President Donald Trump told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that American businesses were being unfairly penalized by federal laws prohibiting the bribing of foreign officials, according to a profile of Tillerson by The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins.
Tillerson, who had initially called the meeting with Trump to introduce the president to a prospective deputy, was taken aback by Trump’s position.
“Tillerson told Trump that America didn’t need to pay bribes — that we could bring the world up to our own standards,” a source with knowledge of the meeting told The New Yorker.
Tillerson then relayed an anecdote to Trump from his time as the CEO of Exxon Mobil, when he met with a senior Yemeni official to discuss a deal. During the meeting, Yemen’s oil minister reportedly handed him a business card, with the account number to a Swiss bank account written on the back.
“5 million dollars,” the Yemeni official reportedly told him.
“I don’t do that,” Tillerson responded, per The New Yorker. “Exxon doesn’t do that.”
Tillerson told the Yemenis that they’d have to play the deal by the book if they wanted Exxon’s business. A month later, they acquiesced.
Abolishing federal laws barring foreign bribes has been something of a pet issue for Trump, whose family real estate company has been involved in deals around the globe.
In 2012, Trump told CNBC that The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars US companies from using bribes for a competitive advantage, is a “horrible law” that stifles American businesses working abroad.
“It puts us at a huge disadvantage,” he said.
In February, Trump’s administration killed a rule that forces energy companies listed on US stock exchanges to disclose their payments to foreign officials. Congress got rid of the rule, but kept the amendment — which means the Securities and Exchange Commission has to come up with a new disclosure policy, reports CNBC.
Jay Clayton, the SEC chairman, has expressed skepticism about the law in the past as well, leading some to believe he will be lenient with enforcement.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, said in April that the Justice Department would continue to enforce the FCPA, “and other anti-corruption laws.”
The relationship between Trump and Tillerson is strained amid reports that Tillerson called Trump a “moron” in a meeting. Tillerson called a press conference on Wednesday denying the report and expressed his commitment to remaining at the State Department, amid widespread rumors that he had to be talked out of resigning earlier this year.
Leigh Herndon uses a Japanese art form called Rozome which is a wax-resist fabric dyeing technique.
Creative killers and cranium-peeping cops in pursuit prowl a make-believe Naples in the Oct. 4 episode of the CBS hit, “Criminal Minds.” But good guys, bad guys and TV viewers alike will see it played out against walls romanced with authentic Naples art.
The rozome (pronounced roh-ZOME-ee) artworks of Leigh Herndon, often populated by Florida wading birds and Everglades grasses, are on them, reproduced as prints for the “Criminal Minds” sets. The show’s designer, K.C. Fox, chose an artist who aptly distills the Southwest Florida charm: sunny days, waving fronds. deep-hued skylines dappled with serene avian life.
Herndon is nonplussed, but pleased her works were chosen.
Even Naples Art Association Executive Director admits she doesn’t know the criteria. “They emailed us and asked for four to six artists for an episode that featured Naples,” said Schlehr. Curator Jack O’Brien sent them a list, and Herndon’s name was on it.
One day, an email from Fox showed up in Herndon’s in box.She didn’t believe it.
“It said it was from a set decorator for ‘Criminal Minds,’ and I didn’t know whether to open it because that didn’t seem very likely, ” recalled Herndon, who said she had been battling some scamming emails at the time. Her husband, Mark, researched Fox’s name before Herndon even opened it.
“She said she like my paintings and wondered whether she could use them in their episode that takes place in Naples — although it’s done on their LA set,” she said. Eventually Fox chose six of Herndon’s works and paid an honorarium to make prints for the set.
“I wondered if I’m going to be in a serial killer’s home,” Herndon said, laughing. She knows only that a police station in the show will have one of her works, “although I was hoping the episode would be about art theft.”
Contacted in Los Angeles, Fox said she can’t promise that Herndon’s works will actually be in the episode. The set designer looks at photographs from the locations to be depicted and creates a number of walls and spaces for them. The director, however, ultimately chooses which of them will be behind the characters.
Fox has her fingers crossed. After studying Naples, she said she felt Herndon’s art “really epitomizes that Naples look. It speaks well of Naples.”
The beach on which the heroes play a scene, however, is definitely not Naples: “We went down to Long Beach for that,” she said.
Process, process, process
Despite its zen aura, Herndon’s art is focused and labor-intensive. The Japanese style of batik she uses calls for shading, its own tradition in batik work. Herndon buys powder dyes that she blends and simmers for each piece of art she does.
Even the liquid that prepares the fabric before it’s painted is a production. Herndon soaks soybeans overnight and pulverizes them in a blender, brushing the milky residue over her silk as a sort of sizing. Then the fabric must dry before it can be used.
Nearly everything she uses must be ordered: The wired-together brushes that can withstand the melted wax that would destroy glued brushes, the right kind of silk for her project. If Herndon were more traditional, she would even buy the clips that hold the fabric taut for her work. But safety pins and rubber bands are less pricey — “and I think they work better.”
