Oopsie

Only in New Orleans. Reason brings us what was aptly described as “arguably the easiest collar in the annals of policework.”  A city attorney was arrested when a joint fell out of his pocket while he was talking to a couple of police officers in a courtroom.

Might I suggest leaving your weed at home when you go to work next time?  Most especially when you work around a bunch of people whose job it is to put people in jail for that sort of thing.  Just a suggestion.

 

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The Arrests will Continue Until Everyone is Happy

It’s well documented that the London Olympics are trying to control all of the messaging surrounding the games, from policing pub blackboards with unapproved beer logos to freaking out over non-sponsored condoms in the Olympic Village.

It now seems that not enjoying an event in public is also something that must be stamped out.

Worsfold, whose experience was first reported by Private Eye, claims police questioned him about his demeanour and why he had not been seen to be visibly enjoying the event. Worsfold, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, suffers from muscle rigidity that affects his face. He was released after two hours without charge or caution.

Funny, usually the police arrest people for having too much fun.  I think the constables in the Surrey police department need some remedial training in bullshit arrest protocols.

h/t Lowering the Bar

Oh My, Wouldya Look’ee Here at what I Found

The State of California government is in some hot water from groups and individuals who donated money to avert a shutdown of some state parks.  Seems there was plenty of money after all.

Saying they feel betrayed by the discovery of $54 million hidden in two state parks accounts, a growing number of groups that donated money to keep California state parks from closing this year now say they want a refund — or at least a binding promise from lawmakers to spend the extra money on parks.

Last year, it was announced that the Department of Parks and Recreation was short $30 or so million and that 70 state parks would have to be shut down unless the money was found to operate them.  So, many civic groups, individuals, communities, and businesses stepped up to the plate to keep several of the parks open (at least 31, according to this account).  Just imagine the donors’ surprise when $54 million showed up from funds that were earmarked for park operations.

The money accumulated over 12 years in two special funds the department uses to collect revenue and pay for operations: $20.4 million in the Parks and Recreation Fund, and $33.5 million in the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund.

The money accumulated, state officials said, because the parks department had a pattern of underreporting the actual size of the funds in its regular dealings with the state Department of Finance.

Why and how this occurred remains a mystery and will be the subject of investigations launched Friday by the Department of Finance and the state attorney general’s office…

According to the original article, there isn’t any indication that the money was embezzled or stolen.  The (now resigned) State Parks Director is pleading ignorance while her (now fired) assistant is insisting that he repeatedly informed her about the money.

As for me, I suspect that the underreporting originally started in case the budget estimates were off and the department needed money.  Anything extra in the account was a buffer in case estimated revenues or whatnot during a budget cycle didn’t work out.  Given the propensity of state legislatures to grab anything not tied down (especially nowadays), there’s quite a bit of incentive to hide some ready cash, just in case.  Unfortunately, what started as a fiscal buffer quickly grew into a holy-shit-if-we-tell-the-truth-now-we’ll-get-in-trouble situation, so everyone looked the other way until it blew up in their faces.

As always, it’s the cover-up that kills.

Update:  A friend has just pointed out that if my theory is correct, not coming clean before watching people start fundraising to save their parks was a greedy, douchey thing to do.  Can’t say as I can argue with that.

Refuse to Take Money or We’ll Sue

I wonder who actually thought this was a good idea:

The Hayride has learned that the Louisiana Association of Educators is sending demand letters to private schools participating in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program, the state voucher plan, insisting that those schools pull out of the program.

The letter in question threatens to sue unless the schools withdraw.

If we do not receive a signed copy of the attached letter from you by 4:00 P.M. on Friday, July 27, 2012, we will have no alternative other than to institute litigation against [school name redacted]…

The linked article states, correctly, that this is going to be a PR nightmare for the union.   On the other hand, it also mentions that from a legal perspective, it makes perfect sense.

From a legal standpoint it’s understandable. The teachers’ unions are trying to beat the voucher plan with a lawsuit after failing to beat it in the legislative process, so it makes sense to sue the participants in the program along with the state.

The problem with this analysis, from my non-lawyerly perspective, is this: the union is currently in litigation against the state.  If they win, there won’t be a program for the schools to participate in anyway.  And even if they pick off some low-hanging fruit and force a few schools out with their thuggish threats, I strongly suspect it won’t be enough to make a difference if the court upholds the law (and the schools would likely re-apply anyway).  All it does is make the LAE look like a bunch of petulant jerks who are throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way in the legislative process.  I suspect that even people who would otherwise be inclined to support the union may be turned off by this stunt.

h/t Overlawyered

Well, Imagine That

In my last post, I suggested that Mayor Bloomberg would probably go ban something enjoyable to make himself feel better.  I will say that I didn’t expect to become a prophet so soon…

Having attacked smoking, trans fats and sugary drinks, the Bloomberg administration is ramping up its campaign against alcohol abuse, The Post has learned.

Broken clock right twice per day and such, but I’ll take the easy ones. I’m not proud.

Mayor Bloomberg States that, due to Gun Laws, Americans Don’t Actually Need Cops

Well, I suppose that’s not his intent, the exact opposite, in fact, but I can think of a few places where the citizenry might be just as happy to self-police.  Still, it’s an idiot suggestion.  Per Ed at Hot Air:

Last night, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went on CNN’s Piers Morgan show to discuss the need for expanded gun control in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado last week. Bloomberg suggested that police across the country go on strike to demand greater gun control legislation…

As for Bloomberg’s idiotic suggestion, I would love to see him react to a threatened police strike in NYC over money or working conditions or whatnot.  As petulant as he is, I suspect that he’d probably throw a tantrum of epic proportions.  Or jack taxes up so high that everyone who could afford to do so would leave.  Then he’d whine about that too (the exodus, not the taxes).

Oh well, he can always make himself feel better by banning something people enjoy.  Maybe he’ll go for unprotected sex next time.  Or just regulate the fuck out of it (bad pun intended).  It would certainly make enforcement interesting.  For that matter, it might end any talk of a police strike if they get to watch.

Edited to add quote from Hot Air, which should make this whole post less nonsensical.