No injuries were reported in the fire. 34.073473
-118.376572 (Credit: RMG News)
The fire was reported at the garden-style apartment building in the 600 block of North Hayworth Avenue at about 2:30 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart stated. Nearly 30 firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze in just under 15 minutes and kept the fire to just one unit, according to Stewart. The cause was under investigation. Firefighters respond to a fire at an apartment complex in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. Fire crews were called to an apartment building in the Beverly Grove neighborhood near Hollywood after a fire broke out in a second-story unit early Tuesday morning.
No injuries were reported in the fire. 34.073473
Nile Rodgers will also be honored with an award for musical excellence. To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released their first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Musician Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs on stage at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 26, 2015 in New York City. The inductees were selected by more than 900 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The 32nd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 40.712784
-74.005941 All of the inductees were first time nominees with the exception of Yes. (Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
This year’s inductees are Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur and Yes. Tickets for the event will go on sale in January. This year marked Pearl Jam and Shakur’s first shot at eligibility. The ceremony will be aired on HBO. The organization also aggregated fan votes. Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes won the fan ballot, along with The Cars. The group was selected out of 19 nominees. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been announced.
“So I promised her I would go with her. Meg Roh, Orange County high school senior loves surfing so much she’s gone out every day for years surfing 2,000 days in a row. “The closest I came to stopping surfing every day is when I came home from my trip to Mexico,” Roh said. So I ended up going to Doheny (State Beach) and surfing in the dark.”
Poor grades could have ended the streak, because Roh has a surfing pact with her parents, Dan Roh, Sue Hann and stepfather Dan Hann. “I started surfing (the streak) on June 1, 2011, as a way to practice and get better for an upcoming surf contest,” the 18-year old said. But what about health, maybe just one bad day in 2,000? “And I did not end up winning the contest, but I ended up surfing every day just to practice and be happy.”
The surfing euphoria has ensued every day since the then 12-year-old with braces embarked on the journey from San Onofre State Beach, now her usual surf spot. (Credit: CNN)
The high school senior from Orange County, California, is as constant as the tides, on a golden streak of surfing 2,000 days in a row. “I had a moment when it was very stormy out there,” Sue said of a day Meg rode the waves with a 104 degree temperature. Roh kept surfing, through wind, rain and hail. No grades, no waves. “I’ve never been too sick to surf, I’ve just had a fever a couple of times,” Roh said. Transcripts show Meg’s grade point average is a weighted 4.33. “And then she got out and said ‘I am a little dizzy right now.’ ”
“She wouldn’t let her take her temperature until she got home,” remembers Sam Hann. Roh’s dream college preferences are predictably within the range of crashing waves: the University of Hawaii, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara, among others. She kept the streak alive during vacations, by surfing in Hawaii, Nicaragua and Mexico. “My best friend, her birthday is coming up (in January) and she wants to go camping in Joshua Tree,” Roh said. But her mother offers a serious view of her impact, outlining how a man who stopped surfing after back surgery got back in the water, propelled by Meg’s streak. “Even when you are sick.”
But loyalty to a bestie may end the streak. “The crazy girl who surfs every day,” Roh imitates greetings from strangers. “Then they tell their story of how she inspired them and I get choked up and I have to paddle away, because it’s kind of amazing.”
-117.573102 Back at her waves, on the beach beach at San Onofre, Roh’s reputation floats among the surfers waiting for the next big set. Her mother finds that illness assessment to contain a bit of teenage understatement. So I will probably stop surfing (for a day) soon.”
Joshua Tree National park lies almost 150 miles east of Roh’s Orange County home, nowhere near the shore. “I’ve been in the water where people have approached her,” Sue said. “The flight didn’t get in until 8 or 9 o’clock at night. ” ‘No no, I don’t have a temperature, I’m fine.’ ”
“Surfing definitely makes things better, for sure,” Roh counters. He then imitates his stepdaughter. Meg Roh defies many modern-day adult complaints that teens are difficult and unpredictable.
The caller, describing what happened to the 911 operator, said the grandmother feverishly performed CPR after the child sustained a neck wound. 35.201050
-91.831833 A 1-year-old child was also in the car at the time of the shooting, according to the police report. The honks, then the havoc
The incident began Saturday evening when a motorist behind the grandmother grew agitated that she was not moving quickly enough at a stop sign, Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. “We want to let the killer know, we’re on your trail,” Long said. “The longer you hold out on information, the more you put yourself in the crossfire of it happening to you,” Long said. “Oh my God!”
