Home » News » The Negotiator Awards 2015 – you still have time to enter! previous nextThe Negotiator Awards 2015 – you still have time to enter!8th July 20150553 Views You still have time to enter the UK’s most prestigious property awards. Due to huge demand from busy agents, we have extended the deadline until 31 July 2015 – so you have time to prepare your award-winning entry!Download the entry form and guidance by CLICKING HERE and learn more about the awards at www.thenegotiatorawards.co.ukRemember – The Negotiator Awards are free to enter.It is very easy to enter The Negotiator Awards, you simply complete a short form and prepare a supporting statement telling the judges why your company deserves an award – full details and advice on preparing your submission are on our special website. That’s it! There is no formality, no risk, no cost! The Negotiator Awards is absolutely free to enter – it is the only property awards event that carries no entry fee – another scheme charges £230 per office for the first category entered, £115 for the second and third categories entered – that’s £460 to pay before you even know if you are shortlisted. We don’t think that is fair, so we continue to follow our nine-year tradition – it’s completely free to take part!This is the second year that The Negotiator Awards will include Regional Agency of the Year – a superb opportunity for sales and letting agents to win an award that truly reflects their standing and success in their geographic region.There are 12 Regional Awards so you have greater chance of winning one of these than you do in the National Awards – so enter now and be seen as the leading agent in your region!There is a category for every sales and/or lettings agent, whether independent, corporate or franchised, every property manager, auctioneer and more.And we haven’t forgotten those who help agents to be the best – the industry suppliers; whether it’s software, insurances, signage, mortgage brokers or property portals, every supplier is in with a chance to win recognition for their technology, services and products or professional support.Our headline sponsor for The Negotiator Awards is The Property Software Group, well-known to you through its leading software brands: Vebra, Jupix, Alto, CFP and Core.Download the entry form and guidance now at www.thenegotiatorawards.co.ukThe Award categories are below – full details and entry forms are on our website.Category 1Community Champion of the YearCategory 2Marketing Campaign of the YearCategory 3Website of the YearCategory 4Rising Star of the YearCategory 5Residential Auction House of the YearSupplier AwardsAs a property industry supplier do you deliver more than you promise? Are your products and services making the agents’ businesses fly? Is your technology way ahead of the crowd? Suppliers may enter only one of these three categories:Category 6Supplier of the Year: Technology SoftwareCategory 7Supplier of the Year: Services and ProductsCategory 8Supplier of the Year: Professional SupportCategory 9Property Management Department of the YearCategory 10Property Management Company of the YearCategory 11Innovator of the YearCategory 12Employer of the YearCategory 13Online Agency of the YearCategory 14New Agency of the YearCategory 15Franchise or Network Group of the YearRegional Agency AwardsYou may not be the largest sales or lettings agency in your region, you may not be the longest established – or you may be. The question is, are you the best? Enter in these categories:Category 16 North EastNorthumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees.Category 17 North WestCumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside.Category 18 Yorkshire and The HumberSouth Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, East Riding, York, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire.Category 19 East MidlandsLincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland.Category 20 West MidlandsStaffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, West Midlands, Warwickshire.Category 21 East of EnglandNorfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire.Category 22 LondonCategory 23 South EastKent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey.Category 24 South WestGloucestershire, Somerset, Bristol and Bath, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall.Category 25ScotlandCategory 26WalesCategory 27Northern IrelandAgency of the Year AwardsCategory 28Small Lettings Agency of the Year (1-3 branches)Category 29Medium Lettings Agency of the Year (4-11 branches)Category 30Large Lettings Agency of the Year (12+ branches)Category 31Small Estate Agency of the Year (1-3 branches)Category 32Medium Estate Agency of the Year (4-11 branches)Category 33Large Estate Agency of the Year (12+ branches)The Negotiator Awards 2015 July 8, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles 40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide3rd May 2021 Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicensed rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021
