US prosecutors seek 7-year prison sentence for VW manager

Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 1:52 PM
Updated: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 1:52 PM


            FILE - This January 2017 file photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows German Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Schmidt, a Volkswagen senior manager who pleaded guilty in the automaker's U.S. diesel emissions scandal. Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Detroit federal court. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
FILE - This January 2017 file photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows German Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Schmidt, a Volkswagen senior manager who pleaded guilty in the automaker's U.S. diesel emissions scandal. Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Detroit federal court. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

U.S. prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for a Volkswagen senior manager who pleaded guilty in the automaker's diesel emissions scandal.

Oliver Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday in Detroit federal court. In a court filing this week, the Justice Department said he followed a "script of deception" while VW was using sophisticated software to cheat emissions rules on nearly 600,000 vehicles.

Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan from 2012 to early 2015. Defense lawyers are recommending that his sentence not exceed 40 months in prison, the punishment that was given to VW engineer James Liang.

The government, however, said there's a key distinction: Liang cooperated with investigators while Schmidt did not.

The diesel vehicles were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road. In 2015, according to the government, Schmidt talked with California regulators and concealed the software tricks while offering "bogus technical explanations" of any differences in emissions.

Prosecutors said Schmidt obstructed justice by getting rid of documents that were relevant to the U.S. investigation and giving false information to agents.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, Schmidt said he regrets not telling the truth to California regulators. He said he feels "misused by my own company in the Diesel scandal or 'Dieselgate.'"

"I just want to repeat how sorry I am for violating the law in the United States and putting myself in this situation," Schmidt, 48, said.

He returned to VW in Germany in 2015 but was arrested last January while on vacation in Miami. Schmidt has been in custody without bail for 11 months.

Other VW employees have been charged, but they are in Germany and out of reach of U.S. authorities.

VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties on top of billions more to buy back cars.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Trending - Most Read Stories

Police investigate reports of shots fired at California retirement home

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:35 AM

Shooting at California Retirement Home

Authorities were called to a senior housing community in Long Beach early Monday after shots were reportedly heard in the area, according to multiple reports.

 

Here is the latest information:

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT June 25:  Fire officials told KTLA that two firefighters and a civilian were injured Monday morning at a California retirement home where shots were heard early Monday.

The extent and cause of their injuries were not immediately known.

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 25: Long Beach police confirmed to KCBS-TV that officers were responding to reports of a shooting Monday morning at Covenant Manor on E. 4th Street.

“All I can confirm at this time is that there has been a shooting,” Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson told KCBS-TV. “(It’s) not an active shooter situation. (The) investigation is ongoing.”

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 25: Authorities continued Monday morning to search the retirement home, identified by KCBS-TV as Covenant Manor. 

The news station reported authorities were called just after 4 a.m. to a report of an explosion and shooting at the building, however, officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Two people told KTLA they heard what sounded like gunshots in the area early Monday.

 

Update 8:05 a.m. EDT June 25: According to KCBS-TV producer Mike Rogers, an “active shooter and 3rd alarm fire” were reported early Monday in Long Beach. 

KTLA’s Alberto Mendez reported that the incident occurred “at a retirement home near the area of 4th and Atlantic.”

“Suspect is still possibly in the building,” he added.

One woman told KTLA that she heard gunshots.

Read more here.

 

>> Read more trending news 

Please return for updates.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their dogs in Orlando

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:10 AM

Pets Finally Reunited With Families After Hurricane Maria

After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many on the island moved to the mainland United States while their community recovered, leaving most of their possessions behind. 

Some evacuees even had to leave their dogs behind on the island—but one local animal rescue wanted to change that. 

>> Read more trending news 

>>Photos: Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their pets in Central Florida

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando flew in a group of dogs from the island to reunite them with their owners Sunday

According to the pet rescue, one man traveled from Texas to be reunited with his dog. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Georgia teacher’s request for funeral: Backpacks with school supplies

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:26 AM

FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license: https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage)
JudyGilmore/Pixabay
FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license: https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage)(JudyGilmore/Pixabay)

After decades of service to her students, one metro Atlanta teacher had one final lesson to impart.

Tammy Layne Waddell died June 9 at Northside Hospital Forsyth after a prolonged illness. At her funeral June 12, dozens of backpacks filled with school supplies lined the pews.

>> Read more trending news 

The donated supplies were Waddell’s last request to honor her lifelong passion for helping children in need, according to her family.

“My cousin, a teacher, wanted backpacks with supplies brought to her funeral instead of flowers for needy students,” Brad Johnson said on Twitter. “Serving others to the end.”

Johnson shared photos of the backpacks and of Waddell’s fellow teachers, who served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral, he said. 

Over her career, Waddell worked as a paraprofessional and a teacher at Sawnee Elementary, Cumming Elementary and Haw Creek Elementary in the Forsyth County school district, according to her family.

Johnson’s initial tweet has since been shared more than 2,500 times, garnering praise for Waddell and her legacy as an educator.

Former students who left condolences on an online guestbookdescribed Waddell as a compassionate and inventive teacher who encouraged students to do their best. 

“The best teacher ever I’ve ever had,” one student wrote.

Trending - Most Read Stories

New York City fire chief who supervised 9/11 rescue, recovery, dead at 63

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.
Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.

Ronald Spadafora, the New York City fire department chief of safety who supervised rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, died Saturday, Newsday reported. He was 63.

>> Read more trending news

The 40-year veteran died of a World Trade Center-related disease, becoming the 178th member of the FDNY to die of 9/11 illness, according the department. Spadafora was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2015, Newsday reported.

“Ron Spadafora was a consummate professional fire chief who bravely served our city for 40 years, and toiled for months at the World Trade Center site after Sept. 11, leading the Department's rescue and recovery efforts," New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement. "In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the Chief of Fire Prevention for the last eight years, Ron's dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers."

Along with supervising recovery efforts at Ground Zero, Spadafora also supervised logistics for FDNY during the 2003 New York City blackout, Newsday reported. He also worked on recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the newspaper reported.

Spadafora began his career as a firefighter in Brooklyn in 1978. He became assistant chief for the bureau of fire prevention in July 2010, The New York Daily News reported.

Trending - Most Read Stories