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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 68,551

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

In fight over agriculture funding, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela calls GOP Texan "a racist Christian

In fight over agriculture funding, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela calls GOP Texan "a racist Christian pretender"

by Abby Livingston and J. Edward Moreno, Texas Tribune


WASHINGTON — Members of the Texas congressional delegation achieved a new level of acrimony Thursday as Democratic U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela accused his fellow Texan and Republican colleague U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway of being "a racist Christian pretender."

The issue at hand was a dry one — how best to fund a government agency that doles out subsidies to farmers adversely affected by the trade war President Donald Trump is waging with China. But it was apparent in a House Agriculture Committee hearing and in Vela's subsequent allegations that the public airing of tensions was a long time coming.

“Let me just put it this way: There are other members of the Texas delegation that are leaving, and I would not say any of these things about them. So, good riddance," Vela, a Brownsville Democrat, later told The Texas Tribune in an interview, referring to Conaway's recent retirement announcement.

The ire was the result of days' worth of heated negotiations over how the government would fund the Market Facilitation Program, the government arm that pays out subsidies to farmers hurt by new tariffs. But it was also the culmination of months — if not years — of escalating tensions within Washington.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/09/19/filemon-vela-calls-mike-conaway-racist-christian-pretender/

Qui Tam Lawsuit and Federal Investigation Result in $1.45 Million Settlement by Vaughan Regional

Qui Tam Lawsuit and Federal Investigation Result in $1.45 Million Settlement by Vaughan Regional Medical Center, a LifePoint Health Subsidiary, Integrity Emergency Care, Inc. and Selma, Alabama Physicians Phillip Alan Hicks and Sai S. Namburu


United States (U.S.) Attorney Richard W. Moore, of the Southern District of Alabama, announces that Vaughan Regional Medical Center, a community hospital located in Selma, Alabama, along with emergency room physicians Dr. Phillip Alan Hicks and Dr. Sai S. Namburu, also of Selma, have agreed to pay $1.45 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. Dr. Hicks, former Vaughan Chief of Staff and Director of Emergency Services, owned and operated Integrity Emergency Care, Inc., also a named and settling Defendant.

The allegations resolved by this settlement arose from a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act by Dr. Samuel Clemmons. He alleged residents who were not fully licensed were independently covering shifts in the Vaughan Emergency Department (Vaughan ER Department). According to Dr. Clemmons, he communicated with Vaughan and LifePoint Health about the illegal use of these residents in the Vaughan Emergency Department, and no action was taken. The whistleblower will receive $275,000.00 of the recovered funds.

“The significance of this case highlights the responsibilities of medical professionals and healthcare administrators to protect their patients from harm, and to prevent fraud against any federal health insurance program during the performance of their duties,” said U.S. Attorney Richard W. Moore for the Southern District of Alabama. “The citizens of the Selma community are entitled to quality healthcare administered by fully licensed physicians, and actions taken to put patient care in jeopardy and to circumvent state and federal law will not be tolerated.”

Per the investigation by the U.S., from mid-2009 to March 31, 2012, residents were recruited from the UAB-Selma Family Medicine Residency Program to independently treat patients in Vaughan’s ER Department outside the course and scope of their residency program. The residents were not fully licensed and credentialed physicians, yet per the investigation, were paid $50 per hour cash along with licensed emergency room physicians who were also paid an extra $50 per hour to co-sign the residents’ charts. This illegal moonlighting was perpetuated by falsifying medical records and submitting false claims to Medicare as if the services were provided by licensed physicians.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdal/pr/qui-tam-lawsuit-and-federal-investigation-result-145-million-settlement-vaughan

Former FSU Credit Union Official Sentenced For $1.2 Million Bank Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft

Former FSU Credit Union Official Sentenced For $1.2 Million Bank Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, And Filing False Tax Returns


to 66 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to 20 counts of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and theft from a lending institution, as well as three counts of filing a false tax return. The crimes involved more than $800,000 in theft. The sentence was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between June 2014 and November 2017, Lee was the lending director of FSU Credit Union (FSUCU), a Tallahassee-based credit union. As lending director, Lee’s position allowed him to open new customer accounts and approve lines of credit. He also served as treasurer of the Tallahassee Chapter of Credit Unions (TCCU), a non-profit organization that advocates legislation favorable to credit unions. In 2014, Lee used the name, date of birth, and social security number of the President of TCCU to create a second fraudulent account for that organization. Lee used the original TCCU account for fraudulent activity while leaving the new account for legitimate TCCU transactions. Lee also created two accounts using the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of his college roommates and used them as "intermediary accounts" into which funds stolen from FSUCU customers were deposited. Lee transferred funds from inactive customer accounts to pay down the lines of credit to the intermediary accounts he created or deposited them into TCCU’s original bank account. He also used the stolen funds to pay off personal credit cards, make mortgage and car payments, and pay for his children’s private school tuition. In total, Lee stole over $800,000 from the FSUCU. Additionally, in February 2016, March 2017, and March 2018, Lee filed tax returns in which he failed to claim as income the funds he stole from FSUCU.

