From FB: USA Today publishes 85K records of police misconduct

We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records.

USA TODAY is leading a national effort to obtain and publish disciplinary and misconduct records for thousands of police officers.

Updated 6:33 a.m. CDT May 23, 2019

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its 100-plus affiliated newsrooms and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago have spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

Search for police discipline records
USA TODAY Network has gathered discipline and accountability records on more than 85,000 law enforcement officers and has started releasing them to the public. The first collection published is a list of more than 30,000 officers who have been decertified, essentially banned from the profession, in 44 states. Search our exclusive database by officer, department or state.

Among the findings:

  • Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse. They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.
  • Dishonesty is a frequent problem. The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets.
  • Less than 10% of officers in most police forces get investigated for misconduct. Yet some officers are consistently under investigation. Nearly 2,500 have been investigated on 10 or more charges. Twenty faced 100 or more allegations yet kept their badge for years.

The level of oversight varies widely from state to state. Georgia and Florida decertified thousands of police officers for everything from crimes to questions about their fitness to serve; other states banned almost none.

Search the database: Exclusive USA TODAY list of decertified officers and their records

Tarnished Brass: Fired for a felony, again for perjury. Meet the new police chief.

That includes Maryland, home to the Baltimore Police Department, which regularly has been in the news for criminal behavior by police. Over nearly a decade, Maryland revoked the certifications of just four officers.

Tamika Staton leaves a message at a memorial in the middle of the road where teenager Michael Brown died after being shot by a police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., an incident that sparked investigations, protests and a nationwide discussion about policing.

Show caption

Tamika Staton leaves a message at a memorial in the middle of the road where teenager Michael Brown died after being shot by a police…

We’re making those records public

We’re making those records public

The records USA TODAY and its partners gathered include tens of thousands of internal investigations, lawsuit settlements and secret separation deals.

They include names of at least 5,000 police officers whose credibility as witnesses has been called into question. These officers have been placed on Brady lists, created to track officers whose actions must be disclosed to defendants if their testimony is relied upon to prosecute someone.

USA TODAY plans to publish many of those records to give the public an opportunity to examine their police department and the broader issue of police misconduct, as well as to help identify decertified officers who continue to work in law enforcement.

Seth Stoughton, who worked as a police officer for five years and teaches law at the University of South Carolina, said expanding public access to those kinds of records is critical to keep good cops employed and bad cops unemployed.

“No one is in a position to assess whether an officer candidate can do the job well and the way that we expect the job to be done better than the officer’s former employer,” Stoughton said.

“Officers are public servants. They police in our name,” he said. There is a “strong public interest in identifying how officers are using their public authority.”

Dan Hils, president of the Cincinnati Police Department’s branch of the Fraternal Order of Policemen union, said people should consider there are more than 750,000 law enforcement officers in the country when looking at individual misconduct data.

“The scrutiny is way tighter on police officers than most folks, and that’s why sometimes you see high numbers of misconduct cases,” Hils said. “But I believe that policemen tend to be more honest and more trustworthy than the average citizen.”

Hils said he has no issue with USA TODAY publishing public records of conduct, saying it is the news media’s “right and responsibility to investigate police and the authority of government. You’re supposed to be a watchdog.”

The first set of records USA TODAY is releasing is an exclusive nationwide database of about 30,000 people whom state governments banned from the profession by revoking their certification to be law enforcement officers.

For years, a private police organization has assembled such a list from more than 40 states and encourages police agencies to screen new hires. The list is kept secret from anyone outside law enforcement.

USA TODAY obtained the names of banned officers from 44 states by filing requests under state sunshine laws.

The information includes the officers’ names, the department they  worked for when the state revoked their certification and – in most cases – the reasons why.

The list is incomplete because of the absence of records from states such as California, which has the largest number of law enforcement officers in the USA.

Bringing important facts to policing debate

Bringing important facts to policing debate

USA TODAY’s collection of police misconduct records comes amid a nationwide debate over law enforcement tactics, including concern that some officers or agencies unfairly target minorities.

A series of killings of black people by police over the past five years in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Chicago, Sacramento, California, and elsewhere have sparked unrest and a reckoning that put pressure on cities and mayors to crack down on misconduct and abuses.

The Trump administration has backed away from more than a decade of Justice Department investigations and court actions against police departments it determined were deeply biased or corrupt.

In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department would leave policing the police to local authorities, saying federal investigations hurt crime fighting.

Laurie Robinson, co-chair of the 2014 White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, said transparency about police conduct is critical to trust between police and residents.

