Social House Owner Faces 68 Felonies but Might Not Go to Jail at All

Categories: Crime, Law
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Social House photo courtesy of the now-closed restaurant
Michael Whitelaw, owner of the Social House, an Uptown sushi bar that closed over the summer, faces 68 felonies, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in the slammer, for allegedly cheating the state out of about $100,000 in sales taxes from 2009 to 2011.

Those charges sound stiff. Real stiff. But Hennepin County Attorney's Office officials openly acknowledge Whitelaw almost certainly won't go to prison for more than 23 months, and could get off without serving time behind bars at all.

See also:
Minnesota doing better on taxes than much of the Midwest


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Here Are Mpls Homes U.S. Bank Is Accused of Neglecting Due to Racial Discrimination [PHOTOS]

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This foreclosed home, at 726 Queen Ave. N., is one of many in neighborhoods of color that U.S. Bank is accused of illegally neglecting.
The National Fair Housing Alliance has revealed the specifics of the racial discrimination claim it's making against U.S. Bank in Minneapolis.

NFHA officials came to town this summer to take a look at 28 foreclosed homes. They concluded that foreclosures in neighborhoods predominately populated by "communities of color" were 3.9 times more likely to have trash or debris on public display compared to foreclosures in white neighborhoods. Furthermore, they found that 78 percent of foreclosures in communities of color had overgrown or dead grass, and that such foreclosures were comparatively 2.8 times more likely to be covered by invasive plants.

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Occupy Homes protests after more homeless people are arrested by MPD


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U.S. Bank "Categorically Rejects" Minneapolis Racial Discrimination Allegation

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U.S. Bank's Minneapolis headquarters.
:::: UPDATE :::: Here Are Mpls Homes U.S. Bank is Accused of Neglecting Due to Racial Discrimination [PHOTOS]

U.S. Bank isn't taking accusations it illegally neglects foreclosed homes in Minneapolis's "neighborhoods of color" lying down.

Yesterday, Dana Ripley, senior vice president of corporate communications for the Minneapolis-based bank, told us, "We categorically reject the NFHA's [National Fair Housing Alliance] claim against U.S. Bank." He followed up today with a statement that says, "NFHA has established a pattern of using incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information in order to generate inflammatory headlines -- while at the same time -- seeking significant amounts of money from our company behind-the-scenes."

See also:
US Bank closes UC Davis branch, cites "intolerable" Occupy protests


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U.S. Bank Accused of Racial Discrimination in Minneapolis

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BasicGov on Flickr
:::: UPDATE :::: U.S. Bank "Categorically Rejects" Minneapolis Racial Discrimination Allegation

This week, the National Fair Housing Alliance plans to officially add Minneapolis to the list of more than 40 cities in which Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank is accused of illegal discrimination in "neighborhoods of color."

In a release, the alliance alleges, "U.S. Bank fails to perform basic maintenance and marketing tasks for its bank-owned foreclosures in African American and Latino neighborhoods to the same standard as in White neighborhoods, a practice that violates the federal Fair Housing Act."

See also:
FEATURE: Wall Street Storms the Twin Cities with an Eerily Familiar Housing Scheme


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Richard Stulz, County Attorney Going After Medical Cannabis Mom, Is Running Unopposed

Categories: Law, Marijuana
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Marijuana Growers Headquarters
Do you think Richard Stulz, Lac Qui Parle County attorney, is doing a good job spending taxpayer dollars by going after Angela Brown, the mother who gave her son medical cannabis to treat a brain injury?

Apparently, other attorneys in Lac Qui Parle County are apathetic about that question, as according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, Stulz is running for reelection without opposition this year.

See also:
Angela Brown Due in Court; Charges Haven't Been Dropped


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Angela Brown, Medical Cannabis Mom, Due in Court Today; Charges Haven't Been Dropped

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Courtesy of Angela Brown
Angela Brown and her son, Trey.
:::: UPDATE :::: Richard Stulz, County Attorney Going After Medical Cannabis Mom, is Running Unopposed

Last month, we told you about Angela Brown, the Madison, Minnesota resident who was charged with two gross misdemeanors for giving cannabis extracts to her teenage son, Trey, to treat a traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011.

Brown's story generated quite a stir, mostly among people who couldn't begin to understand why the Lac Qui Parle county attorney, Richard Stulz, thought it was a good idea to press charges in this case. But the controversy apparently didn't deter Stulz, as this morning Brown is due in court in Montevideo, where she plans to enter a "not guilty" plea.

See also:
Prosecutor isn't talking about why he decided to charge medical marijuana mom Angela Brown


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Chris Lollie's arrest symptomatic of racist justice system, ACLU director argues

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Lollie also certainly wouldn't have been forced to pose for this mugshot if he wasn't black, Chuck Samuelson argues.
For ACLU-MN Executive Director Chuck Samuelson, the most likely explanation for the way Chris Lollie was treated by St. Paul law enforcement -- including his rough arrest and the charges he was subsequently hit with  -- is skin deep.

"The justice system is slanted against African American males, and this is a perfect example," Samuelson told us during a recent interview.

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech


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Minnesota Family Council decries settlement forcing Little Falls business to host gay wedding

Categories: GLBT, Law
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Facebook
Cole Frey and Adam Block
Cole Frey and his fiance, Adam Block, wanted to have their wedding at LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation in Little Falls. But when the business owner found out the wedding involved two dudes, they told the couple to look elsewhere.

Frey and Block informed officials in the state's Department of Human Rights about the situation. One of them contacted the Little Falls business pretending to want to schedule their own gay wedding there and received pretty much the same treatment Frey and Block did.

See also:
Mpls attorney Josh Newville leading fight for marriage equality in South Dakota


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Angela Brown charged for giving medical marijuana to her ailing son

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Courtesy of Angela Brown
Angela Brown and her son, Trey.
UPDATE: After this story broke, Lac Qui Parle county attorney Richard Stulz refused to disclose his reasons for charging Angela Brown. Despite public outcry against the case, Brown was due in court for a hearing on the charges in late September 2014. Stulz is currently running unopposed in Lac Qui Parle County.

In a year, she'd be applauded as nothing more and nothing less than a law-abiding, caring mom. But fact is, Minnesota's medical marijuana law hasn't gone into effect and won't until next summer, so instead, Angela Brown faces criminal charges.

The Madison, Minnesota resident has been hit with two gross misdemeanor charges for giving medical marijuana to her son, Trey, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was struck in the head by a baseball in the spring of 2011.

See also:
9-year-old pot snitch told police, "Doing drugs is bad"


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Champions lawsuit alleging systemic city racism against "black bars" likely died with business

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With the bar and its lawsuit going the way of the dodo, this might be the last time we write about Champions.
In 2012, Champions Sports Bar and Grill, a Lake and Nicollet dive, filed suit against the city of Minneapolis alleging officials, motivated by a desire to drive "establishments which cater to the African American community" out of business, had been unlawfully harassing the bar and its ownership for the better part of two years.

The city was in the habit of "violating the due process rights of establishments which cater to the African American community by attempting to impose unnecessary liquor license conditions on those establishments in an attempt to drive those establishments out of business," the lawsuit, which sought hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city for retaliation, defamation, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and violation of due process, among other claims, said.

See also:
Champions Sports Bar haven for crack cocaine dealing, says Minneapolis police


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