Actor Kevin Spacey Appears in Court on Sex Assault Charge

Legendary actor Kevin Spacey is one of the most famous people to have their career destroyed by the #MeToo movement. Spacey was riding high in 2017 as the star of the hugely successful Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” However, an actor named Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him over 30 years ago when he was a minor. Netflix immediately fired Spacey and refused to release a completed film starring him about Gore Vidal. He has not worked at all since then. He has kept a very low profile for over a year. He attended a treatment center for sex addiction.

New sexual assault allegations were made against Spacey that he fondled a minor’s genitals in 2016. According to BBC, he appeared in court on Monday for the first time in Nantucket, MA. He said nothing during the entire court appearance. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The judge overseeing the case told Spacey that he must have no contact whatsoever with his accuser or his family. His lawyers tried to get the court to allow Spacey to skip this hearing completely. The court denied this request and forced the actor to show up in person. The judge told Spacey on Monday that he will not need to be present at his next scheduled court appearance. This will take place on March 4th. However, he will need to be able to answer any questions by phone while the hearing is going on.

These two incidents are not the only accusations of sexual misconduct that have been levied against Spacey. There is currently an active investigation in London that is looking into reports that Spacey sexually assaulted several people while he was performing in a play on the city’s famed West End. Spacey recently broke his silence by posting a video on YouTube that shows him in an apron speaking like Frank Underwood, the character he played on “House of Cards.” Many people have criticized the video and called it disturbing. The video is basically Spacey’s way of denying all of the allegations that have been made against him.

It remains to be seen if Spacey will ever work again. He is 59 years old and his net worth is rumored to be in the range of $100 million. Therefore, he certainly does not need to work again for the money. His future will depend on the outcome of the pending case.

Can your genes be used against you?

Over the past several years, consumer DNA testing companies like Ancestry and 23andMe have grown in popularity as people have been eager to discover what parts of the world make up who they are individually and create a personalized family tree out of it. But, with privacy being a high priority in societies, it’s led to some weariness and speculation around the globe about the use of this information within law enforcement.

It’s worth mentioning that all of these DNA companies were not built the same. For now, it seems the most popular companies (we’ll stick with Ancestry, 23andMe and Family Tree DNA) will be a tough nut to crack for law enforcement to obtain information that compromises the freedom and privacy of their consumers. But it is possible.

For those concerned about their privacy when testing their DNA, Ancestry says “Contents of communications and any data relating to the DNA of an Ancestry user will be released only pursuant to a valid search warrant from a government agency with proper jurisdiction.” Ancestry also expressed the user will be made aware of this request of their information, unless prohibited not to do so. 23andMe and Family Tree DNA have also expressed the same assurance.

The easiest access law enforcement has to citizens’ DNA data is through a free website, GEDmatch. The way GEDmatch works is, after someone receives their results from well-known companies (Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA), he or she can upload their data to GEDmatch to “match” with other relatives who have done the same. This structure allows it to be considered public information because of the free and “at-will” aspects. GEDmatch gained significant attention when law enforcement used its data to solve a cold case that led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer, a suspect who committed at least 13 murders, over 50 rapes and 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986.

These genealogical connections can be made even through related cousins, which is precisely how this serial killer was found, and it doesn’t take long. Although, this can definitely lead to solved cases that would appease many citizens, it opens the door for exposure in other areas some may not consider.

According to an interview of a genealogy detective on CNN, law enforcement will continue to use GEDmatch as a reliable source for DNA evidence as it continues to grow.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/01/05/is-your-dna-test-being-used-by-law-enforcement.cnn

Georgia’s Electronic Voting Network Said To Be Vulnerable To Outside Interference, Challenged In Courts Of Law

Last year, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was barely edged out by longtime Republican politician Brian Kemp, who worked for the state of Georgia as its secretary of state and its chief elections official.

Even though Abrams brought home the W, she and her political friends publicly claimed that Kemp’s party suppressed people belonging to minorities from voting, among other allegations.

Kemp and company have consistently shot down even the most remote possibility of that cluster of allegations being true.