"One of the most important assets of American financial institutions is customers’ faith in their integrity, and this defendant used his position of trust to steal their funds and the credit union’s reputation," Keefe said. "This sentence should send a clear message that anyone who tries to violate the public’s trust will end up paying severe consequences."

Lee was sentenced to 66 months years in federal prison, followed by 5 years supervised release. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $979,839.49 in restitution to the FSUCU and its insurance company, and to the United States Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, Lee was also ordered to pay $11,589.48 in prosecution costs to the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndfl/pr/former-fsu-credit-union-official-sentenced-12-million-bank-fraud-aggravated-identity

Former Austin Bank Employee Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing over One Million Dollars from

Former Austin Bank Employee Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing over One Million Dollars from Customer


In Austin today, a federal judge sentenced 40–year-old former Austin Capital One bank employee Paola Gallego of Round Rock, TX, to five years in federal prison for stealing over $1 million from a bank customer, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and Special Agent in Charge Laurie L. Younger, FDIC Office of Inspector General (FDIC OIG), Dallas Region.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ordered Gallego to pay a monetary judgment forfeiture in the amount of $1.2 Million; pay $1,403,979.13 in restitution to Capital One Bank (which had reimbursed the victims for their losses); and, be placed on supervised release for a period of four years after completing her prison term. Gallego remains on a $1 million bond pending Bureau of Prisons notification as to when and where to report to begin her prison sentence.

On May 9, 2019, Gallego pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and agreed to liquidate and remit certain assets and properties to be applied towards restitution.

Court records and testimony show that beginning in April 2014, Gallego began servicing the Capital One accounts of an elderly Austin couple. Gallego told one of her victims that if the spouse should die, another family member could take control of the money in their bank account—approximately $4.4 million. In September 2016, the victim took $400,000 and opened up an account at Wells Fargo Bank with Gallego’s assistance. Over the next two weeks, Gallego spent $94,779.13 on personal and family expenditures including a $50,000 wire transfer to Bancolombia on September 28, 2016, and a $20,586.81 online credit card payment to Chase Bank to an account in the name of her mother. Wells Fargo closed that account on suspicions of elder abuse.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/former-austin-bank-employee-sentenced-federal-prison-stealing-over-one-million-dollars

Southwestern University announces presidential search



To the Members of the Southwestern University Community:

I write today to let you know that Dr. Burger will be stepping down as President of Southwestern University, effective January 2020, to take a new position as President and CEO of St. David’s Foundation, one of the nation’s largest healthcare foundations focusing on health and education. While we are saddened by Dr. Burger’s departure, we celebrate all that Southwestern has accomplished under his visionary, dynamic, and thoughtful leadership over the last six years and wish him the very best in his new role.

I am pleased to announce that beginning January 2020, one of our trustees, Dr. Dale Knobel, President Emeritus of Denison University and former Provost at Southwestern, will serve as Interim President. Dr. Knobel’s experience in and knowledge of higher education generally and Southwestern University in particular is unparalleled. We are fortunate to have him as part of our community, and thankful for his willingness to serve in this important leadership role during this time of transition. Dr. Burger will continue to be hard at work at the University through his departure and coordinating closely with Dr. Knobel to ensure a smooth transition. I also know that Dr. Burger will continue to be a passionate advocate for the University for years to come.

The Board of Trustees is forming a committee to conduct the search for our 16th president, who will build on the foundation of our distinguished 179-year history. We expect the search committee to include representatives of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees to ensure that our various stakeholders have a voice in this important process. The search committee will hold its first meeting early this fall, and our goal is to install a new president no later than July 1, 2020. We have also established a Presidential Search page on the Southwestern website to keep you informed as our search progresses.

Additionally, on Monday, September 9th at 12:30 p.m., in Alma Thomas Theater, we will hold a Campus Town Hall Meeting where President Burger and I, along with Interim President Knobel, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Henry Joyner, and Trustee Lynn Parr Mock will be available to answer questions.

We are deeply grateful to Dr. Burger—our colleague, teacher, and friend who has given us so much of himself to make Southwestern stand out as a place that values and delivers distinctive, high-impact learning through intellectual and personal growth that lasts a lifetime. He personifies Think, create, connect—To make meaning and make a difference.

We are also grateful to our students and alumni, faculty and staff, and parents and friends of the University who have been so supportive and opportunity-focused as we worked together during Dr. Burger’s tenure to make our beloved institution an even better place to foster a vibrant community of scholars who contribute toward the well-being of humanity.

