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University presidents are prospering, study finds

In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the nation’s highest paid public university president was Graham B. Spanier, the president of Pennsylvania State University, who was forced out in November 2011 over his handling of a child sex abuse scandal involving a football coach.

According to the annual compensation report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Spanier was paid $2.9 million in 2011-12, including $1.2 million in severance pay and $1.2 million in deferred compensation.

“The fact that Graham Spanier turns out to be the highest paid president in the country says something about the nature of compensation packages for people who leave under a cloud,” said Jack Stripling, the Chronicle reporter who worked on the survey. “Severance agreements are often very lucrative.”

Three other public university presidents also had compensation topping $1 million: Jay Gogue of Auburn University, at $2,542,865; E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University, at $1,899,420; and Alan G. Merten of George Mason University, at $1,869,369. Merten retired from George Mason in June after 16 years as president.

—Tamar Lewin, The New York Times

Ex-hedge fund manager sentenced to more than 6 years

NEW YORK — During the sentencing of the former hedge fund manager Anthony Chiasson on Monday, Judge Richard J. Sullivan marveled at his prodigious wealth, ticking off the annual income listed on his tax returns. “$16 million, $10 million, $23 million,” he said.

“It’s hard to imagine why someone would risk all that to engage in a crime like this,” the judge said.

The crime is insider trading, and Sullivan handed down one of the stiffest sentences yet in the government’s vast campaign to root out wrongdoing on Wall Street trading floors. He sentenced Chiasson, a founder of Level Global Investors, to 6 1/2 years in prison after a jury found him guilty in December of illegally trading technology stocks.

“This kind of conduct can’t go unpunished,” Sullivan of U.S. District Court in Manhattan said.

Chiasson, 39, who did not address the court, was ordered to pay a $5 million fine and forfeit illegally obtained proceeds of as much as $2 million. He must report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 90 days.

—Peter Lattman, The New York Times

Questions about detective are also asked about prosecutors

NEW YORK — As the Brooklyn district attorney’s office pledged a complete review of about 50 murder cases after questions arose regarding the conduct of the detective assigned to them, renewed scrutiny has also focused on the role prosecutors play in what turn out to be wrongful convictions and whether they should be held responsible when justice goes awry.

Prosecutors working for the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, recently found that flawed police work by the detective, Louis Scarcella, and a partner led to the conviction of a man in the 1990 killing of a Brooklyn rabbi. A judge recently ordered the release of the man, David Ranta, after he spent 23 years in prison for the rabbi’s murder.

On Sunday, Jeffrey Deskovic, who served 16 years behind bars for the rape and murder of a woman in Westchester County that he did not commit, vowed that a foundation he established would conduct its own review of Scarcella’s work, to find out if anyone else had been wrongfully convicted.

“Considering that Scarcella was working in tandem with the prosecutors, relying on the DA to do the investigation is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse, particularly when exposing the cases would mean exposing prosecutorial complicity,” Deskovic said.

At least two protests have been planned this week against Hynes, who is in the midst of a primary campaign for a seventh term. On Tuesday, relatives and friends of inmates seeking to have their convictions overturned are planning a rally outside CBS to protest the network’s decision to offer Hynes a reality television show.

—Frances Robles, The New York Times

Groups call for deportation suspension for immigrants

Labor, Latino and immigrant advocate groups called on President Barack Obama on Monday to suspend deportations of illegal immigrants who could be eligible for a pathway to citizenship under a bipartisan bill to overhaul the immigration system that is under consideration in the Senate.

Among the organizations demanding that the White House halt most removals were the AFL-CIO, the country’s largest federation of labor unions; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, a Latino civil rights group; the National Day Laborer Organizing Network; and United We Dream, a national group representing young illegal immigrants. They said Obama should act immediately, even before Congress votes on the bill.

They based their demand on an enthusiastically upbeat analysis of the bill’s prospects for passage.

“Immigration reform has unstoppable momentum,” said Ana Avendano, director of immigration for the AFL-CIO. “For the AFL, this bill is not fragile. It is supported by a broad coalition.”

While Latino and labor groups have long expressed anger at Obama over the more than 1.6 million deportations that have taken place under his administration, the support of the AFL-CIO for a suspension of deportations added new clout to their demands.

The groups, which generally support the Senate bill, said that thousands of immigrants who would most likely gain legal status under its terms were being expelled and separated from their families in the United States while Congress deliberates.

“It’s a simple matter of fairness and justice,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president of MALDEF. “It makes no sense to deport those who would be eligible for that relief.”

—Julia Preston, The New York Times