In brief: Florida starts probe into voter fraud
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began an investigation Wednesday into alleged fraud involving a company hired by the state’s Republican Party to register voters.
The agency said it received a complaint from the Florida Division of Elections about suspicious forms submitted in several counties and determined that Strategic Allied Consulting should be investigated. The agency said it wouldn’t comment further until the investigation is complete.
The state party fired the company after reports of several dozen suspicious forms being turned in. The company was paid at least $1.3 million for the work and also was hired by Republicans in other presidential battleground states. Since the Florida problems, state Republican Parties in North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia have also fired the company, which has stood by the quality of its work.
L.A. sheriff promises to reform county jails
Los Angeles – Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Wednesday vowed to reform the nation’s largest jail system in the wake of allegations of deputy brutality against inmates.
Baca said he will implement all the suggestions by a county commission that blamed him for ignoring repeated warnings of excessive force in the county’s jails, which house about 19,000 inmates. The commission released a report Friday that included 63 recommendations, including the hiring of an outside custody expert to run the jails.
Baca said he will also establish an independent watchdog with the authority to investigate inside the jails and elsewhere in the sheriff’s department. For years the department has been monitored by two civilian watchdogs, but neither had the power to launch investigations.