articles about Gary Pirosko
11/1/06 BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) —
Dennis Rodman has settled a speeding ticket that briefly led to a judge issuing an arrest warrant, an attorney and his agent said Monday.
Rodman, who faced a speeding and reckless driving charge, agreed to plead guilty to speeding, pay $516.50 in fines and make a $200 donation to the Summit County 4-H club, according to The Denver Post. Denver attorney Gary Pirosko and Rodman's agent Darren Prince confirmed the settlement.
"That's it, they had settled it absolutely," Prince said by telephone from New York.
Rodman was charged with speeding and reckless driving after he was stopped July 26 in a $250,000 Lamborghini on a highway near the mountain town of Frisco, about 70 miles west of Denver. Officers allegedly clocked him going 98 mph.
Summit County Judge Russell Granger issued an arrest warrant after Rodman failed to appear at a Sept. 14 hearing.
Rodman had been in town to race in the Bullrun USA 2005 charity auto rally. During the rally, Rodman also was involved in a minor accident and was accused of leaving a Glenwood Springs truck stop without paying $40 for gasoline and a cap. A fan paid the former Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons star's bill, and authorities did not pursue charges.
"There are no additional cases," Pirosko said.
A Drunkard’s Dream
By Eric Dexheimer
Westword, November 19, 1998
. DUIs are a complex dance of gamesmanship between cops, prosecutors, lawyers and drivers. It is a matter of missteps and "gotchas" on both sides. The cops need a legitimate reason to stop a driver and check his breath. Weaving works, but speeding doesn't--usually. Sobriety tests are voluntary--but if you refuse, you will get your license revoked for a longer period than if you agree to take one. And if you ask to speak to your attorney first, that is taken as a refusal.
So everybody cultivates their own tricks. Cops who know you are drunk and need probable cause won't give up simply because you refuse a roadside. You can still be ordered to step out of your car--to ensure the officer's safety, of course--and walk to the side of the road. If you happen to stumble or weave in the process, there's the probable cause.
"It's a bowl of spaghetti," admits Gary Pirosko, who for the past seventeen years has worked the game from every angle, first as a DUI cop, then as a county prosecutor and now as a defense attorney. Adds Grien, the Northglenn cop, "You cannot believe the amount of detail that goes into a DUI case.” .
Keep on speeding
Denver Business Journal
Friday, February 1, 2002
One of the world-class pains in the you-know-what concerning Denver is on hold for awhile: Those devious photo-radar vans.
Crusading Denver lawyers Gary Pirosko and Stuart Barr successfully challenged some tickets under the city's photo-radar program, forcing Denver cops to suspend the program until city legal eagles can review the situation.
Actually, Denver cops don't have much to do with the program. It's really run by private contractors, a company called ACS State and Local Solutions and by a division of Lockheed Martin, which together collected a reported $3 million in 2000.
Denver Judge Tosses Out Photo Radar Tickets County Judge Blasts Program
1/29/2002 DENVER, Colo. (ABC News)
DENVER -- A county judge dismissed four photo-radar tickets, prompting the people who won the cases to consider challenging the entire program.
Judge Mary Celeste Monday tossed out the $40 tickets after saying that Denver apparently broke its own law by allowing a private contractor to prepare and send the summons and complaint to those accused of speeding.
Celeste said that city law allows only the police department to prepare and send the complaint. The judge also said the system may illegally reward the contractor for the number of photos it takes.
The ruling puts the entire photo-radar system into question, said Gary Pirosko, a lawyer and former sheriff's deputy whose two tickets were dismissed.
"We're relying on technology in a situation where we'd normally rely on the human judgment of the police officer," Pirosko said.
Denver uses cameras in white roadside vans to catch speeding motorists and their license plates on snapshots. Boulder and Fort Collins also use photo radar to catch speeders. Tickets are normally mailed to violators.
The decision affects only the four tickets in question, but Pirosko and two other defendants are considering whether to challenge the entire program.
City lawyers said they had not reviewed the ruling and declined to comment. Police officials didn't return requests for comment.
Critics, including some legislators, argue photo radar is an invasion of privacy. They also contend that cities see it as a way to make money rather than keep the roads safe.
A law says the city can pay the contractor only for the value of the equipment, not for the number of pictures taken or number of successful tickets issued. Celeste said the city pays the contractor based upon the images, not the fair-market value of the equipment.
Celeste rejected a scattershot of claims by their defendants that photo radar violated several provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
Denver Police Shut Off DUI Surveillance Cameras
(CBS4) DENVER The Denver Police Department has pulled the plug on several surveillance cameras. The cameras recorded suspected drunk drivers as they were being processed. CBS4 Investigates why the camera have been turned off.
