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Monday, September 10, 2012

Spotlight on Joe Scarborough: Arrest Is Made In Case of Human Remains at Florida Storage Unit

Michael Berkland

A former medical examiner has been arrested on charges related to the discovery late last month of human remains at a storage unit in Pensacola, Florida.

Michael Berkland faces a felony charge of improper storage of hazardous waste, a misdemeanor charge of nuisance injurious to public health, and driving with a suspended license.

We have yet to see any references in the mainstream press to the fact that Berkland essentially closed the books on an investigation into the death of Lori Klausutis, who was found dead in summer 2001 in the office of then U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough. Now the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Scarborough largely has escaped scrutiny in the Klausutis case since Berkland ruled her death an accident, stemming from a cardiac arrhythmia that caused her to fall and strike her head on a desk.

Scarborough has strong ties to Alabama. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is close to former GOP Governor Bob Riley and his son, Homewood attorney Rob Riley.

Several online news sources have raised questions about Berkland's findings in the Klausuits case, saying they are not supported by relevant scientific literature. The recent grisly discovery at a Pensacola storage unit raise new questions about Berkland's competence--and perhaps his sanity. From a report by Eric Heisig at The Pensacola News Journal:

Ten cardboard boxes stacked in the corner of the unit contained “numerous individual containers with . . . human remains stored in a liquid substance,” according to an affidavit for Berkland’s arrest. Other containers were found in plastic garbage bags. 
The Medical Examiner’s Office has said the remains appear to be from private autopsies that Berkland performed between 1997 and 2007 at funeral homes in Pensacola, Panama City, Fort Walton Beach and Tallahassee.

Just how disturbing is this story? Consider this report from Tom McLaughlin, of The Northwest Florida Daily News:

About half of the containers in which Berkland stored human remains “consisted primarily of Ziploc style plastic sandwich boxes,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Barry Brooke, chief investigator for the state attorney’s office. 
One sample, a human heart, was found in a Styrofoam drink cup purchased from the Dodge’s Store in Fort Walton Beach 
Joe Scarborough
Both well and poorly preserved samples were stored primarily in formalin, Brooke’s report said.
Formalin is used to preserve human tissue. It “is considered a hazardous material with special handling procedures,” the affidavit said. It contains both formaldehyde and methyl alcohol. 
Formaldehyde is classified as a hazardous material and a poison, “and is an inhalation hazard,” the affidavit said. It also is a carcinogen, it added. 
Methyl alcohol is considered flammable and presents a fire hazard, according to the affidavit. 
Brooke reported that Jeff Martin, an investigator for the Medical Examiner’s Office in Pensacola, removed about 10 gallons of used formalin from Berkland’s storage unit.

Did Berkland put the public at risk? The answer is yes:

Berkland not only failed to use a properly licensed facility to store the hazardous waste, but many of the containers he put formalin into “were inadequate for holding hazardous materials, which adds to the severity of the offense,” the affidavit said. 
Improper storage of hazardous waste carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. The misdemeanor charge could mean a 60-day jail term, according to the state attorney’s office.

In light of recent events, does the public have any reason to buy Berkland's findings in the death of Lori Klausutis? Should the public trust findings that allowed Joe Scarborough, and those associated with him,  to escape serious scrutiny for a death that took place in a Congressman's office?

The answers to those questions appear to be no. And that means the public should demand a new investigation into a death that never has been adequately explained.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

LS, when attempting to get to your site, BOTH VIDEOS go off, the one at Siegelman as well LIBERAL GROUCH video,

WORDS both videos at the same time talking and the site not allowing other than the new game video?

The CIA is so clever!

"... Like Iraq and Libya, Afghanistan is a theme park for the beneficiaries of America’s new permanent war: Nato, the armaments and hi-tech companies, the media and a “security” industry whose lucrative contamination is a contagion on everyday life. The conquest or “pacification” of territory is unimportant. What matters is the pacification of you, the cultivation of your indifference.

What are you going to do about it?

The descent into totalitarianism has landmarks. Any day now, the Supreme Court in London will decide whether the WikiLeaks editor, Julian Assange, is to be extradited to Sweden. Should this final appeal fail, the facilitator of truth-telling on an epic scale, who is charged with no crime, faces solitary confinement and interrogation on ludicrous sex allegations. Thanks to a secret deal between the US and Sweden, he can be “rendered” to the American gulag at any time. In his own country, Australia, prime minister Julia Gillard has conspired with those in Washington she calls her “true mates” to ensure her innocent fellow citizen is fitted for his orange jump suit just in case he should make it home. In February, her government wrote a “WikiLeaks Amendment” to the extradition treaty between Australia and the US that makes it easier for her “mates” to get their hands on him. She has even given them the power of approval over Freedom of Information searches – so that the world outside can be lied to, as is customary.