U.S. Navy’s ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island achieved an overhaul milestone at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) undocking ahead of schedule.Entering water on July 17, the Ohio-class submarine set a new record for Engineered Refueling Overhauls (EROs) on the East Coast, beating NNSY’s former record set on USS Alaska (SSBN 732) almost a decade ago.90 percent of the production work for Rhode Island’s ERO was completed and certified while the boat was in dock.Rhode Island is now pier-side to finish its major shipyard availability during which the submarine will be refueled and upgraded before returning to support the country’s nuclear deterrence strategy.The Rhode Island team celebrated another success earlier in the availability, completing the demanding refueling package in just 217 days, beating their goal by three days and setting an NNSY record.Rhode Island has been at NNSY since December 2015. During its last several months at the shipyard, the boat will be undergoing reactor and weapons systems work.“Thanks to the Rhode Island team for leading us in this monumental achievement – leading the way in safety, planning, and execution of quality work on time,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Scott Brown. “America’s Shipyard and the Rhode Island crew certainly have our sights set on a successful end game. Thanks for all involved in a safe and successful undocking evolution.”In addition to the small amount of production work still to be accomplished on the boat, system testing and certification and ship’s force training will be conducted, culminating in sea trials next year. Back to overview,Home naval-today US ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island undocks in overhaul milestone View post tag: USS Rhode Island August 1, 2017 View post tag: US Navy Share this article View post tag: SSBN View post tag: Ohio-class US ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island undocks in overhaul milestone Authorities
The Eight Street Players will musically tell the stories of John the Baptist, Jesus and Judas when they present their production of Godspell Jr. on Firday, June 8, 2018. Godspell is one of the biggest Off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time. Based on The Gospel According to Matthew, the musical uses major episodes in the Bible – including the baptism of Jesus, the Last Supper, his arrest and crucifixion – to explore important ideas like compassion, love, forgiveness and sacrifice for the greater good.The Eighth Street players is the youth theatre company of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. All of their shows are produced, directed, and performed by youth. The show is directed by James Craver, a 14 year old Ocean City student and the founder of St. Peter’s newly formed Eighth Street Players. The show’s Musical Director is John Gregory Bate, St. Peter’s Choir Director at St. Peter’s and Director of The Masterworks Choir and Orchestra.The Eighth Street Players will present the MTI Broadway Junior production Godspell JR. on June 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, located at 501 E. 8th Street Ocean City, NJ 08226. Tickets cost $5 for children 12 and under and $7 for adults. Tickets available at the door.
Whitbread, the company behind Costa, has filled the position of chief executive with Lloyds Banking boss, Alison Brittain.Brittain will succeed Andy Harrison, who announced his retirement as full time executive, and will leave at the end of February 2016.The company said it was ‘delighted’ with the appointment, and had ran an extensive search and selection process to which Brittain stood out.The company outlined her skills in delivering digital online and mobile technology, business to business marketing, and managing significant property portfolios.The company hopes to achieve global system sales of around £2.5bn for Costa by 2020.Whitbread chairman, Richard Baker, said: “Alison has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands. She has a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams to deliver great service and her strong personal belief in the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the business makes her a perfect fit with our culture and values. “Over the last five years, under Andy’s leadership, Whitbread has generated substantial value by getting bigger and better. With the announcement of our 2020 milestones we have laid out clear plans to get bigger, and Alison’s arrival will ensure Whitbread continues to get even better still.”Brittain said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead Whitbread. I am impressed by its success and its strong, well loved brands. Its belief in focussing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future. “Whitbread has a clear strategy and I am looking forward to leading the Company as it grows and delivers for its customers, its people and its shareholders.”She will be on a base salary of £775,000 and will be purchasing £500,000 worth of Whitbread shares on joining the Company.Whitbread PLC is the owner of Premier Inn and coffee shop, Costa, as well as restaurant brands, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.
