- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Ex-city employee to remain jailed

A federal judge Tuesday ordered a former D.C. employee arrested on corruption charges to remain in jail while the case against him proceeds.

Yusuf Acar, who was the acting chief security officer in D.C.’s technology office, is accused of defrauding the city through several schemes. They include falsifying bills for items that were never delivered and then splitting the money with the vendors who submitted them.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola ordered Mr. Acar held, saying he was struck by a recorded conversation, cited in court documents, in which Mr. Acar said he would flee to his native Turkey if he was caught.

Mr. Acar’s attorney argued that he was merely boasting and that he has strong ties to the Washington area, including four daughters.

He was arrested by FBI agents Thursday.



Parks ban booze without permit

Maryland state park managers are cracking down on alcohol consumption.

The Department of Natural Resources said it is phasing in rules that will prohibit alcohol consumption this spring and summer except in campgrounds, shelters and full-service cabins where users have a reservation or a $35 permit.

Starting Nov. 1, drinking will be permitted with a permit only at full-service cabins and at shelters.

The new rules are designed to increase safety and bring the state’s alcohol policy in line with those in neighboring states, the agency said.


Police, firefighters reach pension deal

Three Baltimore public safety unions have reached an agreement with the city reducing retirement payouts for police officers and firefighters working longer than 20 years.

The compromise would save the city an estimated $4 million to $7 million annually.

But it keeps parts of the popular deferred retirement option plan, which pays out large lump sums to those who continue past their traditional retirement date. The plan has cost Baltimore up to $10 million a year.

Those working past 20 years get pension payments for three years on top of salaries. Currently, the payments go to a savings account earning 8.25 percent interest, but the interest would be cut to 5.5 percent under proposed changes.

Mayor Sheila Dixon called the program a “luxury,” no longer affordable in tight budget times.


Campaign finance official charged

The chairman of a campaign-finance committee has been charged with improper use of campaign funds, the state prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.

A Prince George’s County grand jury indicted Timothy Rabalais, 45, chairman of the campaign-finance committee for Progress for the People, State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh said.

The indictment charges that the finance chairman wrote three checks totaling $5,000 to himself between March and April 2007.

Mr. Rabalais was indicted on three counts of felony theft, three counts of embezzlement and two election-law violations, Mr. Rohrbaugh said.



Official pleads guilty in child porn case

A former Orange town manager has pleaded guilty in a Southwest Virginia child pornography case.

Doyle W. Frye pleaded guilty Monday to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of conspiracy to commit sodomy on a child, Smyth County Commonwealth’s Attorney Roy F. Evans Jr. said Tuesday.

Frye was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with all but five years, 11 months suspended, Mr. Evans said. He won’t be allowed on school or day care properties after his release.

Frye has a hearing later this month on a probation violation in Orange County, where he was sentenced in 2000 to 10 years in prison on child-molestation charges. He was town manager for five years, and was fired when the charges were brought in 1999.


Moran picks up county backers

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran on Tuesday picked up endorsements from Fairfax County Democrats in the House of Delegates and on the county’s Board of Supervisors and school board.

At Old Town Hall in Fairfax City, Mr. Moran earned the backing of four supervisors and five school board members, including Chairman Dan Stork. Seven House delegates also announced their support, along with others that included Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry, Fairfax City Council member Dan Drummond and the City of Fairfax Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Local 2702.

Fairfax County is the state’s largest jurisdiction with more than 1 million residents. Mr. Moran, a former state delegate, is one of three Democrats attempting to win the party’s gubernatorial nomination in a June primary.


State Fair company sues rival fair planner

The nonprofit company that runs Virginia’s annual State Fair is suing a Tennessee-based company that’s planning a rival fair this summer.

The State Fair of Virginia Inc. claims in its federal lawsuit that Universal Fairs’ 10-day event at the Richmond Raceway Complex - the longtime home of the State Fair - undermines its decades-old event. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

It also charges that Cordova, Tenn.-based Universal Fairs has falsely told vendors that it, and not the usual company, will run the State Fair this year.

Universal Fairs’ president, Mark Lovell, denied the allegations.


Closing arguments in fraud trial

An attorney for a Miami man accused in a $132 million fraud scheme told a jury Tuesday in Richmond that his client made mistakes but did not intend to defraud anybody.

Edward Hugh Olkun is accused of bilking 577 people across the country. He faces 23 counts, including fraud and money laundering.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Barry Pollack said Mr. Olkun thought he was doing nothing wrong when he borrowed money his companies collected from clients seeking to defer capital-gains taxes on property sales. Mr. Olkun intended to repay all the money but couldn’t, he said.

Justice Department lawyer Brigham Cannon said Mr. Olkun is a criminal, not a bad businessman.


7 peace activists arrested at Pentagon

Seven peace activists seeking immediate withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan were arrested at the Pentagon on Tuesday morning.

The protesters were arrested by Pentagon Police after an unsuccessful attempt to meet with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

The protesters represented a group called the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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