February 26, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Father, son want judge, not jury, to decide cases

A former civilian naval engineer from Virginia and his father have said they want to waive a jury trial in connection with an alleged kickback scheme that federal prosecutors say cost the Navy $10 million.

Ralph Mariano and his father, Ralph Mariano Jr., are scheduled to go before U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi in Providence on Friday to ask her to decide their guilt or innocence in a bench trial. A filing their lawyers made this month indicates a third person indicted in the case, Mary O'Rourke, a former employee of a Navy contractor, also plans to ask for a bench trial.

The younger Mariano and O'Rourke are charged with counts including conspiracy, theft of government property and wire fraud. The older Mariano is accused of tax evasion.

BARNSTABLE, Mass.

Tanning salon worker denies recording clients

A Mashpee man charged with secretly recording customers at the Barnstable tanning salon where he works has pleaded not guilty.

Luis Macedo was released on $1,000 bail after entering his plea Monday to two counts of secretly video recording or photographing nudity. He was also ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with the alleged victim.

He was arrested Sunday after a woman tanning at Sunsational Tanning in Hyannis noticed a camera lens while she was in a booth at the salon.

Police set up surveillance, which helped them identify the 47-year-old Macedo as he positioned his cellphone in a changing room, where officers also found a concealed peephole.

Police said they recovered more than 20 videos from Macedo's cellphone.

He refused comment as he left court.

FALL RIVER, Mass.

Aquarium's attacker captured on camera

A vandal who broke into a Fall River fish and pet store destroyed a 180-gallon reef tank, killing nearly all the fish and coral.

Owner Bob Schenck told The Herald News that the damage on Wednesday was "totally malicious."

The Boston Globe reported Sunday that an 18-year-old tropical fish survived the attack.

Schenk said security cameras showed that the suspect was inside the darkened store for more than 90 minutes.

The vandal struck the large tank with a pipe several times until it finally cracked. Moments later, he took out a piece of glass from the tank to make the water inside gush out faster.

MASHPEE, Mass.

Tribal chairman wins second four-year term

Incumbent Mashpee Wampanoag tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell has won a second four-year term, but his victory did not come without controversy.

Cromwell earned 442 votes in the tribal election on Sunday, 200 votes more than runner-up David Pocknett.

The 47-year-old Cromwell served six years on the tribal council before being elected chairman. He has led the tribe as it navigates the state and federal process in its goal of opening a casino in Taunton.

"This is a huge affirmation of what we as a tribal nation have accomplished as well as our vision for the future," Cromwell said in a statement. "I thank the citizens of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for the trust they have placed in me, and I look forward to working with them hand in hand over the next four years as we continue moving our tribe forward."

 

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