This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.For the past year, Lilia Aguilar led a double life.Every week, Aguilar flew to her native Mexico to resume her political campaign to become a national congresswoman. She sold her house there to finance her whirlwind plans, while balancing studies for a master’s in public administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.“As soon as I got back to Cambridge I was the student, with a lot of papers to write, discussing issues with amazing people like Amartya Sen,” said Aguilar. “Two days later, I was in Mexico, wearing heels and suits, speaking in the media. … But I believe in putting theory to practice, so I was doing both things because I thought it was possible to bring great change to my state.”Born and raised in the northern state of Chihuahua, Aguilar grew up in cramped quarters without running water with her mother and 20 other children, whom she knew as siblings. Aguilar was one of the younger ones (“the pets,” she said), and her duties involved feeding the roosters that her mother’s husband used in cockfights. Aguilar and her siblings “carried water for two kilometers to take a shower in a tub in the middle of the street,” she said. “So I hated showering.”Then one day when Aguilar was 10, she arrived home from school and faced two strangers — who turned out to be her real parents. Aguilar had been unknowingly living in hiding since she was an infant. A family friend had taken in Aguilar and her five blood siblings because their real parents were outspoken political activists involved with Mexico’s burgeoning labor party, and “it was not safe for us to be with them.”“I didn’t know anything about my real parents. They came and took me away from what I knew as my family since I could remember. They were highly educated, and I went from doing all these physical chores. But with my real parents, there were only intellectual chores,” she recalled.They demanded nothing short of academic excellence from Aguilar, who was being groomed to follow in their political footsteps. “My mother was a teacher, she was very rigorous, and she was a feminist,” said Aguilar. “She told me, ‘You need to excel because you’re a woman.’ That’s all I ever heard: ‘You are going to change the world, because when you’re educated, you need to give back.’ ”Aguilar, who graduated at the top of her class, relinquished scholarships to local universities. She moved to El Paso, Texas, to live with an aunt and uncle, and enrolled at the University of Texas, El Paso, vowing to become, of all things, an astronaut.“I studied physics and math, and then I discovered that I didn’t want that for my life. I came back, but I was reluctant to get into politics. I was doing a lot of activism in youth groups, though,” she said. She enrolled at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education to study financial administration. After graduating, Aguilar was hired by a financial consultancy company.While on an assignment installing financial software for state governments, Aguilar said, she was asked to hide some shady dealings. “I worked with two different governments, and all they asked us to do is to cover up their big mess. I was really disappointed, and I wanted to do something,” she said. “So, I quit and went home, and said, ‘OK, dad, now I’m going to be a politician.’ ”At age 23, she became a state representative for conservative Chihuahua. Aguilar’s youth and open character deterred many people from taking her seriously. But she had big ideas about reforming the state’s outdated constitution, and successfully helped to establish new laws for youth, women’s equality, and government transparency. “In politics, everyone likes to be in the media, but no one likes to do the work. So I took advantage of that,” she said. When she finished her term, journalists and fellow congressmen recognized Aguilar as the most productive representative.In December, Aguilar returned to Mexico and got the offer to run for Congress. “It was not easy … there’s a lot of people scared of women, and women coming from Harvard especially.” Now she’s second in her party’s proportional representation list (the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received), and is likely to win a seat in the Mexican National Congress during the July 1 election. Still, leaving Cambridge will be bittersweet.“What I like most about Cambridge is the energy. But above all, I love the river. It’s where everything happens in this town. I live in Peabody on the 19th floor in front of the river. So I have a view of all sunsets, and I can see the rowers and how they are yelled to push and push harder, the runners, the college kids having picnics when it’s warm, and the couples walking hand in hand. The river is for me the view of peace, the example of the unknown, and an example of the extra mile that Harvard is.”
‘Integrating my online course to improve the classroom experience’Lecturer Kathryn Parker Boudett will share how she utilizes her HarvardX online course, Introduction to Data Wise: A Collaborative Process to Improve Learning & Teaching, as pre-matriculation material in HGSE’s campus-based Data Wise Leadership Institute. Learn more in this discussion about how the eight-hour, online module (which students can choose to complete in one day) forms the foundation of a multi-modal curriculum with a clear learning path and affords flexibility in designing residential instruction.The Data Wise Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education supports educators in using collaborative data inquiry to drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning for all students.HILT Speaker Series, Friday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to noon, Harvard Hall 202For more information: https://hilt.harvard.edu/residentialonlinemodules
from $49.50 Chicago Williams takes over from Carmen Ruby Floyd, who also plays her final performance on November 30. She was last seen onstage as Queenie in the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed production of Showboat. Her Broadway credits include A Night with Janis Joplin, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and The Color Purple. Chicago also currently stars Amy Spanger as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly and Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart. The Great White Way’s Chicago will welcome two new leading players to the cellblock on December 1. German stage and screen star Pasquale Aleardi will take over as Billy Flynn and Broadway fave NaTasha Yvette Williams will step into the role of Matron “Mama” Morton. The tuner is playing at the Ambassador Theatre. Related Shows With a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, the Tony-winning revival of Chicago is now the second longest-running musical in Broadway history. View Comments Aleardi replaces Christopher Fitzgerald, whose final performance in the production will be on November 30. He will play a limited week-long engagement with the Broadway company through December 7, after which he’ll return to Germany to star as Billy Flynn in the upcoming Stuttgart production of the classic tuner.
