Corruption news for Arizona, from the Huffington Post:
The Arizona Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday afternoon over Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) decision to oust the chairwoman of the state's independent redistricting commission.
Brewer and the Republican-controlled state Senate removed Colleen Coyle Mathis from the redistricting chairmanship in late October, saying she violated the state constitution by holding too many commission meetings in secret and not following guidelines in drafting a congressional map. Brewer's decision came after Republican members of the state's congressional delegation lobbied the governor against the map, which includes four Republican-leaning seats, two Democratic-leaning seats and three toss-up seats.
Read the rest of the story at the Huffington Post.
Corruption news for New York, from the Buffalo News:
The corruption conviction of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno was overturned Wednesday by a federal appeals court in Manhattan, but the onetime political kingmaker's legal troubles are far from over.
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said federal prosecutors can proceed with a new trial against Bruno without violating his double-jeopardy claims.
Read the rest of the story at the Buffalo News.
Corruption news for Florida, from the St. Petersburg Times:
Unable to negotiate a penalty short of being removed from office, 1st District Court Judge Paul M. Hawkes is resigning from the court to avoid facing a trial before the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
The charges against Hawkes stem from the construction of the "Taj Mahal,'' a posh $50 million courthouse built by his court after Hawkes and other judges aggressively lobbied legislators for a bond issue that was buried in a last-minute transportation bill at the close of the 2007 Legislature.
Read the rest of the story at the St. Petersburg Times.
Corruption news for Massachusetts, from the Boston Globe:
A federal appeals court denied a bid by former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and Statehouse lobbyist Richard McDonough to remain free on bail while they appeal their corruption convictions, making it all but certain they will have to report to prison at the end of the month.
In a brief ruling dated Monday, a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said DiMasi and McDonough had not demonstrated that there was a substantial likelihood that their appeals would result in a reversal of conviction or an order for a new trial.
Read the rest of the story at the Boston Globe.
Corruption news for Alabama, from AL.com:
Former state Rep. Terry Spicer, D-Elba, this morning pleaded guilty to one count of accepting bribes from a lobbyist and casino developer while he was a member of the Alabama Legislature.
Spicer entered his guilty plea in a brief proceeding in the Montgomery federal court. He faces up to 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
David Belser, Spicer's attorney, said "he has accepted total responsibility for what he did."
Read the rest of the story at AL.com.
Corruption news for Mississippi, from the Sun Herald:
Former attorney Paul Minor and two former judges have appealed their convictions in a Mississippi judicial bribery case and have asked a federal court to schedule oral arguments.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has not ruled on the request. The U.S. Attorney's Office has not yet filed a response
Minor was convicted of backing loans to the judges in exchange for favorable court rulings. The judges were convicted of taking bribes.
Read the rest of the story at the Sun Herald.
Corruption news for New Jersey from New Jersey Watchdog:
Cabinet Secretary Louis C. Goetting IV raked in $1.1 million from two severance payouts and an early retirement deal. In addition, Goetting collects $219,000 a year from the state – a $130,000 salary plus $89,000 in pension payments.
Christie hired Goetting (pronounced “getting”) in 2010 as a budget guru to help trim the cost of government. But Goetting resembles a problem, not a solution, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of his employment history.
Read the rest of the story at New Jersey Watchdog.
Corruption news for Illinois, from the Chicago Tribune:
Two people who administered road tests for the Illinois Secretary of State's office were charged with giving passing marks to unqualified drivers or passing people who did not even take a road test in exchange for cash, federal officials said today.
Christopher Wardlaw, 36, and Alanda Jackson, 31, both of Chicago were named in indictments that were unsealed today in U.S. District Court, officials said.
The pair were charged as part of a 2009 investigation that focused on a crime ring that sold fake identification documents in Chinatown. The two allegedly pocketed a total of $40,000 in exchange for passing the people.
Read the rest of the story at the Chicago Tribune.
Corruption news for New Mexico, from the Alamogordo News:
An unpaid state legislator in New Mexico can turn into a well-paid lobbyist overnight.
Kent Cravens was the latest to make such a move, resigning from his Senate seat this fall to become a lobbyist for the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association.
Cravens, a Republican from Albuquerque, broke no law or rule, but by immediately becoming a lobbyist he defied what the top elected official of his own party considers proper.
Read the rest of the story at the Alamogordo News.
Corruption news for Kentucky, from Kentucky.com:
It is rare for voters to want a politician — especially a Kentucky politician — to stay in office beyond the term limit. But I have heard many people wish aloud that Crit Luallen could be state auditor for life.
The comments weren't meant to be critical of Adam Edelen or John T. Kemper III, the Republican whom Edelen defeated in Tuesday's election to succeed Luallen, a Democrat, who must leave after two four-year terms.
Those people were just acknowledging the outstanding job Luallen has done rooting out corruption and financial mismanagement in state and local government.
Read the rest of the story at Kentucky.com.