July 27, 2008
Bilbray: Suspect's release in Mexico 'a huge blunder'
Rep. Brian Bilbray, who represents an area of San Diego near the border of Mexico, said this week that he will continue to press the Justice Department for answers it has refused to provide him about the apparent failure to seek timely extradition of Jesus Navarro Montes last month.
The Justice Department and White House last week wrote Bilbray that they were unable to offer an explanation, saying information sought by Congress would "inevitably compromise highly sensitive law enforcement investigative information."
"It looks like a huge blunder," Bilbray said in an interview. "There might be some logic to this … (but) don't sit there and just stonewall," he added, referring to the Justice Department.
Bilbray was joined by 38 other congressmen, all but one a Republican, in writing to President Bush and Attorney General Michael Mukasey demanding to know whether the government had asked Mexico to extradite Navarro in connection with the death of Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar, who was struck and killed by an SUV on Jan. 19.
Navarro was arrested in Mexico but was released from a Mexicali jail after a Mexican judge cleared him of an unrelated migrant smuggling charge.
In the letters, Bilbray and the other congressmen said Navarro "ran over Agent Aguilar in a Hummer as he was placing spike strips on the road." They said they learned from news accounts that the Mexican judge released the suspect "because there were no charges or extradition proceedings against him in the U.S."[Mark Godsey]
Lawmakers look at sex offenders in nursing homes
No one was required to tell McDaniel that the 43-year-old sex offender was a resident of the nursing home where his daughter was admitted in 2005 because she is mentally retarded and has schizophrenia. The resident who attacked her pleaded guilty and is serving three years in prison.
His daughter's case led to an Ohio legislative proposal to require nursing homes to post notices if sex offenders live there. The bill has been adopted by the Ohio House and awaits a Senate hearing.
Every state, McDaniel says, should require facilities to "tell people if there is a sex offender in this nursing home."
Ohio is one of several places reviewing notification procedures for sex offenders living in long-term care facilities. The issue is drawing attention as overall nursing home populations drop and some facilities see an influx of residents with mental illnesses, says Beverley Laubert, president of the National Association of State Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs, which help protect patient rights. While the majority of nursing home residents are older than 65, it's not unusual for younger people with medical problems to live in long-term care. [Mark Godsey]