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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Court urged not to reopen evidentiary hearing for former WPS principal

U.S. Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco urged the district court to turn down the request of former Whispering Palms School principal Thomas Weindl to open the evidentiary hearing for his case, saying the motion for reconsideration filed by the former educator is both untimely and inappropriate.

The 57-year-old Weindl was indicted on two counts of receipt of child pornography and two counts of access with intent to view child pornography. He allegedly used a government-issued laptop to review child pornographic materials.

Based on Limtiaco’s filing on Dec. 4, the motion for reconsideration shall be made within 14 calendar days of entry of the order or judgment for which reconsideration is sought. In Weindl’s case, the court’s order denying his motion to suppress evidence was filed on Nov. 20, 2012. The government on Nov. 30 filed its motion to reconsider the portion of the order suppressing all evidence obtained after defendant was provided with Miranda warnings.

It was disclosed that the defendant’s motion for reconsideration was not filed until Dec. 14, which is 24 days after the entry of the order. Although the government did not oppose Weindl’s motion to extend the time period for him to oppose the government’s motion for reconsideration, Weindl did not ask the court for permission to file his own late motion for reconsideration.

Limtiaco also argued that the motion for reconsideration is inappropriate, pursuant to the Local Rule 7.1g, which states that a motion for reconsideration may be appropriate when the court is presented with newly discovered evidence; the court committed a clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; there has been an intervening change in controlling law; or there is some other, highly persuasive circumstance warranting reconsideration.

Limtiaco stated that the information provided in the declaration of Joseph C. Torres, which was attached to Weindl’s motion for reconsideration, is not new evidence. Torres, she said, was interviewed by the FBI on July 17, 2012, and a written summary of the interview was provided to Weindl’s attorney in advance. There has also been no change in the law since the court issued the order and the court did not commit a clear error nor issued a decision that was manifestly unjust.

According to the U.S. attorney, Weindl’s motion also repeats prior argument regarding “legitimate expectation of privacy.” Weindl, she said, also had a full opportunity to present evidence during the four-day hearing of the case, during which he should have called Torres as a witness.

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