U.S. Justice Department

State Officials Ask Judge to Dismiss Federal Government Lawsuit over Prison Conditions

Alabama is asking a judge to dismiss a Justice Department lawsuit over state prison conditions. The state argues that examples of violence cited in the case do not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. In a Monday court filing, an attorney for Alabama argued the federal lawsuit makes sweeping generalizations about state prison conditions based on isolated examples….

Update: Former Tallassee Police Investigator Sentenced to Prison

The U.S. Dept. of Justice says former Tallassee police investigator Brandan Smirnoff has been sentenced to 22 months in prison for assaulting a handcuffed, 24-year-old man. Investigators say Smirnoff, 27,  encountered the victim, identified by the Justice Department as “J.M.”, after a vehicle pursuit. This is what happened, according to the Justice Department: “After officers pursued J.M. for several minutes…

State Prison Inmate Drug Programs Funded

Federal Grant Approved

     The U.S. Justice Department has approved a grant of a half-million dollars to pay for drug treatment programs in seven Alabama state prisons.      State officials say the program… “…provides inmates the opportunity to escape their drug habit while in prison and create a new slate when they are released. …the program will be conducted by counselors who specialize…

Volkswagen to Pay $2.8 Billion in U.S. Diesel Emission Scandal

Volkswagen has been ordered to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests. Federal Judge Sean Cox in Detroit followed the deal negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department. The sentence was ordered Friday, six weeks after the German automaker pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. VW admits that…

Dozens of Apartment Complexes Fined

Justice Department Charges Housing Discrimination

A federal judge has approved a 350-thousand dollar settlement over housing discrimination claims at eight river region apartment complexes and dozens more in Alabama and other states. The apartment complex managers agreed to retrofit apartment complexes to make them more accessible to people with disabilities. That includes things like installing sloped curbs and updating bathrooms to accommodate people in wheelchairs….