BRIBERY CASE REVERBERATES ACROSS NAVY WITH ARRESTS: SAN DIEGO (AP) — It started with an invitation to the Broadway production of "The Lion King" in Tokyo for the Navy commander, his wife and their children.
In the end, the Malaysian defense contractor known in military circles as "Fat Leonard" would use prostitutes, plane tickets and other bribes to hook the U.S. Naval officer into a scheme that overbilled the Pentagon by millions, investigators say in court papers.
The accusations unfolding in a federal court case in San Diego signal serious national security breaches and corruption, setting off high-level meetings at the Pentagon with the threat that more people, including those of higher ranks, could be swept up as the investigation continues. A hearing Nov. 8 could set a trial date.
According to the court documents, Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz passed confidential information on ship routes to Leonard Francis' Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA.
Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, the criminal complaint alleges. The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, prosecutors say.
MAN DIES AFTER CATCHING FIRE AT GOLF COURSE : PACIFIC GROVE (AP) — A 56-year-old man has died after authorities found him engulfed in flames on a Northern California golf course.
Pacific Grove police and Monterey County firefighters were summoned to the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course's restroom at 7:20 a.m. on Sunday.
Police Sgt. Jeff Fenton says that when they arrived, they found Richard Haffner on fire as well as a nearby fence.
The Californian says that although authorities were able to extinguish the fire, Haffner was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Monterey County coroner has completed an autopsy but has yet to release the cause of death.
JURY CONVICTS MAN IN 1980’S SLAYINGS OF 3 TEENS: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (AP) — An El Dorado County jury has convicted a man of the 1980s slayings of three teenage girls.
Joseph Michael Nissensohn has been found guilty of three first-degree murders and now faces the death penalty.
He was convicted of the 1989 killing of 15-year-old Kathy Graves of South Lake Tahoe, as well as the 1981 slayings of 13-year-old Tammy Jarschke and 14-year-old Tanya Jones.
The penalty phase of the trial is set to begin Nov. 12 in South Lake Tahoe.
"Cold case" teams of the El Dorado County Sheriff and the District Attorney's office reopened the investigations in 2008.
Nissensohn previously served prison time for a murder in Washington state.
VENTURA SUES MUSHROOM FARM OVER FIRE: VENTURA (AP) — The city and county of Ventura, Calif., plan to sue one of the country's largest mushroom farms to try to recoup costs from fighting a stubborn compost fire there last month.
The lawsuit will seek more than $200,000 from California Mushroom Farm Inc., which ceased operations in September.
Officials say the nearly 30-acre farm didn't properly maintain its compost piles after it shut down, causing them to combust spontaneously Oct. 16.
It took crews five days to extinguish the blaze.
DREW BARRYMORE AND HUSBAND EXPECTING SECOND CHILD: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drew Barrymore is expanding her brood.
A spokesman for the 38-year-old entertainer says Barrymore and her husband, Will Kopelman, are expecting their second child.
Barrymore and Kopelman, who were married in June 2012, are the parents of a 13-month-old daughter, Olive.