-20% cut of the value of dope and property seized in the 2005 arrest of Alexander Aceval in the scandal-tainted drug case.

Instead of his “guess-timation” of a $100,000-plus payday, Povish said he got just $4,500 in cash and a rejection for the witness protection program.

Even though Convertino isn’t returning his calls anymore, Povish said he still hopes for “at least some protection, if not no money.”

Convertino could not be reached for comment Monday.

Povish is the key witness in the perjury and conspiracy case against former prosecutor Karen Plants and former Inkster cops Robert McArthur and Scott Rechtzigel, who authorities say told Povish to lie under oath about his role as an informant. They face life sentences.

Retired Wayne County Circuit Judge Mary Waterstone is charged with official misconduct — a 5-year felony — for approving the perjury.

“I was following the instructions of Karen Plants and Bob McArthur,” Povish told Detroit 36th District Judge David Robinson Jr. “They coached me.”

He also testified that Plants told him that she’d “spoke with the judge and it was OK to say I didn’t know the officers” before the March 2005 bust.

Waterstone has said she was trying to hide Povish’s informant role to protect his life.

However, Aceval’s defense lawyer, James Feinberg, testified he identified Povish as the likely informant in filings before the 2005 trial.

Feinberg also testified that he later put in the court record his belief there had been false testimony, as well as prosecutorial and police misconduct.

Aceval’s first trial ended in a hung jury. His new lawyer, David Moffit, uncovered apparent perjury and Waterstone’s approval of it as he prepared for the retrial. Aceval is serving a 10-15 year sentence, and his appeal is pending before the state Supreme Court.

Waterstone and Plants were taken off the case, and wide-ranging investigations were launched. The Attorney General’s Office took the case after prosecutors in Wayne and several other counties declined because of conflicts of interest, or the size of the task.

Charges — alleging key players in the justice system were willing to lie and use secret deals