Such controversy in Georgia’s gubernatorial race has prompted computer security experts, advocates of democratic governments that operate with integrity, and even a statewide commission of relevant experts to peer into the potential flaws that Georgia’s old, rusty election system possesses.

Criticisms of Georgia’s statewide voting infrastructure have been floating around since 2002

Georgia has done away with paper ballots for nearly 20 years. While electronic voting systems sound far more secure than their papyrus-based counterparts, they’re actually quite vulnerable to being tainted by mission-minded cybercriminals.

Currently, no vote checks, confirmations, or audits can be conducted on votes cast throughout the state of Georgia. Paper-ballot voting systems have the benefit of being able to be audited, not to mention being able to recount votes in case elections are too close or counted incorrectly.

Lawsuits have been filed against the state of Georgia regarding its insecure electronic voting system

Supported by Ms. Abrams, the nonprofit organization Fair Fight Action submitted a lawsuit contesting the outcome of the 2018 gubernatorial race in the state of Georgia. Filed shortly after the election ended in mid-November, the case is still going through the motions that all cases filed in courts of law go through.

Back in September, United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg entered an opinion on the status of Georgia’s voting system, sharing that “a mounting tide of evidence” points to its statewide polling network being highly susceptible to outside attacks and other major issues that undermine that democratic process. Totenberg chose not to force Georgia to return to using paper ballots in the 2018 midterm elections because they were just a few months away at the time, though she is pushing for Georgia to revamp its system before the next election cycle.

The members of Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections, a committee dedicated to overhauling the existing outdated system that was created by Kemp, believe the state can choose a reliable alternative before 2020 rolls around.

Marijuana Remains Illegal In Indiana

Lawmakers in Indiana has been pushing for the legislation of recreational and medical marijuana. More states are legalizing marijuana. However, Gov. Eric Holcomb, remains opposed to marijuana legalizing. Marijuana has been legalized in Michigan. Medical marijuana has been legalized in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Gov. Eric Holcomb stated that he does not want to legalize marijuana because the federal government says that it is illegal. The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. This means that it is not accepted for medical use and has a high chance for abuse.

Gov. Holcomb stated that marijuana use is a crime, and he is not willing to look at it any other way. However, he did sign a bill that legalized the sale and use of CBD oil. CBD oil comes from marijuana, but it only has a small amount of THC. Gov. Holcomb stated that marijuana is a gateway drug that could cause people to use more dangerous drugs.

He acknowledged that there may be medical benefits that can be reaped from using marijuana. However, he believes that more research needs to be done in order to study the health effects of it. Karen Tallian is a Democratic senator who supports marijuana legalization. She stated that marijuana legalization is at an all-time high. She believes that all states need to follow suit.

Jim Lucas is a Republican senator who supports marijuana legalization. He stated that people who support marijuana legalization often face opposition. He also pointed out the hypocrisy in marijuana being illegal. He stated that he does not understand how people can be against marijuana legalization and find nothing wrong with someone going to the store and buying liquor.

Gov. Holcomb stated that he is not worried about the state is losing by keeping marijuana illegal. He said that the state is in a good financial position.

Protecting Your Rights Through the SEC Whistleblower Program

If you know of a company or corporation that is in violation of federal security laws, you have a chance to collect between 10 and 30 percent of the total fines if you give information to the government that leads to legal action. Many people are interested in collecting the reward but have a range of questions they would like for someone to answer.

Moving forward and reporting a company for violating these laws can feel intimidating, especially if you fear retaliation. Learning as much as you can about the SEC whistleblower system and how it can protect you is smart. It lets you move forward with confidence and know what to expect along the way.

SEC Whistleblower Explained

Learning about the SEC whistleblower program is a good place to start when your goal is to decide what path makes sense for you. The information in this section paints a clear picture, and you will have no trouble deciding what to do. Implemented by Congress, the whistleblower system exists to reward those who report violations of federal security laws.

The system also defines who is eligible to collect compensation and what the information must contain before the whistleblower can receive payment. Under the SEC whistleblower program, regulations list the legal penalties an employer can face for trying to discourage someone from reporting violations. The system has stipulations in place that highlight the penalties an employer can face for retaliating against an employee for giving information to the government.

