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- 03/29/18--13:58: _Man accused of knif...
- 03/29/18--15:09: _Poison peddler gets...
- 03/30/18--06:45: _Woman, 53, killed a...
- 03/30/18--08:50: _HS Baseball preview...
- 03/30/18--09:31: _Construction compan...
- 03/30/18--09:34: _Driving around I-29...
- 03/30/18--14:18: _Baseball preview, 2...
- 03/30/18--15:14: _We're deporting you...
- 04/02/18--11:06: _Creek cabins are pa...
- 04/03/18--06:10: _N.J. man charged wi...
- 04/03/18--04:19: _A $150M plan to tra...
- 04/03/18--10:28: _The 26 smallest N.J...
- 04/03/18--08:00: _23 can't-miss HS ba...
- 04/03/18--13:37: _Boys lacrosse Playe...
- 04/03/18--17:25: _Who'll finish No. 1...
- 04/04/18--04:03: _The top 50 elementa...
- 04/04/18--04:21: _Cops' lawsuit claim...
- 04/04/18--06:56: _Record-setters and ...
- 04/04/18--17:04: _Senior spotlight: F...
- 04/04/18--11:45: _N.J. medical firm t...
- 03/29/18--15:09: Poison peddler gets 12-year prison term for veteran's overdose death
- 03/30/18--06:45: Woman, 53, killed after rear-ending tractor trailer
- 03/30/18--08:50: HS Baseball preview: Top outfielders - speed, power, defense
- 03/30/18--09:31: Construction company fined $150K for death of ex-boxer at job site
- Interchanges between I-295 in both directions
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- Warwick Road
- Woodcrest Station
- CR 561 north and southbound
- NJ-70 east and westbound
- NJ-73 north and southbound
- Nixon Drive
- NJ-38 east and westbound
- 04/03/18--06:10: N.J. man charged with having 30 lbs. of meth in Tennessee
- 04/03/18--10:28: The 26 smallest N.J. towns with sneakiest speed traps
- 04/03/18--08:00: 23 can't-miss HS baseball games this week, April 3-7
- 04/04/18--04:03: The top 50 elementary and middle schools in N.J.'s new state ratings
- 04/04/18--04:21: Cops' lawsuit claims chief told them to 'talk dirty to me, baby'
A judge decided to keep murder suspect Raul "Omar" Quinones jailed
Authorities have already said Raul "Omar" Quinones chased his girlfriend Elaine Jimenez down and stabbed her to death on a street in her Camden neighborhood Sunday.
On Thursday, in a tense, packed courtroom, prosecutors revealed she'd been knifed 22 times.
Quinones also confessed to the slaying, officials said.
At the appearance, Camden County Judge Edward McBride ruled to detain Quinones pending trial.
Quinones, 29, visited Jimenez at her Garfield Avenue home Sunday under the guise of picking up some belongings. But when he arrived, he allegedly attacked Jimenez, 37, and her 20-year-old son with a black pocket knife.
Jimenez fled the house despite her injury, and Quinones turned his weapon on her son. Quinones stabbed the son repeatedly before following Jimenez out into the street where he continued to stab her, authorities said Monday.
Witnesses called the police, identified Quinones and said he fled on a white motorcycle.
Police found Jimenez at the intersection of North 29th Street and Arthur Avenue, bleeding from her mouth and neck, Assistant Prosecutor Peter Crawford said in court Thursday. Officers transported her to Cooper University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead minutes after.
Jimenez's son was also taken to Cooper University Hospital, and as of Thursday morning, had received multiple surgeries and was in a more stable condition, Crawford added.
U.S. Marshals found and arrested Quinones at his home late Sunday where he waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the slaying, Crawford said.
"This is a case where we have very, very violent accusations that the defendant has admitted to and confessed to," Crawford said in arguing for Quinones' detention.
Crawford also argued that detaining Quinones would further protect Jimenez's son, who is still recovering from his injuries. He added that the state had already collected strong evidence against him including witness statements, video showing Quinone entering and exiting Jimenez's apartment and his confession.
