The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on October 19, 1989 · Page 12
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 12

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San Bernardino, California
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Thursday, October 19, 1989
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Page 12
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A12 The Sun THURSDAY, October 19. 1989 LOS ANGELES COUNTY L.A. police say raid smashes car theft ring LOS ANGELES An auto theft ring that authorities said used tow trucks to steal nearly 600 cars this year from San Fernando Valley streets has been broken up in a raid by a special police unit targeting auto thefts, officials said. About 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers from a Los Angeles Police Department unit organized to combat auto thefts swept into A&J Tire on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the suburb of Pa-coima and arrested a tow-truck driver, said Detective Glen Higgins. Arrest warrants have been issued for four other men, including the suspected ring leader and owner of the tire store, Albert Caballero, 42, of suburban Granada Hills, Higgins said. "We estimated that during that period of time (February to July) he was responsible for 10 percent of the auto thefts," Higgins said. L.A. may file suit to regain funds LOS ANGELES The city council granted the city attorney authority to file suit to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds provided to the Task Force for AfricaLos Angeles Relations. Wednesday's action, approved 11-1, authorizes the city attorney to "go after any legitimate target for the recovery of that money," said Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky. City Controller Rick Tuttle has accused the task force and its director, Juanita St. John, of failing to account for the use of $390,000 allocated by the city from 1985 to 1989. Tuttle also said an audit by his office revealed that St. John wrote $178.8 12 in task force checks either to herself or to cash and mingled task force funds in her personal bank account and the accounts of family members. Bonn seeks suspect in war crimes LOS ANGELES An immigrant wanted in West Germany as an alleged Nazi concentration camp guard who shot prisoners during World War II was ordered held Wednesday for an extradition hearing. Bruno Karl Blach, 69. who was arrested at his La Habra home on Tuesday, is alleged to have shot prisoners being marched to the Mauthausen concentration camp in April 1945, according to the U.S. Marshal's Service. Blach, a native of Czechoslovakia, was brought before U.S. Magistrate Venetta S. Tas-sopulos, w ho ordered him held in federal custody pending a Dec. 5 extradition hearing on a warrant from West Germany. A bail hearing was scheduled for Oct. 23. Blach's attorney. Ronald Parker, said he will fight extradition. Blach denies killing anyone. Lawsuit against widow dismissed LOS ANGELES A man once convicted of killing a Huntington Beach woman's husband had his $500,000 malicious prosecution lawsuit against the victim's widow dismissed on Wednesday. Superior Court Judge Robert B. Lopez ruled that Eugene Clarence Hartman's suit could not be pursued against Ruth Langlos because she was not originally named as a defendant. Hartman was convicted in December 1983 of the 1976 murder of John T. Langlos. An appellate court overturned the conviction two years later, ruling Hartman's due process rights had been violated. SAN DIEGO COUNTY Sagon Perm case surfaces again SAN DIEGO The FBI is investigating allegations that a police informant was offered SI. 500 by a police sergeant to attack former Lt. Doyle Wheeler, a witness in the Sagon Penn case, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Wheeler, 37. was a key defense witness in two highly publicized trials of Penn, who killed police agent Thomas Rings and wounded agent Donovan Jacobs and civilian ride-along Sarah I'ina-Ruiz during a 1985 shooting in Encanto. Wheeler's testimony supported the defense theory that the shooting erupted during a racially motivated fight provoked by white officers. From Sun News Services Lawmaker guilty of sexual harassment By LARRY MARGASAK Associated Press The U.S. House of Representative's ethics committee concluded Wednesday that Rep. Jim Bates. D-Calif., is guilty of sexually harassing two of his female staffers and approving improper campaign activity in his congressional office. The San Diego lawmaker was informed in a letter that "the committee formally and publicly reproves you" for violating a House rule prohibiting sexual harassment and an ethics guideline barring campaign work in a congressional office. The committee did not ask the House to discipline Bates, but told him any further violation in the same areas of conduct "may result in a recommen dation that disiplinary action be considered." Bates told reporters, "I accept the committee's judgment." "Sexual harassment is very serious and not to be taken lightly. I did not know what sexual harassment meant until this came up." The ethics panel began a preliminary inquiry against the four-term lawmaker Aug. 3, acting on a complaint filed last October by two women who had worked in Bates' congressional office. The women, who had left Bates' office before the complaint was filed, said he sexually harassed them while they were employees, and pressured congressional staffers to do campaign work. Bates told reporters he allowed a campaign employee to make fund-raising calls from his office, and later hired the worker for the congressional stafT. The committee acknowledged Bates has apologized to "anyone w ho may have been ofTended" by his personal conduct," but deemed that action insufficient. Bates was directed to write the women, Karen Dryden and Dorena Bertussi, "apologizing for behavior which was sexual harassment, copies of which should be provided to this committee." The rule cited by the committee states: "A member, officer or employee of the House of Representatives shall not discharge or refuse to hire any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, condi- Fatal on the freeway ".-n I'lt?. ttl )Sc. Tf ' I . " " ' v, s r , i y r rt r :'..;v-;t4fcA4-.