05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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Mayor Tom Potter has named a diverse group of 25 community members to sit on the city's first Charter Review Commission since 1922.

Additionally, he has asked 11 distinguished Portlanders to serve on an Honorary Advisory Committee that will offer expertise and guidance to the commission. The group includes former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts and former Portland Mayor Vera Katz.

A resolution charging the Charter Review Commission with reviewing the city's form of government, examining the role of the quasi-independent Portland Development Commission and reforming civil service rules will be heard by the City Council on Nov. 9.

"The commission has a daunting task ahead of it, but the experience of its members, their deep roots in our community and sense of civic responsibility will ensure its success," said Potter. "The backgrounds of those who have volunteered to serve reflect the diversity of our community."

The city's charter, much like the U.S. Constitution, contains the rules and laws which describe how the city functions, organizes itself and makes the decisions that affect our daily lives. The charter determines how effective our city government is, how city employees are hired and retained, what kind of service the public receives and how tax dollars are collected and spent.

Minor changes to the charter have been made every few years, but this is the first complete review of its form of government in more than 80 years. Portland is the last major city in the country with a commission style of government.

More than 160 residents applied to sit on the commission, which has a July 1, 2006, deadline. Its recommendations then will be presented to the City Council before being forwarded to the public as a ballot measure in the November 2006 election.

The commission members are: Charles Wilhoite, chair; Bob Ball; Beau Barnes; Guy Crawford; Melanie Davis; Jillian Detweiler; Bruce Harder; Ed Hall; Joe Hertzberg; Kris Hudson; David Kelleher; LeAnn Locher; Nicole Maher; Peg Malloy; David Martinez; Susan McGee; Jim Meyer; Paul Meyer; Judy O'Connor; Robin Plance; Emily Ryan; David Wang; Harold Williams Sr.; and Loretta Young.

Honorary Advisory Committee members include: Baruti Artharee; Dan Bernstine; Sam Brooks; Gale Castillo; Sho Dozono; Vanessa Gaston; Roy Jay; Vera Katz; Jaime Lim; Mike Lindberg; and Barbara Roberts.

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