Quinones' public defender, Meg Butler, said that while the murder and attempted murder charges are serious, Quinones' entire family and his two children reside in Camden, which lowers his likeliness of fleeing.
She added that he only had one other criminal charge, from 2007 -- a third-degree weapons charge for which he completed a probation sentence.
McBride said that despite Quinones' connections to the community, the "extreme violence" of the crimes made him a threat to the public.
Another factor that may cause him to flee, McBride said, is the minimum of 38 years in prison, and possibility of a life sentence he would face if found guilty.
"For all those reasons, I find the state proving by clear and convincing evidence that there's nothing short of detention to ensure the protection and safety of others," McBride said.
As Quinones was lead back toward a cell, a large group of his family, and a group supporting Jimenez became emotional.
They filed out of the court room separately, a security guard between them.
A judge on Thursday held Sung Han's drug dealer liable for his death; the top prosecutor handled the sentencing
Sung Han died alone in his Burlington Township bedroom.
The 35-year-old South Korean immigrant and U.S. armed services veteran became one of the ever-growing number of heroin deaths in the state -- and was among 141 overdose deaths in Burlington County in 2017, a 70 percent increase over the 83 in 2016.
A judge on Thursday held Han's drug dealer liable for his death by sending him to prison for 12 years.
Jose LaPorte, 25, of Camden, must serve more than 10 years of the sentence before he's eligible for parole.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina, who himself handled the sentencing, told Judge Jeanne T. Covert that it's necessary to "increase the cost of doing business for ... drug dealers."
And to "send a message that there will be severe consequences for carelessly dealing poison that is causing so many to die."
Covert said at the sentencing that she took into consideration that LaPorte did not have a criminal record.
Coffina, who was sworn in nearly a year ago as the county prosecutor, pledged to combat the opiod epidemic and has warned dealers that he will aggressively go after "purveyors of poison."
Also, a Burlington County grand jury on Thursday indicted Jimmy Flakes, 40, of Lawnside for strict liability in a drug-induced death in the heroin overdose death of a Marlton man in September 2017.
Flakes was also indicted on distribution and possession of heroin charges.
And this week, Leonard Hicks, 37, of Sicklerville, pleaded guilty to strict liability for a drug induced death in exchange for 10 years in prison. He sold fentanyl-laced heroin to a Marlton man who died from an overdose in November 2015.
The crash took place along Route 206 in Hammonton
A 53-year-old woman was killed Thursday night when the car she was driving crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer along Route 206 in Atlantic County, authorities said.
Both vehicles were traveling south near milepost 4 in Hammonton when the crash took place just after 9 p.m., Hammonton police said Friday morning.
The woman, a Waterford resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, a Vineland man, was not hurt.
An overhead video from 6-ABC shows the Audi in a wooded area after going off the road and hitting a tree.
The drivers were the only people in both vehicles, police said. Police are investigating to determine what caused the crash.
A section of Route 206 was closed for several hours Thursday night.
Who are the top outfielders in New Jersey?
David Bey was killed while working along the Camden Waterfront last year. OSHA says the company is to blame for the accident.
The construction accident that killed a former heavyweight boxer in Camden last year could have been prevented and the construction company was fined more than $150,000 for not following standard safety procedures, federal officials have ruled.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the fine against Blackwood-based AP Construction Inc. Thursday for using an improper lifting device and failing to train employees on the hazards of lifting equipment.
Former heavyweight boxer David Bey, who lost a world title fight to Larry Homes in 1985, was killed at the Camden Tower construction site in September. The 60-year-old was a pile driver, and member of the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if proper safety standards were followed," Paula Dixon-Roderick, the director of the OSHA Marlton Area Office, said in a statement. "The equipment used was not configured to adequately handle the lifted material."
An investigation by OSHA inspectors determined that an improper lifting device was used to move steel sheet piles for an elevator at the Cooper Street site. While moving, the sheet piles became disengaged and fatally struck Bey.
AP Construction has 15 business days to comply with the penalties or contest them. A company representative reached by phone Friday morning declined to comment.
