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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Daily Times Claims Pollitt Used Executive Order To Refrain From Delivering Mug Shots To Newspaper

I think most of you know I'm no big fan of Rick Pollitt as a politician. As a person, what's not to like.

However, for my own personal reasons I have to side with Mr. Pollitt on this one and here's why.

You are innocent until proven guilty. Being arrested and charged with something does NOT mean you are guilty and I have personally proven that each and every time charges were brought against me.

They finger print you as an innocent person, take pictures of you and create a forever file against you, even if your completely innocent.

I can't tell you how many times over the years I have received phone calls from people charged with a DUI or DWI and they had all charges dropped. They ask for me to remove their information so they can move on with their life, yet the harm is already done.

Our legislators need to change the process and ONLY put out a press release AFTER a Judge and or Jury has convicted an individual. Until then, remember, this is America. Each person is innocent until proven guilty.  


Anonymous said...

That's not what this is about, however. The county has a policy to release mug shots. The county wasn't following that policy, until the Daily Times called them on it. Then the DT asked through a PIA that any communications related to a supposed review of that policy be released. Pollitt's office is refusing to release any e-mails by Rick about it.

This is about the executive refusing to release information that may not make him look good. It's not about a refusal to release mug shots.

You can disagree with the county's policy on mug shot release. However, you should not be defending Pollitt's attempt to shield himself from public scrutiny. THAT is the issue at play here.

Anonymous said...

Also, it's not about an executive order. It's about "executive privilege" to exempt himself from the Public Information Act.

Joe, you have the story all wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely on point 7:57! Why wouldn't Rick want to release all documentation that could put this issue to rest. Stupid move on Rick's part.

JoeAlbero said...

anomymous 7:57, I completely understand that. I am simply sharing MY view on this matter. If the policies/laws state the DT's deserves to have such information, Pollitt is clearly in the wrong.

Would you agree, however, that the DT's is becoming more like a Blog than a professional newspaper?

They should keep this to themselves until the matter is resolved. Instead, that are publicly bullying Rick in the court of public opinion instead.

Mind you, they do have the right to do so but come on now. This alleged news took up a lot of real estate in today's paper, so I'm told.

Now let's see who the DT's endorses for the next County Executive.

Anonymous said...

sorry - chf my cmmnt to "Gannett Adding Content, Raising Prices (JoeAlbero)" story

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you live joe but you're guilty until proven innocent now...

All judges base their decisions on prior charges or the like and in doing so, they give you a harder sentence for something you might have done 10 years ago...

So, not to mention all the corruption going on, You are guilty until proven innocent...

Anonymous said...

Ricky has made a fatal mistake here. He has continually said he wanted to rebuild trust in the government. This flies in the face of building trust. Shame on you Ricky.

Anonymous said...

Joe, the laws of the state are pretty clear that mug shots should be released. The laws are also clear that you have to comply with a Public Information Act request. The laws also allow some leeway to withhold information due to "executive privilege." However, it seems that Pollitt is using a pretty liberal view of that privilege to withhold information. This is about a lack of transparency, nothing else.

I'm glad to see this new direction in the Daily Times. For years they neglected local government issues. Now they seem to be focusing on the county government and its spending and personnel policies. That's exactly what we need -- more transparency in what the county government is doing. Blogs have been trying to do this for years. The Daily Times is playing catch up, and they should be praised for it.

And this is certainly legitimate news. When the government refuses to release information to the public, then that should trouble everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ricky, 2014 is election year. Is there something in those emails that would seal your chance of re-election? Inquiring minds want to know what you are hiding.

JoeAlbero said...

anonymous 8:16, you make very good points.

However, let me just say this. It seems the ONLY time the DT's pulls stuff like this, (love/hate relationship) is when an upcoming election is upon us.

It seems to be a power play between two parties and Rick doesn't have a tool to defend himself.

I have seen all too many times the DT's pull perfectly fine comments from their Site simply because they do not agree with that politician and or candidate.

That being said, I am not trying to defend Mr. Pollitt. I'm simply saying you are acting like a bully and have been for many years.

