Sunday, May 11, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Ohio judge pleads not guilty in fire

COLUMBUS - A judge has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he conspired to set fire to his home and fraudulently collected $235,000 in insurance proceeds.

Fairfield County Municipal Judge Donald McAuliffe, 58, has been jailed without bond since his arrest April 24 on charges of using fire to commit a felony, conspiracy and two counts each of mail fraud and money laundering.

McAuliffe entered his pleas Friday before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley, who set trial for June 23 and said the trial could be delayed to July 7 by an unrelated case.

McAuliffe is accused of conspiring with two other people to burn down his home in Millersport by tilting a halogen lamp against a wall on March 2, 2002.

The felony indictment against McAuliffe disqualifies him from serving as a judge, but he continues to collect his $101,100 annual salary. If convicted of a felony, he would be removed from the bench.

Shop keeper guilty in Honduran smuggle

COLUMBUS - A man convicted of smuggling 1,500-year-old Honduran artifacts into the United States and selling them at his store has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The sentence against Douglas Hall, 45, of suburban Upper Arlington, was pronounced by U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley.

Marbley fined Hall $1,000, ordered him to repay a customer who spent about $3,200 on 17 pieces that have been recovered, and said Hall must pay any extraordinary costs in shipping the pieces back to the Honduran government.

A jury convicted him of smuggling 260 bowls, figurines, plates and pots, valued at a total of $36,365, into the United States. The artifacts were 1,000 to 1,500 years old, and their export had been banned by the Honduran government since 1984.

Hall bought the artifacts from the cousin of an employee during a trip to Honduras in 1998.

Ind. officials file claim for money from UAL

INDIANAPOLIS - Government authorities who granted tax breaks to entice United Airlines to build a maintenance base at Indianapolis International Airport have filed claim for at least $100 million after the airline closed the operation.

The claim was filed in federal bankruptcy court in Chicago handling United's Chapter 11 case. As unsecured creditors, the state, Indianapolis and Hendricks County are in line behind banks and bondholders in priority for debt repayment.

The claim involves the airline's failure to invest $800 million at the base and to hire at least 6,300 workers there by 2004.

United received a $295 million tax incentive package in 1991 and agreed to pay penalties if it failed to meet investment targets.

United's parent company, UAL Corp., last year paid a $34 million penalty for failing to meet one such target.

Lugar outlines plan to track weapons

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The United States and its allies should develop a global accountability system to track nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar told Indiana University graduates Saturday.

Such a system would help keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists, the longtime arms control advocate said at IU's commencement.

"This process will be expensive and painstaking, but international security and prosperity hang in the balance," said Lugar, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.




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Tristate A.M. Report

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