Herndon melts the wax that she’ll paint on the areas she wants to keep away from the color she’s using. Then comes the color, brushed into the silk fabric, which has been treated to be receptive to it.
“They use these little badger brushes to get the shading they want,” she said, holding up a sleek-topped little tool.. “There’s no vat dye in rozome.”
Rozome artists cut away the bristles on wider brushes to paint with a lined effect known as shiki-biki They spatter wax to create a “snow storm,” a dappled effect known as rö-fubuki, and shade by rubbing and removing color. Herndon uses 13 of the Japanese techniques that make its results unique.
She also tends to follow her artistic instinct, adding details as she paints: “I’m not thoroughly, completely planned out like some people.”
Each shade must dry before Herndon can start on the next layer of color, carefully painting wax over what she has completed to avoid any incursion from the next color.
“It’s a very unforgiving medium,” she conceded. Herndon creates one of her art pieces or her one-of-a-kind ruanas or scarves over a period of several weeks. After every step the painting must dry. Then she rolls the finished product between sheets of newsprint, steaming it to lock in the dyes.
At one time Herndon was then faced with the chore of ironing the work repeatedly between sheets of paper to bleed off the wax.
A local dry cleaner with wax-removal experience has eased that burden. But there is no shortcut to the process of fringing her artworks: The ragged edge Herndon likes comes from pulling threads out, one by one, around the edges of the painting.
Herndon is particular enough about her art that she won’t glue it to the white fabric used for background.
“That turns yellow over time,” she said. So she tacks it with thread to the background fabric. Finally, the piece is ready for framing.
Viewers of “Criminal Minds” will have no idea how much creativity and hard work has just played through their field of vision while they’re watching a crisp killer plot.
Herndon knows her mood-setting wax-resist works won’t even get a line in the show’s credits. But she’s excited that a TV hit show sees bringing a genuine local flavor to its stories important, and that art is part of it : “I think that’s extremely wonderful, because artists need the exposure.”
The set designer has put her information on file for that random TV viewer who falls in love with a set piece.
“If someone calls ‘Criminal Minds,’ they’ll give them my name,” she said hopefully.
If you watch
What: The CBS show “Criminal Minds” will feature Naples as a location for an episode
When: 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4
Something else: Naples artist Leigh Herndon’s art was chosen for some of the wall backdrops; contact Leigh at her website, www.leighherndon.com
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A New Jersey lawyer, whose license has been twice suspended in the Garden State, represented criminal defendants on Staten Island while not licensed to practice in New York, allege prosecutors.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A New Jersey lawyer with a history of disciplinary trouble, including two license suspensions, represented criminal defendants on Staten Island about a dozen times while using a phony name and being unlicensed to practice law in New York, prosecutors allege.
Marc D’Arienzo, 50, of Bradley Beach, N.J., has been indicted on felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and grand larceny, and misdemeanor counts of practicing law without a license and petty larceny.
According to the indictment, D’Arienzo illegally represented clients in Criminal Court multiple times between Feb. 8 and March 28.
As part of the ruse, he filed notices of appearance with the court signifying he was legally representing those defendants, said the indictment and a criminal complaint.
D’Arienzo submitted those notices using the bogus name Mike Rienza, the complaint said.
A records check showed there is no licensed attorney in New York state named Marc D’Arienzo, Michael Rienza or Mike Rienza, the complaint said.
One client told police he or she paid D’Arienzo more than $2,000 for representation, the complaint said. Two other clients each forked over less than $1,000, said the complaint.
When confronted by police, the defendant said, “My name is Marc D’Arienzo, and I am suspended from the practice of law in New Jersey and have never been admitted to practice law in New York state,” said the complaint.
D’Arienzo is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in state Supreme Court, St. George. He remains free on his own recognizance.
His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
D’Arienzo has been licensed to practice law in New Jersey since 1993.
Online New Jersey Supreme Court records show D’Arienzo’s Garden State law license was suspended twice for three months – in 1999 and as of Aug. 22, 2016.
On the former occasion, he made false statements to a tribunal and lied to a judge about his tardiness and failure to appear in court on criminal cases, according to a Disciplinary Review Board report.
He was cited last year for failing to update a client about the status of their case or responding to the client’s request for information, and failing to state in writing the basis or rate of his fee, said court documents.
D’Arienzo has been reprimanded three times.
In 2001, he was admonished for record-keeping violations; in 2004, for being charged with marijuana and drug-paraphernalia possession, for which he received a conditional discharge; and in 2013 for previously practicing law while ineligible, said the Disciplinary Review Board report.
In the latter case, D’Arienzo had failed to pay his annual attorney assessment. A cousin who worked for him testified at an ethics hearing that she was at fault for not timely paying D’Arienzo’s fee, the Review Board report said.
D’Arienzo was also censured in 2011 for failing to appear at scheduled court proceedings, said the Review Board report.