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              Friday, February 9, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 29


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: EEOC Talks On Agents' Contracts Ended
ANALYTICAL SURVEYS: Files Motion for Dismissal of Securities Suit in IN
BRITAIN: 2nd Spanish Group Mulls Mad Cow Suit; At Least 5 Cases in Spain
CANADA: Lawyers Release Report; MPs Join in Urging Fed Govt to Settle
CANKER PROGRAM: Angry FL Tree Owners Seek Apology and Compensation

CASHEL MANAGEMENT: Duo Become Targets of Lawsuits and SEC Investigation
CHANDLER INSURANCE: Investors Seek to Stop Privatisation of Company
CHARLES SCHWAB: Krause & Kalfayan Announces Lawsuit over Redemption Fees
COMDISCO, INC: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in Illinois
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Judge Order Prince George's County to Continue Training

GUN MANUFACTURERS: All But One of 32 Models Could Be Opened Without Key
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Polish Foreign Minister Criticizes Germany on Funds
IBP INC: Baskin, Bennett Announces Shareholder Suit in South Dakota
INMATES LITIGATION: Court Upholds Seizure of funds As User Fee
J.C. BRADFORD: Ritchie & Rideker Announces Securities Suit Filed in AL

MICROSOFT CORP: Ap Ct Makes Judge's Comments an Issue in Antitrust Case
MOUNT KISCO: Agrees to Extend Ban on Bias Against Hispanics
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Report Alleging Voter Fraud Sent to Fd Prosecutor
RESOURCES ACCRUED: Settlement Reached over Alleged Breach of Fid. Duties


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: EEOC Talks On Agents' Contracts Ended
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Allstate
Insurance Group have ended attempts at mediating their differences over
Allstate's reorganization of its agent system, leaving open the
probability that the unresolved matter will end up in federal court.

"We are disappointed that the EEOC has decided that conciliation efforts
will likely fail," Allstate spokesman Michael Trevino said. "We do not
know when they will advise us what the next step in their deliberations
will be. However, it is important to stress that the complaints filed
with the agency have come from a very small proportion of the Allstate
agents affected."

In November 1999, Allstate announced it would reorganize its
15,000-member agency force under a single independent contractor program.
As part of that move, 6,500 employee agents had the ability to enter into
the same independent-contractor status as the majority. Most affected
employee agents became independents with exclusive Allstate contracts,
but about 300 current and former agents filed charges with the EEOC
because the company required that to receive the exclusive contracts with
the better severance benefits, they had to waive their right to sue.

In October, the EEOC agreed with the agents' positions and has since been
engaged in conciliation discussions with the company, according to
Allstate. EEOC Spokesman David Grinberg said that under law, discussions
with companies are confidential, and he declined to confirm or deny any
activity until and unless the EEOC takes any formal action.

Under the new system, Allstate gave agents four options. Three of them
provided financial incentives and gave the newly independent agents
exclusive contracts to sell Allstate products, but they required that
agents agree not to sue the company. The fourth option, which did not
bestow exclusive-agent status, involved a smaller severance payment, but
did not require a waiver of the right to sue.

According to Trevino, the EEOC has a few courses of action available: It
can file a lawsuit against Allstate, or it can issue a right-to-sue
letter to the 300 agents that brought charges advising them they could
pursue litigation individually. Or it could choose to do nothing.

Harper said that based on his discussions with EEOC officials, he expects
the agency to file its own lawsuit because it considers the case to have
ramifications beyond Allstate and its former agents. "We've got all of
corporate America watching to see if Allstate can get away with this," he
said. "This is the only situation in which employees were fired and then
offered a redeployment plan if they signed the release. There is no
precedent for what we're going through. This one will probably go to the
Supreme Court before it's over."

Rod Guilmette, a spokesman for the National Association of Professional
Allstate Agents said Allstate has the right "to fire agents within the
laws, but the release and waiver in order for them to continue with their
careers is the sticking point here. The EEOC looked at this and was
disturbed at what it saw." Guilmette said the independent contractor
program put agents into a difficult position in that to retain their
books of business, they had to sign the waiver. "When an agent reaches
success, it's due to having poured many hours and dollars into the
business," he said. "It's not the same as a skilled machinist, who can go
to another company at the same rate of pay or better."

Trevino saw some irony in the position of the agents and EEOC. "If this
were an ordinary reorganization, and positions were eliminated, the
waiver would have been considered a permissible and prudent business
practice," he said. "The new wrinkle is our offering of a new

Ron Harper, an Allstate agent in Thomson, Ga., who is among the 300 to
file EEOC complaints, disagreed with that assessment. "He tried to make
that sound like the reorganization was a benevolent action toward us," he
said. "No agent would agree with that. The fact is they did not want to
lose 6,500 agents immediately. That's probably 5,000 locations they would
have had to close. This was self-preservation for them. They saw it as a
way to eliminate benefits on aging workers like myself." Harper said he
was disappointed that the talks had broken down, but was glad that the
EEOC "saw this as a sham. "I was disappointed in being fired to begin
with," he said. "When conciliation talks began, we were encouraged. The
EEOC told us they had to get Allstate to comply with the law. I'm not
looking for a fight, so I'm obviously displeased." Harper also said
members of Congress are looking into the question of whether Allstate's
program violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA). "What happened to agents is that the company fired them in order
to take away their benefits," said Harper. "I do exactly the same job,
but I don't have the benefits anymore, and we think that's illegal under
Section 510 of ERISA." Harper said 93% of agents fired were over age 40,
and most were planning to stay on the job until age 65.

Former agent Gene Romero, who has been unemployed since June 30, said
Allstate used "intimidation and coercion" in its agent-reorganization
plan. He said the company had previously reimbursed agents for office
leases and Yellow Pages ads under agents' names, but said it would not
unless agents signed the waiver.

