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Congress Updates Whistleblower Protections with Grassley Bill PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 19 November 2012 13:43

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  This legislation updates a 1989 law to protect federal employees who speak out about wrongdoing in government agencies.

Here is the text of Grassley’s comments:

 

This week the Senate gave final approval to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.  It’s on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

This bill strengthens the Whistleblower Protection Act to better protect federal employees who come forward to disclose government waste, fraud, abuse, and other wrongdoing.  I coauthored this bipartisan enhancement bill this year, and I coauthored the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act that it updates.

The update is an important step forward.  Additional improvements are still needed to make sure intelligence community whistleblowers get the protection they deserve for uncovering fraud deep within the bureaucracy.

The public interest is served by whistleblowers inside the federal government who have the courage to stand up and speak out about wrongdoing, mismanagement, and waste.  One of the first whistleblowers I ever worked with from the federal government, and he was an employee of the Defense Department, said whistleblowers were guilty of “committing truth.”

We need that truth in Washington.  We need the accountability that whistleblowers help to bring.  I will continue to advocate for whistleblowers in and outside of government, wherever tax dollars and the public good is at stake.

 
Davenport Man Sentenced to Federal Prison as an Armed Career Criminal PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Val Quast   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:43
DAVENPORT, IA - On November 16, 2012, David James Baber, age 44, of Davenport, Iowa, was sentenced to 200 months imprisonment for the crime of being a career criminal in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose also sentenced Baber to serve five years of supervised release following imprisonment and pay $100 towards the Crime Victim Fund.

Baber previously had pled guilty to the charge of being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm. His 200-month sentence consisted of 12 months for violating conditions of his previous term of supervised release relating to a federal conviction for attempting to aid the escape of a federal prisoner, plus a consecutive 188 months for the new offense of possessing a firearm as an armed career criminal.

The new offense occurred on January 31, 2012, when Davenport, Iowa, police officers investigating a complaint that Baber had assaulted a person with a firearm, stopped Baber and found him in possession of a stolen .22 caliber revolver. Baber was classified as an armed career criminal because he had three or more prior convictions for crimes of violence.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Davenport, Iowa, Police Department, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

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WILL YOU BE “NAUGHTY” OR “NICE” THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Aliesha Chiesa   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:37
WHAT:  Macerich to Give Away $15,000 Over the Holidays

Naughty or nice – your choice can pay off this holiday with NorthPark and SouthPark Malls.

We invite our shoppers to enjoy more than 250 stores and restaurants and also enter for a chance to win our Holiday Sweepstakes. One lucky winner will win the Grand Prize of a $10,000 Mall Gift Card, and many will become instant winners with $10 Mall Gift Cards.

Shoppers can enter to win on-mall or online. Upon entering via a mobile device, shoppers will be asked to join a team – either “Team Naughty” or “Team Nice”, and have the chance to play an instant win game for a $10 Mall Gift Card. We encourage  everyone to create a “Naughty” or “Nice” eCard to share on Facebook to invite friends to join their sweepstakes team.

The winner will be announced after January 4, 2013.

WHEN:  Starting November 15 – December 24

WHERE:  NorthPark Mall.  Enter to win at JC Penney Court and Von Maur Court.  Parking available at either Von Maur or JC Penney,
SouthPark Mall.  Enter to win at Dillards Court and Younkers Court Parking available at either Younkers or Dillards

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Former Davenport Builder Sentenced for Bank Fraud PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Val Quast   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:21

DAVENPORT, IA – On November 16, 2012, Walter R. Zimmerer, III, age 70, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, formerly owner of Zimmerer Custom Homes in LeClaire, Iowa, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stephanie M. Rose to one-month imprisonment and 12 months home confinement, having previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Zimmerer was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release following the home confinement, pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $379,533, and pay a $900 special assessment to the crime victim fund.

In 2007 and 2008, Zimmerer took out loans from Northwest Bank & Trust Company and Great River Bank & Trust to construct homes in Bettendorf and LeClaire, Iowa. The loans were on a draw system, so that Zimmerer could draw funds on the loans at various stages of the construction process provided he proved he was current on payments to subcontractors.

Zimmerer, who had fallen behind on earlier construction projects, diverted the money to pay debts in connection with those projects. In order to deceive the banks and continue to draw funds, Zimmerer created false documents (mechanics lien waivers) purporting to show that he was current on his payments to subcontractors.

Zimmerer eventually defaulted on the loans. Although the banks completed the construction projects and sold the homes, they still suffered a net loss of over $379,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

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Well-known Terrorist Released from Iraqi Prison PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:15

Friday, November 16, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after learning that terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq was released from an Iraqi prison.  The U.S. government turned over the well-known terrorist to the Iraqi government less than a year ago.  Grassley sent several letters to the Obama administration urging them to try Daqduq before a military tribunal.  Those letters can be found here.  Grassley is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

“Daqduq has one of the most significant records of terrorist activity with Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, even training them.  Yet, the Obama administration decided to turn him over to the Iraqi government knowing that it likely would result in his freedom.  Now, it appears that our fears have been realized and Daqduq has been released from the Iraqi government’s custody and is in Lebanon. The United States does not have an extradition agreement with Lebanon, so there’s little recourse for the U.S. government and Daqduq is expected to remain free.  A military tribunal would have been a far better avenue to bring this terrorist to justice.  Instead, it’s probably just a matter of time before he finds his way back to the battlefield where undoubtedly innocent people will be killed.”

 
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