“It’s about the people who you have hired to protect you,” she said. “Traditionally, we would say for sure that policing has not been a transparent entity in the U.S. Transparency is just a very key step along the way to repairing our relationships.”

Help us investigate

Help us investigate

The number of police agencies and officers in the USA is so large that the blind spots are vast. We need your help.

Though the records USA TODAY Network gathered are probably the most expansive ever collected, there is much more to be added. The collection includes several types of statewide data, but most misconduct is documented by individual departments.

Journalists obtained records from more than 700 law enforcement agencies, but the records are not complete for all of those agencies, and there are more than 18,000 police forces across the USA. The records requests were focused largely on the biggest 100 police agencies as well as clusters of smaller departments in surrounding areas, partly to examine movement of officers between departments in regions.

Share your stories of police misconduct with us

We want to hear from you if you believe you’ve encountered misconduct by a law enforcement officer or agency. You can send tips and records about an officer or agency to
Email Us
Need anonymity or security? Send records and tips to us via SecureDrop.

USA TODAY aims to identify other media organizations willing to partner in gathering new records and sharing documents they’ve already gathered. The Invisible Institute, a journalism nonprofit in Chicago focused on police accountability, has done so for more than a year and contributed records from dozens of police departments.

Reporters need help getting documents – and other kinds of tips – from the public, watchdog groups, researchers and even officers and prosecutors themselves.

If you have access to citizen complaints about police, internal affairs investigation records, secret settlement deals between agencies and departing officers or anything that sheds light on how agencies police their officers, we want to hear from you.

Contributing: James Pilcher and Eric Litke.

The team behind this investigation

REPORTING AND ANALYSIS: Mark Nichols, Eric Litke, James Pilcher, Aaron Hegarty, Andrew Ford, Brett Kelman, John Kelly, Matt Wynn, Steve Reilly, Megan Cassidy, Ryan Martin, Jonathan Anderson, Andrew Wolfson, Bethany Bruner, Benjamin Lanka, Gabriella Novello, Mark Hannan

FROM THE INVISIBLE INSTITUTE: Sam Stecklow, Andrew Fan, Bocar Ba

EDITING: Chris Davis, John Kelly, Brad Heath


PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY: Phil Didion, Christopher Powers, David Hamlin, Robert Lindeman

DIGITAL PRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT: Spencer Holladay, Annette Meade, Craig Johnson, Ryan Marx, Chris Amico, Josh Miller


Originally Published 8:15 p.m. CDT Apr. 24, 2019

Updated 6:33 a.m. CDT May 23, 2019

Fired for a felony, again for perjury. Meet the new police chief.


From Facebook: Tex. Judge awards family $127k for taking child without warrant$127000-for-wrongful-removal-of-kids/4657493/?fbclid=IwAR03JjClAI_01rYMUtWEVyc15lQEFSKLhl3TLS0aDXCu875MWf9v3KSFQSc

TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) — A Harris County judge has ordered Child Protective Services to pay a Tomball family $127,000 after finding they wrongfully removed their children from their home.

It started as an accidental fall for Melissa and Dillon Bright’s 5-month-old son Mason. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found he had two fractures in his skull.

The family says that because doctors did not believe the second fracture came from the fall, they were investigated for child abuse.

“We were just completely oblivious to the fact that they were accusing us of abuse,” Melissa said.

CPS placed the children with another family member. The Brights tell ABC13 that in the meantime they sought a second opinion from another doctor.

That doctor explained that the second fracture could have in fact come from the same fall.

While still in placement with another family member, the Brights say they reached out to CPS numerous times to tell them this information, and to also request that the children be moved closer to home due to medical issues their youngest son was having.

With no response, the Brights say they informed CPS they would be bringing both of their children back home.

The family’s attorney says during that time they were contacted by their caseworker, who asked how the children were. The Brights say they responded with happy photographs and stated they were well, but later things would go wrong again.

During another hearing, the Brights say they were shocked to learn that CPS told a judge they had no knowledge of the children being back home. The family attorney says the judge was convinced to order another removal.

The Brights say they had no idea where their children were taken at first, and when they were finally able to see them, their 2-year old daughter Charlotte had a black eye. Melissa says the only explanation CPS had was that she fell from a bed.

The family’s attorney, Dennis Slate, says they later found several inconsistencies in reports from CPS.

A judge ruled Thursday that there was no solid or substantial reason to interfere with the Bright family.

ABC13 reached out to CPS, who said that the caseworker who was assigned to the Brights is still employed.