The Kansas City, Mo., resident said he had just come home from a
two-hour-plus meeting with the EEOC, where he learned that the question
of moving forward with litigation will be decided by its five-member
board of commissioners. That decision may not come any time soon,
however, because at least two board members will be replaced by the new
Bush administration, he said. "I would like to see the EEOC litigate to a
full conclusion," he said. "This affects not only Allstate employees, but
all American workers. The reorganization was to eliminate older workers
and take away their benefits." He said pension plans were frozen. But
even if the EEOC does not litigate, it will issue right-to-sue letters,
he said, and they would result in a class-action lawsuit.

ANALYTICAL SURVEYS: Files Motion for Dismissal of Securities Suit in IN
The Company and certain of its directors and former officers have been
named as defendants in thirteen putative securities class action
complaints that were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana (the "Court") beginning on February 2, 2000.
On May 12, 2000, the Court consolidated the thirteen actions under the
caption re: Analytical Surveys, Inc. Securities Litigation, Case No.
IP00-201 M/S. On July 26, 2000, plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended
Class Action Complaint on behalf of themselves and a putative class
consisting of all persons, other than defendants and their affiliates,
who purchased the Company's common stock on the open market during the
period from January 25, 1999, through and including March 7, 2000.

The plaintiffs allege that the Company and the individual defendants
violated the federal securities laws, which prohibit fraud in connection
with the purchase or sale of securities, by knowingly or recklessly
issuing financial statements that failed to comply with generally
accepted accounting principles. The plaintiffs seek an award of
compensatory damages, including interest thereon, and attorneys' fees and
other costs.

On September 11, 2000, the Company and the individual defendants filed
motions to dismiss the plaintiffs' Consolidated Amended Class Action. On
October 24, 2000, the plaintiffs filed a memorandum in Opposition to
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss the Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint. The Court has not yet ruled on these motions.

While the Company cannot reasonably estimate the damages, if any, that
may result from this action, the company says it is possible that the
outcome of this litigation may have a material adverse impact on the
financial condition or results of operations of the Company in one or
more future periods. The Company, however, intends to defend itself
vigorously in this matter.

BRITAIN: 2nd Spanish Group Mulls Mad Cow Suit; At Least 5 Cases in Spain
Spain's biggest agricultural association, ASAJA, said it was considering
legal action against the British government for alleged negligence in the
spread of mad cow disease.

It follows a similar announcement by Spanish farm association COAG, which
last week said it might file a lawsuit against Britain over the export of
animal feed that the group said may have been tainted by brain-wasting
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Spain on Tuesday confirmed five new cases of mad cow disease, raising to
17 the number of cattle affected by the illness that first surfaced in
Britain in 1986 and has recently spread across Europe.

``We believe that the United Kingdom could presumably have caused this
illness by exporting animal feed in bad condition to other countries,''
ASAJA Chairman Pedro Barato Triguero told Reuters.

After hiring the services of two leading law firms, ASAJA said in a
statement that it would explore the legal possibilities ``to demand they
take responsibility for their negligent action.''

ASAJA said it sought ``appropriate compensation for the lack of control
and information on the part of (Britain) regarding the illness.''

Farmers groups across Spain have pressed for assistance as they struggle
to cope with falling meat prices and the cost of keeping cattle which are
not slaughtered.

``The farmers are facing a range of very negative consequences,'' Barato
Triguero said, adding that BSE has cost the sector an estimated 180
billion pesetas ($1 billion) since Spain's first case was detected in

There are fears the number of mad cow cases in Spain will rise as testing
becomes more widespread. A leading scientist has said he expects more
than 100 cases to be detected before the end of the year.

All Spain's confirmed cases have been found in the north of the country,
but a suspected case was found on the island of Majorca and was
undergoing further tests.

There have been no reported cases in Spain of new variant
Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD), the brain-wasting human variant of BSE
which has killed more than 80 people, mostly in Britain.

The United Nations estimated that Europe had exported meat and bone meal
to more than 100 countries, putting them at risk from the illness.
(Reuters from Madrid, February 7, 2001)

CANADA: Lawyers Release Report; MPs Join in Urging Fed Govt to Settle
Lawyers representing disabled veterans in a Class Action lawsuit against
the federal government released a report, in a press conference on
Parliament Hill, which quantifies the federal government's liability in
the lawsuit. Official Opposition Veterans Affairs Critic, Roy Bailey, M.P
joined the lawyers.

The report, written by University of Windsor Economist Dr. Michael
Charrette, quantifies the liability based on interest it failed to pay on
the veterans' monies, which it held in trust, over the last 80 years. Dr.
Charrette undertook an analysis of the Public Accounts of Canada from
1920 until 1990 and based his $1.6 billion liability amount on a schedule
of conservative investments used by trustees.

"These disabled veterans, many of them elderly and warehoused in
Veterans' hospitals and institutions across Canada cannot speak for
themselves. We are here today, on their behalf, to tell the federal
government that it is time to return to these veterans and their families
what is rightfully theirs. The time to hammer out a settlement is now so
that our Class members - many of whom are elderly - can reap the benefits
of what has been owing to them all of these years. Further, the interest
to taxpayers on this liability is growing at $1.5 million per week," said
the legal team.

The analysis period for Dr. Charrette's report ended in 1990 due to the
fact that, following two highly critical Auditor General's reports in
1985 and 1986, the federal government passed Omnibus legislation which
undertook to pay veterans interest on their personal and pension monies.
Interest was then paid as of January 1, 1990. A significant clause in
that legislation however - and the only clause in force today - sought to
limit the government's liability for unpaid interest and deprived
veterans and their heirs of any access to due process by preventing them
from suing their government for amounts owing.

That 1990 legislation was struck down as part of an October 2000 Summary
Judgment in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled in the
veterans favor. The federal government is appealing that decision with
the Appeal scheduled for late April.

"Since the early decades of the last century, the federal government, in
return for the tremendous sacrifices these veterans made, held their
pension and other monies in the Consolidated Revenue Fund - the
government's own spending account. The money sat there for years, while
the government benefited from it, only to return it to the veterans minus
what they should have been rightfully earning had the money been properly
managed," the lawyers added.