Whistleblower Eligibility

At this point, you are likely wondering who qualifies as a whistleblower under the SEC. Reviewing this guide helps you understand when you qualify and when you can expect compensation for your report. What you are about to learn also helps you decide what you should do to increase your odds of filing a successful report. As long as you supply the SEC with relevant information about a violation, you are a whistleblower.

Before you can get paid, the information you provide must lead to legal action against the company that committed the violation. Some people think any relevant tip about a violation can earn them a part of the reward, but that is not the case. The information you offer must be new, meaning you have to tell the SEC something they did not already know. If you work for a company and know about security violations, taking action could be the best choice you ever make.

Reportable Actions

If you are like other people, you are curious about the types of violations that qualify under the SEC whistleblower program. Reviewing the types of fraud covered by the system is a great way to learn what path you should take, preventing you from wasting time on issues that are unlikely to generate attention. Also, you could discover that actions you would have otherwise overlooked fall within the definition.

The SEC welcomes reports about Ponzi and pyramid schemes, and you are free to report the theft of securities. If a company manipulates the price of a security or engages in insider trading, the people in charge of the SEC would like to know about it. Companies that release misleading information about their securities are also a target of the SEC. You can report anyone who tries bribing foreign officials in an attempt to alter the value of securities.

Rewards and Compensation

If you have submitted information that led to action by the SEC, you need to know how to collect your reward. You would otherwise lose your shot at collecting the money to which you are entitled, and you don’t want to face that problem. You must fill out the application form and mail it to the office of the whistleblower to get your money. Some people try rushing through the process to finish it as quickly as possible.

If you don’t want to lose your opportunity to collect a reward, don’t make that mistake. Take your time and ensure you complete each part of the form the right way. As long as you take your time and review the report before submitting it, you will have nothing about which to worry.

Protection From Retaliation

Employees will often want to report a violation but refuse because they fear retaliation. They are worried that the company for which they work will fire, demote or harass them for coming forward, which is a valid concern. But you should know that the SEC whistleblower system has put protective measures in place to safeguard you from that issue.

You can take legal action and seek damages if your employer retaliates against you for reporting information to the SEC. In addition to preventing retaliation, the SEC also stops employers from discouraging staff members from filing complaints. If you believe the company for which you work is trying to stop you from reporting a violation, you can contact the Department of Labor for more information.

Collecting Evidence of Retaliation

You need to know what steps you should take after filing a report if you would like to avoid retaliation. Proving retaliation is not always easy, but you can do it if you use a proven process and maintain your composure. Check the laws in your state to see if you are allowed to record audio at work or over the phone without informing the other person.

If you are, you can use audio recordings as evidence of retaliation. Make a note of the dates and times of any retaliation as well as any witnesses who were present at the time. You can even hire a private investigator to review your case and help you collect the evidence you need to protect your rights. A skilled investigator will gather information from out of sight and do what it takes to reveal the truth, and you will increase your chance of success.

Why the Government Started the Whistleblower System

You are probably asking why the government implemented the SEC whistleblower system in the first place. The aim is to ensure fair trading practices and to let investors know what they are buying before they move forward. Fraud related to securities can devastate corporations and impact the economy in ways most people don’t suspect.

As a result of the possible fallout, preventing security fraud benefits the public and maintains a balanced economy, creating a win-win situation. The SEC whistleblower program protects those who report fraud from retaliation, allowing them to come forward with peace of mind.

The Benefits of Remaining Anonymous

Remaining anonymous gives those who report fraud a range of fantastic benefits. Even though the law prohibits employers from retaliating against those who report crimes to the SEC, avoiding negative fallout is often the most desirable path.

Remaining anonymous gives you the chance to do the right thing and collect your reward without anyone knowing what you did. If you would like to file an anonymous report, you must do so with the help of an attorney. Your attorney will submit the report and pass your reward on to you, and the SEC won’t even know who you are.

Confidentiality Agreement Exceptions

If you report fraud or a related offense to your company’s human resource department, they might ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement. Some companies even require employees to sign such agreements at the start of their employment, and management will claim the agreement stops employees from reporting SEC violations.