The shrill screams of the grandmother echoed through the sprawling mall parking lot Saturday night. “I certainly have no information to say that anyone in this family has done anything to cost this young person’s life,” Little Rock Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner told CNN affiliate KARK. “But this is about as frustrated as you can be as a public safety official or just a plain citizen.”
The fatal shooting was Little Rock’s 40th homicide of the year, police said. Last year, there were 31 homicides in the city. (Credit: Terrance Long/Family Member)
“My [grandson’s] been shot,” she wailed over the phone to a 911 dispatcher. She realized her grandson was wounded when she went to get him out of the car, according to a police incident report. Police continued to search Tuesday for the gunman who killed the child and have offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Photo of Acen King, 3, the shooting victim in an Arkansas road rage incident. “One shot was fired and it went through the vehicle and hit the child,” McClanahan said. One minute, the grandmother of 3-year-old Acen King steered them toward the JC Penney in Little Rock, Arkansas. Long pressured those who may know something about the shooting and the suspect but have failed to call police. Steven McClanahan said. The weekend shopping trip wasn’t supposed to end like this. The man started honking his horn. Not realizing that the boy had been hit, the woman drove to the JC Penney about 9 miles away. The grandmother honked her horn. A few minutes before 6:30 p.m., police received the first of several calls that the boy had been shot. The 911 calls released Monday capture the heartbreak of a woman who lost her grandson to gun violence after an apparent road rage incident. ‘We’re on your trail’
With the suspect still at large, Mercy Church Pastor Terrance Long called on people with information about the gunman to come forward. Then, police said, the man got out of his black Chevrolet Impala and fired into her car. “She didn’t know he was shot,” a bystander told the 911 operator after speaking with the grandmother. The next, the boy was fatally shot in the seat of her maroon Dodge Charger. Under investigation
Police believe the grandmother and the slain boy had no relationship with the gunman. People gathered to watch as paramedics arrived and transferred the boy to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center said losing these workers would not only reduce the tax revenue that these employees generate but it would also diminish contributions to programs like Social Security and Medicare by a total of $24.6 billion. Once those individuals are removed, he said he would then decide what to do about undocumented immigrants who, but for their status, are law-abiding people. “The billions of dollars in tax contributions resulting from the program should be reinvested in our nation’s workers and retirees, not left on the table.”
It’s unclear whether Trump will focus on repealing DACA as soon as he takes office in January. “We’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about,” Trump said to CBS’s Leslie Stahl. According to an October survey of more than 1,300 DACA recipients conducted by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, nearly 87% of people registered under DACA are employed and those workers make an average of $13.96 an hour. If the DACA is repealed, roughly 645,000 people would lose their legal right to work in the U.S., putting them at risk of losing their jobs and possibly being deported, according to the San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center. (Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Put in place by President Obama six years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped hundreds of thousands of young people — known as the DREAMers — come out from the shadows and get valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs. He added that replacement workers may not be found right away. “Some employers may consider consolidating or shedding these existing positions to proactively reduce some of those [turnover] costs,” said Jose Magaña-Salgado, an immigration policy attorney and the author of the report. “The incoming Administration would be wise to leave DACA fully intact,” he said in the report. Terminating all of these workers and possibly finding and retraining replacements for them would cost businesses an estimated $3.4 billion, the nonprofit immigrant rights advocacy group estimated. 38.907192
-77.036871 10, 2016. But in order to fill that position, the worker would likely have left another employer — leaving a tax revenue hole somewhere else. Roughly half of those estimated contributions come from employers, who are required to pay into Social Security and Medicare for each of their employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). “They’re terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination,” he said. In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes last month, Trump said he would first focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan at the U.S. as children could cost the country tens of billions of dollars, a new study finds. Capitol Nov. Over the course of a decade, the group estimates that payments to Social Security would be cut by $19.9 billion, while those made to Medicare would be reduced by $4.6 billion. Of course, an employer may replace an employee who was terminated and resume paying into Social Security and Medicare for that position, Magaña-Salgado said. President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to overturn an executive order that provides temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S.