The members of the legal team are Raymond Colautti, and David Greenaway,
of the Raphael Partners law firm, Windsor, Ontario and Mr. Peter
Sengbusch, London, Ontario.

"Why should these veterans, as a result of their disabilities, be treated
any differently than their fellow Canadians who returned to Canada and
resumed their lives? It is outrageous that these men and women - who have
no voice - are discriminated against in this fashion. No doubt had the
government's negligence not been discovered, these veterans and their
families who paid such a high price for their sacrifice, would never have
recovered their property which the federal government has been benefiting
from for the past 7 decades," they added. (Canada NewsWire, February 8,

CANKER PROGRAM: Angry FL Tree Owners Seek Apology and Compensation
Angry South Florida homeowners who lost trees to the citrus canker
eradication ax told state lawmakers on Wednesday that they deserve an
apology and money from the state.

"You need to defuse the anger and restore the confidence of voters," Lori
Gold, a Hollywood homeowner who lost four trees, told the Senate
Agriculture Committee.

Jack Haire of Fort Lauderdale said the losses suffered by perhaps 200,000
homeowners may have been for naught -- the disease has now spread into
Palm Beach County and the state's Gulf Coast area.

"All of our suffering has been for nothing," he said.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson said state workers and
contractors hired to cut down the trees have shown little compassion or
sensitivity for homeowners faced with the loss of trees -- some of them
decades old.

"This was a nightmare. People feel abused," said Sorenson, who came home
one day to find her citrus trees gone. She said that giving homeowners a
$ 100 Wal-Mart gift certificate was like "adding insult to injury"
because the discount stores often had no trees left to sell.

"The state needs to apologize ... people were outraged," she said.

The citrus eradication program run by the Florida Department of
Agriculture has sparked angry emotions across South Florida but was
sharply curtailed in November when Broward Circuit Judge J. Leonard Fleet
stopped the state from cutting down healthy trees found growing within
1,900 feet of an infected tree. The state is still cutting infected

On May 1, Fleet is scheduled to hear a class-action suit against the
state brought by thousands of South Florida homeowners whose fruit trees
were destroyed.

Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Craig Meyer told the committee that the
state is sorry it had to remove trees and apologized for the
inconvenience it caused.

"But this is not fun," he said. "It was thrust on us by how virulent the
disease is and how fast it moves. We continue to search the world for
another solution, but we haven't found it yet."

Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, said he would
like the state to pay homeowners $ 100 for each of the trees cut down,
instead of the current flat fee of $ 100 no matter how many trees are
killed. He estimated it would cost the state about $ 35 million, with
part of the money coming from the state general fund and part coming from
a trust fund that collects taxes from the citrus industry.

"My goal is to try and get compensation for the residents who have lost
their trees," said Geller, whose Senate district stretches from Broward
up to Hendry County, the second-largest citrus producing county in the
state. "My goal is $ 100 per tree. That's probably somewhat less than the
fair market value, but not insultingly less."

Many residents are angry at the state's citrus industry for the
eradication program, which is aimed at killing off the blight before it
reaches the largest commercial groves in Central Florida. But state
officials also warn that infection of the major groves could be an
economic disaster.

"The homeowners have been hit hard, but the growers have also had to wipe
out whole groves," said Sen. Charles Bronson, R-Satellite Beach,
considered a possible replacement for Agriculture Commissioner Bob
Crawford, who recently resigned to head the Florida Citrus Commission.
"The seriousness of this disease and what it can do to the economy is

Bronson also warned that any fresh fruit or vegetable produced near an
infected grove could face a boycott by other states and countries.

"You've heard about 'Fresh from Florida.' Well, there won't be any fresh
from Florida if this spreads," Bronson said. (Sun-Sentinel (Fort
Lauderdale, FL), February 8, 2001)

CASHEL MANAGEMENT: Duo Become Targets of Lawsuits and SEC Investigation
Before Thomas Durkin and John E. Orin Jr. of Cashel Management Inc.
became the targets of several lawsuits and an investigation by the
Securities and Exchange Commission, they had cultivated friendships among
some of Northeast Ohio's most respected residents.

The investment advisory firm's list of affluent clients was developed in
large part through Messrs. Durkin and Orin's ties within elite social
settings, such as Westwood County Club in Rocky River and the Cleveland
Yacht Club. Mr. Durkin, president of Cashel, and Mr. Orin, Cashel's vice
president, also reached back to high school and college friends to help
develop a client base for their 19-year-old firm.

Those relationships have been fractured in recent months.

In five lawsuits filed since December, Cashel clients allege that between
$60 million and $100 million they entrusted to the firm was diverted to a
Connecticut publishing and Internet company, RX Remedy Inc., which last
Dec. 20 filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code. The SEC also has begun an investigation of Cashel.

The Cashel story took a horrific and highly personal turn on Jan. 18,
when another company vice president, Timothy Brennan, jumped to his death
from a Rocky River bridge a few days before he was to appear in court to
discuss a motion in one of the lawsuits.

Messrs. Durkin, 55, and Orin, 61, have yet to comment publicly about the
controversy engulfing their firm, which has offices in the Huntington
Building downtown on the same floor as another landmark of Cleveland
social circles, the Metropolitan Club. Neither man returned three
telephone calls each last week from Crain's Cleveland Business.

Interviews with attorneys for plaintiffs and with the few Cashel clients
who will speak on the record about the situation paint a picture of
Messrs. Durkin and Orin as consummate relationship-builders.

Phillip Ranney, a partner at Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond PLL and
the trustee for a charitable trust now suing Cashel, said he grew up with
Mr. Orin. Both graduated from Lakewood High School in the 1950s, and Mr.
Ranney said their paths crossed many times through-out the years.

It was in the early 1990s, Mr. Ranney said, that Mr. Orin approached his
law firm about letting Cashel handle money for the trust.

