An off-duty police officer managed to fly out of Los Angeles International Airport with a gun in her carry-on luggage last week. Officer Noell Grant of the Santa Monica Police Department said she only realized she d accidentally brought her personal firearm along when she was about to change planes in Taipei. The gun and six bullets had made it through security at LAX undetected, a fact confirmed by the Transportation Security Administration on Thursday. Nico Melendez of the TSA was quoted by the BBC as saying that authorities determined standard procedures were not followed and a police officer did in fact pass through the [airport] checkpoint with a firearm. We ll hold those responsible appropriately accountable, he said. Grant informed local authorities in Taiwan of the blunder and has been told to stay in the country, though she hasn t been charged with anything.
A local startup is going to be on Shark Tank and it s time to celebrate. Yes, that s right Guard Llama, the Chicago/D.C.-based startup that makes a personal security device that sends your coordinates to 911 with the touch of a button, will be featured in an episode airing on April 14.
Here s how it happened. Nick Nevarez had been an entrepreneur in the D.C. area for years involved in a couple of tech startups as well as a high-end barbershop and high-end car dealership. One day, while at 1776, he met the cofounder of Guard Llama and was immediately struck by the concept. See Nevarez had recently had an experience where he saw the potential value of a Guard Llama-type device while showing a car to a potential buyer he d had a gun pulled on him. He immediately called 911 but then discovered he didn t know exactly where he was.
Nevarez first joined Guard Llama as an advisor, and then came on officially in May 2016. Around that time there were Shark Tank auditions for minority entrepreneurs being held in the D.C. area, so Nevarez signed Guard Llama up. They really liked what we had to offer, Nevarez recalls, of the audition, and soon (in September 2016) he found himself filming. But the whole process was still a bit of a mystery we had no idea if that was going to air, Nevarez said. They really don t tell you. And so the team kept working Nevarez running biz dev, sales and marketing from his base in the District. And now, it turns out, the episode is indeed going to air.
The viewing party is kinda the coolest thing happening right now in D.C., Nevarez assured us, laughing.
OTTAWA The Senate ethics committee held a closed-door meeting with Sen. Don Meredith on Tuesday and emerged with no timeline on how to deal with the disgraced politician, who has refused to resign after his sexual affair with a teenage girl.
The media was barred from the meeting, and the chair and co-chair of the committee said they could not disclose what Meredith told them. The 52-year-old senator arrived and left through a back door and did not speak to reporters, who were kept behind a barrier that was guarded by Parliamentary security.
Nathan Cullen, an NDP MP from British Columbia, slammed the process for being drawn out and secretive.
The fact that this is all done in secret makes me question whether the Senate is any more accountable than it was before Mr. Trudeau was elected, he said, while offering no specific alternative to the process that is underway.
If a place is going to be called accountable, then it should be accountable, he said.
Meredith almost seems protected by the institution.
Asked why the meeting was held behind closed doors, Liberal Sen. Serge Joyal, the committee co-chair, explained that Senate rules mandate that all ethics committee meetings are held in camera unless the senator addressing them asks for an open hearing.
The ethics committee will now prepare a report on what to do about Meredith, which will then be made public and considered by the Senate, said Conservative Sen. Raynell Andreychuk, the committee chair.
He s presented his position; we re, of course, not at liberty to discuss the content of his statements, she said. It is a complex issue, and we ll move as efficiently as we can, bearing in mind that we also have other Senate duties.
An investigation into Meredith s behaviour began after the Star reported in the summer of 2015 on his two-year affair with a teenage girl. After an Ottawa police probe wrapped up without laying charges, the Senate s ethics officer published a report on March 9 of this year, concluding that Meredith used his job in the red chamber to lure the girl into a sexual affair.
Meredith, who has since publicly apologized for the affair, is also being investigated for separate allegations of workplace harassment.
Members of all parties have called for his resignation or dismissal, while the ethics committee responsible for any punishment has met several times to discuss the situation. Senate officials say the red chamber has never expelled one of its own members, so a decision to force Meredith out would be unprecedented.
This is not the termination of the hearing, (just) because Sen. Meredith was here, said Andreychuk. It is a substantive part of our deliberations.
After Meredith was photographed leaving the meeting through a back entrance accompanied by a security guard, his lawyer urged other senators to refrain from speaking out until the committee decides what to do.
I don t think people should pre-judge, said Toronto criminal lawyer Bill Trudell. He is respecting a process, respecting the work of the Senate, and he is engaged with it. And I don t know if he can do anything else at this particular point.
He said the tone of the meeting was professional and respectful and that Meredith may have another chance to meet or make submissions to the committee.
Meredith remains on stress-related sick leave from the Senate and was cleared by his doctor to attend Tuesday s meeting, Trudell added.
Cullen, meanwhile, said Meredith s case showed the Liberal s reforms to the Senate by appointing a host of independent members and creating a new body to take in applications and recommend senators for appointment have not made the institution more accountable.
It sits behind closed doors. There is no ability for Canadians who pay the bill for this whole thing by the way to say that things have gotten better, he said, reiterating the NDP s long-standing push to abolish the Senate.
There has to be a way to fire senators.
Earlier, Sen. Anne Cools, the longest-serving member of the Senate, defended Meredith, stating that the teenager with whom he had an affair was older than the age of consent, which is 16 in Canada, but goes up to 18 when there s a relationship of authority.
Cools said that, for the ethics committee to pass judgment on a senator s personal life could be a slippery slope and that punishment should follow only after proof of wrongdoing.
It is clearly a moral failure, she said of Meredith s affair, but that which is immoral is not always criminal.
Independent Sen. Andr Pratte disagreed, arguing that senators have a duty to uphold ethical standards even in their private lives and that the ethics report s conclusion on Meredith means he has lost the privilege to sit.
When you do not act according to your duties, you do not have a place in this chamber, Pratte said.
The next meeting of the Senate ethics committee has yet to be scheduled.