Reagan turned out to be the best president of the century,” said conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly in an interview shortly before her death this year, explaining her decision to back Trump. In one example, Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has vocally supported right-wing positions on settlements and moving the embassy to Jerusalem. But Trump also risks setting up competing power centers within his Cabinet. As such, Trump’s conservative turn has compounded the misery of Democrats, who expected a Hillary Clinton victory would cement the legacy of Obama’s eight White House years. Questions about Trump’s own beliefs
Trump’s sudden tack rightward is also raising questions about his own core political beliefs and the characteristics of the administration he will lead. There are also former military men, include Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis and Homeland Security pick John Kelly, who have spent their careers avoiding all signs of partisan bias and who mark a contrast with the conservative bloc. “I think we can see exactly where the President-elect is going on this. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said that the Trump Cabinet could turn out to be the most conservative in years. “It is very concerning that they are so excited they can move these priorities through on their own — that they are not going to look into basic separation of powers, basic conflict of interest,” said Emily Tisch Sussman, campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Bush and Barack Obama, for example, preferred a strong West Wing to keep cabinet departments in line. The flurry of conservative appointments has delighted conservatives on Capitol Hill. “I think most conservatives are pretty pleasantly surprised,” said Matt Lewis, a CNN commentator and author of “Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim its Conservative Roots).”
Yet while Trump has been on the same page as core Republicans on sweeping tax cuts and trimming business regulation, his views in some other areas of policy are far less well-defined — particularly social issues. That prospect is a far cry from the days when many conservatives rejected Trump outright as he picked off the likes of Texas Sen. One interpretation of Trump’s move right is that his intentions are more practical than ideological. Mick Mulvaney as his budget director. One determinant of how those potential conflicts will play out is how active the White House itself will want to be. On the other hand, “government is very big. Potential Cabinet clash
Which means he also risks setting up competing power centers within his Cabinet, as some of his conservative picks appear likely to clash with other distinct groups in Trump’s growing political orbit: corporate leaders and retired generals. Bush administration when she ran the Labor Department. Trump’s turn to the right was first evidenced in his pick of Indiana Gov. Trump’s pick for secretary of state is an oil magnate with deep ties in the Arab world, and could adopt his department’s more traditional views on the Middle East and the need for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for secretary of transportation, was regarded as one of the most conservative members of the George W. Jeff Sessions atop the Justice Department. Trump is assembling a conservative dream team of domestic Cabinet appointments that promises to move swiftly to dismantle the Obama administration’s legacy in health care, education, labor and environmental policy. “It is a really conservative Cabinet, and a lot of conservatives are really happy. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. But he could find himself in conflict with Rex Tillerson. “I can remember 1980, when a lot of us didn’t think Reagan was an authentic conservative. Energy secretary nominee Rick Perry, for instance, publicly promised to abolish the department while running in the 2012 presidential election. “I had talked with Trump for the previous two or three years, and it always hit me that he had conservative instincts, although as a non-politician, he did not always sound like an orthodox politician,” Schlapp said. More than anything else, his campaign was animated by a desire to pile up political “wins.” By taking advantage of Republican control of Congress and offering party leaders what they want, he could unleash an early tsunami of new laws and social policy and declare his administration a prolific success. “Look, if someone does something that Trump doesn’t like, he will be capricious on an ad hoc process and overrule people,” said Lewis. Donald Trump might have been a conservative hiding in plain sight this whole time. But at least one core conservative objective seems assured — appointing a likeminded justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court — and those on the ideological right for that reason alone can now claim vindication and hope for more. At the Department of Labor, Trump has nominated fast food magnate Andrew Puzder, who opposes a rise in the minimum wage and was branded “anti-worker” by former Democratic Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Donald Trump might have been a conservative hiding in plain sight this whole time. Tom Price, a fierce opponent of Obamacare, at the Department of Health and Human Services; and Alabama Sen. “This should be the most basic function of Congress.”
