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October 11, 2010

New blog examining the "intersection between criminal law and emerging technology"

I am pleased to learn about this new blog, intriguingly named "Stockycat," which is "focused non-exclusively on the intersection between criminal law and emerging technology" and says it is "[d]edicated to the idea that effective law enforcement is not incompatible with a vigorous interpretation of the Fourth Amendment."

Among the many notable features of this new blog that makes it worth watching is the public policy AND government lawyer AND prosecutorial background of its author, Joshua Engel.  Here is how the author describes his background on this blog:

I am a Fellow with the Ohio State Bar Foundation. In addition, I have been honored as a recipient of a Harry S Truman Scholarship for Public Service.  I recently served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Prior to joining the Department of Public Safety, I was one of the most respected and successful felony prosecutors in Ohio.  In 2007, my work as a prosecutor was recognized by a Meritorious Service Award from the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

I began my career as a prosecutor by serving under current Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  I started my legal career at Choate, Hall & Stewart, a large Boston law firm. 

Though the blog seems focused at the start on Fourth Amendment issues, I am hopeful that we will before long see posts about GPS tracking of released offenders and/or internet restrictions as a form of punishment and/or restitution as a punishment simply for downloading child porn and/or any of the many other sentencing law and policy issues that arise at the "intersection between criminal law and emerging technology."

October 11, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

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First, the top lawyer at the Ohio Department of Public Safety has been demoted after an internal agency investigation into allegations that he wanted to set up the state’s inspector general for possible federal criminal charges.

The department’s investigation concluded that although Chief Legal Counsel Joshua Engel did speculate about a secret report being leaked, he denied participating in a scheme to set up Inspector General Thomas P. Charles.

Engel will be suspended for five days and demoted to a staff attorney, Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor said in a statement. His pay also will be reduced by $15,724 a year to $83,658.

“While the administrative investigation does not conclude, and therefore I cannot conclude, that the specific allegations are verified, the administrative investigation does acknowledge that Josh Engel was involved in a conversation involving actions that could discredit the Department of Public Safety,” Collins-Taylor said.[...]

During the committee hearing, Earl Mack Jr., Ohio’s deputy director for homeland security, testified about a March 8 lunch with Engel during which he said Engel suggested leaking a classified security assessment of the Governor’s Residence to Charles.

The plan, Mack said, was that if Charles released the report, “you can sic the feds on him.”

The department’s investigation concluded there was a conversation about the security assessment and Engel “did agree he mentioned the possibility of the inspector general leaking the report to the media.”

According to the report, Engel said he may have discussed with Mack that if Charles obtained the assessment properly, “given how much they leak to the media they could get in trouble. It appeared to him that Mr. Mack misinterpreted what he said.”

Second, Joshua Engel, formerly the top attorney for the agency, was recently fired after authorities uncovered a long-running scheme to intercept e-mail messages between department employees and either the state inspector general or The Columbus Dispatch.


Posted by: k | Oct 11, 2010 8:24:55 PM

WOW, that old bugaboo "prosecutorial misconduct" just keeps on giving doesn't it? Can't help but wonder why so many of them feel the need for success so badly.

Posted by: Just Saying | Oct 12, 2010 11:59:55 AM

I don't know whether he's a sleazebag or not, but he sure has quite the healthy ego.

Posted by: dlg | Oct 12, 2010 2:53:30 PM

sounds to me like just another unconvicted CRIMINAL who is a bigger threat to society than any 100 regular crooks.

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 12, 2010 5:27:39 PM

I just love blogging and as i get spare time from busy schedule i start working on it. Wonderful post, I really enjoyed reading it!

Posted by: ian | Oct 19, 2010 3:50:53 AM

sleazebag
etc

Posted by: j | May 25, 2012 4:16:40 PM

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