Sustained Outrage

Time for our weekly look at stories that we read with interest this week:

Officials in Clark County, Nev., are considering asking for reimbursement from the retirement plan for firefighters who pre-planned their sick days so that their colleagues could maximize their overtime hours, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The county has e-mails and “sick rosters,” and has changed its sick-leave policy, but proving that firefighters were not actually sick on days they had pre-arranged could prove to be difficult, Assistant County Manager Ed Finger told county commissioners.

Inmates scammed $39 million in bogus refunds from the Internal Revenue Service in 2009, according to USA Today. Typically, cons use Social Security numbers and other identifying information of fellow inmates to file false returns, sometimes resulting in refunds worth thousands of dollars. One prisoner in Florida generated more than $58,000 in refunds by filing at least 14 returns, using family members’ addresses to collect the refunds. He was caught in part because a bank official spotted an upside-down stamp on a power-of-attorney document used by his daughter.

In a rare glimpse into the mysterious workings of the U.S. Secret Service, The Atlantic Monthly examined the behind-the-scenes efforts to protect visiting diplomats — including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — during the 2009 United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The piece also describes little-known assassination attempts against President Bill Clinton in Manila in 1996 with explosives under a bridge and President George W. Bush in Tbilisi in 2005 when someone threw a live grenade at him.