"They came with a good record, an impressive list of clients," Mr. Ranney

For years, Cashel appeared to do a good job handling funds for the trust,
Mr. Ranney said. However, he said he became aware last November that
nearly 50 transfers of funds from the trust to RX Remedy had been made
without his authorization from 1997 through 2000. On Dec. 12, Mr. Ranney
filed in federal court a lawsuit alleging that Cashel had pilfered $10
million from the trust.

Although the social ties between the Cashel representatives and many of
the plaintiffs are mainly in the western suburbs in communities such as
Fairview Park, Lakewood, Rocky River and Westlake, others originated more
than four decades ago in such places such as Delaware, Ohio.

For instance, the tie between Mr. Orin and Cashel client Evan Corns can
be traced back to 1959, when both attended Ohio Wesleyan University. Mr.
Corns is an Ohio Wesleyan trustee and retired chief executive officer of
America's Body Co., an Oakwood Village-based distributor of truck bodies
and parts. His deceased father, Robert Corns, was president and vice
chairman of Roadway Express in Akron.

Attorneys for Evan Corns and his wife, Barbara, say Cashel lost $8.7
million of the Corns' money. Mr. Corns did not return three phone calls
last week.

Evan and Barbara Corns aren't the biggest financial losers in Cashel's
alleged entanglement with RX Remedy. According to Michael Ungar, a
partner at Ulmer & Berne LLP, that designation would appear to fall to
members of the Durkin and Orin families, who Mr. Ungar said may have
invested as much as $20 million in RX Remedy after the Connecticut firm's
launch in 1992. Mr. Ungar's firm filed the lawsuit pending against Cashel
on behalf of Mr. Ranney.

One of the creditors in the RX Remedy bankruptcy is the KRW Foundation,
which Bankruptcy Court records show is owed $1.6 million. The bankruptcy
filing places the foundation in a building at 23235 Mastick Road in North
Olmsted. Records from the Cuyahoga County Auditor's office show the
building is owned by Mr. Durkin's brother, George Durkin, who is of
counsel with the Cleveland law firm Cavitch, Familio, Durkin & Frutkin.
George Durkin did not return three phone calls last week.

Karamjeet Paul, chairman and CEO of RX Remedy, worked with both Messrs.
Durkin and Orin in the 1970s at the former Union Commerce Bank in
Cleveland. Mr. Paul, who is a defendant in all five lawsuits, described
the Cashel principals as "very professional."

Mr. Paul would not comment on his company's relationship with Cashel or
on plaintiffs' allegations that millions of dollars flowed to RX Remedy
from Cashel without their knowledge. However, Mr. Paul said both RX
Remedy and Bankruptcy Court officials in Connecticut are working to
satisfy creditors.

"We're putting together a long-range plan now," he said.

Those untouched by the Cashel troubles say they have held Messrs. Durkin
and Orin in high regard.

Robert E. Mooney, who lives next door to Mr. Durkin in Lakewood, said his
neighbor -- a graduate of St. Ignatius High School, the University of
Notre Dame and Columbia University in New York -- is a regular at St.
Bernadette Catholic Church in Westlake.

Russell Catanese, who has known Mr. Orin for the last 25 years, described
him as a driving force behind the creation of the Joseph and Jeannette
Silber Hope Lodge in Cleveland, a resident recovery center for cancer
victims. Mr. Orin's wife died from cancer in 1996.

"He made it possible for us to embark on the capital campaign before we
had money," said Mr. Catanese, retired director of the Cleveland chapter
of the American Cancer Society. (Crain's Cleveland Business, February 5,

CHANDLER INSURANCE: Investors Seek to Stop Privatisation of Company
On June 5 and 6, 2000, three civil lawsuits were filed against the
Company, its indirect subsidiary Chandler (U.S.A.), Inc., and all of the
Company's directors. All three suits have now been consolidated into a
single proceeding.

The suit alleges that the plans announced on June 1, 2000 to take the
Company private are detrimental to the Disinterested Shareholders. Each
suit also requests that it be certified as a class action and that the
court enter a temporary restraining order to prevent completion of the
announced plan. The suit also alleges that all defendants have breached
and are breaching fiduciary duties owed to the plaintiffs and other

The plaintiffs have been granted leave to amend their petitions but have
not yet amended them. As a result, the Company has not yet responded to
the lawsuit but plans to file timely responses denying the allegations.
On June 12, 2000, CenTra made similar allegations in an already pending
lawsuit in the Nebraska Court involving a court-ordered divestiture of
the Company's shares owned by CenTra. See "The Company--Share Purchases."
CenTra requested that the court enjoin and restrain LaGere and others
from completing the announced plans. On July 20, 2000, the Nebraska Court
denied CenTra's request. On June 27, 2000, CenTra filed a similar request
in an already pending case in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Oklahoma (the "Oklahoma Court"). The Company has responded,
but the Oklahoma Court has not ruled.

CHARLES SCHWAB: Krause & Kalfayan Announces Lawsuit over Redemption Fees
On October 27, 2000, Tamara S. Ching commenced a class action suit
entitled Ching v. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in the Superior Court of the
State of California for San Diego County on behalf of all persons who
were retroactively charged short term redemption fees by Schwab in or
about late September 2000. On or about December 11, 2000, Schwab removed
the case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, where it is currently pending.

The complaint charges defendant with breach of contract, breach of
fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices in connection with Schwab's
retroactive assessment of certain Short Term Redemption fees that had not
been assessed at the time of the transactions at issue. Plaintiff seeks
to recover damages on behalf of herself and all persons who were charged
such retroactive fees. Excluded from the class are the defendant and its

Plaintiff is represented by the law firm of KRAUSE & KALFAYAN, located in
San Diego, California.