They would not comment on whether or not he is being investigated, but did say they are exploring all options, including a possible appeal to the judge’s decision.

Follow Stefania Okolie on Instagram and Twitter.

From Lanre Amu: He did nothing wrong but expose corruption and the ARDC is holding up relicensing him

When Lanre Amu was a lawyer, he fought tirelessly for the rights of many people, often without pay.  He served the poor, the person of color and the immigrant.

He was well educated and held three degrees, on in engineering, an MBA and a JD.  He is a devout Christian and follows the principles of Jesus.

However, when he exposed corruption of certain high powered judges in Cook County, the power that be, Jerome Larkin and James Grogin of the ARDC (Atty Regn and Disciplinary Commission) put him through a kangaroo trial with absolutely no witnesses and against him and awarded him a 4 year suspension for revealing publicly the fact that Judge Lynn Egan was having her brother’s law firm appear in front of her and was granting all their motions (no matter how stupid), and denying all of Amu’s motions.

He complained, and the ARDC went after him like gang busters to remove his license.

they succeeded with their crony minions and Mr. Amu was awarded a 4 year suspension for speaking out against corruption.

His suspension was up about 1.5 years ago and this is what he has to say:

On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 6:36 PM ‘Lanre O. Amu <> wrote:
I am proud of you Ken, and even at 93+++ they should give you back your Illinois law license, apologize, clear your name, and pay damages for the harm caused! That is my view of these things. Its only fair.

I am personally very hopeful. But will never give up.

It should be comforting for us to know that these lawyers: the late Nelson Mandela suffered the same fate in South Africa with his law license, and that the late Mahatma Ghandi also suffered the same fate in South Africa with his law license. Mahatma Ghandi championed freedom from British Colonialism in India and the winds of that change liberated Africa. Nelson Mandela championed the end of Apartheid in South Africa. To be in the league of these legal giants of Civil and Human Rights is a tall order!

If I have to lie to get the Illinois law license back, then that law license not worth it for me. I must get it back with a straight face, an apology, and compensation! That is what should be done.
They lied, not me! My law license was suspended without any human being testifying under Oath or presenting any evidence under Oath to any wrongdoing by me! I was the only witness at my IARDC kangaroo trial and I denied making any false statement. I affirmed the truth of my statements with supporting evidence and without contradiction. So, how was I found guilty of making a false statement?
After Illinois Supreme Court’s Suspension came all of a sudden Chicago Crain’s Investigation confirming what I unearthed and exonerating me of false accusation by the IARDC, but they (IARDC and Illinois Supreme Court) still did not reverse their perversion of justice! We contacted the FBI, Department of Justice, etc., etc., no response.

On all these: I am supposed to apologize, affirm I have been rehabilitated from lying, and will not lie or tell the TRUTH like that again. It will never happen as long as I am living on earth!

Three things are not long hidden: The Sun, the Moon and the TRUTH!

It may take some time. But no surrender for me. The TRUTH will ultimately come out!

My regards to everyone.
Thanks a million!

‘Lanre O. Amu

Formerly Licesed Attorney Illinois
So, if anyone is wondering why there are so many lying corrupt attorneys in Illinois (including our politicians who have gone to prison, many of these were in fact crooked attorneys) take a look at my case, Ken Ditkowsky’s case and the case of Lanre Amu.  If you speak out against corruption in Illinois, the ARDC will go right after you in an attempt to silence you and Jerome Larkin will sign all the pleadings.
And Illinois is still ranked as the most corrupt State in the Nation, and one of the most corrupt cities now.
The ARDC clearly is part of the system of corruption in Chicago and Illinois because Ken Ditkowsky and Lanre Amu did nothing wrong, but they spoke out against corruption.  Lanre Amu was cleared by Crain’s Chicago Business.  Complaints were filed against Judge Egan, but the Illinois JIB did nothing.  Lynn Egan sat on the Board of Directors for a Hospital and was hearing their cases. When the hospital found out, Lynn Egan had to resign and apologize to the Board. But the Illinois JIB (Judicial Inquiry Board) did nothing.
It’s time to clean up the JIB and the ARDC in Illinois

From our corrupt legal friends in the UK: Top UK court finds Judge bullied mother into accepting care orders

Top Court Finds Judge Bullied Mother Into Accepting Care Orders For Her Children

Top Court Finds Judge Bullied Mother Into Accepting Care Orders For Her Children

A judge bullied a mother into agreeing to care orders for her two children, the Court of Appeal has found. The orders made by Her Honour Judge Carr QC in Sheffield were set aside by the Court of Appeal and replaced with short-term interim care orders.