Horse owners will get the latest research-based information on how to care for their animals at the 10th annual University of Georgia Horse Owner’s Seminar and Trade Show set for Aug. 15 at the UGA Livestock Arena in Athens, Georgia.The one-day event will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The 2015 Horse Owner’s Seminar includes a trade show from 9:50 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. A demonstration of the Wells Fargo Stagecoach will be presented during the lunch break, which will include rides on the coach. Registration opens May 1. Adult registration is $50, students 5-17 years of age pay $30, and children five and under are free. Tenth anniversary water bottles will are available for purchase before the event for $10 or the day of the event for $15. Registration includes lunch, a t-shirt, registration materials and a digital copy of all seminar proceedings. After Aug. 8, registration is $60 for adults and $35 for students. A 10 percent discount will be given to groups of 10 or more by emailing Andrea Massa [email protected] This year’s topics will include equine eye diseases, fencing design and hay storage, performance horse treatment, large animal rescue, emerging viral diseases, fly control in barns and an update on research at the UGA Veterinary Medical Center. The two afternoon sessions will include a workshop on rescuing horses from dangerous situations, like being stuck in a ditch. This session will include demonstrations of techniques using a mannequin and rescue supplies. The other afternoon session will focus on trailer safety and equine transportation. Speakers include scientists from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and representatives from Large Animal Emergency Rescue, Inc. Seminar sponsors are Southern States, Triple Crown, Zoetis, Seminole Feed, Georgia Quarter Horse Association and Wells Fargo. Support for the program comes from several industry sponsors who will be present at the trade show. The UGA student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine present the seminar annually. For more information or to register online, go to ugahorseowner.com or email [email protected] To register by mail, send a check made out to UGA CVM scAAEP to Vivian McWilliams, 515 Buckeye Trail, Loganville, Georgia, 30052. Checks must be received by Aug. 1.
By Dialogo November 01, 2010 In various locations around the country, the Colombian authorities arrested twenty members of a network that was sending cocaine by ship to the United States – by way of Central American ports – and to Europe, Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera affirmed. In a joint operation by the Colombian police and the Colombian public prosecutor’s office, twenty alleged members of the drug-trafficking cartels ‘La Oficina de Envigado’ and ‘Los Rastrojos’ were arrested “simultaneously,” Rivera said. The detentions took place in the cities of Cartagena and San Andrés (in the Caribbean region) and Medellín and Turbo (in the northwest), he specified, adding that among those arrested are individuals in the service of Colombian drug trafficker Maximiliano Bonilla, alias ‘Valenciano,’ a liaison with Mexican cartels. “The majority of those arrested are a series of persons, including workers at shipping firms and port guards, security personnel, and mechanics, who facilitated the contamination of containers” with cocaine, Rivera emphasized. “The gang brought the drugs into the port moments before the vessel departed and camouflaged them in canvas bags with a capacity of up to thirty kilos each. Then they broke the security seals, introduced the alkaloid into the containers, and sealed them again with copies of the seals,” he recounted. According to the official account, the drugs introduced onto the ships were headed for the United States by way of ports in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. In other cases, the gang members also introduced the alkaloid onto vessels headed for Europe. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believes that ‘Valenciano’ has direct ties to the Mexican ‘Los Zetas’ cartel. Drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges have been pending against him in a New York court since 2008. Until 2009, Colombia was the world’s leading producer of coca, but it has been displaced by Peru, according to a study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released in June. Those arrested were charged with criminal conspiracy and with manufacturing and trafficking narcotics.