Last Saturday, June 11, 2011 city voters in District 1 and 5 went out to vote for their representatives in a run off because a clear victor was not able to muster enough votes in these two districts in the May elections. District 1 had an incumbent defending her ability to lead the district for… Read More City District 1 and 5 Election Results for 2011
Regardless of one’s stance on the issue of the partner benefits for the city of El Paso, the important thing to note is that the ultimate decision lies with the electorate of El Paso and not the mayor. Last Tuesday, Cook decided that he knows what is right. Unfortunately in his quest for sainthood, Cook… Read More Commentary: Fearless leader John Cook makes matters worse
Although still a couple of years to go until the city’s next mayoral race, political posturing is starting to materialize as to whom the contenders might be. The nexus driving the posturing within the city’s political circles is the perceived re-materialization of the Ray Caballero centric politics of the “progressive” mentality of reinventing the city… Read More Analysis: Political Posturing in the mayoral race
The partner benefits issue is back at city council. On tomorrow’s city council (June 7, 2011) agenda, item 8F, “an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 017456”, was put on the agenda by Mayor John Cook. Ordinance No. 017456 is the result of a November 2, 2010 election where El Paso voters voted to eliminate health care… Read More Domestic Partner Benefits back on Agenda: Possible city subterfuge?
Having grown up in Mexico and spending time in other countries like the United States, among others, invariably the joke about Mexico would always center on the notion that we are nothing more than campesinos taking siestas under the nopal every day. Mexico is much more than that and to help dispel some misconceptions about… Read More It’s more than siestas, a few facts about Mexico
According to an October 2, 2008 US Diplomatic Cable recently released by WikiLeaks (08STATE105491), at least 16 American made light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) are unaccounted for. The US government has acknowledged that at least one was recovered in Cd. Juárez, from the original 26 that went missing in Honduras. The light anti-tank weapon, also known… Read More Are there Honduran anti-tank weapons and grenades in Cd. Juarez?
Freedom of speech, more specifically the ability that denies the government the right to keep certain things secret, is sacrosanct to a free democracy. The Internet has given the people new tools by which to limit the government’s ability to keep secrets meant for public consumption. And this power has many governments looking for ways… Read More Commentary: Freedom of speech and the Internet – Twitter & the UK
On May 20, 2011, Judge Montalvo ruled that the citizen mounted petition denying taxpayer funded health benefits to domestic partners must be honored. In his ruling, Montalvo wrote that the city took it upon itself to expand the intent of the voter. Montalvo wrote, “[o]nce the Ordinance passed, the City, however interpreted the statue to… Read More Commentary: Judge Montalvo rules city expanded intent of voters
The recent municipal elections once again displayed a complete lack of community involvement in the electoral process. Government and political pundits decry the low voter turnout and pontificate new and improved plans to engage the voter. But, I think they secretly congratulate themselves in the manipulation of low voter participation to further their goals. Of… Read More Commentary: Abysmal voter numbers is a reflection of government indifference
A few days ago I had the opportunity to spend the day in Cd. Juárez conducting some business and people watching. Although I frequent Juárez, for security reasons, my time there is spent on necessary business meetings. Until a few days ago, I had not had the opportunity to really take the time to see… Read More Commentary: Juarez, subdued but active
On May 17, 2011 the El Paso Times editorial board stated through their newspaper that Arditti’s defense team was an embarrassment to El Paso. According to their reasoning, the actions of the Caballero-Leeds team in zealously defending their client before a tribunal that can deprive Arditti of her freedom is somehow an aberration and an… Read More Commentary: Mediocrity is the way to go according to the El Paso Times
Fox News reported on May 14, 2011 that former president Bill Clinton would like to see an Internet agency under the hospices of the United States or the United Nations to control “malicious rumors”. According to the news report, Clinton foresees an agency, with “transparent” funding, and if under the umbrella of the United States… Read More Commentary: Bill Clinton’s internet agency is a real bad idea
The El Paso News Organization is dedicated to becoming the alternative news vehicle for El Paso and the surrounding area. As we strive to reach that goal we are looking for writers interested in writing news items, investigative reports or analysis and commentary on the issues facing our community. For anyone interested in getting published… Read More El Paso News Organization to offer $50 stipends for published work
Growing up in Mexico, one of the first things I always heard about America was how the American judicial system was fair, especially in relation to the Mexican one. In America, I was told, the notion of innocent until proven guilty is sacrosanct to the Americans. The right to have your say in front of… Read More Commentary: The Arditti trial, was justice served?
