Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
California The City Attorney of Compton, Craig J. Cornwell, won approximately $3 million against a former employee, and a local marriage and family therapist in a contentious jury trial in Compton Superior Court. The city attorney convinced 12 jurors that former city employee Steve Okonta and business owner Aline Smith Uzoka, of Westchester Medical Services, submitted millions of dollars of false medical bills to the city from 2001 to 2008. The city is awaiting a judgment of approximately $650,000 from another defendant, Emmanul Ogbodo, who withdrew his answer to the city’s complaint for damages on the eve of the trial. With that judgment and expected post-trial orders, the city’s win will top $10 million.
Florida A Black general dentist is the 2010-2011 president of the American Dental Association (ADA). Dr. Raymond Gist’s induction took place recently and made him the first African-American president of the 157,000-member dental organization. ADA is the nation’s oldest and largest dental association. During his one-year term, Gist plans to focus on membership outreach and advocacy efforts that will have special appeal to young dentists. “Programs oriented to students and new graduates are a priority for me,” he said.
Louisiana A complaint of misconduct against Richwood’s former mayor Ed Harris resulted in his conviction. Now, a second complaint has been filed by all five of the town’s aldermen accusing current Mayor Steve Hunter of misconduct, because he reportedly changed documents sent to the state and caused the voters of the town to double their maximum tax liability instead of renewing them as approved by the board of aldermen. The aldermen accused Hunter of submitting bogus documents to the state that resulted in a $20 million tax being placed on an election ballot rather than the $10 millions the board approved.