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[whitespace] Armand Tiano Sentence Predicate: Prosecutors unveiled a couple of shocking details this week in their attempt to put away accused child molester Armand Tiano.

Public Eye

Armand's Hammer

FACED WITH A SURPRISE DECISION by Superior Court Judge Paul Teilh to go soft on accused molester and retired lawman Armand Tiano, prosecutors are scrambling to make sure the former candidate for sheriff does jail time. For starters, Deputy DA Ben Field is asking the 6th District Court of Appeal to overturn Judge Teilh's ruling which reduced one charge to a misdemeanor. And just in case this appeal fails before Tiano's scheduled sentencing hearing, Field and his boss, George Kennedy, are stepping up their efforts to tell the world just what a reckless rogue their adversary is, presumably to place pressure on the sentencing judge. . . . Field--hoping to pursuade Teilh to give Tiano more than probation--included Drug Enforcement Administration reports that claim Tiano was knowingly assisting a suspected cocaine kingpin, an employee of whom told the narcs, "Tiano knows that [the suspect] deals cocaine and watches his back." ... Another revelation: Tiano was arrested in San Francisco more than 30 years ago for, as recalled by former Sheriff Bob Winter, killing a man in a fight outside a bar. Winter told a DA investigator that he learned about the arrest while doing a background check when Tiano applied for a job in 1971. As Winter recalled, Tiano said he was escorting his father outside a bar when a man tried to assault them. Tiano punched the guy, whose head hit the ground so hard he died. The homicide charge was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace, Winter told prosecutors. Initially, the department refused to hire Tiano. But Winter said that after verifying the applicant's story, he recommended Tiano for a job. ... Another Scud dropped by prosecutors: A DEA report claimed that Tiano partied on a yacht with nude pageant promoter Danny Zezzo. A photo obtained by DEA sleuths supposedly showed Tiano getting his tube cleaned by a Zezzo "dancer"--who, a fellow dancer told the feds, was all of 16 years old at the time. ... But Tiano's attorney, Randy Thomas, says that Field tried to get the info on the purportedly underage dancer into evidence during trial but Teilh didn't let him because he couldn't produce a photo or a victim. "Ben Field is grasping for straws again," Thomas clucks about the prosecutor's effort to try Tiano in the press. "It's very unfair."

Clone Machine

The last time valley mover and shaker Dr. Avi Ben-Abraham returned to his home country, he ran for national political office and came close to winning a seat in the Israeli parliament. Following the 1999 elections, he returned to Los Altos to regroup. Then he headed back to the Middle East last year. It was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. ... This time, the big thinking M.D. has made world headlines with the announcement that he plans to clone a Homo sapien. Readers of this column know, of course, that this isn't the first time Avi has mentioned the C-word. In November 1993, he claimed that Roman Catholic Church leaders support human embryo cloning after he suggested that they could replicate Jesus from DNA fibers extracted from the Shroud of Turin. To Jewish friends, Avi has suggested that the biblical patriarch Abraham, of monotheism fame, could be brought back for a return engagement with a few scraps of genetic material culled from bones in the Cave of Machpelah. ... Ben-Abraham created something of a stir this month when he told an Israeli radio interviewer cryptically: "I can't exactly provide details. I can only tell you that we have a group of international scientists of stature. ... This project will be carried out in cooperation with a number of countries, scientists in a number of countries ... I can't give you the details right now, and you understand of course that I am barred from supplying details." ... Ben Abraham's comments came on the heels of a shocker from Italian gynecologist Severino Antinori at a conference in Rome last month that they would offer human cloning to infertile couples within two years. Antinori followed up with a press release that reportedly claimed that Ben-Abraham "said he would be ready to underwrite the cost of the research programs." According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Ben Abraham told an interviewer that "the cloning project is the most important development in the history of mankind and ... represents the closing of a circle that began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden."... Eye has since learned that Ben-Abraham believes that the coming technology is ready, that the experiment will take place in a country other than Israel, where cloning is illegal, and will be attemped within a few months.

Visitor Parking

Ahhh, if only politicians could be cited for refusing to speak to Metro. But Eye will humbly accept the recent citation of Helen Jahn and a friend for allegedly trying to communicate with an inmate without permission from jail authorities. Some time after receiving a call from Metro reporter Will Harper about her husband, accused murderer William Jahn, Helen Jahn went to "visit" her hubby with her pal, Christine Hindenes, at the main jail--after visiting hours. ... Hindenes parked her van in a parking lot facing the jail and started flashing her headlights. This caught the attention of a sheriff's deputy who wondered if the women were trying to signal someone in the jail illegally. When the deputy confronted the pair he found a 3-by-3-foot homemade sign in the backseat with the written warning, "DON'T TALK '2' METRO." ... Jahn told the cop that her husband was an inmate in 4A and said her pal made the poster for her "because the Metro was calling her home and Hindenes did not want her to talk to the Metro paper."... Hindenes, meanwhile, said she made the sign to show to Helen's betrothed. A little more investigation showed that William Jahn had an unobstructed view from his cell to where the van was parked. Helen Jahn has since pleaded not guilty, but according to an associate of her attorney, she can't visit her husband at all now--not even during visitors' hours.

Garden Dish

If you can't find San Jose City Councilman John Diquisto these days on the sixth floor of City Hall, you might want to check the roof. That's right, the Italian agrarian is resurrecting his rooftop garden. Eye-watchers will recall that Diquisto had to pack up his pots a year ago so construction crews could replace the building's leaky old roof. Now, Diquisto is gradually restoring his garden paradise, though he acknowledges that it isn't what it used to be. In its previous incarnation, the rooftop garden boasted 35 fruit trees. This time, Diquisto has planted just one lemon tree (though he does have 50 or so pots of flowers up there, too). Lemon trees are durable so Diquisto says he won't have to worry about it surviving after he leaves office next year because of term limits. He also promises to invite Eye and other journalists up for a ravioli lunch soon "just so I can listen to you guys bullshit each other."

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From the April 5-11, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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