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The state DOT announced a roadwork project that will lead to lane closures and delays around South Jersey for several months.
You can add these to your list of lane closures and detours -- along with additional travel time -- when driving around South Jersey in the coming months.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation announced Thursday the start of a pavement preservation project that will impact the following routes in Camden and Burlington counties:
Starting Monday, crews will begin lane closures between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as ramp detours from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
The goal of the project, which involves applying overlays and seals to travel lanes and ramps, is to improve ride quality, skid resistance, reduce noise and extend the lifetime of the current pavement.
The department expects to complete the work by the fall. More information is available here.
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A look at the top teams in South Jersey high school baseball
Salina Sikander, of Runnemede, cried during the last few hours she spent with one of her three children, Shajeda Sikander, a high junior whose prom fell on the same night as the deportation.
A New Jersey woman who has lived in the United States for 20 years was deported to Bangladesh Thursday night, the night of her heartbroken daughter's prom.
Salina Sikander, of Runnemede, cried during the last few hours she spent with one of her three children, Shajeda Sikander, a high junior whose prom fell on the same night as her mother's deportation.
A spokesperson with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed the deportation.
She "had been ordered removed by an immigration judge, [and] departed the United States for Bangladesh in compliance with her removal order," he said in a statement.
Court documents from 2010 show Sikander's father's application for asylum was rejected, along with her and her brother.
Her father, Shamsuddin Sikander, had come to the US in 1993 and applied for asylum on the basis he was persecuted for his political beliefs, according to the ruling. In 1998, an immigration judge denied that asylum, and in 2010, the motion was deemed "untimely."
Shajeda skipped the Triton Regional High School prom to say goodbye to her mother. Her father was deported in November.
She and her brothers will continue to live in the US with other family members.Amanda Hoover can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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Norma Simpson writes in support of a drive to save some rustic cabins along the banks of Lower Alloways Creek.
Thanks to the Times for addressing the "Save the Cabins" campaign in your April 1 editorial, "Next Trenton battle: The cabins vs. the cabinet?"
The editorial refers to rustic cabins along state marshland in Lower Alloways Creek Township, used by boaters and fishers, which the Department of Environmental Protection wants to raze.
Although I am a "transplant," I have come to appreciate the lifestyle that Salem County has to offer, in large part because peaceful little towns offer a lifestyle of days gone by: local markets where they know your name; friendly folks who wave at passersby; vast stretches of beautiful farmland and meadows; areas where children can play safely; native wildlife at ease with the locals.
While I have not visited any of the cabins personally, I have seen some of them. They are an integral part of the fabric comprising the Salem County quilt. Their presence harms no one, benefits many and preserves an important piece of history.
Too much of our history is being razed in the dubious pursuit of "progress." Such development has destroyed the area where I was born. Once an important piece of that history is lost, it can never return, and generations who come behind us are the poorer for it.
Why not tear down the 500-year-old-plus Salem oak tree and build apartments? Why not raze the Salem County Courthouse and put a modern structure in its place? Why not cover the farmland with industrial parks?
These things are the very face of Salem County. Those in power have it within their purview to preserve county history through Save the Cabins and other such efforts. I applaud their efforts in the right direction.
Norma Simpson, Alloway Township
Power of prayer boosts civic efforts
Concerning "City kicks God out of its meetings to be more inclusive," a recent article in the South Jersey Times:
It is not surprising that town councils in Woodbury and other places have done away with the religious invocation at their meetings and replaced it with a "moment of reflection."
The very Judeo-Christian God who Romans 13 and other Bible passages credit with instituting government is slowly being squeezed out or eliminated from public meetings. Instead of acknowledging God with a simple public prayer, they compromise with certain groups that either feel that God has no place in the public square or replace God with something else that makes them feel good.
Those who protest that "separation of church and state" must prevail often fail to realize that this exact phrase is not even in the Constitution. Sadly, their misconception has become the norm in many places today.
Former Woodbury Council President C. Barry E. Sloane's letter ("No big deal to scrap prayer at city council") in response to the city's action, quoted out of context the words of Matthew 6:5-6, and its words about private prayer as opposed to "hypocrites" public prayer "to be seen by others."