Luckily, confidentiality agreements that try stopping employees from contacting the SEC are not valid, and those who have signed them can still come forward with information. You can call the SEC for more details if you have signed such an agreement and want more information on how to proceed.

No legal contract can stop you from bringing fraud to the attention of the government, so you can still follow steps to claim your reward as long as you have relevant details. This exception exists to prevent companies from taking advantage of confidentiality agreements as a way to hide illegal actions from the government.

The Importance of Working with an Experienced Lawyer

You might think moving forward on your own is enough to get the outcome you want, but that is not always the wise choice. Having an attorney on your side is the best bet when you want to improve your odds of success and protect yourself from retaliation.

Your advocate can give you SEC tips and show you what steps are right for your goals and current situation. The legal expert you hire will protect your rights and keep your interests in mind from start to finish, and you will be pleased with your decision. You and your legal advisor can work together to find the best way to reach your desired outcome.

Final Thoughts

The government implemented the SEC whistleblower program to give employees the chance to report fraud and other financial crimes without fear of retaliation. Those who provide accurate information that leads to action by the SEC can get up to 30 percent of the damages recovered.

Although the government provides information and offers protection, those who want to enjoy the best results must speak with a qualified legal representative before moving forward. If you have facts about a crime you would like to report, reach out to a caring legal expert the first chance you get, and you will be happy with the outcome.

Trump’s Lawyers May Use The Executive Privilege Card If Mueller’s Investigation Finds Obstruction Issues

Following the Mueller investigation is like watching a modern-day version of Columbo tracking down a cagy criminal who has a plethora of tricks up his sleeves. Mueller and his team of super-sleuths are methodically building a case that could send Donald Trump to Nixonville, the political graveyard where shame and banishment rule.

But anyone who underestimates the power of the president should take another look at history, according to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s main legal attack dog. Rudy told the press the president is above the law.

Giuliani wants Mueller to show his cards. He wants Mueller to finish his report and turn it over to the attorney general. If Mueller finds Trump co-operated with the Russians, and he obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, Rudy has a plan. The plan is to use the executive privilege card.

Rudy believes anything Trump’s aides say to Mueller during his investigation that wind up in the hands of Congress would violate Trump’s executive privilege. Trump’s former lawyer, Ty Cobb brought that defense up early in the investigation.

Executive privilege is Trump’s ace in the hole. It’s the reason Trump feels confident calling the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt.” Congress would violate executive privilege if they impeach Trump. So in order to get to the bottom of the real meaning of executive privilege a legal battle will be the next Trump reality show. That legal battle could captivate the world for months. Any kind of legal battle will give Trump enough time to sow more MAGA seeds in order to win the 2020 election, according to a Washington Post article.

Mr. Trump knows his acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, and his pick to replace Jeff Sessions permanently, Bill Barr have his back. The president knows Whitaker can decide not to send Mueller’s report to Congress because it violates executive privilege, according to a Daily Beast article. Rudy Giuliani thinks the president has the power to use the executive privilege card, and that means only the executive branch can read Mueller’s report.

Trump and Giuliani are ready for a court battle. Trump knows part of the Justice Department’s duty is to protect executive privilege. Trump may be nervous, but he’s not scared to fight in court.

But the executive privilege card isn’t a Star Wars-type protection system even though Trump and Giuliani think it is. Congress or a grand jury can waive that privilege. Congress can get the Mueller report through a subpoena. Several legal experts think that may happen when Mueller gives his complete report to Matt Whitaker.

2018 Review of Important Supreme Court Decisions

A lot has happened in the Supreme Court of the United States in 2018. The most notable event was the circus-like confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy. SCOTUS continued to make historical decisions during this time that will have an effect all of us. George Khoury looked at five important SCOTUS decisions of 2018 on Findlaw.com.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Jack Phillips, a devout Christian owner of a bakery in Colorado, refused to create a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding for religious reasons that are backed by the First Amendment. He offered to sell the couple other products in his bakery, but the lower courts found Jack Phillips to be in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. SCOTUS ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, citing the CCRC’s hostility towards religion. SCOTUS did not decide on the constitutionality of the CADA, so a case like this will likely appear in front of SCOTUS in the future.