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York • NYS Attorney General’s Office tells Parole Board it is “highly unlikely that Bower committed the crimes”• Parole Board grants freedom but blasts AG for no exoneration• March 25 and April 3 hearings• Family and lawyer still seek justiceRonald Bower, a 52-year-old father of two from Queens who’s spent the past 22 years behind bars for heinous crimes many believe he did not commit, will finally be coming home to his family.Bower, whose plight has been the subject of three Long Island Press cover stories, a letter-writing campaign instigated by the newspaper and a Facebook group “Free Ronald Bower” created and maintained by the newspaper, has been granted parole in large part due to a letter written in December from Thomas Schellhammer, the bureau chief of the New York State (NYS) Attorney General’s Office Conviction Review Bureau, urging his release and telling the Parole Board at Clinton Correctional Facility it is “highly unlikely that Bower committed the crimes.”Schellhammer’s recommendation, however, falls short of tossing out Bower’s convictions or granting exoneration. Thus, Bower—who was convicted of sodomy, sexual abuse and attempted robbery for two sexual attacks in Nassau and Queens—must register as a sex offender and adhere to stipulated guidelines that range dependent upon his risk-level assignment, which will be determined through two NYS Sex Offender Registry Act hearings: March 25 in Nassau and April 3 in Queens. He’ll be released sometime afterward. The NYS Parole Board was consequently saddled with the awkward task of releasing a convicted sex offender who has not been cleared of his crimes by the judicial system—something they hammered NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s Office and Nassau and Queens district attorneys’ offices about during the parole hearing. Prosecutors from both Nassau and Queens district attorneys’ offices complained to the attorney general’s office, stating they were never informed of intentions to parole Bower nor contacted for their respective offices’ case files—a charge Schneiderman’s office strongly refutes.Schellhammer, an assistant attorney general and former homicide prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, is the latest in what has been a growing number of law enforcement officials who’ve supported Bower’s unwavering claims of innocence throughout the years, a list that includes current and former members of the NYS Inspector General’s Office of the state Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and even members of the very sex crimes unit that originally arrested and charged him.Regardless of the hubbub between the Parole Board and the three agencies, both Bower’s family and his longtime attorney Jeremy L. Goldberg—Appeals Bureau Chief at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, who’s been working on Bower’s case pro bono for the past 20 years—are “jubilant,” says Ronald’s older brother Steve that he is finally coming home and commend the attorney general’s office for helping make that a reality. Neither, however, say they will rest until Bower has been fully cleared of the crimes he’s been convicted.“We’re happy about his release but we are not going to rest until he is exonerated and justice is done,” says Steve, who has been fighting for his brother’s release since his arrest and caring for their elderly mother ever since.“I’m very happy that my father’s coming home, but I’m not going to stop all efforts until his name is cleared and he’s exonerated,” vows his daughter Kristy, who was just a toddler when her father was incarcerated and is now a paralegal working for New York City. “I want him to have all the freedom he deserves, and parole is a blessing, but I really want exoneration so that he doesn’t have to fall within the restrictions and the stigma behind being a parolee. It’s just not fair.”“What does it take for the authorities to recognize his innocence when so many people, their own people, already have?” asks Goldberg. “The big picture, to me—it’s about my client and it’s about ultimately getting him exonerated.”Double Vision: (L) Former NYPD Officer Michael Perez and Ronald Bower. Police allowed Perez to change out of the hooded sweatshirt he was arrested in and into a suit and tie for his mug shot, while demanding Bower put one on for his. (Long Island Press)“I’M INNOCENT!”Bower had been picked up by Queens sex crimes detectives on May 10, 1991 during his shift at the Douglaston Mall, where he worked as a security guard. The then-30-year-old father of two, who had no prior criminal record, was arrested, made to wear a hooded sweatshirt similar to the one victims described their attacker as wearing, photographed, paraded through several police lineups and eventually charged with two crimes Queens sex crimes unit investigators dubbed the work of the “Silver Gun Rapist”—an assailant eyewitnesses described as having considerably similar physical characteristics to Bower who accosted young women and girls in a series of at least nine sexual attacks through a corridor of eastern Queens and western Nassau counties in the vicinity of Union Turnpike between 1990 and 1991.The perpetrator’s M.O. was to approach his victims—sometimes two at a time—while they walked or