‘Loose Change Gang’ looking at a plea deal: City employees accused of stealing parking meter quarters to appear in court this week
Buffalonews.com is reporting that two city employees, accused of stealing quarters out of parking meters, is talking with federal prosecutors about a plea deal.
The “loose change gang,” James Bagarozzo and Lawrence Charles, are expected to plead guilty this week according to reports.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is about government employees stealing money the government itself has stolen, and since it’s about theft, it is a crime with a victim, namely those who put money into the parking meters.)
Bagarozzo and Charles, both longtime city employees, were arrested in December and accused of stealing money out of parking meters while working as parking meter mechanics for the city. Both men are charged with theft of government property and are suspended without pay from their City Hall jobs.
Bagarozzo, who once served as head of the city animal shelter, is accused of stealing $210,000 over an eight-year period. Charles is accused of stealing about $3,300 over the course of a month.
Both men are scheduled to appear this week before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara for what O’Donnell described as “plea proceedings.”
If convicted, Bagarozzo and Charles could face up to 10 years in prison, though a more lenient sentence is likely, under federal sentencing guidelines.
The Associated Press reported today that “a Louisville, KY teenager who tweeted the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her to protest their plea agreement says in court records the prosecutor told her to “let it go” after she complained about the deal.”
“The Courier-Journal on Thursday obtained newly released court records in the case of Savannah Dietrich, who defied an order not to discuss the court proceedings by tweeting the boys’ names.”
“Since then, the newspaper successfully sought to open the case, which had been closed because it was held in juvenile court.”
“Dietrich says in an affidavit that when she confronted prosecutor Paul Richwalsky after the plea, he told to “get over it and see a therapist.”‘
“Richwalsky denied the allegations, saying they are “preposterous.”‘
This post was originally posted to CopBlock.org.
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
On October 3rd, 2011 Darren Murphy, a Manchester police employee, assaulted 17-year-old Frank Harrington at Manchester’s West High School. The next day, Ademo Freeman called the high school and the police department to help obtain accountability. He included portions of the calls on a video update, and a couple of months later, was threatened with three counts of felony wiretapping, each of which carried a maximum of seven years in prison.
On August 13th, 2012 a jury at Hillsborough County Superior Court found Ademo “guilty.” Judge Kenneth Brown sentenced Ademo to three months in jail and five years of “good behavior” conditions, which if violated, would land Ademo in state prison.
Despite threats levied at him by the claimed “authorities” Ademo Freeman has relentlessly stood up for what’s right. And because of that, he’s now caged in Manchester’s Valley Street Jail.
Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him would wear a somber face. But I left with a smile. I knew that I was a convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
To support Ademo & his activism consider donating to his WePay campaign*
For complete overview visit: http://copblock.org/freeademo
Let prosecutor Michael Valentine know your thoughts: (603) 627-5605
445 Willow St.
Manchester, NH 03103
The raw trial video from August 13th, 2012 is below in its entirety thanks to our friends at FreeKeene.com
*Note that this WePay campaign was originally set-up per Ademo’s 60-day caging for the “resisting” charge he was said to be guilty of earlier this year.
That charge was levied in the summer of 2011 after Ademo went limp when he was being arrested outside the Manchester police department. He had been one of a few dozen people present to point-out the clear double-standards afforded to Jonathan Duchesne, Matthew Jajuga, Michael Buckley, and Ernie Goodno who in early 2010 had beaten a Manchester resident Christopher Micklovich.
In Ademo’s words:
Due to the fact that I’m being denied my trial and that I’m not willing to drag this out any longer in appeals, I’m asking people to contribute a pledge for each day I sit in jail. 50% of the money will go to CopBlock.org to further promote police accountability and the other 50% will be used for my commissary and after jail cost. If donations go over $500 I’ll then donate 75% to CopBlock.org
Here is a basic guide for submitting posts:
1. Research your submission and include factual details that can be verified.
2. Add photos that relate to the story.
3. Include hyperlinks to related information, related reports or background information.
4. Check grammar, spelling and punctuation.
5. Edit, edit, edit. Keep it simple by eliminating unnecessary words.
6. Include a call to action if applicable and include names, phone numbers, email addresses and other relevant contact information.
Help us help others!
Ademo’s guilty verdict is deplorable while the true aggressor, Darren Murphy the School Resource Officer remains on the job and won’t be held accountable.
For video of the trial, keep checking Free Keene’s website. Ian Freeman video recorded the entire trial and video should be up soon.