Although plaintiff maintains that this case is merely a State law matter,
Schwab has argued that the case is governed by the federal Securities

Contact: Ralph B. Kalfayan of KRAUSE & KALFAYAN, 619-232-0331,

COMDISCO, INC: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in Illinois
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on February 7, 2001, on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Comdisco, Inc. (NYSE: CDO) between
January 25, 2000 and October 3, 2000, inclusive. A copy of the complaint
filed in this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on
Milberg Weiss' website at: http://www.milberg.com/comdisco/

The action, numbered 01-C-874, is pending in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, located at
the Dirksen Bldg., 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago IL, 60604, against
defendants Comdisco, Nicholas K. Pontickes (CEO President and Director
throughout the Class Period), and John J. Vosicky (Chief Financial
Officer and Executive V.P.) The Honorable William J. Hibbler is the Judge
presiding over the case.

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between January 25, 2000 and October 3, 2000 concerning the
Company's operations and its Prism Communications Services ("Prism")
subsidiary. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants
repeatedly issued positive statements concerning Prism, Prism's expansion
into new markets and purported positive developments in Prism's existing
markets but failed to disclose that Prism was suffering from a host of
adverse factors including, but not limited to, that incumbent local
exchange carriers were slow to provide Prism access to their networks and
Prism was experiencing intense competition from entrenched
telecommunications companies who were lowering prices in an effort to
garner market share. Then, on October 3, 2000, Comdisco announced that it
would stop funding Prism and would write down its investment in Prism,
which amounted to $ 350 million. In response to this announcement,
Comdisco's stock price dropped by 23% in one day, from $17.5625 per share
to$13.37 per share (representing a 66% drop from the Class Period high of
$53 per share, reached on March 9, 2000). Prior to the disclosure of the
true facts about Prism, Comdisco insiders sold $ 10 million of their
personally-held Comdisco stock and the Company completed a $ 500 million
note offering on favorable terms.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP Steven G. Schulman or
Samuel H. Rudman (800) 320-5081 comdiscocase@milbergNY.com

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Judge Order Prince George's County to Continue Training
When a judge last week ordered Prince George's County to continue
training 99 fire department recruits, many of whom had been told they
wouldn't be hired, both relief and frustration swept through the

Three months after a class action discrimination lawsuit was filed on
behalf of the men and women whose employment offers were withdrawn by the
county days before training was to begin, Charles County Judge
Christopher Henderson found that Prince George's had erred and the offers
had to be reinstated. The recruits had claimed racial discrimination and
breach of contract.

But moments after Henderson issued his ruling last Thursday, he presided
over a lottery, which the county will have to use if it soon finds it
cannot afford to hire all 99 recruits. Some in the courtroom buried their
faces in their hands; others stared forward with angry, determined eyes.

"I don't believe this," said one recruit, shaking his head.

The county had insisted that the original list of 128 recruits was
slashed not because County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) was dissatisfied
with the racial makeup of the class but because hiring all the recruits
would force the fire department to finish the year over its budget.

After finding the county was wrong to withdraw the offers, Henderson
conducted a lottery with the names of 80 recruits (19 already had been
offered jobs).

Each person was given a number that represented the order in which that
person could be fired if the county finds it doesn't have the funds to
keep everyone.

Neither side characterized the ruling as a victory. For the recruits,
there is no clear resolution, some of them said.

"After all this, and I can still lose my job," said one recruit who asked
that his name not be published. "It's just been a total nightmare, but I
don't want to stop fighting for this."

It seems that none of them do, said Jay Holland, one of three attorneys
representing the plaintiffs, who are seeking jobs with a starting salary
of about $ 31,000.

"They want to stick together. If anything, this has brought them closer
together, and they refuse to give up," Holland said.

In a statement released on February 2, Curry said that Henderson's
verdict would allow the county to "provide citizens with superlative
service and operate a fiscally responsible and sound budget."

It will also "continue to exercise its right to dismiss those individuals
who fall into the categories of cause or fiscal constraint."

In light of Henderson's ruling, the county can keep those it can afford,
keep them all or scrap the entire class, said Deputy County Attorney John
Bielec, who handled the three-month lawsuit for the county.

"The way I read it, if in three months' time we determine we can't hire
any of them, we will go from number 99 on down," he said. "Some of them
can be terminated, or all of them, or none of them."

Before issuing his opinion, Henderson called Bielec's arguments that
budget concerns had forced the county to rescind the offers "bogus."

Rather than busting the county's budget, Henderson said, hiring all the
recruits would save the department $ 5.9 million in projected overtime
costs. Last year, the fire department spent $ 8.2 million in overtime
because it didn't have enough firefighters to cover all the shifts. This
year, it expects to spend $ 9.2 million -- more than twice what was
budgeted -- on overtime.

Because the fire department made no hires from 1996 through 2000, the
agency had a staffing problem, Henderson said. To safely serve the
community, he said, it would be in the public's best interest to hire as
many firefighters as possible.

The head of Prince George's County's fire and rescue union chastised
Curry on Tuesday for seeking to rescind the job offers, which had
prompted the recruits to file the suit against the county.

In his first public remarks on the case, union President Thomas K.
McEachin said Curry's withdrawal of the offers to 64 recruits would
discourage others from seeking emergency service jobs in Prince George's.
"How we're ever going to hire more bodies is beyond me," McEachin said.
"I don't agree that you send letters out to people saying you have jobs,
and then you say, 'Oops, I'm sorry.' "

McEachin told the County Council that the 750-member force is
understaffed and that firefighters are exhausted from working 50 to 60
hours a week in overtime.

"Overtime is great; we're like kids in a candy store, but now we've got a
stomachache," said McEachin, who became president of the 1,000-member
union in 1998. "I don't understand why we're not hiring people."

Fire Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki testified that current overtime costs
could force the department to close 20 firehouses -- nearly half of its
stations. Under county regulations, there must be four employees at each
location, which means that many firefighters end up working more than
their scheduled hours.

"And it's dangerous not to hire them all," said Dennis Gottesmann,
another attorney representing the plaintiffs. "Prince George's is the
16th-busiest fire department in the country and they want to close
stations to save money? It just doesn't make any sense, and I hope, in
the interest of the county, that it's not the choice they make." (The
Washington Post, February 08, 2001)

GUN MANUFACTURERS: All But One of 32 Models Could Be Opened Without Key
Government safety tests determined that all but one of 32 models of gun
locks could be opened without the key, some just by striking them hard,
The Washington Post reports.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission plans to urge the gun-lock
industry on Wednesday to develop standards to make sure the locks work as
advertised, the newspaper said. There have been no reports of shootings
attributed to failed gun locks, the CPSC said.