This passage should not be applied to the situation in Woodbury. The Pharisees in Jesus' time were religious leaders known for their self-righteousness and hypocrisy in prayer. Jesus' point was that approaching God should involve a realization of our own sinfulness and the need of his mercy.
In the book, "God and Government," (convicted Richard Nixon aide) Charles Colson writes: "If the real benefits of the Judeo-Christian ethic and influence in secular society were understood, it would be anxiously sought out even by those who repudiate the Christian faith. The influence of the Kingdom of God in the public arena is good for society as a whole."
Barbara Essington, Carneys Point Township
Let N.J. EMS squads access discount Narcan
I'm happy to see New Jersey hospitals and police departments teaming up to save lives from opioid overdoses. Hospital systems in Camden County are the latest to announce their intention to buy the opioid reversal agent naloxone, or Narcan, in bulk and provide it at low cost to their police departments.
In Union and Middlesex counties, for example, Narcan replacement kits have been supplied free to the police departments since the programs began in 2016.
I don't understand, however, why EMS organizations -- particularly volunteer-based services -- are not included in the naloxone distribution plan.
We, too, are in the business of saving lives, but many volunteer EMS squads, which rely heavily on donations, find the cost of Narcan prohibitive. The same goes for epinephrine auto injectors (EpiPens) used to counter allergic reactions.
Emergency responders statewide should have discounted, or possibly free, access to such life-saving medications for their organizations. Perhaps we can use this opportunity to start such a conversation to help ensure lives don't depend on whether responders can afford the antidote.
Joseph G. Walsh Jr., Neptune, President, EMS Council of New Jersey
The Camden man had $500,000 in drugs in a bag in his trunk, officials said
A New Jersey man was arrested after being pulled over in Tennessee on Easter Sunday and found with 30 pounds of methamphetamine, authorities said.
Ariel Vera-Medina, of Camden, was charged with possession of methamphetamine for resale, the Ninth Judicial District Attorney General said in a statement on Monday.
Deputies from the Loudon County Sheriff's Office stopped Vera-Medina around 10:20 a.m. and searched the vehicle after a police K-9 indicated the presence of drugs, authorities said.
The officers found a bag in the trunk that contained approximately $500,000 in meth, authorities said.
Vera-Medina is being held on $500,000 bail and is due in court April 11.
The bust is the largest in county history, the attorney general's office said.
Loudon County is about 35 miles southwest of Knoxville in the eastern part of the state.
Voorhees Town Center is in need of a makeover, again.
Jason Ravitz still longs for the heydays of the Echelon Mall.
"I grew up in Cherry Hill and we used to hang out there," Ravitz said. "We used to go to movies there. We used to roam the food court. It's sad what's going on now. I've seen it as a kid, a teenager and after college I lived right by there. We deserve better than what it is now."
What it is now is a nearly 51-acre property, the largest tract of land in Voorhees, Camden County, that local officials are considering condemning and naming a redevelopment zone.
It won't be the first attempt to revitalize the 48-year-old indoor mall -- now called the Voorhees Town Center -- that has long suffered because of its landlocked location and nearby competitors.
A decade ago, the mall's former owner -- PREIT, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust -- embarked on $150 million project to create a town center from scratch, bringing street-level retail to a new Main Street-type boulevard, as well as condos and apartments above and around it.
But the glory days that Ravitz pines for never fully returned. Today, four of the five anchor stores the mall had in its prime have shuttered and gone dark and the mall's occupancy is at 50 percent.
Luckily -- as a member of the township planning board, and an elected member of the township committee -- he's in a position to do something about it.
He and the other members of the planning board unanimously agreed last week to forward a study detailing the need to redevelop and condemn the property to the township committee.
An absentee landlord
PREIT, which bought the property in 2003 and broke ground on the transformation in 2007, sold the property two years ago to a northern New York state real estate group called Namdar for $13.4, a township official said.