The cast of characters in today’s court theater:
Ademo Freeman (aka Adam Mueller) – founder of CopBlock.org, found guilty of three felony counts of wiretapping
Darren Murphy – employee, Manchester PD, school liaison at West High School (603) 668-8711
Michael Valentine – prosecutor, Hillsborough County (603) 627-5605
Kenneth Brown – Judge, Hillsborough County Superior Court (603) 669-7410
Jonathan Hopkins – employee at Manchester PD, wiretapping threat #1 (603) 668-8711
Denise Michaels – employee at West High School, wiretapping threat #2 (603) 624-6384
MaryEllen McGorry – employee at West High School and former Hillsborough Co. attorney, wiretapping threat #3 (603) 624-6384
If you would like to show your support for Ademo, Cop Block and holding police accountable: www.copblock.org/pledge.
For background information on the case: www.copblock.org/freeademo.
>>THIS IS A POST IN PROGRESS<<
IT WILL BE EXPANDED UPON GREATLY IN THE COMING HOURS
Ademo is sentenced to 12-months in the so-called “House of Corrections” with 9-months suspended. He’ll then be under “good behavior” for the next three-years, which, if violated, will land him in the state prison in Concord for one-to-three-years.
What this means:
Ademo is supposed to sit for three months. With “good time” that equates to two-months. judge Kenneth Brown stated that this time can run concurrent to his present stint [for more on that see: CopBlock.org/Pledge].
It’s unsure now if that concurrent time will begin today, August 13th, when this verdict came down, or be retroactive to July 11th, when he was taken from District Court and brought to Hillsborough County Jail.
If it’s the former, he’ll be free(r) in mid-October. If it’s the latter he’ll be free(r) in mid-September. I’m seeking clarification and will update here when it’s ascertained, one way or the other.
This write-up was originally posted to CopBlock.org on Friday, August 10th, 2012.
Ademo today was visited by Michael Valentine, the individual who, on Monday at Hillsborough County Superior Court will argue that he should spend 21-years caged because he pointed-out the assault of 17-yr-old Frank Harrington by Manchester PD employee Darren Murphy.
A few things Ademo noted:
Valentine plans to submit into evidence Admeo’s radio interview with Girard at Large captured in-studio on December 6th of last year due to this statement from Ademo:
Though I didn’t state to the individuals I was audio and video recording them I did state to them that my name is Ademo Freeman from CopBlock.org and I’m seeking comment off of Officer Murphy’s actions in the cafeteria.”
In that same conversation Ademo also pointed-out the fact that:
I’ve highlighted some abuses of the police around here and now I’ve become a target. . . Who are they keeping the community safe from? Me? I’ve never touched a 17-yr old kid and slammed his head on a desk. . . We’re talking about public officials . . . every one of their jobs is public information. If their whole job is on the record how can you wiretap them?
Valentine noted that if the jury reaches a “guilty” verdict he’s encourage “judge” Kenneth Brown to order Ademo caged for six months at Valley Street Jail to be followed by two years of “good behavior”, which, if violated, would subject Ademo to 1-2-years in the prison in Concord, NH. This is the same scenario as Valentine offered in the first of two plea deals to Ademo, both of which were turned down.
Valentine did note that he was receiving a lot of calls (his number is 603-627-5605) from people encouraging him to drop the threats levied at Ademo. He also noted that some callers had threatened him. Ademo expressed his encouragement that people refrain from such statements, both because it won’t help him in his situation and it may actually put them at risk if Valentine and his colleagues take interest and follow-up. Instead, Ademo encouraged people to demand of Valentine that his charges be dropped and that in the very slight chance that a “guilty” verdict is reached that Valentine request no jail time.
And lastly Ademo noted the importance of clogging the court system – “I can’t do it on my own.” Difficult as it may be, if you are now or in the future told to pay a ransom or threatened with a cage for an action that harmed no one then stand on your principles. Make your case in front of a jury of your peers. Ensure they’re informed about jury nullification. Even if you’ve acted in a way that some scribbles on paper dictate you shan’t, if you’ve not harmed anyone then it’s not you but that text that’s in the wrong. Will it may be easier to slip some FRNs into an envelope and move on, know that such actions only fund the same criminal organization that’s now targeting Ademo and does nothing to deter future harassment of yourself, your family and those in your community.
If you don’t stand-up today and act according to your conscience it’ll only be more difficult to do so tomorrow.
