Roger Ailes’ estate can’t hold up arbitration over sexual harassment claims

Ousted Fox Chairman Roger Ailes’ estate can’t hold up arbitration over sexual harassment allegations — at least for now, the New York Daily News has learned.

Ailes and the media giant were sued by ex-Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros in 2016 in Manhattan Supreme Court for alleged sexual harassment, but a judge ruled in March 2017 the case had to be decided in arbitration instead of court.

Ailes died two months after the decision, and Tantaros’ lawyers eased off the claims against Ailes shortly after his death.

But the late Fox exec’s wife revealed several weeks ago in Manhattan Supreme Court filings that Tantaros is now trying to go forward with claims against his estate — and her lawyers asked for a preliminary injunction to stop the push.

According to court filings, Justice David Cohen decided Wednesday for the time being, the Ailes estate can’t hold things up.

In his denial, Cohen wrote the request for a preliminary injunction “failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits (OR) irreparable injury.”

Meanwhile, a judge on Friday threw out Tantaros’ Manhattan Federal Court case alleging that Fox News goons spied on her, and that she was targeted with threatening messages from phony social media accounts.

— New York Daily News

Esteban Santiago researched layout of Los Angeles airport days before Fort Lauderdale shooting, feds say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Three days before carrying out the deadly mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale’s main airport, Esteban Santiago researched the layout of the Los Angeles international airport, prosecutors revealed Monday.

Santiago used his cellphone to look up a map of the LAX airport on Jan. 3, 2017, prosecutors wrote in court records. They did not elaborate on why Santiago traveled instead to South Florida.

That same day, Santiago purchased a one-way ticket on a Delta flight from Anchorage, Alaska, where he lived, to Fort Lauderdale, via Minneapolis. The flight departed on Jan. 5 and landed in Fort Lauderdale around lunchtime on Jan. 6.

Santiago, 28, is expected to plead guilty to multiple charges this week and will be sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in federal prison, according to court records filed Monday.

He is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Wednesday in federal court and the sentencing will be scheduled in several weeks. Prosecutors have agreed to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for his guilty pleas to 11 charges linked to the Jan. 6, 2017, mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale’s international airport.

Santiago does not appear to have any significant assets but if he ever comes into any money, he must turn it over as restitution to the victims. The plea agreement includes any money paid to him, or anyone on his behalf, for “writing, interviews, documentaries, movies, or other information disclosed by the defendant, including, but not limited to access to the defendant, photographs or drawing of or by the defendant, or any other type of artifact or memorabilia.”

Five people died in the mass shooting: Mary Louise Amzibel, 69; Michael Oehme, 56; Olga Weltering, 84; Shirley Timmons, 70; and Terry Andres, 62.

— Sun Sentinel

Two die, 12 hurt when church van hits deer, second vehicle and runs into pond

ROLESVILLE, N.C. — Two people died when a church van hit a deer, crashed into another vehicle head-on and then went off N.C. 96 and into a pond late Sunday afternoon, the State Highway Patrol said Monday.

First Sgt. Michael Baker, a highway patrol spokesman, said the van from the First Missionary Baptist Church of Smithfield was southbound on the road near U.S. 401 when it hit the deer.

Those killed were Deborah Powell, 62, of Roxboro, who was driving an SUV going north, and 84-year-old William Henderson of Clayton, a passenger in the van.

The van’s driver, Edward Lee Barfield, 62, of Smithfield, was flown to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh by helicopter and was in critical condition, Baker said.

Ambulances took five van passengers to WakeMed and six to Duke University Hospital in Durham, the highway patrol said.

All were in serious condition at the time.

The accident happened about 4:30 p.m. CT Sunday.

Emergency responder radio traffic indicated at 4:38 p.m. that multiple people were trapped in the overturned van.

Shortly before 5 p.m., local emergency responders requested additional rescue resources from Franklin, Johnston and Nash counties.

ABC11 helicopter footage showed the van on its side with the top cut off after rescue operations Sunday evening. Another vehicle also was in the water.

— The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)