National Digest

NATIONAL DIGEST

October 08, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Washington

Ousted president of teachers union pleads guilty to theft

The ousted president of the Washington Teachers' Union pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy and mail fraud in the theft of more than $2.5 million that went for such things as fur coats, electronics and sports tickets.

Barbara A. Bullock, 65, said she, her former executive assistant and the union's treasurer took the money from the union from 1995 to September last year. The other two are under investigation but have not been charged, investigators said.

The cash went for such items as $57,000 for sterling silver tableware, $50,000 for fur coats, $20,000 for electronics and $100,000 for season tickets to Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards games. Bullock also admitted stealing at least $720,000 from individual teachers by directing the city to withhold $140 more in dues each pay period than the law allowed Bullock faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine when she is sentenced Jan. 16.

House OKs Gold Medal for Jackie Robinson

The House recognized Jackie Robinson yesterday as an athlete, civil rights activist and businessman, approving by voice vote legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, who broke the major leagues' color barrier.

A four-sport letterman at the University of California, Los Angeles, Robinson became the major league's first black player since the 19th century when he played for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947. He retired after 10 years, six pennants and one World Series with the Dodgers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. He died in 1972.

"His remarkable life transcended baseball and helped to transform a nation in the process," said Rep. Richard E. Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat who was urged to sponsor a bill after the Boston Red Sox held a symposium on Robinson's life in January. Sen. John Kerry, also a Massachusetts Democrat, has sponsored identical legislation in the Senate, which is expected to vote on the measure this month, congressional aides said.

In The Nation

College president accused of sexual misdeeds quits

NEW ORLEANS - The president of Loyola University in New Orleans resigned yesterday after he was accused of sexual misconduct while he was at a Jesuit preparatory school in Indianapolis in 1986.

The Rev. Bernard Knoth, a Jesuit priest, submitted his resignation to the Roman Catholic college under new church rules that say that if a sexual allegation involving a minor is deemed credible, the accused should be removed immediately.

Knoth, president of Loyola since 1995, issued a statement denying any inappropriate conduct. The Rev. William J. Byron was named acting president. He said no student at Loyola has brought sexual allegations against Knoth.

Ga. high court overturns driver drug testing law

ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court has overturned a law that required motorists involved in serious accidents to submit to drug testing or face the loss of driving privileges for a year.

The state's implied-consent law "authorizes a search and seizure without probable cause" and violates the state and federal Constitutions, the court ruled Monday.

Under the provision the court struck down, any motorist involved in an accident causing serious injury or death was presumed to have given prior consent to a blood, breath or urine test to determine the presence or alcohol or other drugs in his body. Refusing the test made motorists subject to a suspension of their license for at least one year.

Exclusion of evidence sought in Peterson case

MODESTO, Calif. - Scott Peterson's lawyers have asked a judge to exclude strands of hair and other evidence in the murder case against their client, accusing two detectives of mishandling items.

In documents filed in court, Peterson's defense also asked for the exclusion of testimony from a neighbor who had been hypnotized and evidence retrieved through tracking devices hidden in vehicles used by Peterson.

Peterson is charged with murder in the deaths of his wife, Laci, and their son, Conner. Laci Peterson was almost eight months pregnant when she disappeared from her home Christmas Eve. The bodies were found in April along San Francisco Bay.

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