Michael Valentine (603) 627-5605
NeverTakeAPlea.org- Nevertakeaplea.org is a resource for those charged with victimless crimes and activists wanting to support them. Our focus is our court calendar. If you are charged with a victimless crime, you can fill out a form with your court information so activists in your area can attend court in support.
Don’t Take the Peal Deal tri-fold - print and distribute to those entering county, state, and federal courthouses. Currently over 95% of cases are settled before going to trial. Just think how clogged the criminals justice system (not a typo) would become if even 10% of us took our cases to court.
This post was written by Ademo Freeman and transcribed by Clyde Voluntaryist of NeverTakeAPlea.org:
Yesterday, July 27th, I was transported from my cell at Valley Street jail to my final pre-trial conference regarding my felony wiretapping charges. While there, I took the time to point out that the “state” regularly cuts deals with people who have actually harmed others, yet seems dead set on having a trial for my bogus charges, charges that could land me in prison for 9-21 years. To see the entire hearing from Friday, click here.
While in the court, I asked the judge why I hadn’t been offered a plea deal and Mr. Brown, the “judge,” suggested the state offer one in order to resolve the matter before trial.
Shortly after I left the court room, Michael Valentine, the DA, came to see me in the basement of the courthouse. He brought with him the “state’s” plea deal which was 12 months in Valley Street with 6 months suspended, meaning I wouldn’t have to serve half the time unless I messed up according to their arbitrary rules. He also wanted 1-2 years of prison time, which would be suspended for two years, and no contact with any of the three people I “wiretapped.” I told him there was no way I’d take a plea that involved any amount of time behind bars.
We went back and forth for several minutes on a number of things but the conversation ended with Michael saying he’ll come visit me in Valley Street on Monday, July 30th. Over the weekend, he said he’s check with his “bosses” and the “victims” about a 1-2 year prison sentence, which would be suspended for two years pending good behavior – something I wanted clearly defined.
Here’s how I see the offer: it’s a stellar deal if I actually thought what I had done was wrong. If I were facing 9-21 years for anything else and was offered a 1-2 year suspended sentence, I’d sign it immediately. And it should be noted that having two years of good behavior is no big deal because I have the same terms for the next two years (or I return to Valley Street for ten months) on the resisting/chalking arrest. So, that really doesn’t matter.
Yet, by the time this is published to CopBlock.org and other blogs, I’ll have refused Michael’s offer and here’s why. First, I can’t go against my principles and sign a deal that says I acknowledge my actions as wrong or illegal. Second, I’m not a hypocrite. How can I advocate refusing plea deals and sign one myself? I don’t judge anyone who has taken pleas because each case/charge is different. Third, I am confident I can show a jury, with facts and logic, that I shouldn’t be caged for my actions.
So, unless Michael Valentine or the judge decides to drop my charges completely, I say, “let the circus begin!” I know this choice could end up with a guilty verdict and those mentioned above could give me worse than the plea deal, but just like I said in my video blog before being caged: “My mind is free and my conscience is clear. I haven’t harmed anyone and I’ve done what I feel is right.” Let me add, I’ll be an activist of freedom no matter where I live, until the day I die.
I want to thank everyone who has shown and continues to show me support through these recent cases and I hope to see a packed courtroom August 13th for my trial.
Call Michael Valentine and Kenneth Brown and encourage them to drop the threats levied at Ademo: (603) 669-7410
To help Ademo & learn more about his situation visit: http://copblock.org/freeademo
Ademo has jury selection on Monday, August 6th. Friends plan to be on the ground to show support and do jury outreach – inform them of their ability to nullify bad laws [Facebook event].
His trial slated to begin the following Monday, August 13th [Facebook event].
Both the outreach and trial will be held at:
Hillsborough County Superior Court North
300 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03101
This post was originally published by Cop Block at www.copblock.org/freeademo
Ademo Freeman faces 21-years in prison because he stood up for a 17-year-old student who was assaulted by high school liaison officer Darren Murphy at West High School in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Despite his actions, Murphy was back on the job the next day while the student was suspended. Another student, who had captured the exchange on video, had been ordered by school personnel to delete the footage.
Freeman, concerned about the lack of accountability, posted the video online then made calls to the Manchester Police Department and West High School seeking comment. His phone conversations were included on a video update and from that, he was charged with three felony counts of wiretapping, each of which carries a 7-year maximum penalty.
