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Tag: lawsuit

Twitter Sues Homeland Security to Protect Anonymity of Trump Critic

twitter-birdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Twitter is suing Homeland Security after it threatened court action if the social media giant didn’t reveal the identity of a Twitter account – “@ALT_uscis” or “Alt Immigration” – that has been critical of the Trump administration.

The lawsuit alleges Homeland Security received a summons demanding the name, login information, phone number, mailing address and IP address of the Twitter user, NPR reports.

Twitter ignored Homeland Security’s request to not reveal the summons and instead wants a federal court to declare the summons “unlawful and enforceable.”

The account is one of several “rogue” accounts believed to be created by anonymous employees of the federal government, though that has not been confirmed. The Associated Press reports that they were told the account was run by “employees and former employees of the agency.”

Lawyers for Twitter said the summons violates the First Amendment rights of @ALT_uscis and is therefore unenforceable.

Ex-FBI Director Mueller III Appointed to Oversee Takata air bag claim fund

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has been appointed by a federal judge to oversee the disbursement of nearly $1 billion in restitution to victims of the deadly Takata air bag case, USA Today reports. 

U.S. District Judge George Steeh issued an order Thursday afternoon to appoint Mueller, who also played a role as settlement master in the Volkswagen diesel emissions case.

“In the end, the court determines that Mr. Mueller is the best candidate for the position, based in part on the parties’ support of his appointment, as well as the court’s comfort and trust in his impeccable credentials, his relevant experience in settlement negotiations, his familiarity with the automotive industry in general, and based upon his well-known reputation for integrity,” Steeh said in his order.

Mueller’s job includes recommending who receives restitution and how much they receive.

The Takata pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court, resulting in a $1-billion settlement with the U.S.

Air bag defects have killed at least 16 people worldwide and injured many more.

Family of Missing Former FBI Agent Sues Iran for Kidnapping, Torture

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran a decade ago, is suing the Middle Eastern country.

Levinson’s wife and children filed suit against Iran in U.S. District Court in Washington, CNN reports. 

The family filed suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, claiming “injuries suffered by each of them as a result of Iran’s unlawful acts of hostage taking, torture and other torts.”

If Levinson is still alive in Iran, he would be the longest held civilian by a foreign government. Iran continues to deny involvement in Levinson’s disappearance.

“Three weeks after his disappearance an Iranian government news outlet, Press TV, announced that he had been taken into custody by Iranian security authorities but was expected to be released shortly,” the complaint alleges.

“Despite this report, Robert Levinson was not released and the Iranian government began falsely denying any knowledge of his capture or whereabouts.”

Woman at FBI’s Philadelphia Office Claims Sexual Discrimination After She Was Demoted

Megan Lampinski is suing the FBI for sexual discrimination. Photo via Linked In.

Megan Lampinski is suing the FBI for sexual discrimination. Photo via Linked In.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman who previously headed the FBI Philadelphia office’s computer unit claimed Thursday that she was demoted and replaced with a male employee.

In a civil rights lawsuit, computer specialist Megan Lampinski was removed from her job as a supervisor the information technology division in 2008 because of sexual discrimination, Philly.com reports. 

“The government asserts she was a poor supervisor…. The evidence doesn’t back that up,” Lampinski’s attorney, Maurice R. Mitts, told a jury in the civil trial, noting glowing performance evaluations that Lampinski had received before she was demoted.

Lampinski, 52, was promoted to supervisor in the information technology unit in 2004. Then four years later, she said, she was given a nonsupervisory position in security screening, a job for which she had no experience.

The FBI asserts that Lampinski wasn’t performing well.

“There was no discrimination and no retaliation,” said government attorney Kelly A. Smith.

The trial continues Friday.

Judge Tentatively Approves $1M Settlement to Children in Border Patrol Lawsuit

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seven years of litigation may finally be over after a San Diego federal judge tentatively approved a $1 million settlement to the children of a Mexican man who was fatally beaten and shot with a Taser at a California port of entry.

The money will be split by the five children of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who was killed during the confrontation at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on May 28, 2010, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

“This agreement is not justice,” said Hernandez Rojas’ common-law wife, Maria Puga, at a news conference following the hearing. “My husband’s life does not have a price. The decision had to be taken and it was difficult. We had to turn the page.”

Two of the children are still minors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Louisa Porter told the two 10-year-olds that he delayed signing the final order under to ensure the funds don’t need to go through probate.

“I hope you use the funds so you can have a good life going forward,” Porter told the two 10-year-olds. “He came to this country to improve his life, and he’d like to see your lives improved by virtue of all the sacrifices he made for you.”

Pennsylvania Man Sues ATF Because 40-Year-Old Crime Bars Him from Owning Guns

atf_sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Pennsylvania man who is barred from possessing a gun because he was convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor 40 years ago is suing the ATF because he wants to hunt with his grandchildren.

PennLive reports that Terry E. Laudenslager was convicted of buying a stolen television in 1976. A federal law bars him from possession a firearm because he was convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison. 

Since then, Laudenslager has not committed another crime, and now he wants to buy weapons to protect himself and to hunt with his grandchildren.

Last week, he filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the ATF, hoping to win a judgment that will allow him to once again legally possess guns.

Black Secret Service Agents Reach $24M Agreement in Discrimination Lawsuit

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An agreement has been reached over a long-running lawsuit that alleged the Secret Service discriminates against black agents.

More than 100 agents have reached an agreement with Homeland Security and the Secret Service, NPR reports. 

The pact still needs approval from a court.

Under the agreement, the Secret Service would pay $24 million, but the agency wouldn’t be required to admit wrongdoing. Included in the settlement are lump sum payments as high as $300,000 per agent.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he was “pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us.”

“Had the matter gone to trial,” it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend,” Johnson wrote in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in 2000 on behalf of agents who claimed they were routinely denied promotions as less-qualified white agents received better jobs.

Lawsuit: Border Patrol Destroyed Surveillance of Conditions at Detention Facilities

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials are accused in a lawsuit of destroying surveillance footage of poor conditions inside detention facilities in Arizona.

The National Immigration Law Center filed a motion Monday that alleged Border Patrol knowingly recorded over videos and handed over unwatchable footage, BuzzFeed reports. 

“This is yet another example of an agency going out of its way to keep the horrible conditions in these facilities out of the public eye,” Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for NILC, told BuzzFeed News.

Border Patrol officials declined to comment.

The facilities are used for detainees who are caught illegally crossing the border.

Photos released in August showed poor conditions at the facilities.

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