Fewer and farther between

Fewer and farther between

A selection of random trailings from late last week. A Bloomberg wire service story reported that:

U.S. prosecutors charged 11 former federal prison employees and inmates in a bribery and sex probe at the Florida jail where ex-Hollinger International Inc. chief Conrad Black wants to serve his six-and-a-half-year fraud sentence.

Seven former corrections officers, a cook, treatment specialist, inmate and a guard’s girlfriend were charged, Tampa U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill said today in a statement. The charges are the result of investigations that began in 2005 at the Federal Correctional Complex Coleman, in central Florida.

Well that’s one less thing to worry about.

Mike Miner’s media blog at the Chicago Reader reported on the continuing fallout from cuts at the Chicago Sun-Times:

In all, 14 full-time and three part-time guild employees were laid off (on the basis of seniority) and 12 others took buyouts, says Gerald Minkkinen, executive director of the Chicago Newspaper Guild. ‘In the long run,’ he says, ‘the company worked with us and did as much as they could to lessen the pain. I really have to give them credit.’ So does Elfman [TV critic Doug Elfman], with a cat to feed and a new job to find. ‘It’s not a situation where they’re laying off people unjustly,’ he says, well aware of the fact the company’s bleeding money, ‘and I’m in favour of seniority in theory. It just happened to bite me in the ass.’ I’ve caught Elfman on his way out of the office to get a drink. ‘The Sun-Times has really been great about the way they’ve handled a lot of this,’ he says.

Sounds as though the new management is making a genuine effort to be as humane as possible under trying circumstances. A refreshing change, that.

And finally CP reported on the U.S. government’s probable response to Lord Black’s request to remain free on bail pending appeal:

“The argument will be entirely about the fact that [Black] was convicted, the judge has ordered an incarceration date, there’s a high threshold for winning on appeal,” said Jacob Frenkel, a former U.S. prosecutor who has been following the case.

Even though Black was granted bail during his trial on fraud and obstruction charges, Frenkel said, “there comes a point where the standard changes and is (based on) the likelihood of prevailing on appeal.”

Lord Black’s options, it seems, are growing fewer and farther between.

U.S. Charges Guards, Inmate at Conrad Black’s Prison Choice: Source [Bloomberg]

Prosecutors will point to difficulty of winning appeal to fight longer bail: Source [CP]

Shrinking the Sun-Times: Source [Chicago Reader]