In no uncertain terms, Freeman is being targeted because he sought to make transparent the wrongs committed by public officials. Instead of “serving and protecting” they are systematically working to censor those highlighting their misdeeds.
The person who should face consequences is the officer who threw that poor kid into a table during lunch at the school cafeteria, not the journalist who reported about it.
-Ian Freeman, host of FreeTalkLive.com
On Aug. 13th, 2012 Ademo has trial for seeking to make transparent the assault inflicted on a Manchester West High School student at the hands of Manchester police employee Darren Murphy. He’s charged with three felony counts of wiretapping, which together may bring 21-years.
Ademo’s currently caged for working to bring to light the unaccountability of four Manchester PD employees who beat-up a man outside a bar in early 2010.
More info: Ademo’s Wrongful Caging – Can You Pledge to Help?
Ways YOU Can Help Ademo
#1 Write / Visit (aka Adam Mueller):
445 Willow St.
Manchester, NH 03103
Visitation each Saturday 7:00 – 8:00pm, but visitors have to be in the facility no later than 6:30pm
Hillsborough County Jail
445 Willow Street
#2 Share his story with those in your sphere & local media:
CopBlock.org/FreeAdemo – this page
Journalist Striving for Accountability Faces Two Decades in Prison – press release
FREE ADEMO! playlist in chronological order – videos
FREE ADEMO! playlist in order of most views – videos
#3 Contact his captors and demand the threats levied be dropped:
Michael G. Valentine – (603) 627-5605
(DA arguing that Ademo deserves to be caged for 21-years)
Hillsborough County Attorney’s Offices, 300 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH 03101
Michael Delaney – (603) 271-3658
(attorney general who failed to bring charges against Duchesne, Jajuga, Buckley, and Goodno)
NH Department of Justice, 33 Capitol Street, Concord, NH 03301
Jonathan Duchesne, Matt Jajuga, Michael Buckley, David Mara – (603) 668-8711
(first three involved in beating of Chris Micklovich, fourth is “chief”)
Manchester Police Department, 351 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH 03101-2294
MaryEllen McGorry – (603) 624-6384
(principal, from whom one of Ademo’s wiretapping threats stems)
West High School
9 Notre Dame Ave
Manchester, NH 03102
Ted Gatsas, Thomas R. Clark – (603) 624.6500
(mayor and city solicitor who failed to bring charges against Duchesne, Jajuga, Buckley, and Goodno)
Manchester City Hall, 1045 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101
Ademo’s Jail Pledge – will be used for his commissary and funds when freed
CopBlock.org – will be used to advance Cop Block’s mission of police accountability, education of individual rights and the dissemination of effective tactics to utilize while filming police
#5 Show-up on the ground
Hillsborough County Superior Court North, 300 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH 03101
August 6th, 2012 8am – jury outreach (information about jury nullification) FACEBOOK EVENT
August 13th, 2012 9am – trial
August 14th, 2012 9am – trial (if it doesn’t wrap-up on the 13th)
Journalist Striving for Accountability Faces Two Decades in Prison
NH Public Officials Act with Blatant Disregard for Glik Decision
MANCHESTER, NH – Local journalist and police accountability advocate Adam Mueller faces 21-years in prison for publicizing comments made by public officials operating in their public capacity about an excessive force incident involving Manchester Police officer Darren Murphy and a 17 year-old student that occurred at Manchester’s West High School in October, 2011.
Another student filmed the interaction with his cell phone as his classmate was slammed to a table by School Resource Officer Darren Murphy. After viewing the video that public officials told the recording student to delete, Mueller called the Manchester Police Department and West High School seeking comment. Mueller publicized a video on CopBlock.org about the incident which included segments of his conversations with the on-duty public officials.
Almost three months after the altercation at West High School occurred, Adam was indicted on three counts of felony wiretapping, each holding a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Mueller is ordered to appear for jury selection at the Manchester Superior Court on August 6, 2012 at 9:00AM, and the trial is expected to occur within the two weeks following jury selection.
NH statute states that to be guilty of wiretapping, another party must have a reasonable expectation that their communications are not subject to interception. A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy, as is reinforced by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Glik v. Cunniffe in a ruling that states that the First Amendment protects the right to record police in public.
Individuals throughout the country have publicly expressed their support for Mueller’s actions and voiced their recognition of clear double standards. “No matter what, nobody’s child should be abused like that in school,” said the father of the student thrown to the cafeteria table.
Kate Ager 603.903.4317
Pete Eyre 603.903.2928 & [email protected]