Annabel Melongo: Victimized and Imprisoned - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2006, Melongo was bogusly charged and arrested for computer tampering and eavesdropping without consent - the former accusation based solely on Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF) founder, Carol Spizzirri, a woman exposed as a liar. More about her and SALF below.
Melongo justifiably claims she was framed "to cover up SALF's longstanding relationships with powerful political cronies and funders." Originally indicted on January 17, 2007, she was re-indicted on May 28, 2008 on two alleged charges for:
(1) Eavesdropping without consent:
"in that she knowingly and intentionally used an eavesdropping device, to wit: an audio recording device, for the purpose of recording a conversation, to wit: recording a conversation conducted by telephone between Annabel K. Melongo and Pamela Taylor of the Cook County Court Reporter's Office, and without the consent of all parties to such conversation and without authorization provided by Article 108A or Article 108B of the 'Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963,' approved August 13, 1963, as amended."
(2) Computer tampering:
"in that she knowingly and without the authorization of the computer's owner, accessed or caused to be accessed a computer program or date, and deleted a computer program or data, with the intent to commit an offense established under the Illinois computer crime law (720 ILCS 5/16D), to wit: that on or about April 28, 2006 Annabel Melongo accessed Safe A Life Foundation, Inc.'s (NFP) computer data server located in Schiller Park, Illinois and permanently deleted, removed and altered hundreds of computer files critical to Save A Life Foundation Inc.'s (NFP) operations. These acts were done without the authorization, knowledge or consent of the computer's owner."
Her trial date is set for January 12, addressing the eavesdropping charges only. A second trial may or may not follow on computer tampering, depending on if prosecutors wish to pursue it. Proving it is much harder.
Yet Annabel Melongo is innocent, despite having recorded a conversation to retain for her defense. As a result, charges against her are spurious. She willfully committed no crimes.
Besides covering up SALF wrongdoing, at issue is protecting powerful insiders, perhaps complicit in corruption and kickback schemes. Since the 19th century, it's been commonplace in Illinois and Chicago because of lax enforcement or one hand greasing another. For every offender caught, dozens go unprosecuted. The tradition continues today, discussed in one section of a detailed article on Chicago, accessed through the following link:
It's why former Chicago alderman Paddy Bauler said "Chicago ain't ready for reform," not in his day or now.
Despite her innocence, Melongo is being held without probable cause, initially on $500,000 bail, reduced to $300,000, an amount high enough to keep her jailed until tried.
Background on Melongo, SALF and Spizzirri
A Cameroon-born computer professional, Melongo worked in Chicago since 2003, and in 2006 for SALF, an NGO chartered to teach public school children first aid.
Foundered in 1993, it was a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) member organization, receiving nearly $9 million in federal and state funding. Yet to date, no definitive accounting explains where it went, suggesting willful criminal fraud.