Murphy, Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
This 6-3 decision ruled in favor of states to allow sports betting. States were prohibited from allowing sports betting entities from being created according to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. States were charged with enforcing the PASPA, but New Jersey sued to relieve the state from enforcing the PASPA. SCOTUS ruled that Congress overstepped its powers by making states enforce federal law.

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis
The Fair Labor Standards Act allows employees to litigate labor disputes as a class or collective action in federal courts. This 5-4 decision ruled in favor of employers putting in place and enforce arbitration agreements in employee contracts that ban collective action.

Carpenter v. the United States
Wireless carriers can track, collect, and store the location of its users when users cell phones connect to a cell tower site. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies would contact wireless carriers to obtain cell phone information to help find criminal suspects. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled that law enforcement agencies will have to get a warrant to gain access to this information.

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled in favor of South Dakota who wanted to collect taxes for out-of-state online sales. Legal experts expect other states to look at this ruling and develop out-of-state online sales tax laws that are in line with this ruling.

Did Trump Campaign In Front Of The Troops During His Three-Hour Visit To Iraq?

President Trump planned to spend the holidays in Mar-a-Lago before Fox News and two conservative talk show hosts gave him a tongue whipping for almost agreeing to sign a funding bill. The tongue-lashing force Trump to put on a show on national television that sent hundreds of thousands of government workers home without paychecks. After tweeting like a schoolboy who didn’t get his way on the playground, Trump decided to get out of town. Instead of going to Florida he went to Iraq.

Traveling to a war zone isn’t Trump’s style even though he says he’s a military man at heart. Past presidents made it a point to visit the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, so in order to show his base he appreciated the men and women in uniform, he and Melania went to Iraq Christmas night to spread a little Trumpism around.

Some Trump critics say Mr. Trump went to Iraq to campaign, and to show military leaders he’s the boss now that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is home writing his memories. Trump stood in front of the troops, and he acted like the perpetual candidate he is. He told the troops how great he is, and how he gave them a pay raise even though that didn’t happen. He gave them his Make America Great Again speech while trying to act presidential. But that act needs a lot of work, according to the Washington Post.

Some news reports say Trump’s speech in Iraq broke military rules. American troops can’t get caught in the political trap Mr. Trump tried to set. According to the Pentagon, military personnel can’t show political favorites. Trump made it look like the military was his personal fan base, and that undermines the trust Americans have in the military, according to Trump critics.

Trump’s job in Iraq was to spread goodwill not to stage a political rally, according to former general counsel for the Air Force and Army, Charles Blanchard. American saw their military clapping when Trump threw out one of his distorted political messages. And they saw soldiers asking Trump to sign their red hats like true Trump voters.

Politicizing the troops by wearing a bomber jacket and spewing his version of the world according to Trump is another act from a president who does things his way. He didn’t meet with Iraqi officials, and that was a major blunder, according to his advisors. But Trump doesn’t care about blunders or Iraq. He cares about being reelected, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Respected DOJ Attorney Douglas Letter Is The New House General Counsel

There’s a legal eagle circling around the “President Trump Washington Reality Show.” His name is Douglas Letter. Letter is a respected and long-term Department of Justice attorney. He’s the new House General Counsel. Letter’s impressive DOJ record includes his service under Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama as well as Donald Trump. Letter retired from the DOJ in 2018, but he’s eager to assist Congress members and their staff as they start to unravel the political, as well as the financial world, of Donald Trump.

The new Congress is on a mission to get Trump’s tax returns. Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal will be able to get those returns and review them according to an NPR report. Neal is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. California Congressman, Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and a well-respected prosecutor, hired experts in forensic accounting and money laundering so the committee can examine and investigate Trump’s personal finances.

The new House Majority Leader Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer told the press his party plans to hold hearings about ICE’s treatment of migrants. Plus, he plans to watch Mueller’s back and make sure his investigation doesn’t get derailed or shove under a political rug by the Republicans. Doug Letter will be part of that process.

Mr. Letter told the press he’s eager to use his legal expertise to address the challenges and the opportunities that come with the House Legal Counsel’s job. Letter knows how the Department of Justice operates behind the scenes. He understands that government department as well as anyone. He was in the thick of DOJ things for more than 40 years.

