Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Family says judge’s death not a suicide


NEW YORK — The mystery of how a prominent African-American judge came to be found floating dead in the Hudson River has deepened as her family and widowed husband disputed suggestion­s by the New York Police Department that she had committed suicide.

What is known is that Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, a judge on the state’s highest court, went for a walk alone on the evening of April 11, locking the door to her Harlem brownstone, leaving her phone and wallet at home.

She had called in sick that day and hadn’t gone to work. Surveillan­ce videos spaced over several hours showed the judge walking briskly alone toward the river wearing sweat pants and white sneakers as though she were perhaps exercising.

The last video of her walking was captured after midnight. The next afternoon, her body, dressed in the same clothing, was found at the edge of the river in an area popular with joggers and bicycle riders.

Hooters girl a consultant?

TALLAHASSE­E, Fla. — Just months before his resignatio­n Friday, Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles unseated Democrat Dwight Bullard with an aggressive $1 million campaign in a district that favored Democrats.

But the long list of expenditur­es filed with the Florida Division of Elections by Mr. Artiles’ political committee, Veterans for Conservati­ve Principles, also raised some questions. Why did the committee hire a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model with no political experience as “consultant­s?” Were the payments related to a trip to the Kentucky Derby or a fishing tournament in Key West? What was the more than $51,000 in reimbursem­ents to Mr. Artiles for?

Mr. Artiles’ political consultant David Custin refused to comment on why they listed the expenditur­es as “consultant­s.”

Mr. Artiles resigned Friday after charges he violated Senate conduct rules with a profanity-laced tirade at a Tallahasse­e bar this week in which he used racial slurs.

Molester gets 931 years

MARTINEZ, Calif. — A former schoolteac­her who molested 15 boys — including participan­ts in a children’s camp that he founded — received sentences totaling 931 years in prison Friday, after asking God for vengeance against those who testified against him.

But before the sentence was handed down, prosecutor Alison Chandler led a round of applause in the courtroom for the 15 “survivors” — listed as John Does in court documents — whom Ron Guinto was convicted of molesting.

2nd charged in mutilation­s

Building on a case in which two girls were victims of genital mutilation, federal agents arrested a Michigan doctor and his wife Friday on allegation­s of helping to arrange the procedures.

Federal prosecutor­s say Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, offered the use of his medical clinic to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit emergency room doctor who was charged two weeks ago with carrying out the procedure on two 7-year-old girls.

Also in the nation...

The last orca has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park in San Antonio, Texas, just over a year after the theme park decided to stop breeding orcas following animal rights protests . ... Dylann Roof, a selfavowed white supremacis­t sentenced to death in the massacre of nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., is now in federal custody.

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