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March 12, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 3

* Detroit woman
involved in federal
food-aid fraud
Authorities say a Detroit city
employee sold food-assistance cou-
pons for years to people who didn't
qualify, costing the U.S. govern-
ment as much as $648,000.
A judge unsealed a criminal
complaint yesterday against Jac-
queline Taylor. A federal agent says
Taylor sold WIC coupons and deb-
it-style cards for about eight years
while working at a health clinic on
Detroit's east side.
The federal WIG program pays
" for certain grocery items for moth-
ers and children.
Taylor appeared to turn remorse-
ful. A year ago, agents searching
her workplace found a handwritten
note in her Bible that said, "Dear
Lord, I have done somethingwrong
as you know. ... So please I hope
they look over this."
A phone message seeking com-
ment was left for Taylor.
Obama to donate
Nobel Prize money
to Haiti survivors
President Barack Obama plans
to donate the $1.4 million from his
Nobel Peace Prize to helping stu-
dents, veterans' families and survi-
vors of Haiti's earthquake, among
others, drawing attention to orga-
nizations he said "do extraordinary
Obama is giving a total of
$750,000 to six groups that help
kids go to college. Fisher's House,
which provides housing for families
with loved ones at Veterans Admin-
istration hospitals, will receive
$250,000, the White House said
Thursday. And the Clinton-Bush
Haiti Fund, for which two former
presidents are raising money to
rebuild earthquake-ravaged Haiti,
will receive $200,000.
"These organizations do extraor-
dinary work in the United States
and abroad helping students, veter-
ans and countless others in need,"
Obama said in a statement. "I'm
proud to support their work."
Obama was chosen for the Nobel
award more for his aspirations and
approach than his accomplish-
ments thus far.
Iraqi journalist dies
in military gunfire
U.S. troops opened fire on a car
in western Baghdad, killing an Iraqi
journalist and her husband, a police
official said yesterday.
Morgue officials confirmed the
deaths and said the bodies of Aseel
al-Obeidi and her husband were
riddled with bullets in Wednes-
day's shooting in the Tobchi neigh-
AI-Obeidi worked for Dijla tele-
vision, an independent Baghdad
station that recently closed because
of financial problems.
The U.S. military said it was

investigating the killing of two
Iraqis during a joint patrol by
American and Iraqi troops in west-
ern Baghdad on Wednesday, but it
did not give any details or confirm
if that was the same shooting that
involved the journalist and her hus-
Kidnapped aid
workers released
Kidnappers have freed two
Swiss women snatched off the
streets of Haiti's capital and held
for five days, officials said yester-
It is the first reported kid-
napping since Haiti suffered a
magnitude-7 earthquake with
catastrophic damage on Jan. 12.
More than 5,000 prisoners fled
jails that collapsed or were dam-
aged in the temblor. Only about
200 have been captured.
Doctors Without Borders con-
firmed the kidnapping. Agency
spokesman Michel Peremans
said the victims were released
Wednesday night. He would not
say if a ransom was paid.
Doctors Without Borders is one
of hundreds of international aid
agencies that have flooded into
Haiti to help.
A security alert sent to non-
governmental agencies, obtained
by The Associated Press, said the
0 two were Swiss women working
for the France-based agency.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

NYC to pay up to
$675M to settle
9/11 health cases

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick addresses the media outside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Tuesday.
Former Detroit mayor
Kilpatrick owes $ 870K

Judge calls for
short restitution
DETROIT (AP) - An ongoing
restitution battle between ex-
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
and prosecutors may come down
to a final one- or two-day hearing
in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Kilpatrick, his attorneys or
prosecutors have either appeared
or filed motions on the issue, or
judges have made rulings in the
matter, on at least nine occasions
since Feb. 10.
But on Thursday, Circuit Court
Presiding Judge Timothy Kenny
made it clear that the proceed-
ings should be nearing an end
with a March 24 probation viola-
tion hearing.
"I do think ... both sides need to
have the opportunity to fairly and
completely litigate the issues,"
Kenny said. "It really should be
done swiftly and conclusively."
Defense attorney Michael
Allan Schwartz said he would
need about a day to present his
case, while prosecutors expect to
use transcripts from earlier hear-
ings before Judge David Groner.
Kenny also on yesterday denied
Schwartz' appeal to disqualify
Groner over claims the judge was
biased against Kilpatrick and had

