By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued a stinging opinion in which it firmly rebukes the retaliatory actions of the Douglas County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office. Derrick Bailey, an African-American police officer with 17 years of law-enforcement experience, was hired by the City of Douglasville Police Department in…

Read More

By Derek Gilna / Prison Legal News

In an 8 to 3 decision, the en banc Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling by Illinois U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Anderson, as well as an appellate panel that had partly affirmed that ruling, and held the judiciary should not “create a right of action for damages against soldiers who abusively interrogate or mistreat military prisoners, or fail to prevent improper detention and interrogation.”

The three appellate judges who dissented from the majority opinion argued that the plaintiffs, private American security contractors in Iraq, should have been afforded a Bivins remedy to redress their claims.

The dissent noted that both the facts and law provided an avenue by which Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, employees of Shield Group Security (also known as National Shield Security) stationed in Iraq, could seek damages for what they contended was torture by U.S. military personnel.

According to the en banc decision, “Vance came to suspect that Shield was supplying weapons to groups opposed to the U.S.,” and became an FBI informant. However, after the individuals they had fingered accused Vance and Ertel of “gun-running,” they were arrested by American military officials in April 2006.

They were then “held in solitary confinement and denied access to counsel … [and] interrogators used ‘threats of violence and actual violence, sleep deprivation and alteration, extremes of temperature, extremes of sound, light manipulation, threats of indefinite detention, denial of food, denial of water, denial of needed medical care, yelling, prolonged solitary confinement, incommunicado detention, falsified allegations and other psychologically-disruptive and injurious techniques.’” Vance and Ertel were classified as “security internees.”

Read More

Written by Queenie Wong Statesman Journal

Nov. 1, 2013 | statesmanjournal.com

A laid off Willamette Education Service District teacher and her lawyer will get $150,000 as part of a settlement to a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the district three years ago.

Former teacher Terri Moore claimed she lost her job because she repeatedly reported safety violations at the high school at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility and filed a formal complaint about harassment and bullying by Bill Conlon, the school’s principal.

She filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court in 2010 asking for as much as $500,000, plus attorney fees and reinstatement as a full-time teacher.

Under the settlement, Moore will get $86,355.75 and the law firm representing her — Lafky and Lafky —will receive $63,644.25.  She won’t be entitled to return as a full-time employee at WESD, but still could work as a substitute teacher, according to the agreement.

WESD’s liability carrier, the Special Districts Association of Oregon, decided to settle the lawsuit because of the costs of going to trial last month. The district’s board chairman Ken Hector said in a statement Friday he understood the carrier’s decision to settle the case. “Choosing to move forward to defend the case at trial would burden WESD with all attorney fees and costs, impacting our general fund,” Hector said. “The ultimate outcome of resolution for this case is best for WESD and the districts we serve.”

Read More