December 2, 2022

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Oregon State Employee Indicted for Sexual Misconduct and Kidnapping Woman with Developmental Disabilities

9 min read
A federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon, returned an indictment today charging an Oregon Department of Human Services employee with kidnapping a woman with significant disabilities in his care, driving her to a secluded location, and engaging with her in sexual misconduct.

More from: February 18, 2022

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    The federal Judiciary has voiced its support for newly introduced legislation to protect federal judges, saying action by Congress is needed to prevent tragedies like the one a year ago when the son of a judge in New Jersey was shot and killed by a disgruntled litigant.

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  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Cost and Schedule Risks in Modernization Program Echo Long-Standing Challenges
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found While the Department of Defense (DOD) approaches its full-rate production decision point (which would formally authorize DOD’s transition from development to full production), the F-35 program is producing nearly 25 percent of the total planned aircraft in low-rate initial production before satisfying the criteria for full-rate production. As it approaches this major milestone, the program has taken steps to but has not fully addressed a number of challenges, even though GAO recommended that it do so, such as the need to: resolve critical deficiencies with the aircraft; ensure critical manufacturing processes are mature; address supply chain issues that strain production and sustainment; and take steps to ensure reliability and maintainability goals are met. Compounding these production issues is the fact that the program has not completed operational testing on the aircraft to ensure warfighters get the capabilities they require, primarily due to increasing delays with the aircraft simulator. In August 2020, the program office determined the simulator—to be used to replicate complex test scenarios that could not be accomplished in real-world environment testing—did not fully represent F-35 capabilities and could not be used for further testing until fixed. Since then, program officials have been developing a new plan to ensure the simulator works as intended. Until this happens, the full-rate production date remains undetermined (see figure). F-35 Operational Test Schedule and Key Events through 2021, as of June 2021 At the same time that the program is resolving risks with the baseline program, DOD is encountering similar cost and schedule increases with its F-35 modernization effort. In the 3 years of Block 4 capability development, the total estimated cost of Block 4 increased from $10.6 billion to $14.4 billion. This increase is, in part, a recognition of all costs, past and future, estimated to be required to complete the effort. As GAO recommended in May 2020, DOD now reports all Block 4 costs, not just those associated with the near term. While DOD added another year to the Block 4 schedule, in March 2021 GAO found the remaining development time frame is not achievable. Unless the F-35 program accounts for historical performance in the schedule estimates, the Block 4 schedule will continue to exceed estimated time frames and stakeholders will lack reliable information on when the modernized capabilities will be delivered. Why GAO Did This Study The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program began development in 2001 and remains DOD’s most expensive weapon system program. Currently, the program is more than 8 years delayed and $165 billion over original cost expectations. As the program progresses toward completing operational testing of the aircraft’s baseline capabilities, it still faces risks. DOD is also 3 years into an effort, called Block 4, to modernize the F-35 aircraft’s capabilities. Block 4 is loosely based on Agile software development processes. With this approach, DOD intends to incrementally develop, test, and deliver small groups of new capabilities every 6 months. This testimony discusses acquisition-related risks in the F-35 program. It is based largely on findings in GAO’s March 2021 and May 2020 annual reports (GAO-21-226; GAO-20-339) on F-35 acquisition.