Over the last six years, together with Dr. Burger we have created:

• A comprehensive strategic vision and direction for the University.
• A state-of-the-art, interconnected Paideia curriculum that invites students to intentionally make connections as they think through their disciplines.
• The Jack and Camille Garey School of Natural Sciences and the new $40 million Fondren-Jones Science Center, which is nearly double the size of our previous science building and designed to support active and collaborative learning as well as research by both faculty and students.
• The development and launch of Mosaic and the Residential Experience, intentionally designed to advance the life of the mind in the co-curricular and residential components of a Southwestern education.
• Record-setting enrollments, with the five largest classes in the University’s history.
• More than ten new named chairs and professorships.
• Over $100 million in gifts and pledges to advance the mission and vision of the University.
• A balanced budget for six consecutive years and strong financial vitality going forward.
• Growth in the endowment from $253 million to $297 million.

As we look forward, we expect this extraordinary collaboration to continue to flourish. As Dr. Burger himself has said, “It is that positive and mindful kinetic energy today that will ensure Southwestern University’s potential for and promise of an even brighter tomorrow.”

Stephen G. Tipps
Chair of the Board of Trustees

https://www.southwestern.edu/presidential-search/

Edward Bruce Burger (born December 10, 1964)[1][2] is a mathematician and president of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.[3] Previously, he was the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, and the Robert Foster Cherry Professor for Great Teaching at Baylor University. He also had been named to a single-year-appointment as Vice Provost of Strategic Educational Initiatives at Baylor University in February 2011.[4]

Burger has been honored as a leader in education and for his innovative work in developing educational and entertaining mathematics electronic textbooks. He has been a keynote speaker, invited special session speaker, or the conference chair at a number of American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences.

During the late 1980s Burger was featured at a stand-up comedy club in Austin, Texas and also was an 'independent contractor', writing for Jay Leno.[5] Today he has a weekly program on higher education, thinking, and learning produced by NPR's Austin affiliate KUT called Higher ED.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Burger

'Conversation with the Candidate' with Beto O'Rourke: Online exclusive

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke joins Adam Sexton for the latest installment of the "Conversation with the Candidate" series. In this portion available only online, see a continued question-and-answer segment involving O'Rourke and the voters.

Video at https://www.wmur.com/article/conversation-with-the-candidate-with-beto-o-rourke-online-exclusive/29132858

'Conversation with the Candidate' with Beto O'Rourke: Online exclusive

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke joins Adam Sexton for the latest installment of the "Conversation with the Candidate" series. In this portion available only online, see a continued question-and-answer segment involving O'Rourke and the voters.

Video at https://www.wmur.com/article/conversation-with-the-candidate-with-beto-o-rourke-online-exclusive/29132858

DEA agents execute inspection warrant at Kaiser Permanente pharmacy in North Portland

Federal narcotics agents raided a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy in North Portland with a warrant Tuesday morning.

Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed an administrative inspection warrant at Kaiser Permanente Interstate Medical Office on North Interstate Avenue, said Cam Strahm, assistant special agent in charge at the agency’s Oregon office.

Federal narcotic enforcement officers from the agency’s diversion control office use administrative warrants to obtain records to determine if legitimately-made controlled substances are being diverted from their lawful purpose into illicit drug traffic.

Portland police officers assisted, but the Police Bureau isn’t directly involved, said Portland police Sgt. Brad Yakots.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2019/09/dea-agents-execute-search-warrant-at-medical-office-in-north-portland.html

O'Rourke's plan to legalize marijuana includes clemency for possession sentences and grants for

O'Rourke's plan to legalize marijuana includes clemency for possession sentences and grants for those who already served time

by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune


Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Thursday morning released a marijuana legalization plan that calls for clemency for everyone currently serving sentences for possession.

The former El Paso congressman also would push for a federal tax on the pot industry and put the revenue toward a "Drug War Justice Grant" for those formerly incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses.

"We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs," O'Rourke said in a statement.

O'Rourke has long campaigned on legalizing marijuana and expunging the records of those who have been convicted of possession, though he not called for clemency until now. Another candidate, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, has proposed clemency for over 17,000 nonviolent drug offenders.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/09/19/beto-orourke-marijuana-legalization-plan-includes-clemency-grants/

O'Rourke's plan to legalize marijuana includes clemency for possession sentences and grants for

O'Rourke's plan to legalize marijuana includes clemency for possession sentences and grants for those who already served time

by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune


Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Thursday morning released a marijuana legalization plan that calls for clemency for everyone currently serving sentences for possession.

The former El Paso congressman also would push for a federal tax on the pot industry and put the revenue toward a "Drug War Justice Grant" for those formerly incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses.

"We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs," O'Rourke said in a statement.

O'Rourke has long campaigned on legalizing marijuana and expunging the records of those who have been convicted of possession, though he not called for clemency until now. Another candidate, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, has proposed clemency for over 17,000 nonviolent drug offenders.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/09/19/beto-orourke-marijuana-legalization-plan-includes-clemency-grants/




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