``There are 12 safety standards for every toy, but there is not one
safety standard for a gun lock, even though people are depending on these
to keep their kids away from guns,'' CPSC chairwoman Ann Brown told the

``We found you could open locks with paperclips, a pair of scissors or
tweezers, or you could whack them on the table and they would open,'' she
said. ``If I can do that, any 5-year-old can.''

The commission is also ordering a voluntary recall of 400,000 gun locks
distributed to homes across the country by under an initiative by the gun
industry called Project Homesafe.

Bill Brassard, national coordinator of Project Homesafe, said gun locks
have never been advertised as invincible.

``I'm not saying that these locks can't be defeated,'' Brassard was
quoted by the Post. ``They can by a determined adult who wants to gain
access to a firearm. That's why a gunlock is only part of a safety
program, along with gun safes, locked boxes and drawers _ and always
keeping ammunition separate from the gun.''

Half the locks tested were cable locks, in which a cord is threaded
through the gun's empty magazine to disable it and then placed in a
padlock. The CPSC said the 32 locks were representative of most of those
on the market, and that each lock underwent several tests. All but one
lock failed at least one of the tests.

CPSC officials said the tests were designed to test ``foreseeable use and
misuse.'' (AP, February 7, 2001)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Polish Foreign Minister Criticizes Germany on Funds
Poland's foreign minister criticized Germany on Thursday for not pressing
German companies hard enough to make their final contributions to a fund
for Nazi-era slave laborers.

''It is a very sad and bad sign that such a powerful state, so well
organized, is not able to put more pressure on its industrial circles''
to come up with the money, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski said.

Bartoszewski, 78, a historian and survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi death
camp, also said he was concerned about delays in payments from the fund
to aging Poles and other surviving victims. ''I do not aspire to any
money for the time I spent in Auschwitz because there is nothing which
could compensate for that,'' he said. ''But I do have friends who are
more than 80 years old on 600-zloty (dlrs 250) monthly pensions, and I
know how much they need such help.''

The German government and German companies who benefited from the Nazi
slave and forced labor regime set up the 10-billion-mark (dlrs 4.8
billion) fund to compensate survivors and ward off U.S. class action
lawsuits. Each side is contributing half.

German industry which is to provide half of the total has collected only
3.6 billion marks (dlrs 1.7 billion) so far, which some critics say is
enough to start payments. Some accuse the companies of hiding behind
legal arguments.

Payments have been stalled in part by a New York judge's unexpected
refusal last month to dismiss Holocaust litigation against German banks.
Lawyers were given until Feb. 28 to explain how compensation will be
disbursed and answer other questions.

Warsaw, which says it believes about 500,000 Poles are eligible for
payments, had expressed hope that payments to the oldest survivors could
begin in March. (AP Worldstream, February 8, 2001)

IBP INC: Baskin, Bennett Announces Shareholder Suit in South Dakota
Baskin, Bennett & Komkov LLP announced that a shareholder action has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the District of South
Dakota to remedy the allegedly wrongful actions of IBP Inc.'s (NYSE:IBP)
senior officers and directors in connection with their attempts to divert
IBP's valuable assets to a small group of company insiders in connection
with the sale of IBP.

According to James Baskin, the Complaint alleges that defendants first
attempted to sell IBP directly to a group of IBP insiders at a firesale
price of $22.25 per share and were forced by the substantially higher
unsolicited offer from Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) to shift tactics and
terminate their plans to acquire IBP. Thereafter, defendants were alleged
to have engaged in wrongful actions for the basic objective of
transferring enormous value to IBP's senior insiders in connection with
the sale of IBP, including a$66.5 million payment to Donaldson, Lufkin &
Jenrette. According to Baskin, the Complaint alleges that, to accomplish
their plan, defendants violated federal and state law by, among other
things, disseminating false and misleading tender offer materials to
IBP's shareholders in connection with the sale of IBP. According to
Baskin, the Complaint further alleges that defendants have now admitted
that defendants also caused the Company to disseminate inaccurate
financial statements prior to the October 2000 announcement of the sale
of IBP.

Contact: Baskin, Bennett & Komkov LLP, Austin James D. Baskin III,
512/381-6301 e-mail: jbaskin@baskin.com

INMATES LITIGATION: Court Upholds Seizure of funds As User Fee
The state prison system can seize a portion of money sent to prison
inmates by spouses in what amounts to a "user fee" that helps recoup the
cost of incarceration, the Washington Supreme Court said Thursday.

The high court voted 6-3 to reject a class-action lawsuit brought by
inmates' spouses.

The decision overturned a King County judge's finding that the program
was unconstitutional. It also prompted a dissenting opinion by the chief
justice that questioned the merits of taking money sent by spouses who,
in many cases, earn little money and may even receive public assistance.

The spouses sought to overturn a 1995 law that allowed the Department of
Corrections to seize 35 percent of all money received by inmates.

Twenty percent of the money is used to offset part of the cost of
incarceration, which averages $23,500 a year per inmate, according to the
department. Of the rest, 10 percent goes into an inmate savings account
that the prisoners get when they're released, and 5 percent is placed in
the state crime victim's compensation fund.

The spouses were supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, the
Northwest Women's Law Center and a group called Pro-Family Advocates of

Together, the spouses and their backers argued that the program violated
the constitutional requirement of equal taxation and protection from
unlawful "takings" by the government. They also said they were entitled
to the interest earned on the inmate savings accounts.

King County Superior Court Judge Glenna Hall sided with the spouses and
ordered the Corrections Department to stop making deductions received
from married inmates, but allowed seizures of funds directed to unmarried
inmates, according to court records. Hall also ordered the return of all
previously seized funds.