The jury took about four hours Wednesday to find Judge Regina Arditti not guilty on all counts of an indictment alleging she entered into an agreement involving an exchange of courthouse jobs, official abuse and bribery. The trial, which was in its eighth day, involved convicted former Judge Manny Barraza, protected federal witness David Beagas,… Read More Jury Finds Judge Arditti Not Guilty
The jury in the Arditti case has reached a not guitly verdict on all counts. Stay tuned for more details later today.
The jury began deciding the fate of Judge Regina Arditti Wednesday after emotional closing arguments. The jury must deliver a decision that meets the beyond a reasonable doubt requirement.
The final stage in the trial of Judge Regina Arditti began Wednesday with a motion asking for sanctions against a prosecutor. After closing arguments, the jury is expected to decide Judge Arditti’s fate.
Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday against accused Judge Regina Arditti, who has been indicted on allegations she used her position as an elected official to benefit herself, her family and others. Defense attorneys, after returning from a lunch break, promptly rested their case without calling a single witness. The defense has repeatedly turned prosecution witnesses… Read More State, Defense Rest Cases
The defense in the Regina Arditti case rested this afternoon without calling a witness.
Defense attorneys on Tuesday made a motion asking the magistrate in the Judge Regina Arditti trial for a direct verdict because the state failed to prove their case. Defense attorney Stuart Leeds argued that the state had not provided any evidence of bribery, abuse of official capacity, and that there was an agreement between Judge… Read More Defense Requests Direct Verdict
Attorney David Beagas was called to the stand Tuesday to again testify in the trial of Judge Regina Arditti. Beagas testified he had personal knowledge of the alleged agreement between the two judges. He said convicted Judge Manny Barraza’s sister revealed the plot at a meeting.
The son of accused Judge Regina Arditti testified Monday that he had no knowledge of an alleged agreement between his mother and another District Court magistrate. Dante Vance, testifying as a prosecution witness, said the state questioned him in 2009 during a grand jury hearing about a possible nepotism violation against his mother. But he… Read More Son Contradicts State’s Allegations
The state introduced more than 25 documents Moday in the trial of Judge Regina Arditti. The paperwork is mainly job applications and job openings the court’s Human Resources Department needs to fulfill its policies. The state appears to be laying the groundwork for Judge Arditti hiring staff improperly.
Judge Regind Arditt’s son Dante Vance testified his mother never helped him get a courthouse job. In fact, he told the jury his mother refused to help him land the job and then asked him to quit when he was hired. Vance will continue testifying in his mother’s trial today.
How you get your news is exponentially changing on a daily basis. This change threatens traditional news outlets while making access to the news that interests you better. As Napster changed the music industry, FaceBook and Twitter are forcing the news media to change or be left behind. President Obama’s announcement that the United States… Read More Social Media challenges traditional news organizations
The magistrate in Judge Regina Arditti’s trial on Saturday withdrew an arrest warrant issued for her son, who was set to testify in the case against his mother for bribery and abuse of official capacity. Dante Vance, 28, was called to the witness stand Friday, but could not be found in the courthouse where he… Read More Son Set to Testify in Mother’s Trial
An arrest warrant was issued Friday for the son of Judge Regina Arditti, who allegedly entered into an illegal plot to get her son a nearly $60,000 a year job at the courthouse. Dante Vance, 28, was called to the witness stand, but court bailiffs could not locate their former colleague. Vance was employed as… Read More Arrest Warrant Issued, Confrontations Continue
The prosecution called accused Judge Regina Arditt’s son to the witness stand Friday but he was not present. Defense attorney Theresa Caballero explain in court that Judge Arditti’s son was asked to appear in court on May 2, but served the document on May 3. The trial of Judge Arditti is on its 4th day.
