April 10, 2013

Charles Oliver: Police officer steals prescription drugs

Charles Oliver

— • Former Vernal, Utah, police officer Ben Marland Murray has been charged with unlawful use of a drug database and possession of a controlled substance. Murray allegedly used a state prescription drug database to find out when two individuals had their prescriptions filled. He then visited them to conduct “pill checks” and stole OxyContin and Percocet pills.

• Daniel Doty got a ticket generated from a Baltimore traffic camera for doing 38 mph in a 25-mph zone. But the video and the photographs generated by the camera showed he wasn’t speeding. In fact, his car was sitting at a red light. Officials with the company that issued the ticket and with the Baltimore Police Department say the video and photos are supposed to be reviewed at least twice, once by the company and once by a police officer, before a ticket is issued. They could not explain to local media how a car that was not even moving got a speeding ticket.

• A poll by Gallup finds that 29.2 percent of all adult residents of the District of Columbia who have jobs work for the government. That isn’t surprising. But two states come pretty close to that percentage. Gallup reports that 28 percent of working adults in Alaska work for state, federal or local government, and 27.8 percent of working adults in Hawaii work for some level of government. Nationally, 16.2 percent of working adults work for the government. In Georgia, that number is 17.8 percent.

• U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is married to former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Chao is an immigrant from Taiwan, something that Progress Kentucky, a liberal political action committee, really wants voters in the Bluegrass State to know. Messages posted from the group’s Twitter account claimed that “not many know McConnell’s wife is Chinese” and said Chinese money was buying Kentucky elections, an apparent reference to members of her family donating to McConnell’s campaign, among other references to her ethnicity. After national media picked up the story, the group denied that the references to her ethnicity were inappropriate and accused McConnell of trying to distract from his record. But they eventually apologized and removed the tweets.

• The National Academic Quiz Tournaments has stripped Harvard University of three national Quiz Bowl championships. Officials say a Harvard competitor improperly accessed information on questions that would be asked in 2009, 2010 and 2011. That student has denied any wrongdoing.

• Christian groups have complained after discovering that training material for an Army Reserve unit in Pennsylvania referred to Catholics and evangelical Christians as examples of “religious extremism” along with al-Qaida, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan, which was referred to as a Christian organization. An Army spokesman says the material was used as part of an Equal Employment Opportunity briefing and was not produced by the Army or under the direction of any Army officials and has since been removed.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.