National Roundup

Oregon
Satanic Temple brings after-school club to elementary pupils

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Portland chapter of The Satanic Temple has succeeded in its efforts to bring an after-school program to a Portland elementary school.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the organization has been approved to begin a program on Oct. 19 at Sacramento Elementary School.

Finn Rezz, one of the group's leaders, says their program focuses "on science and rational thinking," and it will promote "benevolence and empathy for everybody."

The Satanic Temple has been targeting schools that have a Good News Club.

That club is put on by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, "a Bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living."

Washington
Justice Dept. top national security official to leave

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department's top national security official is leaving his position next month, the department announced Tuesday.

John Carlin, who has led the department's national security division since 2014, will be leaving government on Oct. 15.

The department did not reveal what Carlin, 43, plans to do next, but it said he would take some time off and spend time with his family.

"John Carlin has been a trusted and tireless leader of the Justice Department's National Security Division," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "He is wholly devoted to the department's most important mission - protecting our country against acts of terrorism and other national security threats - and he has set a high standard by relentlessly pursuing those who seek to harm our people and threaten our assets."

Carlin's exit leaves the Obama administration without one of its most vocal advocates for publicly identifying and blaming foreign government hackers for cyberattacks on American institutions. His departure comes as the administration weighs whether and how to respond to a Democratic National Committee cyberbreach that U.S. officials believe was committed by the Russians.

During his tenure, the Justice Department brought indictments against five Chinese military officials accused of hacking into American corporations in a case of economic espionage. The department this year also secured indictments of Iranian hackers accused of digital intrusions on banks and a small dam outside New York City.

It's unclear whether those actions will result in courtroom prosecutions, but Carlin has repeatedly encouraged the use of indictments and other sanctions as a deterrent against foreign hackers and the nations that sponsor them and said such cases were effective.

Other notable prosecutions brought by national security division lawyers under Carlin's watch include the case against Ardit Ferizi, a computer hacker who helped the Islamic State group by providing names of U.S. government and military workers as potential targets. They also prosecuted members of the so-called Syrian Electronic Army, who have been charged with computer hacking-related conspiracies that targeted the U.S. government, media and private-sector companies.

The division has also overseen the prosecutions of young Americans who have lent support to the Islamic State.

Carlin previously served as chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI director Robert Mueller and was also a federal prosecutor in Washington.

South Carolina
DOJ reaches $1M settlement with ex-hospital chief

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department says it's reached a $1 million settlement with the former head of Tuomey Healthcare System in South Carolina for his involvement in illegal Medicare and Medicaid billings.

Department officials said in a news release Tuesday that Ralph Cox III also can't participate in federal health care programs for four years. They say the illegal billings involved services referred by physicians with whom the hospital had improper financial relationships.

The arrangement resulted in a judgment of more than $237 million against Tuomey following a jury verdict. In October of last year, the federal government resolved its judgment against Tuomey for payments totaling more than $72 million.

The hospital was sold to Palmetto Health based in Columbia, South Carolina. Tuomey was based in Sumter.

New York
Ex-college coach <t-3>acquitted of killing <t$>ex-girlfriend's 2-year-old son

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - A black former college soccer coach accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son was found not guilty Wednesday by a judge.

Oral "Nick" Hillary hugged his lawyer and cried as Judge Felix Catena ruled against prosecutors who brought a second-degree murder charge against Hillary in the October 2011 killing of Garrett Phillips.

Prosecutors relied on circumstantial evidence to make the case that Hillary choked the boy to death in an apartment in Potsdam, a college town near the Canadian border.

Hillary's lawyers argued the case was "riddled with doubt" and repeated the claims of critics who said authorities in the largely white community unjustly prosecuted him.

Hillary was born in Jamaica and first came to northern New York as a standout player at St. Lawrence University. At the time of the killing, he was the head soccer coach at Clarkson University. He and his daughter had lived with Tandy Cyrus and her two sons until the relationship ended in summer 2011.

While prosecutors lacked DNA or fingerprint evidence, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said during closing arguments that he had made a strong case based on evidence that included security camera footage showing the movements of the boy and Hillary on the streets of Potsdam right before the killing.

Hillary lied about his actions and used his daughter to create a fake alibi, said Fitzpatrick, who helped St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain.

Defense attorney Earl Ward argued that Hillary has shown no violent tendencies and questioned the motives of prosecutors.

"They're trying to demonize him in your eyes," Ward told the judge.

The district attorney at the time of the killing never brought charges.

Rain campaigned on the case, though the first murder indictment she secured was dismissed by a judge. She was able to get the current indictment last year.

Published: Thu, Sep 29, 2016

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