What are you going to do about it?

For more information on John Pilger, visit his website at www.johnpilger.com

THERE ARE WOMEN ATTORNEYS IN THE USA, THE RETIREMENT PORTFOLIOS ARE IN THE JUDGES' "FUTURE" OF A WORLD THAT IS INSANE. LETTERS TO THE WOMEN IN AMERICA?

All that are considered those who "rule" with the "gene of altruism?"

Perhaps we need a BIG ARC those of US not able to retire with the "mates" that are obviously not thinking without some form of Afghanistan prescription for a brain dead blind walking off roofs.

Anonymous said...

The internet is not going to be controlled by those who were placed to control. First, the judicial for the most part is not computer literate. Second, the money factor is not cognizant in the brain chemistry of how to manage computer digital credit debt, obviously.

THE NEW SPIN ON YOUR SITE, LS:

"... First, Alex from Marginal Revolution gives this example:

On Sunday, a livestream of the Hugo Awards — the sci-fi and fantasy version of the Oscars — was blocked on Ustream, moments before Neil Gaiman’s highly anticipated acceptance speech.

Apparently, Ustream’s service detected that the awards were showing copyrighted film clips, and had no way to know that the awards ceremony had gotten permission to use them.

…As live streaming video surges in popularity, so are copyright “bots” — automated systems that match content against a database of reference files of copyrighted material. These systems can block streaming video in real time, while it is still being broadcast, leading to potentially worrying implications for freedom of speech.

The first commenter remarks:

Surely there needs to be some penalty for falsely asserting ownership on one’s own or someone else’s behalf. Right now, any rational organization will accept large numbers of false positives.

Yes, in the world of Civics 101. But we might not live in that world any more. Rather than rewrite the code to conform to antique notions of ownership or justice — which, in all fairness, are trivial set beside a requirement to enforce compliance with an extremely lucrative system of rental extraction — why not revise the law to allow the false positives that coding almost invariably* creates? After all, Obama’s mortgage “settlement” allows a certain percentage of illegal title transfers, so why shouldn’t false positives from a copyright bot be perfectly acceptable? I predict there will never be such penalties as the commenter described (and boy, would I be happy to be wrong).

Here’s what could be a second example, from Good Morning America, of all places:

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/code-is-law-once-more.html#E2v83LFwrJ3FBeh6.99

legalschnauzer said...

Those videos are working fine for me. Perhaps it's a temporary, local problem where you are. Hope it clears up soon.

jeffrey spruill said...

The Lori Klausutis case was putting the finger on a Republican Congressman. In Karl Rove's world that was a no no.(this took place in the summer of 2001.)

Rove only cares about party politics--while the safety of the public DOES NOT even cross his sick & twisted mind.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your intuitive heads up postings ls, but i already presumed and/or premonitioned as much if not more..av

Anonymous said...

It seems clear to me that he had body parts for a reason; when there is damage to a part when he is performing an autopsy; he can hide the cause of death by replacing one body part for another? Did the funeral homes let him have body parts to do his exchanges with? Grisly thinking I know; but there had to be a reason to have all those parts. Need some get some; use some, replace some? Either way; people were getting paid...the medical examiner, the funeral home owners, and who was paying these people? People like Joe Scarborough and the republican party perhaps? This guy looks like a whack job in his photo. A very good source in Pensacola says he lives in a mighty big house with no visible means of support since he is no longer a medical examiner. Wonder who is paying that bill? Also my source in Pensacola says Joe was definitely having an affair with Lori and her husband knew. Joe or the husband? Which one did it?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:56--

You raise an important point. Berkland might be nutty, but he doesn't seem irrational. He must have had a reason, beyond some ghoulish fascination, to keep these parts. Thanks for a most insightful comment.

Not sure what this means, but Lori's husband was Timothy J. Klausutis, and he appears to be a big hitter in the Air Force. Goes by "Dr.," so he must have a Ph.D., and seems to study navigation systems and such.

When you consider all the Air Force ties to the Siegelman case, via Maxwell and Fuller's ties to Doss Aviation, well, the plot sort of thickens.

I've seen some references on the Web that Lori and/or Scarborough were heavily involved in the Bush-Gore recount in Florida in 2000. She winds up dead in summer 2001.

My impression is that the MSM in north Florida wants no part of looking into this story. To my knowledge they still haven't simply pointed out that Berkland is the same guy who handled the Klausutis autopsy.

jeffrey spruill said...

Anon@9:56 PM

Either way; people were getting paid...

Knowing what I know now I would look at his employer "they're VERY GOOD at making things go away:


The sale of the Weather Channel is part of a larger breakup of Landmark, a privately held company controlled by the Batten family of Norfolk, Va. Landmark is already seeking to sell its other holdings, like its daily newspapers.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/weather-channel-is-sold-for-about-35-billion/