Probe finds general billed government for lavish travel

The four-star general who headed U.S. Africa Command used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite, a Defense Department investigation has found.

A 99-page report alleges excessive unauthorized spending and travel costs for Gen. William “Kip” Ward, including lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades.

It also said that Ward and his wife, Joyce, accepted dinner and Broadway show tickets from a government contractor during a trip on which he went backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington. The allegations follow a 17-month investigation.

Hall of Famer Eddie Murray guilty in insider trading case

Hall of Fame baseball player Eddie Murray has agreed to pay $358,151 to settle federal civil charges of profiting in stock trades by using confidential information passed to him by a former teammate.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday also announced related charges against James Mazzo, former CEO of Advanced Medical Optics, and businessman David Parker. The SEC said Mazzo provided illegal tips about a planned acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics by Abbott Laboratories in January 2009.

Mazzo passed the information to Murray’s former teammate Doug DeCinces, who tipped off Murray and Parker, the SEC alleges in a civil lawsuit. DeCinces settled the SEC by agreeing to pay $2.5 million.

Murray, who retired in 1997, neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing but agreed to refrain from future violations of securities laws.

The SEC is still pursuing its cases against Mazzo and Parker.


Ex-teacher gets two years for making videos of girls

A former band teacher accused of using his cell phone to record video under the skirts, dresses and shorts of female students has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Matthew James Taylor was sentenced Friday to 15 years of sex offender intensive supervision probation and must register as a sex offender.

Taylor was a band teacher at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School in Jefferson County.

He pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a child and harassment in June.