Several news reports say the new Congress won’t do any meaningful work in 2019. Those reports say Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer just want to get rid of Trump any way they can. The Democrats think Trump poses a dangerous threat to American Democracy, and they plan to drill down on Trump’s past and present business and financial interest to get a real picture of Trump’s world. Trump is the first president in decades who didn’t release his tax returns. And he hasn’t stopped managing the Trump Organization, according to several news stories.

Mr. Trump likes to fight in court. But what the Democrats have in mind for the president is unlike any legal battle in the past. Some reports say Trump will break under the legal pressure from Mueller’s investigation and what Congress has in store for him. But Trump’s voter base thinks he will be victorious when all the legal smoke clears.

Kim Kardashian Becomes Social Justice Activist

While more well-known for her reality television shows and other business and entertainment enterprises, Kim Kardashian has also recently appeared to embark on a new path, that of social justice activist. Along with her much-discussed Oval Office meetings with President Trump in which the two discussed criminal justice reform, Kim Kardashian has also in recent months taken up the cause of Cyntoia Brown. Serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she has freely admitted to committing, there are nevertheless numerous celebrities, social activists, and organizations such as the ACLU working to see Cyntoia Brown be set free.

Considered a classic example by many of how the criminal justice system can sometimes fail those who may slip through the cracks, Cyntoia Brown’s case is quite complex. Like many young girls, Brown was a victim of sex trafficking. When she was 16, she was arrested for murdering a man, Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had paid to have sex with her. Despite a claim of self-defense, her age at the time of the murder, and the set of circumstances surrounding the case, Brown was sentenced by a jury to life in prison.

Having already served many years of her sentence, Brown will be eligible for parole when she turns 69. However, Kardashian is hoping to see Brown win her freedom well before then. To accomplish this, she has hired a team of high-profile criminal defense attorneys to review the case and work to free Brown, headed by lead attorney Shawn Holley.

Using social media to her advantage, Kardashian has taken her cause of freeing Cyntoia Brown to her large online legion of followers from around the world. As a result, Brown’s case is drawing worldwide attention, with many legal experts believing her case may eventually lead to her winning her freedom.

But along with the case of Cyntoia Brown, Kardashian has also played a key role in using her new-found social justice activism to help win the freedom of another prisoner, Alice Johnson. Given a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug conviction, the now 63 year-old Johnson was recently granted clemency and pardoned by President Trump after a meeting between himself and Kardashian.

With these success stories under her belt, one wonders if Kim Kardashian will continue to use her celebrity influence in future cases of social justice. To learn more details about this story, visit abovethelaw.com.

Searching for Legal Problems in Executive Background Checks

 
Every year companies in the United States hire new executives. This is often done as a company grows and expands. The goal is always to improve leadership from a company’s top levels down to its lower levels. There has been research that shows over 40 percent of companies don’t put as much effort into screening their executives as they do their regular employees. Over 30 percent hire executives with no sort of due diligence or screening. Too many times, a lack of executive screening has ended up hurting a company.

Logical Fallacy
Too many people in the business world don’t see a need to screen executives. They assume an individual had to prove themselves to become an executive. It is believed their networks, backgrounds, histories will provide everything a company needs to know about an executive. This is known as a logical fallacy. It is important a company realizes executives can be just as guilty of the many types of issues affecting background checks of all potential employees. Many executives have fabricated their job experience. Some have claimed to have fictional degrees, others provide false work histories and more. There have also been attempts by executives to conceal prior criminal activity so they can gain access to a company.

Consequences
When a company just assumes an executive candidate is being honest with them, they put their clients as well as business at serious risk. Companies often give a high level of power to an executive. When this power is put in the wrong hands, it has the potential to cost a company a significant amount of money. There have been executive candidates who have hidden prior sexual harassment cases, lied about their skills as well as failed to perform up to expectation and more.

Common Lies
Most executive candidates will tell the truth. When the few who tell lies provide information about themselves, there are some lies more common than others. Most of the fabrications are about their education, designations, training, employment history as well as certifications. Many people at the executive level are well-connected. This gives them an advantage when it comes to fabricating references as well as recommendations. When the lies of a company executive leak into the public domain, it can cause serious damage to a company’s reputation.