At the same time, the potentially competing government spheres could lead to infighting that stymies ideologues’ aspirations. But Trump might not be so inclined to rein in his agency heads — and he might not be in a strong position to, since he will face huge demands on his time that threaten to overwhelm an inexperienced White House staff. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary, is likely to push hard on the conservative pet cause of school vouchers. Scott Walker, eviscerating the movement’s most promising presidential primary field in decades. In some ways, Trump’s conservative direction seems out of step with his campaign. It remains to be seen whether the former Midwest Democrats who voted for him will be pleased with such a conservative administration. Schlapp believes that Trump — a larger-than-life figure from liberal Manhattan who has boasted about financing Democrats and Republicans in cycles past — did evolve politically since he embarked on his presidential run. On Saturday, the President-elect named South Carolina Rep. They will be aided by a Republican-controlled House and Senate that will coordinate on legislation. In some cases, they appear philosophically opposed to the mission of the department they will manage. Deep skepticism of government
Each has common traits: Deep skepticism of the role of government and a belief that the Obama administration overreached. The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to be led by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has questioned climate science and vowed to roll back emissions limits on power plants — another conservative priority. He’s appointing people to dismantle the agencies that they’re scheduled to lead, to take their mission and flush it,” environmental campaigner Tom Steyer told CNN’s Jake Tapper earlier this month. Other conservatives saw Trump’s evolution coming after he identified fury among grass-roots conservatives over illegal immigration as a driving issue — and saw in Trump the same kind of opening as the man who became the hero of the movement, Ronald Reagan. Mulvaney, known as a fiscal hawk, is a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus — the rebellious anti-establishment group that has riled Republican House leaders in recent years. It’s the kind of venture that appears at odds with Mulvaney’s strict economic conservativism and budget restraint. (Credit: CNN)
The President-elect, who ran on populism rather than ideology and was once viewed as a political apostate by many conservatives, might represent the movement’s most significant governing moment since Ronald Reagan. Still, many of his voters shared the conviction that Washington needs a total shake-up, and his Cabinet choices could fit that bill. I have had Reagan people come up to me and say this more conservative than Reagan’s Cabinet,” said Schlapp, one of those who stood by Trump throughout the election. Enjoying an immediate payoff is House Speaker Paul Ryan, who walked a political tightrope over Trump’s most controversial statements in the campaign but now has the chance to enact a wish list of conservative legislation. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, meanwhile, has backed Trump’s plans for a massive infrastructure spending program. Presidents George W. Mike Pence, long a favorite of social and evangelical conservatives, as his vice presidential running mate and has been reinforced ever since, including this past weekend. On the trail, he evinced little ideological consistency and used populist techniques to tap into grievances among a political base that hasn’t necessarily embraced conservative policies, such as on trade and entitlements. Many on the team promise to dismantle current health care and environmental policy. Progressives fear lack of checks
Progressives fear that Trump is also buying the loyalty of GOP leaders on Capitol Hill who may be less inclined to probe issues like alleged Russian intervention in the election and the ethical questions posed by the President-elect’s vast business interests. Other prominent conservatives at the heart of Trump’s administration include former pediatric neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development; Rep. Because the President is worried about ISIS and building a (border) wall and reforming education, he probably isn’t going to be in the weeds on knowing everything that is happening.”
He concluded, “When you hire people, they will make decisions.”
Several residents in Shadow Hills said they have had numerous packages of mail, many containing Christmas gifts they ordered online, stolen from right in front of their homes. 19, 2016.
A former reality show contestant has been reporting missing after she did not return to her San Pedro home over the weekend, her family members told KTLA. “There’s video footage that was just discovered from Alpine Village within the last hour showing my wife getting into a black SUV,” Harryman, Naegle’s husband, told KTLA. Sunday, Naegle called her husband and told him she was going to get some food, but would be on her way home. Lisa Marie Naegle, a former reality show contestant, has been missing since Dec. KTLA’s Matt Phillips contributed to this story. Danielle Naegle-Kaimoana, Naegle’s sister, told KTLA she was trying to have a baby with her husband and her disappearance is out of character. Naegle never made it home, and did not make it to her nursing job on Sunday morning. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Division told KTLA detectives have information on a person of interest in the case, but did not release any additional details. “Lisa loves her family, Lisa loves her husband, Lisa checks in and she didn’t check in with us,” Naegle-Kaimoana said. Naegle was among a group of women documented on “Bridalplasty” who competed for a dream wedding and plastic surgery. 17, 2016. (Credit: Derek Harryman)
Lisa Marie Naegle, 36, who competed on E! Naegle’s family told KTLA they called police Monday night after speaking with a student of the missing woman who said he attended the party with her, but later changed his story. television’s “Bridalplasty” in 2010, told her husband she was going to a birthday party Saturday night at the Alpine Village Restaurant in Torrance. 32.835052
USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) is shown Jan. (Credit: U.S. 22, 2013, during an effort to safely recover the minesweeper USS Guardian, which had run aground off the Philippines. Navy / Aircrewman Tactical Helicopters 3rd Class Geoffrey Trundell)
“After friendly consultations between China and the United States, the transfer of the US underwater drone was smoothly completed,” a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defense said. Underwater Drone in Front of American Crew; Pentagon Demands It Back The Chinese government has returned the US unmanned underwater drone it seized last week in the South China Sea, according to Chinese and US officials. Developing story – more to come. The Pentagon said the United States would continue to investigate the events surrounding the incident. 15.488092
China’s Navy Seizes U.S.
