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Stevens juror ‘rude, disrespectful’

Fri., Oct. 24, 2008

A juror in Sen. Ted Stevens’ corruption case whose fellow panelists complained that she’d been “rude, disrespectful and unreasonable” and had engaged in “violent outbursts” will stay even though her 11 peers wanted her ousted.

Jurors on Thursday ended their second day of deliberating whether to find Stevens guilty of making false statements on his Senate financial-disclosure forms. The first day, they passed U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan a note asking to be dismissed a little early because deliberations had gotten “stressful” and they needed a break for “clarity.”

On Thursday, jurors passed Sullivan four notes, including one about the combative juror in question. The juror, No. 9, works for the National Guard as a bookkeeper.

Out of the jury’s presence, Sullivan read from the note the foreman had sent him, which began, “We the jury request that juror No. 9 be removed from the jury.”


Council approves ending term limits

In a raucous meeting, the City Council approved a bill Thursday that would allow Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term and bypass a term limits law that voters have twice affirmed in referenda.

The vote was a victory for Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor who has argued he has the financial background and unique expertise to steer the city through what is feared to be the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression.

But the mayor’s drive to overturn the two-term limit by legislation instead of popular vote has ignited opposition from good government groups and city residents, divided the City Council and roused intense public debate.

Lawyers representing nonprofit groups and politicians may file a lawsuit in federal court to stop the legislation, said Norman Siegel, a civil rights attorney who is among them.

City Comptroller William Thompson, who had been expected to run for mayor himself, noted that a poll showed nearly 90 percent of New Yorkers want the term limits issue put to a voter referendum. He said he would join such legal action.

“It’s a sad day for the city. It really suspended democracy,” Thompson said.

As Bloomberg stepped into a limousine outside City Hall shortly after the vote, protesters surrounded him, yelling, “Shame on you!” and “Bloomberg hates New York!”

The mayor said in a statement that the City Council’s vote gave people “fuller choice” in the election. “I believe that was the right choice,” he said.

From wire reports


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