The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Barbara Madsen,
overturned Hall's order.

Madsen said the seizures do not violate the state or federal
constitutions because the deduction is not a tax.

Taxes benefit the general public, Madsen wrote, while the deduction
primarily benefits "a small group of individuals" - inmates and crime
victims. The deduction is best described as "a recoupment provision" or a
"user fee" for specific services rendered by the state to inmates, she

"In essence, an inmate is being asked to reimburse the state because the
inmate has made it necessary for the state to keep and maintain him at a
large cost," Madsen wrote.

The court majority did, however, give spouses a consolation price. It
ordered the prison agency to pay current and former inmates any interest
earned by their savings accounts.

In a dissent, Chief Justice Gerry Alexander called the deduction a
"blatant confiscation" that amounts to a tax. To emphasize his point,
Alexander quoted Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

"Just as 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,' a tax has
distinctive features that cannot be obscured merely by giving it another
name," he wrote in a dissent joined by Justices Charles Johnson and
Richard Sanders.

The state is the primary beneficiary of the prison system, which means
the cost of incarcerating inmates is the responsibility of all taxpayers,
not inmates and their spouses, Alexander said.

He questioned what would happen if the state applied a similar program to
the public school system.

"If the state were to legislate a seizure of a portion of every allowance
that a school child receives from his parents in order to recoup the cost
of educating that child, I submit that we would have little difficulty in
concluding that this was a tax on the students and parents masquerading
as a recoupment provision," Alexander said.

Court records did not say how much money is seized by the prison system.
Corrections spokesman Veltry Johnson did not immediately return a call

The inmates themselves also have challenged the deductions. Their case
was rejected by a federal judge, according to court records. (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, February 8, 2001)

J.C. BRADFORD: Ritchie & Rideker Announces Securities Suit Filed in AL
The lawfirm of Ritchie & Rideker announced on February 8 that a class
action suit has been filed in Federal court in Alabama charging J.C.
Bradford, Paine Webber and W. Bishop Kelley, Jr. of defrauding customers
who purchased stock in Marketing Services Group., Inc. (NASDAQ:MSGI).

Filed January 18, 2001 in the the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama, the securities calls action is captioned Whitman, et
al. v. J.C. Bradford & Co. L.L.C., et al. Civil Action No.
CV-01-B-0193-S. This class action is brought against defendants J.C.
Bradford & Co., L.L.C., Paine Webber Group, Inc., PaineWebber, Inc., and
W. Bishop Kelley, Jr., on behalf of all persons and entities (other than
Defendants and affiliated persons of Defendants) who purchased common
stock of Marketing Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSGI) ("MSGI" or the
"Company") between January 1, 1999 and November 30, 2000 (the "Class
Period") and who have suffered a loss.

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendant W. Bishop
Kelley, Jr., with the knowledge, assistance and participation of the
other Defendants and in conspiracy with MSGI and its controlling officer
and director and others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud customers of
Bradford (who subsequently became customers of PWG and PWI) in the
purchase of MSGI common stock. In sum, the alleged scheme entailed the
activities of Kelley, in conspiracy with MSGI and certain of its
affiliates, to manipulate and support or increase, to artificial levels,
the market price of MSGI stock, to conceal from Class Members at the
times of the purchase of MSGI stock in their accounts the complete
adverse financial information about MSGI and its prospects, to engage in
a pattern and practice of putting customer accounts into MSGI stock
without compliance with discretionary account trading requirements and
without compliance with the suitability rule and without proper
pre-purchase disclosures, and the corporate defendants' breaches of their
duties of supervision and prevention of Kelley's wrongful activities. The
alleged scheme also included the concealment of the material omitted
facts. The Complaint alleges that as a result of the foregoing, MSGI
stock was wrongfully purchased in, and for, the accounts of Plaintiffs
and Class Members at artificially high levels, causing a loss to
Plaintiffs and Class Members when true facts about MSGI became known and
when price manipulation activities were terminated or discovered.

The Consolidated Complaint asserts securities fraud and manipulation
claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b) and Rule
10b-5, 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5, promulgated thereunder by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (the "SEC"); and controlling person liability claims
under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78t(a).

Contact: Ritchie & Rediker, L.L.C., Birmingham Thomas L. Krebs, Esq.,
205/251-1288 or 800/251-1127 E-mail: tkrebs@ritchie-rediker.com

MICROSOFT CORP: Ap Ct Makes Judge's Comments an Issue in Antitrust Case
The appeals court weighing Microsoft's antitrust case Tuesday invited
lawyers on both sides to debate whether the federal judge who ordered the
company's breakup made inappropriate and biased comments in public.

Last week, the software giant and the Justice Department agreed it was
not necessary to bring up U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's
extralegal comments in oral arguments later this month.  But the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wanted to talk about them,
allotting one hour to discuss them.

Jackson made critical comments about Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as
well as the appeals court during numerous interviews with reporters after
the trial ended last summer.

Legal experts following the case said the decision to consider the matter
indicates the court is likely to remove Jackson from the case if it is
returned to the district level. That could be a major blow to the
government's efforts to prove Microsoft used anticompetitive business
practices and should be broken up. ``That means there's at least one
judge, perhaps more, that cares a lot about Judge Jackson's out-of-court
statements, and they're taking this issue very, very seriously,'' said
University of Baltimore School of Law professor Bob Lande.

Lande predicted the court will probably ``slap him down'' for his
comments to reporters about Microsoft after the trial ended. (February 6,

MOUNT KISCO: Agrees to Extend Ban on Bias Against Hispanics
A federal consent decree intended to prevent Mount Kisco village
officials from discriminating against Hispanic day laborers has been
extended another year, as part of a settlement of a complaint that
charged the village had modified a housing ordinance to force workers

The Village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to accept the
settlement of a motion filed in United States District Court here in
October by the nonprofit Mount Kisco Workers' Project, an arm of the
Westchester Hispanic Coalition.

