Thomas Himes I have another award winning story for you
Posted in the Rowland Heights Forum
#1 Sep 16, 2013
Tribune wins statewide public service award
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune won a coveted statewide newspaper award for a series of reports on police checkpoints in Baldwin Park last year, the California Newspaper Publishers Association announced Saturday.
Reporter Thomas Himes' coverage revealed Baldwin Park collected $1.2 million in impound fees from police checkpoints in 2009 and led the city to implement new policies.
The articles, entered in the 2010 Better Newspapers Contest, won first place in public service in the 25,001 to 100,000 daily circulation division.
"It was great journalism and really speaks to the kind of reporter Tom is," said Tribune Publisher Steve Lambert. "A big part of what we do is tell stories that people don't necessarily want to hear from within communities. Tom has no qualms about going after that, and he's real credit to this newspaper."
The Baldwin Park City Council revised its checkpoint policies in October, directing police to impound unlicensed drivers' vehicles for one day instead of 30. Tow contractor Royal Coaches Autobody and Towing charges $45 per day to impound vehicles, and the city gets a 25 percent commission.
The $1.2 million in fees was at least twice more than the amount collected by surrounding cities in 2009, Himes reported.
"It was clear that the city was collecting a great deal of money," Himes said.
Officials initially said Baldwin Park took in $338,000 from towing release fees in 2009, but Himes traced the fees to four separate bank accounts to uncover the $1.2 million figure.
Baldwin Park park police also began notifying the media within 24 hours of planned checkpoints, as required by state and federal law, and stopped conducting checkpoints before 6 p.m. unless authorized by the police chief.
Churchgoers had complained about checkpoints set up nearby after services let out during mornings.
"The policy changes had a huge effect on the people of Baldwin Park," Himes said. "In one weekend police confiscated 150 vehicles."
The city still automatically impounds vehicles for 30 days if drivers have revoked or suspended licenses.
Himes said Baldwin Park would do well to adopt checkpoint policies similar to major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Instead of an impound, police there allow licensed drivers to pick up vehicles within a brief window of time.
#2 Sep 16, 2013
Royal Coaches is a cancer for Baldwin Park.
Royal Coaches donates a lot of money to Lozano and the Garcia Bimbos campaigns then they bill the city an unbelievable amount of money to tow city vehicles Example,, 750 dollars to tow a ford fiesta 10 miles.
That money comes out of the Baldwin Park boxing program.
Lozano and his Bimbos are stealing money from the kids.
By letting Royal Coaches collect their donated money back means that the city is paying for their campaigns.
If this is not a RICO case I don't know what is.
#3 Sep 16, 2013
Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes27 federal crimes and 8 state crimeswithin a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).
When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.
#4 Sep 16, 2013
fined up to $25,000
and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count.
forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business
pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property
#5 Sep 16, 2013
It wont be difficult to prove the cozy little criminal inter prize between these crooks who are stealing from the kids.
I am giving Royal Coaches one week to come clean about whats going on in Baldwin Park. If they don't
I am going to file complaints with the attorney general, the D A and the FBI. I am certain that the evidence that I have compiled over the last 4 years will result in a very unpleasant judicial situation.
#6 Sep 16, 2013
Do it now Car Parker
#7 Sep 16, 2013
Sorry you will have to wait.
Even throw Royal Coaches tried to steal my 1938 ford cab over tow truck some years back. And seeing them go to jail and loose every thing would be satisfying. Just the thought of how much lawyer fees would be puts a smile on my face. I am focused on Baldwin Park city officials.
My goal is to remove these corrupt officials from office and any one who turned a blind eye.
They can either leave voluntarily or be removed from office via criminal prosecution.
If Royal Coaches wants to go down with them.
SO B IT
#8 Sep 16, 2013
Car Parker do it now I heard he was selling his business
#9 Sep 18, 2013
This is Bigg!!! Where is the Tribune one this?? And where are the prosecutors?
#10 Sep 18, 2013
Don't count on the Tribune they are in the politicians pocket. and the prosecutors are on the way
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