improper communications with
prosecutors on a bench warrant
charging the former mayor with
violating his probation.
Kenny's ruling was a "partial
victory," Kilpatrick spokesman
Mike Paul told reporters outside
the court building.
"What we were seeking all the
time was fairness, accountabil-
ity," Paul said. "And the judge
added something that was just
as important: 'swiftly.' And that's
what we feel we're going to have
now. Judge Groner, we feel that
he will deal with us in a more just
and accountable way."
Kilpatrick also was allowed to
return to his home outside Dallas
after spending the past two days
in Detroit.
The latest flurry of court
action followed a six-day resti-
tution hearing that started in
October and ended in January
when Groner ordered Kilpatrick
to make two lump sum payments
of $79,011 and $240,000 toward
On Feb. 10, Kilpatrick's law-
yers said he was having trouble
coming up with the first payment
that was due Feb. 19 and filed an
emergency motion with Groner
asking the judge to reconsider.
Six days later, Groner ruled he
would not consider the order.
A bench warrant was issued
for Kilpatrick's arrest when he

failed to pay the full amount.
Defense attorneys went to the
state Appeals Court which post-
poned a brobation violation
arraignment, but later denied a
request to stay Groner's restitu-
tion payment order.
Kilpatrick was arraigned Tues-
day and kept free on a $10,000
personal bond.
Kilpatrick agreed to pay the
city $1 million in restitution fol-
lowing pleas in 2008 to two
criminal cases tied to a text-mes-
saging sex scandal involving a
former aide.
He resigned as mayor, spent
99 days in jail and took a job as a
computer software salesman for
Texas-based Covisint after his
release in February 2009.
Prosecutors accused Kilpat-
rick last year of not being hon-
est about his finances and those
of his wife, Carlita. They proved
during earlier restitution hear-
ings that tens of thousands of
dollars were moved from bank

Settlement offer
awaits approval of
judge, workers
NEW YORK (AP) - After years
of fighting in court, lawyers rep-
resenting the city, construction
companies and more than 10,000
ground zero rescue and recovery
workers have agreed to a settle-
ment that could pay up to $657.5
million to responders sickened
hy dust from cle destroyed World
Trade Center.
Thesettlementwas announced
yesterday evening by the WTC
Captive Insurance Co., a spe-
cial entity established to indem-
nify the city and its contractors
against potential legal action as
they moved to clean up the site
after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror
The deal, which still must
be approved by a judge and the
workers themselves, would make
the city and other companies
represented by the insurer liable
for a minimum of $575 million,
with more money available to the
sick if certain conditions are met.
Most if not all of the money
would come out of a $1 billion
grant from the Federal Emergen-
cy Management Agency.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
called the settlement "a fair and
reasonable resolution to a com-
plex set of circumstances."
"The resolution of the World
Trade Center litigation will allow
the first responders and workers
to be compensated for injuries
suffered following their work at
Ground Zero," Bloomberg said in
a statement.

Marc Bern, a senior partner
with the law firm Worby, Groner,
Edelman & Napoli, Bern LLP,
which negotiated the deal, said it
was "a good settlement."
"We are gratified that these
heroic men and women who
performed their duties with-
out consideration of the health
implications will finally receive
just compensation for their pain
and suffering, lost wages, medi-
cal and other expenses, as the
U.S. Congress intended when it
appropriated this money," he said
in a statement.
Workers who wish to par-
ticipate in the settlement would
need to prove they had been
at the World Trade Center site
or other facilities that handled
debris. They also would have to
turn over medical records and
provide other information aimed
at weeding out fraudulent or
dubious claims.
For the settlement to be
enforced, 95 percent of the work-
ers would need to agree to be
bound by its terms.
The agreement comes with
just two months to go until the
first trials are to begin in the
case. Thousands of police offi-
cers, firefighters and construc-
tion workers who put in time at
the 16-acre site in lower Man-
hattan had filed lawsuits against
the city, claiming it sent them to
ground zero without proper pro-
tective equipment.
Many of those workers now
claim to have fallen ill. A major-
ity complained of a respiratory
problem similar to asthma, but
the suits also sought damages for
hundreds of other types of ail-
ments, including cancer.

accounts in ms name to his wite'


accounts and argued some of that
should go toward restitution.
Groner agreed and ordered the
two large lump sum payments, in
addition to the $3,000 monthly
payments Kilpatrick already is
On Tuesday, Kilpatrick told
reporters that he owed about
$870,000 in restitution.




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