One of the alleged benefactors of a nefarious scheme, involving newly elected District Court judges, wept openly during questioning Thursday admitting she had no knowledge of bribery, nepotism or any abuse of official capacity. Sally Mena, the sister of convicted former Judge Manny Barraza, is alleged to have been hired by accused Judge Regina Arditti… Read More Courthouse Culture Foul With Gossip, Rumor
Judges are afraid of the District Attorney’s Office, a prosecution witness testified Thursday in the trial of Judge Regina Arditti. That alleged power to intimidate is part of what a defense attorney described as the culture of the courthouse. “It is a cesspool,” she said, adding that gossip runs rampant and often innocent people are… Read More Courthouse Culture
The witness list for the state includes some 128 individuals, including ex-employees who offer testimony about Judge Regina Arditt’s character. The defense describes the witnesses as not relevent and are simply in court to make Judge Arditti look bad.
Witnesses for the prosecution in the Judge Regina Arditti trial stumbled under hard-nosed questioning from the defense, admitting to lying to law enforcement officials and alleging sworn affidavits were incorrect. David Beagas, who testified in federal court against convicted former Judge Manuel Barraza, admitted during questioning Wednesday in the District Courthouse that he lied to… Read More Testimony Dishonest, Riddled with Hearsay
The witness testifying in the Judge Regina Arditti trial admitted that he took an exotic dancer to a hotel for what he described as an interview. He said the woman paid him $200 to help her with a case. That money, he admitted, he split with convicted former Judge Manuel Barraza. Testimony from prosecution witnesses… Read More Exotic Dancer, Lies Color Testimony
The prosecution’s key witness in the Judge Arditti trial has twice admitted he lied to law enforement officers. The witness, who testified in the federal trail against convicted Judge Barraza, continues answering questions under cross examination. The trail is expected to continue until 6:30 p.m. according to the judge handling the trail.
The defense in the Judge Regina Aditti trial almost wasn’t. Following a bitterly contested opening statement from the defense Tuesday morning, prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office made a motion to have defense attorneys Theresa Caballero and Stuart Leeds removed from the case. Joe Monsivais, assistant district attorney, described the trial thus far as “quickly… Read More Prosecutors Request Defense Removal, Sanctions
The defense in the Judge Regina Arditti trial kept it’s pressure on visiting Judge Steve Smith by renewing their motion to have the judge remove himself. The defense renewed their effort to remove Judge Smith today saying the judge is biased. They say they have never been treated so poorly by a judge before. Judge… Read More Defense Renews Judge Recusal Request
Following a tense round of opening statements, prosecutors in the trail of Judge Regina Arditti asked that the defense team be removed from the case. The reason, they say, is defense attorneys Theresa Caballero and Stuart Leeds have made it impossible through their bad courtroom behavior for a fair trail to be held. Judge Steve… Read More State Requests Removal of Defense Team
It may only be the beginning, but the arguments and strategies are set. Jury selection began today in the Judge Regina Arditti trial, and the actions that took place in the 41st District Courthouse in Downtown El Paso were worthy of a two-hour episode of the television legal drama “Law and Order.” Before the bailiff… Read More Jury Selection Turns Fiery
Today, the State of Texas versus Regina Arditti trial starts. The El Paso News Organization will cover the trial from the beginning until the verdict is read. Stay tuned for regular updates from Sonny Lopez. Also, early voting starts for city and school elections. Exercise your right to vote and make your voice heard!