as they entered their vehicles, force or drive them to secluded areas and demand them to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint.Sometimes, he’d also rape them. Victims described the weapons used as a small silver handgun and a snub-nose .38-caliber revolver. Internally, cops labelled the crimes as “Pattern #1/91.”Retired DOCS senior investigator Timothy Huff, whose visit with Ronald Bower in prison nearly 20 years ago sparked an investigation into who really committed the heinous sex crimes Bower was convicted of. (Long Island Press)While Bower was in custody, the crimes continued, and unbeknownst to he and his attorneys at the time, another man, a New York City police officer named Michael Perez, who had a striking resemblance to Bower, was also arrested and facing trial, accused of raping and sodomizing two women. When police pulled Perez over for erratic driving in relation to one of the incidents, a fully loaded, silver .38 caliber six-shot revolver with a 2-inch barrel was recovered from beneath the driver’s seat.Perez was off-duty at the times of each pattern attack and eventually became the subject of an Internal Affairs Bureau investigation. He was caught peeping into apartment windows and also in the act of having sex with a prostitute, according to court documents, and resigned shortly afterward.Yet while Perez was acquitted in both cases—and allowed by police to change into a suit and tie for his mug shot and lineups—Bower received an 18- to 54-year sentence for sodomy, sexual abuse and attempted robbery, with an official maximum expiration date of May 3, 2041.He has insisted his innocence ever since, which has often led to added friction within various prisons throughout New York State; because of his professed innocence, he refused to participate in mandated rehabilitation classes for sex offenders.Schellhammer outlined his reasoning for Bower’s release in his Dec. 30, 2013 letter, explaining that his bureau had been investigating Bower’s claims of innocence “for some time,” a probe that included speaking with investigators and witnesses associated with the crimes he was convicted of in an attempt to reconstruct those events “to the best of our ability.”“Unfortunately, due to the passage of time and the loss of some crucial evidence, we are unable to completely do so,” he writes. “Some witnesses have been uncooperative with the Conviction Review Bureau procedures. Accordingly, we are unable to fully close our investigation at this time.”“This position is based upon several factors,” the letter continues. “a) His physical resemblance to another person who committed identical crimes at about the same time as these in question, some of which occurred after Bower was in custody; b) the possible mis-identification of Bower as the perpetrator of these crimes by the victims; c) the lack of a propensity or any other prior indicator that Bower was inclined to commit offenses of a sexual nature; and d) the probability that Bower had an alibi for the nights in question.”“In light of these factors, I urge the Parole Board to grant Mr. Bower parole at its earliest convenience,” Schellhammer adds, noting that Bower’s is the only case to date that his office, which was created in 2012, has asked the Parole Board to consider granting parole to an inmate. “As a prosecutor, I am aware of the elements that the Parole Board looks to when considering granting parole, and I am aware that Bower has never fully accepted responsibility for these crimes. Considering what the Bureau has learned about the facts of these crimes, I believe there is ample reason for Bower not to do so. In any event, given that Bower has now been incarcerated for twenty years, I believe that society’s best interests are served by granting him parole.”The Parole Board at Clinton Correctional Facility, however, did not grant Bower’s freedom without first blasting the Attorney General’s Office at Bower’s Jan. 21, 2014 parole board hearing for putting them in the uncomfortable position of releasing a convicted sex offender and for failing to seek full exoneration.Anguish, personified: (L) Ronald Bower’s 84-year-old mother, Margaret, holds a photo of her imprisoned son as his brother, Steven, watches over her. (R) Ronald Bower in July 2004, behind bars, serving part of his 18- to 54-year sentence. (Long Island Press)“JUST DISMISS THESE CHARGES”“I am greatly disturbed that a prosecutor—and unlike any other attorney in the system, not even a judge—a prosecutor is charged with doing justice,” slammed Commissioner James Ferguson, according to a transcript of the proceeding. “That means doing the right thing. If they feel so strongly about this, I’m shocked and dismayed that they have not had—let me say it politely—the fortitude to come forward and just dismiss these charges.