Public Relations Disaster
When a company hires an executive who has been deceptive with their background, it can turn into a public relations disaster. There will be individuals who know the truth about the executive’s deceptions. This could make them targets of attacks on social media and more. When this happens, companies are often left struggling to overcome what happened even after the deceptive executive has resigned.

Proper Background Check
Properly screening an executive candidate requires a different approach than with other types of employees. These employee screenings must be much more extensive. This involves utilizing all legal options available to confirm the information provided by them. It will begin by thorough basic verification of their identity. The next step will require confirming each previous employment situation. This will include validating the accuracy of the dates. It will also include confirming any information that could be easily fabricated. The verification of education should involve degree, educational awards, certifications, transcription and anything else associated with education no matter how small. Should there be any red flags that arise during this process, it could be an indication of serious issues that would require more intense screening.

Legal Research
Many databases ban electronic distribution of criminal data because of state and federal privacy laws. It is still possible to investigate all court records maintained at the federal, state and county level. This can be done at each location where an executive candidate has lived, worked and owned property. Many individuals have been the subject of civil lawsuits filed against them in jurisdictions where they previously lived or worked.

Financial History
If an executive candidate is being considered for a position where they will have significant authority, a company will want to know about the candidate’s spending habits. This could involve credit issues as well as bankruptcies, the debt they carry and more. A company doing research on executive candidates discovered 10 percent of the candidates they investigated had serious credit history issues. Over 5 percent were debtors in tax liens in their name or for a business they owned and more. These types of falsehoods are common because executive candidates know a company would be reluctant to hire someone with a history of financial irresponsibility.

A company that provides executive background checks, like Corporate Resolutions, could provide important research about an executive candidate. Having the right people in executive positions is essential for a company’s health. Performing proper due diligence is important for a successful recruiting and executive hiring process. The information obtained could confirm or reveal important things that need to be known about a high-level executive candidate.

Government Shutdown May Not End Any Time Soon

The government shutdown may potentially go on for a long time. Congress is currently on break for the holidays. They will receive a 24-hour notice when it is time for them to vote. They are supposed to meet on Thursday, but only a few people are expected to be around for the meeting.

President Trump stated that he was willing to do whatever it took to get border security. The government shutdown started on Saturday December 22,2018. It is estimated that 420,000 workers in the United States are working without pay. Over 380,000 workers have been furloughed.

Mark Meadows is a Republican representative from North Carolina. He is also a Trump ally. He stated that President Trump is firm on his stance and wants to secure the border. He also stated that if anyone thinks that the President will yield, then they are mistaken.

Last week, the Senate approved funding that would keep the government open until February. The $1.3 billion in funding is going to provide border security, but it will not pay for the wall. However, the Senate did not have enough votes to keep the government open.

Kevin Hassett is the chairman of the White House’s Council for Economic Advisors. He stated that the government shutdown will not affect 2019 economic growth. He also stated that even if the government is shut down for a few weeks, it will not have any major effects on the economic outlook. They are expecting the economy to be even stronger in 2019.

It is estimated that 52,000 IRS workers have been furloughed due to the government shutdown. Everyone who works at NASA has been furloughed. Eighty percent of the people who work at national parks have been forced to stay home due to the shutdown. Additionally, many of the national parks have been closed.

Justice Ginsburg Works And Wards Off Critics During Recovery From Illness

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths from her lungs on Friday. The 85-year-old justice is expected to remain in the hospital for a few more days. Rest is the only further treatment planned at this time for Justice Ginsburg and doctors say no other illness is present in her body.

The cancerous nodules in Ginsburg’s left lung were found during tests at George Washington University. Ginsburg took the tests after breaking three ribs. The injuries were sustained as a result of a fall Ginsburg suffered in November.

The procedure performed on Ginsburg, a pulmonary lobectomy, took place in New York at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The good health prognosis for Justice Ginsberg has not stopped many analysts and media personalities from suggesting her time on the bench is nearing its end. Most pundits believe she will be replaced with a conservative judge.