-': van AP WIREPHOTO California Highway Patrol officers investigate an accident Wednesday afternoon on the Pasadena Freeway near the downtown section of Los Angeles. The body of the victim is in the foreground. Chico hopes to save threatened flower Solution could end thorny issue blocking major construction By JIM HAYNES McClatchy News Service CHICO City officials have come up with a preservation plan for a rare wildfiower that for almost two years has been a thorn in the side of many local builders. Presence of Butte County meadow loam, a distinct subspecies believed Tound only in Butte County, had blocked construction or a church, a hospital, and other projects. The preservation plan approved Tuesday night by the city council calls Tor the city to acquire and maintain six sites of about 10 acres each to protect clusters of the liny white-Dowered plant. Planning Director Clif Sellers said Wednesday. Owners of private property will be required to protect meadowfoam at portions or other locations where the plant is found, he said. The stalled construction projects would go forward at the same time that steps are being taken to ensure the plant's survival, Sellers said. Builders expressed relief that the plant, which some had compared with spotted owls or snail darters, no longer will loom as an obstacle in rapidly growing southeast Chico. The rare owls have held up timber sales in the Pacific Northwest, and snail darters once blocked a massive power project in the South. "We were pushing hard to make sure that it (the meadowfoam plan) was adopted," said Stephen D. Honey-cutt of Project Management Associates, which represents Enloe Hospital in Chico. Enloe wants to build a new hospital and other medical facilities on a 100-acre site in southeast Chico where the meadowfoam blooms. The local plant society and an environmental group that had fought for protection or the meadowfoam split over whether the city's plan was adequate. "I think in general we're very pleased with the progress that has been made," said Mary Meyer, chairwoman or the Mount Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Kelly Meagher, director of the Butte Environmental Council, said the city's plan did not go far enough to ensure the plant would be preserved before allowing building to proceed. "This plan may be a great political compromise, but it's a rotten environmental compromise," Meagher said. The meadowfoam is listed as endangered by the wildlife agency, which also participated in the development orthe city's preservation plan. The meadowfoam, first identified in 1979, is unique in appearance, department ecologists said. Only a few inches high, the crown is smaller than a clime. The plant has five petals, with white flowers and hairs on the flower parts and some of the vegetative parts. The plant came to public attention almost two years ago when the Pleasant Valley Assembly of God applied for permits to build a new church off Highway 32, between Bruce and El Monte roads. Church leaders notified the city of the presence of the plant at the site, triggering actions that blocked construction until now. lions or privileges of employment, because or such individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin." The ethics committee's manual for members states, "Official allowances may not be used to defray any personal, political, or campaign-related expenses." Committee Chairman Julian C. Dixon, D-Calif. and ranking Republican John T. Myers or Indiana wrote Bates, "You acknowledged under oath the general accuracy orthe complaints and that you regretted your actions w ith regard to sexual harassment. "Similarly, you also acknow ledged and regretted error in connection w ith impermissible campaign activity in your congressional office. The committee directs that you refrain from any activity which would suggest recurrence of the situations giv ing rise to the complaints." Beverly Hills teachers fail to end strike Walkout enters 4th day; talks allied off Associated Press BEVERLY HILLS A state-mediated effort to end a teac hers' strike ended abruptly and school officials said there were no plans to resume talks today. "Neither party changed its position and no (late has been set to re-sume talks." Hali Wickner. a spokeswoman for the Beverly Hills Unified School District, said after talks broke off Wednesday. The strike was to enter its fourth day today. Wednesday's bargaining meeting began at 10 a.m. and ended in failure an hour later, said Bernice Barth. a Beverly Hills Education Association spokeswoman. Bill Gordon, the teachers' chief negotiator, and negotiators for the school district had gathered at the district's offices at the behest of a state mediator. District Superintendent Robert French said neither side was w illing to budge from its previous position. Beverly Hills teachers want an 18 percent pay increase over two years. The district has offered 5 percent for the first year and 6 percent for the second. Top pay for teachers in Beverly Hills is $46,270 and the average salarv is $42,659. Nearly 60 percent orthe district's 4,700 students in four elementary schools and one high school stayed away from the classroom Wednesday. Daily attendance is normally about 98 percent. More than 200 substitutes are being paid $185 per day to teach the students w ho are show ing up to classes. The strike began Mondav when about 300 of the district's 315 teachers, counselors and nurses took to the picket line. Starting teachers earn $21,604 yearly, nearly $6,000 less than new-teachers in neighboring Los Angeles. Teachers in the nation's second-largest city crippled the Los Angeles Unified School District with a strike last year before agreeing to a new contract that called for a 24 percent salary increase over three years. Buckey lawyer questions prosecutor's arguments Associated Press LOS ANGELES Prosecutors have used "bizarre insinuations" against preschool molestation defendant Raymond Buckey, but failed to prove their case, Buckey's attorney said Wednesday. "I have some deep, almost raging feelings in me ... that there was a notion that the burden was on the defendant to prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt," attorney Danny Davis told jurors as the longest criminal trial in U.S. history moved toward a close. Davis acknowledged during his final arguments that Buckey has been beset by personal problems including drug use and excessive drinking and has pursued such eccentric behavior as a belief in the mystic powers of pyramids. But none of that proves the 31 -year-old defendant is a child molester, Davis told jurors. "Are we going to end up saying that if enough noxious matter is thrown on the wall that it will stick?," he asked. Buckey and his 62-year-old mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey. face 64 counts of molestation and one count or conspiracy. Prosecutors contend they molested 11 children at their now-closed McMartin Pre-school in Manhattan Beach. They were among seven peo ple arrested in 1983. Charges against the other five were dropped for lack orevidence. Davis said he hopes to finish his closing arguments by Monday. Prosecutors then have 3 ' days to complete their rebuttal before the case is sent to the jury. 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