News Briefing
Jan 10, 2013 | 606 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Transwoman sentenced for bank robbery

Sabrina Jackson, a transgender woman who pleaded guilty to an unarmed bank robbery in 2010, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison this week.

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez imposed the sentence on Jackson during a Jan. 7 court proceeding in Camden, N.J.

“My client accepts responsibility, and has expressed remorse for the crime,” said Christopher H. O’Malley, an attorney for Jackson. “There will be no appeal.”

After Jackson is released from prison, she must serve three years of supervised release under the sentence.

She stole approximately $300 from the Sovereign Bank on Haddon Avenue in Westmont, N.J. on July 9, 2010, according to court records

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Jackson faced a prison sentence of 46-57 months, O’Malley said.

He said Jackson, 27, has agreed to pay $300 in restitution to the bank.

Jackson remains incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia and will be transferred to a federal prison within the next six weeks, O’Malley added.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline M. Carle, who prosecuted the case, had no comment for this story.

PAC meeting set for Jan. 28

The next public meeting of the city’s Police Advisory Commission is set for Jan. 28, but it remains unclear whether enough members will be present for official business to take place.

The 19-member body has 10 vacancies, and a minimum of five commissioners must be present at public meetings for official business.

The PAC didn’t meet in December, and only four commissioners were present at the November public meeting.

The Nutter administration and City Council are expected to name five new commissioners each.

Mark McDonald, a spokesperson for Mayor Nutter, said he didn’t know when the administration would make its selections.

“The mayor is aware of the issues here, and we are actively securing new, qualified individuals,” McDonald said in an email.

Jane Roh, a spokeswoman for City Council, also didn’t know when Council would make its selections.

“City Council is currently in the process of vetting potential Police Advisory Commission appointees,” Roh said in an email. “Council intends to submit nominations for consideration to the mayor in the near future.”

The PAC investigates allegations of police misconduct and makes recommendations for remedial action when appropriate.

Its highest-profile LGBT case involves Nizah Morris, a transgender woman found with a fatal head wound in 2002, shortly after she received a courtesy ride from Philadelphia police.

The homicide remains unsolved, and the PAC’s final report on the incident is expected in the coming months.

The PAC’s next meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at 990 Spring Garden Street, seventh floor.

Schneller seeks dismissal of borough lawsuit

James D. Schneller wants a Montgomery County judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Conshohocken Borough Council that seeks about $18,000 in legal fees from him.

The fees were incurred while litigating Schneller’s legal challenge of the borough’s LGBT-inclusive antibias ordinance, according to court papers.

Schneller has embroiled the borough in litigation over the April 2011 ordinance for more than a year.

In September, the borough filed suit against Schneller, calling his legal challenge “frivolous” and seeking about $18,000 in legal fees.

In his Dec. 11 motion, Schneller asked Montgomery County Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio to dismiss the suit, stating that he’s “astonished” the borough would seek legal fees from him.

Michael J. Savona, the borough solicitor, said Schneller’s motion “has lots of extraneous and irrelevant information piled into a 19-page document, which fails to establish that the borough’s complaint against him should be dismissed.”

Schneller, who lives in Radnor, is co-founder of Philadelphia Metro Task Force, an anti-LGBT group with about 75 members in the region.

Montgomery County Judge Bernard A. Moore dismissed Schneller’s legal challenge to the ordinance in March, but Schneller appealed the dismissal in state Commonwealth Court.

The ordinance at issue extends civil-rights protections to LGBTs and other groups.

Violators face a $300 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Schneller couldn’t be reached for comment.

— Timothy Cwiek

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