- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2001

O'Neill faults IRS phone service

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said yesterday it was unacceptable that the Internal Revenue Service can answer only 65 percent of its phone calls.
"If you called the airlines and they only answered two out of three times, you would stop calling," Mr. O'Neill told 400 members of the National Treasury Employees Union.
Mr. O'Neill said he planned to begin work on an assessment of what the Treasury Department needs to do its job, hoping for recommendations by November.

Second youth arraigned in Dartmouth killings

LEBANON, N.H. The second of two teen-agers arrested in the stabbing deaths of two Dartmouth College professors was arraigned in juvenile court yesterday.
James Parker, 16, was arraigned as a juvenile in the Jan. 27 killings of Half and Susanne Zantop. Prosecutors were moving to have him tried as an adult along with his accused accomplice, honor student Robert Tulloch, 17.
Mr. Tulloch, who is being tried as an adult, waived extradition and has been arraigned in New Hampshire on two counts of murder. He is expected in court tomorrow for a plea hearing.

Observers moving into Cicero for primary

CHICAGO The Justice Department said yesterday it is sending 25 federal observers into the Chicago suburb of Cicero to monitor today's primary vote for town offices.

"The federal observers will monitor the treatment of Hispanic voters to ensure that they have full and equal access to the voting process," the department said from Washington.
Under a court order issued in October, federal officials were authorized to monitor elections in Cicero for the next five years.
The consent decree settled a government lawsuit after Cicero officials tried to raise the residency requirement for candidates from the current 12 months to 18. The Justice Department claimed the plan was designed to keep two Hispanics off the ballot.

Legislators introduce bill to end executions

CHICAGO Five Illinois lawmakers said yesterday they have introduced a bill to repeal the death penalty, 13 months after the state's governor declared a moratorium on executions because of flaws in the justice system.
The bill, which supporters say likely won't pass the Illinois House, would substitute life in prison without parole for a death sentence.
"The proposal is really designed to stimulate debate," said Jane Bohman of the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project, a group that joined legislators in announcing the bill.

Guard testifies Combs did not have gun

NEW YORK A security guard testified yesterday in the gun possession and bribery trial of rap mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs that she fell on top of him and did not see a gun in his hand during the Manhattan nightclub fracas that led to his arrest.
Charise Myers was on duty Dec. 27, 1999, in Club New York when a fight broke out between the rap star and a patron, followed by gunfire that wounded three persons. She said she told Mr. Combs during the argument, "You really don't need this, let's move away."
Miss Myers, testifying for the defense a month into the trial, said Mr. Combs turned to her and she heard shots, but she did not see a gun in his hand.

Nichols loses attempt to scrap state trial

OKLAHOMA CITY A judge yesterday rejected a bid by Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols to have state charges thrown out of court.
District Judge Ray Dean Linder denied a defense motion that the state had no jurisdiction to prosecute Nichols because Oklahoma officials had ceded jurisdiction to the federal government.
Nichols, 45, is serving a life sentence for his federal conviction on eight involuntary manslaughter counts and conspiracy. He faces a state trial that could result in his execution on 160 counts of first-degree murder for the 1995 bombing.
No trial date has been set.

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