In the settlement, the village agreed to rewrite the housing ordinance.
Although the motion focused on that narrow issue, village officials also
agreed to keep the consent decree in place for another year.

In 1996, as friction intensified amid predominantly white, affluent
residents and the Central American men who gather there to solicit
landscaping, construction and other day jobs, immigration rights
advocates filed a class-action discrimination lawsuit against the
village. It charged that village officials had discriminated against
Hispanic day laborers in many ways, including singling them out in
enforcing building codes and park regulations. In 1997 the case was
settled when the parties agreed to abide by a consent decree that imposes
restrictions on ordinances the village can adopt or enforce.

But advocates for the workers say village officials still antagonize the
workers, citing the housing ordinance adopted last March that prompted
the motion last fall. The ordinance defined a family as one, two or three
people who occupy a house, or four or more people who live together as
"the functional equivalent of a traditional family." The ordinance, which
the village says was never enforced because of the motion, also said a
group could prove it was a family if it shared expenses for such things
as food and rent and was "permanent and stable."

Elizabeth Koob and Joan Magoolaghan, lawyers for the Workers' Project,
said the ordinance was meant for workers, who often live in crowded
housing. They added that it violated the terms of the consent decree,
which requires village housing ordinances to abide by state codes.

The village has agreed to amend the ordinance to define a family as one
person living with a blood relative, spouse, adopted child or one or more
unrelated people "as a single not-for-profit housekeeping unit sharing
common kitchen facilities."

The settlement also requires the village to pay the Hispanic Coalition
$10,000 for social services it provides. (The New York Times, February 8,

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Report Alleging Voter Fraud Sent to Fd Prosecutor
Three months after calling for a federal investigation into allegations
of voter fraud in the Nov. 7 election, U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond has
sent a one-and-a-half-inch thick report to the U.S. attorney in St.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Fleissig's office confirmed Thursday it had received
the report, which contends that Democratic efforts to extend voting hours
in the city of St. Louis were a criminal attempt to encourage voting by
those not legally entitled to vote.

Among the allegations: The lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to hold open the
polls was either dead or never existed.

A lawyer for the group of Democrats who filed the lawsuit - a group
including the Gore-Lieberman campaign and freshman U.S. Rep. William Lacy
Clay - said there was no attempt to encourage voting by unregistered

Craig Rasmussen, a Washington spokesman for Clay, said the congressman
would have no comment on the report.

About an hour before the 7 p.m. poll closing time, a St. Louis circuit
judge ordered polls kept open until 10 p.m. The Missouri Court of Appeals
threw out the order about 40 minutes later, closing the polls.

A spokesman for Bond confirmed Missouri's GOP senator had received the
report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, and
referred it to authorities. Other than his November letter urging
Fleissig to conduct a probe, the memorandum is the only collection of
evidence Bond has forwarded, the spokesman said.

"I can confirm that Sen. Bond has referred to the proper authorities this
report about improper efforts to influence the November 2000 election in
Missouri," said the spokesman, Ernie Blazar, who declined further

Bond's office said the report was prepared by concerned citizens in St.
Louis, including a number of lawyers, whom they refused to identify.

The report's cover page says it was prepared for Bond and summarizes
"events of likely election fraud" on Nov. 7.

"Hudreds of felons, non-residents and those not legally entitled to vote
in the November general election in fact cast a ballot in the City of St.
Louis and St. Louis County," the report reads.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Douglas Dowd of St. Louis, disputed the

"All you had to do was turn on the television to see what was going on,"
Dowd said. "People were being turned away by the hundreds in the city
because of the Board of Election Commissioners' failure to be prepared.
All we were trying to do was remedy that problem."

Confusion over a named plaintiff, Dowd said, was a misunderstanding made
under heavy time pressures. The plaintiff, listed as Robert D. Odom, was
actually an aide to Clay, Robert M. Odom, who had already voted and was
prepared to testify about witnessing chaos at the polls, Dowd said.

Once he learned Odom had already voted, Dowd said, he decided to use
another witness who had, in fact, been turned away.

"It was a simple misunderstanding," Dowd said.

Before leaving office in January, former Secretary of State Bekki Cook, a
Democrat, concluded that the St. Louis election chaos involved too few
voters to have changed the election's outcome. But her successor,
Republican Matt Blunt, said her report contained "glaring defects" and is
conducting his own investigation. (The Associated Press State & Local
Wire, February 8, 2001)

RESOURCES ACCRUED: Settlement Reached over Alleged Breach of Fid. Duties
Resources Accrued Mortgage Investors 2 LP reveals in its report to the
SEC that, on or about May 19, 2000, Dr. Warren Heller, a limited partner,
commenced a putative class action and derivative lawsuit in the Delaware
Court of Chancery against, among others, the partnership, as a nominal
defendant, general partners and two affiliates of general partners
seeking, among other things, monetary damages resulting from purported
breaches of fiduciary duties and breaches of partnership agreement in
connection with the March 1999 sale of one of the partnership's mortgage
loans and the marketing of the property which had been secured by that
loan. In addition, the action alleges breaches of fiduciary duty in
connection with the purported failure of the partnership to distribute
cash and the purported failure of the general partners to enforce the
provisions of the partnership's remaining mortgage loan.

The partnership has disclosed that the defendants have preliminarily
agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding settling the lawsuit.
As currently contemplated, the memorandum (i) provides for an $8,000,000
payment by the defendants to the partnership and (ii) requires the
partnership to make a special distribution to partners of the $8,000,000
payment, less fees and expenses awarded by the court to plaintiff's
counsel, together with $1,000,000 of the partnership's cash reserves. The
memorandum of understanding is subject to various conditions including
execution of a definitive agreement, completion of discovery and court
approval of the settlement following notice to all limited partners.

If the settlement is approved on the terms currently contemplated, a
distribution will be made to limited partners of approximately $38.40 per
unit, $33.21 of which would represent net proceeds attributable to
payments to the partnership to settle the action and $5.19 of which would
represent the distribution of cash reserves.


S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard Group, Inc.,
Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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