-99.901813 I won’t be able to consult with the Sorting Hat but I can tell that you are quite clever – so I got a pair of Ravenclaw slippers from Hot Topic.”
Gates has surprised Reddit users as a secret Santa four years in a row, one website reported. I’ve also made a donation in your name to Code.org to help give more students the chance to learn computer science. “I was just flabbergasted,” wrote Alicia, whose handle is Aerrix, in her Reddit post. P.S. As part of the website’s Secret Santa 2016 gift exchange, a woman named Alicia was more than a little surprised to learn the world’s richest man had sent her a box of gifts. I started screaming like a little girl to my mom on the phone…I was just blown away!”
View post on imgur.com
Alicia lives in Nebraska now, but she’s originally from Louisiana, so Gates decided to throw in the cookbook “Big Flavors of New Orleans,” in case she was missing her Cajun food. It was a thrill for Alicia, who said her 2015 secret Santa stood her up. “I did. There are a few video games for you to play, some things to keep you warm, and three of my favorite movies to watch over the holidays. With Best Wishes from Seattle, Bill Gates. Gates, it turns out, is a generous gift-giver. A Reddit user got the best possible secret Santa this year: Bill Gates. Alicia snapped this photo after unboxing all of the gifts:
View post on imgur.com
“I’m just blown away by his generosity, which went even further than all these gifts because he submitted a donation to Code.org in my name to give more students the chance to learn computer science,” Alicia wrote. Here is the entire letter from Gates to Alicia:
“I can’t believe your Secret Santa left you hanging last year. View post on imgur.com
Gates included a signed note “with best wishes from Seattle,” along with a photo of himself holding the note for proof. View post on imgur.com
A representative also confirmed to IGN.com that the large packages that showed up at Alicia’s doorstep were “authentic” and that Gates has been participating in Reddit’s secret Santa exchange for several years. To ensure you don’t lose faith in the Reddit Community I’ve enclosed several gifts that I hope you enjoy. View post on imgur.com
“I lost it y’all,” she wrote on Reddit. Alicia, a 30-year-old video game lover, found several video games, a classic NES video game system, some video game-related paraphernalia and a picture in which Gates photoshopped himself in with Alicia, her husband and her dog, among other goodies.
Morrad Ghonim at his trial in a Norwalk court earlier in 2016. Ghonim, then 19, said the shooting occurred after his wife had exchanged words with a group of people he thought were gang members catcalling her. Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com. The shooter — or shooters — he said, had been hiding behind bushes so he never got a look at who had attacked his wife. The case went unsolved for years until DNA tests on clothing found at the scene found a genetic match to a prison inmate serving time for burglary — Leon Martinez. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Hiring Hit Man to Kill Wife at La Mirada Park in 1992
Morrad Ghonim at his trial in a Norwalk court earlier in 2016. Morrad Ghonim, 43, was convicted by a Norwalk jury last month of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife, Vicki. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A businessman was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1992 slaying of his 17-year-old wife, who prosecutors say was shot by a hired hit man in La Mirada. The victim was shot in the couple’s car in Creek Park as their 6-month-old son sat in the backseat. Initially, Martinez told authorities his dead friend was the gunman, but he eventually confessed to shooting Vicki Ghonim, saying her husband had hired him as a hit man. 33.902237
Huntington Beach residents have complained of a mysterious noxious order, promoting one homeowner to create a change.org petition. 33.660297
-117.999227 19, 2016.