“Instead, they’re trying to convince the Parole Board to take the responsibility for releasing you on a pretty egregious offense because they don’t have—again, I’ll say it politely—the fortitude to come forward and basically release you or dismiss the charges or petition the court for your release,” he told Bower. “So that’s to me very disappointing.”“I am dismayed, if they feel so strongly, they have not taken their own action to secure your release, hoping that the Parole Board would give this weight to the letter that they have submitted and make a decision,” Ferguson reiterated.Commissioner Lisa Beth Elovich also weighed in, taking additional aim at Nassau and Queens district attorneys’ offices.“I too as a former prosecutor and someone that’s been involved in the criminal justice system for 23 years, find this shocking and I find this very, very disturbing the way this has been handled by the judicial system, the DA’s office, and anyone else involved in this,” she said. “What they are virtually doing is putting the Parole Board in a terrible position because as a Parole Board, we are charged to assume that the person that is in prison is guilty of what they’re in prison for because we do not have the resources to retry a case.“We don’t have the witnesses—we don’t have sworn witnesses, we don’t have documentation, we don’t have the evidence, we can’t cross-examine people. We don’t have any of those things at our disposal,” Elovich continued. “So there is a reason why we don’t retry a case. The District Attorney’s Office, however, has those resources in terms of what they have as sworn testimony, documentation, evidence.“So the fact that the DA’s office and all other prosecuting entities that have been involved in this have not taken a stand either way, to go ahead and say that this person is not guilty of what they’re in here for, I find that extremely disturbing,” she told Bower, “and the fact that an Attorney General…would personally write a letter saying that they feel that you are not guilty of the crime that you’re in here for and their only recourse they think is the Parole Board to release you, is a very deep concern. I don’t understand why this would not have been taken to a judge or some other judicial forum that would have the authority to release you based on lack of evidence or any other reason they can think of why you would not be guilty of what you’re in here for.“It does put the Parole Board in a very bad position.”Devastated: Ronald Bower’s oldest daughter, Kristy, and his mother Margaret react to a judge’s 2005 decision against reversing his convictions. (Jerry Martin/Long Island Press)Nassau and Queens prosecutors are also perturbed. Neither were copied on the Attorney General’s letter or apprised of the office’s conclusions, writes Nassau County Chief Assistant District Attorney Madeline Singas in a Feb. 28, 2014 letter to Chief Deputy Attorney General Harlan Levy, Esq. Neither were contacted by the Attorney General’s Office in order to review Bower’s files, either, she contends—a claim that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office “vigorously disputes,” according to the New York Law Journal, which published an article about Bower and his release in their most recent issue.“While we applaud the Attorney General’s creation of this new bureau, it is troubling that this review was undertaken without a review of the case files held by the District Attorneys of Queens or Nassau County,” she blasts. “Mr. Schellhammer’s letter to the Parole Board contains a single paragraph to support his conclusion that ‘it appears highly unlikely that Bower committed the crimes for which he was convicted.’ While those claims of innocence have been substantially reviewed and rejected by the prior Nassau County District Attorney’s administration, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, and examined and rejected by both state and federal courts, this office is prepared to fully re-examine this case immediately if warranted.“Thus far, when we have asked to provide the office with any new or exculpatory evidence in order to facilitate any appropriate release of Mr. Bower from custody, you have declined to do so,” Singas continues. “Once again, I respectfully request that your office immediately share with us the evidence that supports the findings outlined in Mr. Schellhammer’s letter.”Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s Office only became aware of the Attorney General’s correspondence with the Parole Board and its conclusion, she writes, from a media inquiry—the Law Journal’s.Bower, whose horrific tours around the most brutal prisons throughout the state—Auburn, Gowanda, Green Haven, Sullivan, Clinton—have wrought him and his family immeasurable pain and anguish, told the Parole Board at his hearing that: “I’ve been crying almost every day.”“I’m innocent!” he told this reporter, his eyes welling up with tears during a jailhouse interview at one of those hellish facilities. “You have to believe me… I never hurt anyone.”