Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Civil Forefeiture gone wild: Alabama DA used cash and property stolen from citizens without a crime to fund bonuses for employees

There are many different types of government theft that go beyond the more obvious ones of taxation and inflation.  Yet perhaps the most onerous one is the spurious use of Civil Forfeiture, which saw law enforcement officials steal more cash and property from innocent citizens in 2016 than the total amount of accumulated value from all the illegal thefts done that year by criminals.

And of all the states in which Civil Forfeiture is most often used to steal from its citizens without due process is that of the state of Alabama, where on Nov. 21 it was discovered that proceeds from property stolen from innocent people and businesses by the state went to fund bonuses in the office of the District Attorney of Suffolk County.

Newly disclosed records show Suffolk district attorney employees have received $3.25 million in bonuses since 2012 — $550,000 more than reported previously — as county lawmakers prepare for a hearing Tuesday on a bill to tighten legislative control over how proceeds from seized criminal assets are spent. 
Bonus recipients included deputy chief homicide prosecutor Robert Biancavilla, who received a total of $108,886 between 2012 and 2017, and division chief Edward Heilig and top public corruption prosecutor Christopher McPartland, who each received $73,000, according to records obtained from county Comptroller John Kennedy’s office through the Freedom of Information Law. 
The bonuses, which were funded from assets seized in criminal cases by the district attorney’s office, did not receive legislative approval. The original figure of $2.7 million came from documents provided by County Executive Steve Bellone’s office, which only included bonuses for top management employees. - Newsday
Sadly, draining the swamp of corrupt officials goes far beyond just he boundaries of Washington D.C., as the economic malaise that has embroiled the economy for nearly a decade makes politicians and even first responders more than willing to throw away the 4th amendment if it means money for themselves, their retirements, and as we see in one example, bonuses for their employees. 

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