The Court of Appeal raised a number of serious concerns in its judgment. The now common practice of judges making up their minds about a case before the parties put their arguments forward during hearings was noted, a phenomenon that will be familiar to lay advisors and families who have been forced to represent themselves in their own family cases.

Lord Justice Peter Jackson sitting at the Court of Appeal said that there had been “a serious procedural irregularity.”

The judgment says:  “consent or non-opposition to the interim care order was not freely given, but was secured by oppressive behaviour on the part of the judge in the form of inappropriate warnings and inducements”. These included:

  • The judge repeatedly isolating the mother and threatening her
  • The judge making fun of her counsel

The Court of Appeal also noted that family law and social work professionals in the case appeared to know very little about the case’s details and that the local authority had mishandled the case and its approach to the appeal.

Legal Futures offers the background to the case and quotes from the judgment, which contain some of the judge’s comments:

Before the mother’s barrister was able to brief the judge on his instructions to contest the care order, HHJ Carr told him that “if it is heard today I shall certainly make findings that your client will be stuck with”.

Her Honour HHJ Carr used the following language, which amounted to bullying and coercive threats, before hearing the case: ‘very risky for her’; ‘a very very precarious position’; ‘inevitably, I’m going to make findings… that that is significant harm. I don’t think there’s any question about it’; ‘not… without some consequences’… “oh, nonsense” and “preposterous proposition you’re putting to me, it’ll fall on deaf ears.”

HHJ Carr also threatened the mother by telling her that she would probably send any findings to the police and make sure that they go to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Jackson LJ said: The only conclusion that the mother and her advisers could draw from this and similar statements… is that the judge had made up her mind and was sure to make adverse findings that would be damaging to her in the long run.”

This kind of behaviour is commonplace in the family courts. We would like to invite all those lay advisors and parents who have experienced this kind of bullying and pre-emptive decision making to leave their comments below this piece as the site is read by judges and politicians. Thank you.


From EF: a Complaint against Jerome Larkin head of the ARDC

Thursday, June 8, 2017



Please find below a complaint I filed against Administrator Jerome Larkin who covers (read: enables)  massive  fraud upon IL court systems committed by certain corrupt and dishonest lawyers whom Larkin helps to maintain  their legal licenses while harass and oppress ethical lawyers who fulfill their duties and report corruption.
Complaint was filed with Cook County Board of Ethics, IL Supreme Court, Senate, and IL Attorney General and mailed to Chicago and Washington FBI offices.
I will provide updates how my  Complaint was handled by authorities.
Best regards,
Elena Fedorova
June 8, 2017
Re: Request to investigate ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin for corruptionand other misconduct.
Dear Honorable Committee on Ethics, IL Supreme Court and other Authorities:
Please find this Notice pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §4 and my demand to investigate for corruption and remove from the office ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin, for his willful misconduct in the office and conspiracy with certain lawyers who relentlessly commit fraud in our Courts; file forged documents accompanied by false statements; operate collection mills commonly known as “racket” and other malpractices. All of those violations are known by ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin who always covered for banks and HOAs lawyers’ fraudulent conduct, while readily attack and disbar ethical lawyers who expose corruption in our Court system.
Moreover, I respectfully demand to investigate Mr. Larkin for potential banks’ fraud and bribery scheme. According to research conducted by lawyer Kenneth Ditkowski, “Jerome Larkin, the Administrator of the ARDC has funneled several million dollars through his property in the last ten years. For example, Larkin took out a loan for $450,000 in December of 2001 and paid it back in exactly five years. In the meantime, he had taken out another $450,000 loan—in October of 2006, which he paid back in just a tad over four years, in January of 2011. In the meantime, he had taken out yet another mortgage—this one for $101,000—in November of 2009, which he was miraculously able to repay in just about a year. But his unusual loan behavior doesn’t stop here. In January of 2011, Larkin took out a whopping $750,000 mortgage on the same piece of property. Larkin must have a direct line to lottery bucks, because he was able to repay this loan by January of 2013. In the meantime . . . are you getting the picture yet? . . . he took out another $750,000 loan in December of 2012. Neither Jerome Larkin nor his wife, psychologist Antoinette Krakowski responded to telephone inquiries concerning the amount of money being funneled through their home.”
I further demand to investigate Mr. Larkin’s relationship with IL Democratic Party Speaker Michael Madigan, where Mrs. Julia Larkin, who I believe is Mr. Jerome Larkin’s daughter, worked from 2007 to January 2017 and was compensated $53,000.00 per year from taxpayers’ funds. Based on my observation of public records, and Mrs. Julia Larkin’s own words, she was not only a trusted political aid to Mr. Madigan whom she helped to support his preferred candidates elections, but also worked to advance Mr. Madigan’s personal legal practice where Mr. Madigan helps his wealthy friends and clients to lower their property taxes and pass the bill on IL taxpayers whose property taxes skyrocketed.
According to Mrs. Julia Larkin’s resume, her job as a Head of Opposition Research included “Reviewing wide range of complex documentation including but not limited to property tax documentation” which has very little to do with elections but directly related to Speaker Madigan’s personal legal practice, where I believe he used Mrs. Larkin’s services to advance his own profits, while Mrs. Larkin’s work was compensated from taxpayers funds.
I believe that Administrator Larkin, who must be aware of banks, HOAs and their lawyers collection mills and massive fraud in IL Court system under guise of certain corrupt judges, many of whom owe their positions of public Trust to Mr. Madigan , intentionally covered for lawyers and judges misconduct; and concentrated on prosecuting those lawyers who expose judicial corruption. 
I submitted numerous complaints against certain lawyers, accompanied by facts and material evidence of fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice and other malpractices. All my complaints were closed by Jerome Larkin who always refused to investigate merits of my complaints. I demand investigation intoMr. Jerome Larkin’s professional misconduct as well as his suspicious manipulations with his property loans. 
Mr. Larkin must be removed from his position as ARDC Administrator and this position must be transferred to an ethical person who will protect IL public from dishonest lawyers’ malpractices, not to cover for their misconduct. 
Respectfully submitted.
Elena Fedorova