Oh, I know I'll get several comments on this thread stating we do the very same. However, we reject many of those comments because of personal attacks. If you only knew!

lmclain said...

I love how 8:16 quotes the law. Ignores the Constitution, but loves the law.
Posting mug shots for INNOCENT people paints them as guilty in the eye of the public.
It has, however, been a long time since the possibility of "innocence" has had any bearing on how the police or politicians treat citizens. Except for themselves.
Keep cheeering. Right up to the point where your cheering gets caught in your throat because something just bit you in the ace.

Anonymous said...

Wow you guys really are bored. Who cares watch WBOC or look on here. The Daily Slime is so biased and just a bd paper period. I wouldnt line the bird cage with it. Might insult the bird lol. The most horrible paper I have ever read. They cant even keep current with local sporting news. They get half of the story. It just seems it has turned into a real rag. I loved it twenty years ago. Just sad Joe. Joe get back to being the first with the news and less msm.

Anonymous said...

You have this completely wrong. Mug shots enable possible other victims to put a name to the face of their aggressor which is good in order to stop these criminals from committing further criminal acts. Unfortunately, this means all folks arrested on criminal charges. You speak of your own record of innocence but were you not found guilty in the past for something, if memory serves correctly. Pollitt is only interested in protecting the minority vote which he depends on. It's not about what is right or wrong but rather it's all about politics!!!!

JoeAlbero said...

anonymous 1:24, While the former Tilghman administration did everything in their powers to have me charged time and time again, no, I was never found guilty of anything. Your memory does not serve you correctly. Charged, yes, Guilty, no.

Anonymous said...

Hey, lmclain, it's 8:16 here -- why don't you show me where in the Constitution it prohibits governments from releasing mug shots. I just looked it over and can't find a thing in there that says that. Maybe I have an old, outdated version, however.

lmclain said...

1:52....check out the Fifth Amendment. Of the Constitution. In there is a phrase "due process", which relates to criminal proceedings against citizens.
The Supreme Court has ruled that clause means the government must PROVE the guilt of the accused -- the basis for the "innocent until proven guilty" concept.
State and federal courts have also ruled the Constitution provides for this concept. Maybe you have a conterfeit copy of the Constitution.
My point is exactly as I stated it in my previous post. So many of you think your personal tragedy, your "issue of the moment", or your desire to punish a certain group of offenders, should allow you to circumvent or ignore the Constitution.
Putting mug shots of ACCUSED people, in public places, by the government, unfairly paints them as guilty. BEFORE they have been tried. Found guilty? Put a damn poster up. Charged? Give me a chance in court first, before you label me as a criminal.
I'm not a lawyer, but I can read. You can borrow my reference material if you find yours to be inadequate...

Anonymous said...

As Joe is well aware, at its purist form, the media is the watch dog of the people. Each department has their own policy on if and how a press release should be sent out, however the mug shots themselves are public record, just as court dockets are, and can be used by the media or any individual for that matter, as they so please within the boundaries of the law. And dont tell me about court of the press, Joe is proof that in this day and age one man can be just as effective as large scale media.

Anonymous said...

To lmclain, guess we have the same Constitution. And I guess you didn't read it.

Here's the full phrase from the Fifth Amendment: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;..."

This means that before the government can execute you, lock you up in jail, or fine you, the government has to go through the judicial process. It can't arbitrarily do any of these things.

How is releasing a mug shot to the public depriving anyone of life, liberty, or property? It's simply reporting a fact -- this person was arrested.

If you infer from the fact that someone has been arrested that the person is guilty, that's on you. To stretch the Constitution to say that releasing information about arrests amounts to an infringement on the Fifth Amendment makes you a proponent of the notion of the Living Constitution. You'd fit right in there with the Obama justices on the Supreme Court.

Next time, please read the Constitution before trying to tell me what's in it. So many people think they have some clue about it because they hear "due process" or some other phrase on a TV show. Actually sitting down to read the words makes a lot of difference.

lmclain said...