Things took a turn for the worse again in 2017 when Macy's closed it store after nearly two years of rumors it was on the way out.
"Namdar came in with guns blazing, saying they would work with the township to invest in the town center and attract new businesses and unfortunately they have not followed through on their promises," Voorhees Mayor Michael Mignogna said. "They have sat back and watched tenants leave and invested little if any into having the town center thrive."
A request for comment from Namdar was not immediately returned.
"We couldn't seem to get their attention," said Mario DiNatale, the township's director of community and business development and a member of the planning board. "They bought 30 malls over the last couple of years, half from PREIT, the previous owner of our mall. So we're stuck with an absentee landlord and they weren't giving our mall the attention it needed.
The town center is the township's largest taxpayer, forking over $900,000 a year, Mignogna said. He said Voorhees has been able to redevelop it largely with investments from PREIT. He and other township officials said a bond to pay for the construction of the new municipal building at the town center was largely paid by increased tax revenue from business and residents who moved in during the first phase of redevelopment in 2007.
The first phase included mixed-use, professional offices, shops and restaurants on a newly-created boulevard leading to the remaining mall.
Ravatz has a term for what happened on the largest tract of land in the township: "De-malling."
"There just isn't a need for these malls in every town in New Jersey now," said Ravitz, who is an executive in his family's business, which owns five ShopRite supermarkets and a PriceRite discount store. "The stores that were in the mall were exclusive mall retailers. A lot of them are gone and no longer exist. Things change and evolve."
De-malling to move forward
De-malling is a trend that has developed over nearly two decades to reconstruct the retail center model from an indoor shopping experience to open-air, preferable with parking near stand-alone stores. The open-air experience is just what's featured in one of South Jersey's newest retail centers, Gloucester Premium Outlets in Gloucester Township which opened in 2015.
Another advantage Gloucester Premium Outlets has over Voorhees Town Center is its location on a major state highway just 8 miles away. It's located on Route 42, the busy North-South freeway, which leads to shore points to the east and Philadelphia west.
The former Echelon Mall is landlocked near the intersection of Somerdale and Burnt Mill roads, no where near the size of the six-lane, divided highway on Route 42 and does not have easy access to interstate highways.
It also has a lot of competition. Just 6.5 miles to the southwest is the Deptford Mall and less than 12 miles to the north is the Cherry Hill Mall.
Ravitz and the other four commissioners must now decide if they endorse the report, which lays out the reasons why the area is in immediate need of redevelopment and should be condemned.
"The online shopping revolution is driving the retail brick & mortar business model literally into the ground and the entire concept of a department store is becoming more obsolete every year," professional developer Peter Van Den Kooy said in the report. "This situation cannot be reversed and places the Voorhees Town Center at a disadvantage, because the probability of a business reusing the subject property as it currently stands, is very low."
The township will have to take the property away from Namdar if it adopts the report's recommendation to condemn the struggling section of the town center and acquire it through eminent domain. The action allows governments to take control of property deemed as neglected or a public safety hazard.
"Towns hate condemnation, hate eminent domain, but we really needed something to get their attention," DiNatale said. "We can't allow it to continue to deteriorate. Just another four stores closed [last] week."Bill Duhart may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
If you're cutting through one of these tiny towns, watch your driving!
Snow slowed the start, but the first full week of high school baseball has some interesting match-ups.
Check out the first set of conference players of the week.
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Find out if your school made the new list.
Five male officers have accused Haddon Township Chief Mark Cavallo of sexual harassment.
Four senior male police officers have filed a lawsuit alleging they were punished after reporting unwanted sexual advances from their male chief of police.
The dispute in Haddon Township -- a Camden County town of about 15,000 -- is entering its third year. The officers filed a tort notice last year with many of the allegations as a precursor to the latest court filing.
What appears to remain in question is when the sexual harassment allegations surfaced and what the township has done since then.
Phone and email requests for comment from the lead plaintiff, Captain Scott Bishop, and the attorney who represents him and the other officers, Jeffrey Caccese, were not returned. Phone and email requests for comment from Haddon Township Mayor Randall Teague also were not returned. A phone request for comment from Cavallo was not immediately returned.
