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Food Safety News

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criminal prosecutions

Appellate judges won’t release Wilkerson while awaiting appeal

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The extended visiting hours for Memorial Day weekend at Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Marianna probably won’t be much consolidation for 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, who was denied in her second request for release on bail. She remains incarcerated at the western Florida panhandle federal prison. It’s about an hour from Wilkerson’s home in South Georgia. Circuit Judges… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Supreme Court weighs in without a word

High court declines to hear appeals of egg men in cases related to 2010 Salmonella outbreak

Opinion

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I can hear a bit of silence in the board rooms of America. Monday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals of Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, without comment. In April 2015 U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced the DeCosters to prison, saying they knew or should have known about the… Continue Reading

Supreme Court will not review DeCoster sentences in egg cases

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Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 83, and his 53-year old son Peter DeCoster are not going to get their day in the Supreme Court after all, but instead are likely to spend their summer and fall taking turns doing 3-month prison sentences at the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, SD. The DeCosters had petitioned the U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

Wilkerson seeks release on bail as Lightsey gains his freedom

Crimes and consequences in cases of peanut executives and deadly Salmonella outbreak

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Samuel Lightsey, the one-time operations manager for the Peanut Corporation of America’s processing plant in Blakely, GA, is out of prison with a new job at a company equipping the peanut industry. Another key figure in the PCA Salmonella saga, 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, wants to be released from prison pending the outcome of her appeal,… Continue Reading

‘Fry them’ comments in jury room could get Parnells a new trial

Defense lawyers for executives in peanut butter Salmonella trial say jurors had loose lips

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The conduct of the 2014 jury that convicted Peanut Corporation of America executives delayed sentencing for about year, but in its final analysis the district court found a new trial based on jury misconduct was not warranted. Appellate attorneys for peanut broker Michael Parnell filed lengthy after-hours arguments Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

Elderly man sentenced to 18 months for certification bribes

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A 71-year-old man is facing 18 months in federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for giving false food safety training certificates to foodservice workers from 2008 to 2015. Ernest Griffin negotiated a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in the case, admitting last year to one count of federal program bribery. U.S…. Continue Reading

Enforcement of meat inspections not limited to Secretary of Ag

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Congress was not “clear and unambiguous,” but the “better reading” of federal law finds it did not intend to withhold jurisdiction from the district courts in deciding criminal violations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. That finding by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit means the criminal convictions of William B. Aossey Jr., Jalel… Continue Reading

Controlling bad eggs — on the farm and in the C-Suite

Contributed

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Editor’s note: This column by Tommy Tobin was first published by the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Food can — and all too often does — make people sick. Anyone who has suffered from foodborne illness would be unlikely to want to repeat the experience. The… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeal sends feds scrambling for more time

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While he is not conceding anything to the appellants, the attorney who’s been assigned to represent the government on the Peanut Corporation of America criminal appeals says he needs more time. John-Alex Romano, the attorney from the Department of Justice’s appellate section for the criminal division, has asked for 60 additional days to prepare and… Continue Reading

Criminal plea hearing will likely end decade-old Peter Pan case

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The new Department of Justice’s official guidance for holding individuals responsible for corporate wrongdoing will be honored in the breach tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Albany, GA. Instead, any concern about holding individual responsible for wrongdoing will likely be swept aside with a corporate payment of the largest criminal fine ever  in a U.S…. Continue Reading