-118.144516 Bought for the 710 Freeway project, which was never finished, some now sit unoccupied. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Transportation officials have begun the painstaking process of selling hundreds of houses acquired decades ago for a Los Angeles County freeway project that was never built. The properties, most of which are occupied, range from modest cottages in El Sereno to Craftsman mansions on stately streets in South Pasadena. Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com. A number of homes on Pasadena Avenue, just north of State Street, are among the 460 that Caltrans eventually will sell. Caltrans officials mailed preliminary information Friday to the tenants of the 42 properties that will be sold first, spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said. Tenants have three months to respond to the agency if they have any interest in buying their homes. But decades of litigation and legislation stalled the 6.2-mile project before construction could begin, leaving transportation officials as landlords for 460 structures. Bought for the 710 Freeway project, which was never finished, some now sit unoccupied. In the 1950s and 1960s, Caltrans began buying empty lots, houses and apartments along the planned route of the 710 Freeway extension between Pasadena and Alhambra. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Transportation Officials Begin Selling Homes Along 710 Freeway Corridor
A number of homes on Pasadena Avenue, just north of State Street, are among the 460 that Caltrans eventually will sell.
The commission said those cases did not support a finding of bias, either because Persky was not involved in the sentencing, or because the outcome came from a plea deal or the probation department’s recommendation. “Under the California Constitution, Judge Persky is an elected official and voters have the right to decide whether he should continue to serve on the bench for the next six years.” Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky’s sentence, handed down on June 2, was widely criticized as too lenient, drawing significant public outcry and media coverage. Otherwise, she said the decision shows that a recall election will be the most effective means of seeking Persky’s removal. She disputed the commission’s finding that Persky followed a probation recommendation in some cases. Persky read the assessment aloud at the sentencing hearing. “Accordingly, the participating commission members voted unanimously to close, without discipline, its preliminary investigation of the complaints against the judge regarding his sentencing decision in the Turner case.”
The complaints against Persky focused on five themes, the commission said:
• Persky abused his authority and displayed bias in his sentencing. “We strongly disagree with the commission’s conclusion on judicial bias and we believe that Judge Persky has in fact demonstrated a clear pattern of bias in cases of sex crimes and violence against women,” Daubert said. The investigation could have led to sanctions or dismissal but it had no bearing on the sentence. The campaign to recall him continues. The California judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault trial did not abuse his authority or show bias when he sentenced the former Stanford University student to six months in jail, an independent commission concluded. A target for much of the outrage, Persky recused himself from a child pornography case and stepped down from the criminal court in September. He noted that Turner’s age, 18 at the time of the assault, and lack of criminal record weighed in favor of probation over prison. However, the commission concluded the sentence was within the parameters set by law. The panel agreed, pointing out that under state law a judge is required to consider such factors when determining if prison or probation is appropriate. Additionally, Persky followed the recommendation of the probation report and performed a balancing assessment of accounts from the victim and the defendant, the commission said. The Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency, reviewed thousands of complaints to determine if Persky’s actions amounted to judicial misconduct. The brevity of the sentence triggered outrage against Persky and conversation about how the justice system treats sexual assault survivors. The commission said that question had greater bearing on the sentence itself and would be better addressed on appeal. • The sentence was unlawful. • Persky’s sentence displayed gender bias and failed to take sexual assault of women seriously. Turner was released in September after serving three months under a state law intended to reduce overcrowding. • The judge’s history as a student athlete at Stanford University caused him to be biased in favor of Turner and he should have disclosed his Stanford affiliation. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. “The commission has concluded that there is not clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority, or other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline,” the commission said. It led to a new sentencing law, a hard alcohol ban at Stanford and an effort to remove Persky from the bench through a recall election. Otherwise, Persky’s reliance on that factor did not rise to the level of judicial misconduct because it did not clearly show abuse of authority or disregard of the law or for fundamental human rights. Members of the public pointed to sentencing outcomes in other cases Persky handled as evidence of a pattern of bias. Brock Turner is shown in a booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office on June 6, 2016. “We will continue to proceed with the recall election as it is important for Santa Clara County voters to decide whether Judge Persky should remain on the bench,” Michele Dauber, chairwoman of the Recall Persky Campaign, said in a statement. Finally, the commission said Persky’s association with Stanford University was insufficient to require disclosure or disqualification. • Persky exhibited racial and/or socioeconomic bias because a nonwhite or less privileged defendant would have received a harsher sentence. Persky was criticized for suggesting that Turner’s level of intoxication served as a mitigating factor.
This segment aired on the KTLA News at 10 on December 16, 2016