from Google: Apparently threatening to kill someone and a DUI and weapons charges yields a 2 year suspension, but blogging about corruption gets you 3 to 4 years

Who knew?

And from the Law Professors Blogs Network (I wonder if they know spreading the truth about the legal profession on a blog gets you a 4 year suspension in Illinois?)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Interim Suspension For Attorney Who Threatened Bar Prosecutors

The Northwest Herald has a recent story on a lawyer with charges in Illinois that we previously had discussed 

A Crystal Lake lawyer facing drunken driving and weapons charges had his law license suspended.

The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ruled that Donald F. Franz, 50, is suspended for two years and until further order of the court, according to a news release.

Franz was arrested Jan. 19 after police responded about 10:20 p.m. to North Williams Street in Crystal Lake after a report of a possible intoxicated motorist. Crystal Lake police later obtained a warrant to search Franz’s vehicle and residence. Inside, they found 36 high-powered rifles, assault-style rifles and shotguns; 20 assorted handguns; and thousands of rounds of ammunition, authorities have said. Franz is believed to be a hunter.

He already was under investigation by the ARDC after threatening an ARDC employee.

The commission first filed a complaint against Franz in 2014, alleging that he pressured a client to sign a promissory note requiring the client to pay a $10,000 fee for legal representation in a divorce without informing the client of his options.

(Mike Frisch)

An additional count was added to the complaint last year, alleging that Franz challenged a client to a duel and insulted him during a dispute over fees.

In October, a third count was added to the pending complaint, accusing Franz of sending threatening emails and voicemails to a former client, commission counsel Scott Renfroe and ARDC administrator Jerome Larkin.

Franz allegedly threatened to kill Larkin over the ARDC’s efforts to sanction him as recently as September 2016, according to the complaint.

“Jerry Larkin, my name is Don Franz. I’m the attorney you are trying to murder because of the installment note, so the day you suspend me, I’m going to stop taking my pills, I’m going to get my affairs in order, I am going to kill you. Have a nice day,” Franz allegedly said in a voicemail message to Larkin on Sept. 14, 2016.

The ARDC, an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court, investigates alleged wrongdoing by Illinois attorneys, holds hearings on specific charges and recommends discipline when warranted.

The state Supreme Court announced disciplinary orders Friday during the September term of court. Sanctions are imposed when lawyers become engaged in professional misconduct by violating the state’s ethics law, according to the release.

Franz was licensed in 1993 and removed from the master roll March 10 after failing to register, according to the release.

Franz has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges against him, and he has tried to arguethat evidence collected during his arrest cannot be used against him in court. The most serious charge, a Class 2 felony, is punishable by up to seven years in prison if convicted.

He is due in court at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 30.

hat tip to redditbadlawyer. (Mike Frisch)