The cameras have been in place at least seven years in the Denver Police Department's DUI room. They record breath tests, suspects being processed and waiting in holding cells.
Former Sheriff's Deputy and now defense attorney Gary Pirosko says recordings like these can help protect police from false accusations of abuse or misconduct.
"It's not an unusual situation where the officer may need those tapes," Pirosko said.
But when Pirosko recently tried to get tapes of one of his clients being booked, the department wrote him back saying they had stopped the recording process for cameras in the DUI room' and were now only recording the five holding cells.
Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal has a suspicion about why the cameras are no longer being recorded. He used these tapes in a trial last month where his client was charged with driving while impaired.
State regulations say for 20 minutes before taking a breath test, police must closely and continuously monitor suspects, from about four feet away.
Rosenthal told CBS4 he didn't see 20 minutes of continuous observation. The tapes showed the suspect sitting in a cell before his breath test, with police walking by and many times it appeared there were no officers in the room.
Jurors told Rosenthal the video indicated proper procedures were not followed. The jury acquitted his client.
"I think it told the investigation was not as accurate as it needs to be to find someone guilty of a criminal offense," Rosenthal said.
Five months ago, the State Health Department's Breath Alcohol Program manager reviewed the tapes of the arrest of Bruce Hite and his time in the Denver DUI room.
He said prior to the breath test, Hite "was not being closely and continuously observed. What I observed in no way came close to complying with the regulations." Fred Maxwell also wrote there was also "substantial deviation from the regulations and renders the test unreliable."
That led to a DMV hearing officer dismissing the DUI case against Hite.
"I guess they want to get convictions," Rosenthal said. "If these videos are stopping convictions from happening, its time to shut off the video."
Denver Police Division Chief Mary Beth Klee says those cases, which she did not know about, are not why the recordings are being stopped.
She says the digital recording system has had chronic problems and wasn't working properly as it was recording as many as 16 cameras.
"The system could not sustain the level of recording we were asking it to do," she said. "It could sustain the five cell cameras."
Defense attorneys don't think it's a coincidence that only cell cameras will be recording, while the others have faded to black.
"I don't know what the DPD is afraid of," Pirosko said. "If they're doing their job correctly they shouldn't be afraid of these tapes
Cop in familiar position: accused
John Ingold and Sean Kelly Denver Post Staff Writers
Veteran Denver police officer Jerome Powell has arrested nearly 6,000 motorists for drunken driving over his career, a figure he estimates is among the tops in department history.
But public records also portray him as a too-tough cop with a propensity for using excessive force.
He has been charged three times with assault, sued twice for brutality and suspended two times.
His actions have cost the city at least $20,000 in settlements. He accidentally shot a man in the jaw and has been repeatedly accused of abusive behavior, including against his family.
He most recently was accused of roughing up Laura Crihfield, a female drunken-driving suspect who is half his size, in a holding cell in April. The incident, which came to light last week, was captured on the cell's surveillance video camera and is being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and the District Attorney's Office.
Twenty-nine years after he started with the Denver Police Department, Technician Jerome Powell is still attracting accusations of improper conduct and still generating questions about why he remains on the force.
"You're going to have to ask the 10 chiefs before me," Police Chief Gerry Whitman, who was named to the position in 2000, said Thursday.
Firing an officer is a lengthy process that involves recommendations from several commanders and the chief and is subject to multiple appeals.
Whitman said he is aware of some of the allegations against Powell over the past three decades but hasn't seen enough evidence to take Powell off the street.
"I have examined his history and made a decision to leave him in his current assignment," Whitman said, declining to discuss specifics.
One of Crihfield's lawyers said he sees a pattern of officials covering up for Powell.
"The city is stuck. They've tied themselves to this anchor," Gary Pirosko said. "And he's going to sink them."
For all the allegations against Powell, he has been publicly punished only once for any type of violent behavior, records show.
In 1994, Powell's then-wife, Yvette, also a Denver police officer, accused him of trying to strangle her.
He was charged with domestic-violence-related assault, a charge that could have cost him his job.
A federal law that took effect in 1996 retroactively took guns out of the hands of officers convicted of domestic-violence-related crimes.
Powell pleaded guilty in the case, but because he received a two-year deferred judgment - meaning the case was wiped off his record as long as he stayed out of trouble for a couple of years - he was able to keep his job.
In a Thursday court hearing on a request by Crihfield for a restraining order against Powell, the officer testified that he pleaded guilty to the charge on the advice of his and that he never abused his wife.
Powell declined to be interviewed for this story. .
Trying to decide which attorney to hire for your DUI case or traffic ticket?
303-522-2220 gary @piroskolaw.com
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