So erudite. I merely pointed out what the Supreme Court said (and dozens of other state and federal judges) about that phrase. We both have the same Constitution. And I have read it many times. I have also read a few legal opinions about that document. Like the First Amendment saying "no law....", but the Supreme Court has ALSO "interpreted" that one, too.
As far as "reporting a fact", you are being disengenous. Some facts carry more weight than others. When someone's picture is posted in public as being arrested as a drunk driver, that "fact" has yet to be established, but in it's context, people "infer" guilt. Only the naive would claim otherwise.
Next time, know the background and subsequent litigation of the Constitutional issues you debate. Reading the words is just the beginning; knowing the legal definitions (established by hundreds of case law) is the next step. Give it a try. What YOU say the Constitution says is probably NOT what the law says it is, for better or for worse.

Anonymous said...

lmclain, considering that in Detroit Free Press v. Department of Justice, a federal court held that it was legal to release mug shots, it seems that your legal scholarship is as deficient as your knowledge of the Constitution's text.

The case law surrounding "due process of law" has nothing to do with mug shots; it has to do with criminal convictions. Again, watching some legal dramas on TV doesn't make you an expert in the law.

lmclain said...

Being arrested DOESN'T mean conviction. Would you be in favor of posting EVERYONE'S name and picture who has been arrested? Think of the damge done to innocent people's reputation. And a LOT of innocent people are arrested. THAT is my concern. The courts have ruled that DNA samples can legally be taken from those who have been arrested, too. The presumption of innocence is hardly what it used to be and THAT should worry people.
My point is that INNOCENT people are being sullied by pretrial publicity. By your reasoning (and some courts), your due process under the law doesn't begin when the law starts doing its job. Even though, it seems to me, that the "process" begins by an officer arresting a citizen. So, do tell, when do YOU think the "process" starts???
And, the obama comment and the TV drama thing? That Neither one is even close to being true.

JoeAlbero said...

lmclain, exactly my point.

Get this. One day someone caused some damage to my building. The Police came and filed a report. Are you ready. The next day they came beck, (two detectives) asking me to submit to a dna sample. I looked at them and said, WHAT? I'm the victim here and you want MY dna!!!

Anonymous said...

lmclain, I agree with you that too many people are being arrested. The way to fix this problem is to reduce the number of laws. And I agree with you 100% that the DNA testing requirement is BS.

However, the public's right to know what government is doing is vital. The fact is, the police report the names of people who are arrested. Joe runs them regularly on his blog. The releases from the sheriff's department are mere arrests, not convictions. I have no problem with this stuff being publicized. It's vital we know what our government is doing, and this includes the police.

As for "due process of the law," it seems you are confused about what that term means. This is simply a guarantee that the government won't execute you, imprison you, or fine you without going through a judicial process. Since you claim to be an expert in the Constitution and case law, I'd urge you to go back to your reading. Ensuring that people receive the due process of law before these things happen is unrelated to whether the public has the right to know what's going on.

Or do you support barring the public from courtrooms? Should all judicial proceedings be conducted in secret, to protect the innocent? Shielding the judiciary and police from public scrutiny, as you seem to support, will only ensure that the public has no way of knowing what's going on in with these government employees. It is a situation that's ripe for covering up abuses.

More transparency is almost always better when it comes to the government.

lmclain said...

Your points are well taken. Except the part about me claiming to be an expert in the Constitution and case law. If I were that, I'd have a better job. I'm just a citizen.
From my reading, inadequate as you seem to think it is, "due process" has been partially defined by the courts to include the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". How many people look at pictures of citizens in the paper (or on this blog) and think they AREN'T guilty?? That is my point. It seems to me that painting accused citizens in that manner violates the "innocent until proven guilty" tenet. In a sly way.
Upon conviction, post ANYONE'S picture. That will still allow the public to know what the government is doing. Barring the public from courtrooms and shielding the police from scrutiny is a huge leap of logic from not publishing pictures of ACCUSED.
You and I both know that the REAL reason for publishing pictures is to embarrass, humiliate, and make an example of ACCUSED. Its NOT to "keep the public informed".
Finally, you should know that saying I support shielding the police from scrutiny is quite a laughable assertion.