Bishop, Lieutenant Sean Gooley, Sergeant Thomas Whalen and Detective Sergeant Joseph D. Johnston, allege in the lawsuit -- filed in Superior Court in Camden County on March 27 -- that Chief Mark Cavallo has made flirtatious, sometimes sexual comments and inappropriately touched them on their inner thighs and elsewhere.
Their lawsuit states the officers first reported the sexual harassment in February 2016 to former township Commissioner John Foley, the director of public safety who resigned in 2017. They also claim they filed a complaint with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office in October 2016, however a request for comment this week from that office was not immediately returned.
In the lawsuit, the officers described a "pervasive and predatory sexual harassment and hostile work environment" that included "inappropriate touching."
They claim Cavallo has blown kisses at them, flicked his tongue in a sexual manner, pulled his pants down to expose his underwear and texted a photo of himself in a shower to one of them. They said harassing language has included: "Turn around and let me see what you got," "I could just eat you up," "Talk dirty to me baby," and "I would like to get you down on my work bench."
The mayor, Teague, told NJ Advance Media in October the allegations against the chief surfaced during discussions of promotions and new hires in the 26-officer department in January 2017 and he believes the disputes may be related.
In the lawsuit, officers claim Teague "continually discounted the complaints" and "inexplicably implied that the allegations were being made due to promotions," referencing the mayor's comments in an interview with NJ Advance Media.
However, an email Bishop sent to Foley on Jan. 13, 2017 stated it had been a year since they spoke with Foley about Cavallo being "lazy" and neglecting his duty. It did not mention sexual harassment.
Township officials in March 2017 initiated an investigation into the complaints from the four officers and a fifth patrolman who also claims Cavallo sexually harassed and fired him, in part, because he rebuffed his advances. The patrolman Jason DeMent settled a lawsuit with the township for $175,000. He originally claimed he had received inappropriate messages from Cavallo, but as part of the settlement, said he did not. The township maintained that he was fired for health reasons.
In the new lawsuit -- which names the township, mayor, chief and the township's personnel director -- the officers claim they have been subjected to harassing behavior by township officials since filing a complaint, including having their 'fitness of duty' questioned.
Cavallo has been chief since 2009 and a member of the township police force for 34 years. He is also a member of the Haddon Township school board.Bill Duhart may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook.Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
A look at some of N.J.'s top college athletes in track and field
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A third-party vendor placed patient names, diagnoses and prescriptions on a server that wasn't password protected
Virtua Medical Group, a South Jersey firm with dozens of medical and surgical practices, has agreed to pay $417,816 to settle a complaint that it exposed medical records of more than 1,650 patients on the internet.
The exposure of patient names, medical diagnoses and prescriptions of patients when Virtua contracted Georgia-based Best Medical Transcription to transcribe dictations of medical notes, letters, and reports by doctors at three Virtua practices, the state Attorney General's office said Wednesday.
The transcription firm incorrectly configured its server and allowed the information to be accessed without a password, authorities said.
Virtua learned of the issue when it received a call from a patient in January 2016, authorities said. The patient found her medical information online after conducting a Google search.
Virtua then investigated and learned other patients' information was publicly available. Soon after, the company reported the data breach to the FBI and State Police.
The company worked to ensure that all of the information was removed from Google and requested Google remove the entire File Transfer Protocol site from its cache.
"Although it was a third-party vendor that caused this data breach, VMG is being held accountable because it was their patient data and it was their responsibility to protect it," Division of Consumer Affairs acting director Sharon M. Joyce said in a statement. "This enforcement action sends a message to medical practices that having a good handle on your own cybersecurity is not enough. You must fully vet your vendors for their security as well."
As part of the settlement, Virtua will hire a third-party to monitor its online security protocols.
The patients were treated at Virtua Surgical Group in Hainesport, and Virtua Gynecological Oncology Specialists and Virtua Pain and Spine Specialists in Voorhees.
Virtua's attorney, Ted Kobus of New York City-based firm Baker Hostetler, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.