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  • Coin and Currency Production: Issues Concerning Who Should Provide Security
    In U.S GAO News
    The U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), which produce the nation’s coins and currency, provide their own security and have experienced some problems with theft by employees. Although security is necessary to carry out the agencies’ missions, their primary function is producing money. In light of these thefts, a congressional committee asked GAO whether the Mint and BEP should continue to provide their own security or whether the United States Secret Service should provide their security. Among the issues that GAO was asked to address were (1) how do the Mint, BEP, and other organizations that produce or handle large amounts of cash provide their security; (2) what thefts have occurred at the Mint and BEP and what steps have they taken to prevent thefts from recurring; and (3) what are the potential benefits and costs of having the Secret Service provide Mint and BEP security? The Mint said it generally agreed with the findings and conclusions that applied to the Mint. BEP and the Secret Service provided technical comments regarding the report, which GAO incorporated where appropriate, but had no overall comments on the report.The Mint and BEP use their own police forces to provide security. Eight of the 12 coin and currency organizations in the other G7 nations responded to our requests for information. Four organizations reported that they only used their own security forces; 2 organizations said they used their own security forces supplemented with contractor personnel; 1 organization said it used an outside agency to supplement its own security force; and 1 organization said that it used an outside agency to provide its security. Private businesses that handle large amounts of cash, such as banks and casinos, that we contacted said they used either their own security staff or contractor staff. The Mint and BEP have experienced some thefts by employees over the last decade. The Mint, which did not have records of security incidents that occurred more than 5 years ago, reported 74 incidents of theft involving about $93,000 from 1998 though 2002, while BEP reported 11 incidents of theft from 1993 through 2002 involving about $1.8 million. Both the Mint and BEP had threat assessments made of their facilities and processes and took corrective action to enhance security. The Secret Service said that if its Uniformed Division were charged with the responsibility of protecting the Mint and BEP, the two agencies could benefit from the Secret Service’s expertise in protection and criminal investigations. However, unlike Secret Service police officers, Mint and BEP security personnel are already familiar with the coin and currency production processes, which is a benefit in identifying security risks in these manufacturing facilities. Further, if the Secret Service protected the Mint and BEP, the government could incur additional costs because the Secret Service requires more training for its officers than the Mint and BEP police. The Secret Service police officers also are provided more costly retirement benefits than the Mint and BEP police.

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    In Crime News
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    In Crime News
    Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs hosted a regional bilateral meeting in Tijuana, Mexico to discuss security cooperation matters.

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  • Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Results of Operation Legend
    In Crime News
    Earlier today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the results of Operation Legend, which was first launched in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 8, 2020, and then expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 14, 2020.

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  • Superfund: EPA Should Take Additional Actions to Manage Risks from Climate Change Effects
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In October 2019, GAO reported that available federal data on flooding, storm surge, wildfires, and sea level rise suggested that about 60 percent (945 of 1,571) of all nonfederal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites—which have serious hazardous contamination–are located in areas that may be impacted by these potential climate change effects (see figure). In 2019, GAO released an interactive map and dataset, available with its report (GAO-20-73). Nonfederal NPL Sites Located in Areas That May Be Impacted by Flooding, Storm Surge, Wildfires, or Sea Level Rise, as of 2019 Notes: This map does not display all 1,571 active and deleted nonfederal NPL sites GAO analyzed in 2019, which also include six sites in American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, though they are included in the counts above. Learn more at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-20-73. Storm surge data were not available for the West Coast and Pacific islands other than Hawaii, wildfire data were not available outside the contiguous United States, and sea level rise data were not available for Alaska. GAO also reported in 2019 that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions to manage risks from climate change effects at these sites aligned with three of GAO’s six essential elements of enterprise risk management, partially aligned with two, and did not align with one. For example, EPA had not aligned its process for managing risks with agency-wide goals. Without clarifying this linkage, EPA could not ensure that senior officials would take an active role in strategic planning and accountability for managing these risks. In 2019, GAO found that EPA recognized institutional, resource, and technical challenges in managing risks from climate change effects. For example, some EPA officials told us they do not have the direction they need to manage these risks. Insufficient or changing resources may also make it challenging for EPA to manage these risks, according to EPA documents and officials. Why GAO Did This Study Superfund is the principal federal program for addressing sites contaminated with hazardous substances. EPA administers the program and lists some of the most seriously contaminated sites—most of which are nonfederal—on the NPL. At those sites, EPA has recorded over 500 contaminants, including arsenic and lead. Climate change may make some natural disasters more frequent or more intense, which may damage NPL sites and potentially release contaminants, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment. This testimony summarizes GAO’s October 2019 report (GAO-20-73) on the impact of climate change on nonfederal NPL sites. Specifically, it discusses (1) what available federal data suggest about the number of nonfederal NPL sites that are located in areas that may be impacted by selected climate change effects; (2) the extent to which EPA has managed risks to human health and the environment from the potential impacts of climate change effects at nonfederal NPL sites; and (3) challenges EPA faces in managing these risks.

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