Connecting state and local government leaders

Anonymous NYPD Cops Bet on Violence; Pennsylvania Fines Uber $11.4 Million

New York City, New York

New York City, New York

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Food-borne illness up in Texas; L.A. tries to legalize granny flats; and Oklahoma's gov. eyes criminal justice reform

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
POLICE | A group of police officers took to an anonymous Internet message board on a site called Thee Rant to place a series of morbid and racially charged bets regarding Labor Day events planned in Brooklyn. The conversation centered around J’Ouvert, a pre-dawn celebration that is not affiliated with the Caribbean Carnival, that has been marred by violence in the past. The officers on the site placed sarcastic wagers related to the number of stabbings, shootings and “bludgeonings” that would occur during this weekend’s festivities. A police spokesperson has said, "We do not have the ability to determine the identity of those commenting on this blog.” [New York Daily News]

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA
UBER | App-based, ride-booking giant Uber Technologies Inc. is facing an $11.4 million fine after the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission affirmed the penalty Thursday. The fine is because Uber gave rides in Pennsylvania without getting permission from the state in 2014. The commission voted 4-1 to deny the company’s appeal for reconsideration of the penalty. “When a regulated entity is given notice that it is violating the law and it ignores those notices, it does so to its own detriment,” said  PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

DALLAS, TEXAS
ILLNESS | The number of people contracting food-borne illness in Texas each year has remained higher than other states, and health officials are trying to identify the cause. An influx of produce from tropical and subtropical regions could carry the parasite that causes cyclosporiasis. A common source has yet to be identified however. "There's a widespread concern that the [Food and Drug Administration] is getting overwhelmed by all the imported food coming in," said Thomas Gremillion, director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America. [The Associated Press via WBT]

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
GRANNY FLATS | City Council tasked the City Attorney’s Office with finding a way to legalize permits for hundreds of granny flats, secondary units built on single-family home lots, after a judge’s decision likely rendered them illegal. The judge ruled the Los Angeles couldn’t simply overlook its stricter permitting regulations in lieu of friendlier state ones. Some ongoing projects have been halted as a result, angering more than 70 homeowners. Officials moved to repeal the city law but met resistance from those worried people might go overboard with the size of their secondary units without it. Part of officials desire to see more secondary units is to make more affordable housing available to residents. [MyNewsLA.com]

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Gov. Mary Fallin is seeking data-driven reform of the state’s criminal justice system to reduce corrections costs. The Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force must submit recommendations for review during the 2017 legislative session. Sentences for low-level drug and property crimes have already been reduced under Fallin. “With the task force, we have the right people and the right process to generate reforms that will improve public safety by keeping violent and career criminals behind bars and directing resources to programs that reduce rates of reoffending,” she said. [The Norman Transcript]