One of the most callous responses regarding the illness of Justice Ginsberg came from former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly first pointed out the obvious and relayed the message that Ginsberg was suffering from a serious illness. His next point was the illness of Ginsberg was bad news for liberals.

The conservatives judges on the Supreme Court already own a 5-4 advantage over liberals. The four liberal judges on the court operate under the leadership of Justice Ginsburg.

Meghan McCain is one person that takes particular exception to the words of O’Reilly. McCain was critical of the timing of O’Reilly’s remarks and chastised him for using her sickness as a time to speculate about the political future of Ms. Ginsburg. McCain also enourgaed everyone to pray for Justice Ginsburg to have a speedy recovery from her illness.

Ginsburg has not stopped working during her illness. She recently gave the deciding vote from her hospital bed that effectively blocked efforts by President Donald Trump to deny asylum for immigrants.

Will Donald Trump Legalize Cannabis?

Cannabis advocacy has gained quite a bit of traction recently, as more and more major corporations are backing the nation’s favorite cash-crop. Over the past month alone, some of the biggest cigarette manufacturing and beer producing companies, like Marlboro and Budweiser, have finally invested in cannabis, leading some supporters to believe that federal legalization is just around the corner. In fact, many seem to think that President Donald Trump will fully legalize it during the next year, maybe even before Christmas.

In addition to gaining the support of huge and relevant corporations, Congress signed a bill legalizing the growth and nationwide production of industrial hemp. In over eight decades, hemp is now legal to grow on a large scale. The fact that President Donald Trump personally signed off on the bill is enough to make some believe that marijuana prohibition is almost over.

The belief isn’t that outlandish either. Since Democrats reclaimed control of the house during the United States mid-term elections, by a landslide some might add, cannabis is expected to receive much more attention over the on-coming year. Many representatives who blocked propositions involving cannabis have either resigned or been voted out.
Furthermore, lawmakers have already been pushing for legalized cannabis amendments, believing that if the house is controlled by Democrats, the days of prohibition of numbered.

Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence supporting expectations for federal cannabis legalization lies in Donald Trump’s approval ratings and the impact he’s had during his term as President. Many people have been left feeling isolated and abandoned by the Trump administration, forcing many on both sides of the political spectrum to suspect Donald Trump of potentially using the federal legalization of cannabis as a primary platform for reelection in 2020. Whether this happens or not, only time will tell, but advocates and smokers are undoubtedly rejoicing that the fear of jail will no longer loom overhead.

Iowa Man Has Sexual Assault Charges Against Him Dropped When Prosecutor Comes To Court Drunk

A defendant in Iowa had sexual assault of a minor charge lodged against him dismissed after the prosecuting attorney in his cased arrived at the courthouse drunk. The incident happened on the day the defendant was prepared to accept a plea agreement in the case.

Judge Martha Mertz dismissed all charges against Dennis Simmerman, the 23-year-old man charged with multiple accounts of sexual misconduct stemming from his involvement with a 13-year-old boy. Michelle Rivera, the prosecuting attorney in the case, was arrested in the courthouse for public intoxication.

The incident took place on October 18. A sheriffs deputy working in the court noticed that Ms. Rivera was having trouble maintaining her balance. He could also smell the scent of alcohol once he approached her.

Rivera missed Simmerman’s hearing due to the incident. The court did not seek an extension to allow another hearing to be held after the one-year deadline in his case passed. Judge Mertz explained the incident was one in a long pattern of unexplained absences and inactivity by Rivera.

Robert Rigg, a law professor at Drake University, explains the state could seek to retry Simmerman on other charges to avoid double jeopardy issues. Federal charges could also be used to bring the 23-year-old man to justice instead of state prosecution.

Rivera apologized to the court and the public after her courthouse arrest. Her bid for re-election in November was unsuccessful.

Rivera was arrested a week ago on charges that she was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. She was also charged with child endangerment. She was arrested at the courthouse after a sheriffs deputy received a tip that she was driving in a manner that suggested intoxication. Rivera was charged with child endangerment due to the fact she had dropped her daughter off at a daycare facility minutes before driving to the courthouse.