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Tag: justice dept.

Obama Nominates Leslie Caldwell to Top Post in Justice Department Division

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A defense lawyer whose expertise is white-collar crime was nominated Tuesday to be assistant attorney general  for the Justice Department’s criminal division, the New York Times reports.

President Obama nominated Leslie R. Caldwell, a former federal prosecutor who worked in the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of New York.

Caldwell served as director of the DOJ’s task force that specialized in Enron’s 2001 collapse, the Times wrote.

She graduated from Penn State University and George Washington University law School.

DEA Money Laundering Began Under Reagan, Justice Says

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The DEA sting operation involving the laundering of money to drug cartels that has angered some Republican congressmen actually dates back to the Reagan administration, according to the Justice Department.

Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich sent a letter to Rep. Darrel Issa–the Republic congressman leading the charges against the Justice Department–which said Congress gave the DEA the authority to conduct such operations in 1984, reports a blog from the Houston Chronicle. During Reagan’s time in office DEA investigations laundered as much as $100 million, gaining access to top levels of drug cartel leadership, according to Weich.

Congress gave the Drug Enforcement Administration the authority to conduct such sting runs as far back as 1984, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich told Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in a letter, obtained by Texas on the Potomac. In investigations during the Ronald Reagan administration, some in which agents laundered over $100 million, they gained access to the top levels of drug-cartel leadership, Weich wrote.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Sen. Grassley Says FBI/Justice Dept.’s Resistance Likely to Stifle Re-examination of Deadly Anthrax Case

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You needn’t go to the oddsmakers in Vegas to predict whether the anthrax case will be reopened for a fresh examination.

Just ask Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.).

Grassley, one of several politicians who have been skeptical of the FBI findings that government scientist Bruce Ivins sent the letters, said it would take a powerful grassroots movement or startling new evidence to reopen the probe, according to an article authored by Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers, Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica and Mike Wiser of PBS’ Frontline.

The FBI and the Justice Department have insisted that Ivins was the culprit, citing a collection of facts and circumstances. Ivins committed suicide in July 2008, shortly before the feds planned to charge him in the 2001 mailings that killed five and sickened 17 others.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee,  said in the article that adamant opposition from the FBI and Justice Department is likely to block further inquiry

Even if he were the committee chairman, Grassley said,  according to the article:  ”I would question my capability of raising enough heat (to reopen the case) when you’re up against the FBI. And I’ve been up against the FBI.”

His comments came after  PBS’ Frontline, McClatchy and ProPublica, in a joint investigation, cited evidence in a lengthy article that challenged some of the government’s scientific and circumstantial evidence.

To read more click here.

Openly Gay U.S. Atty. Jenny Durkan Speaks Out

U.S. Atty. Durkan

U.S. Atty. Durkan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan doesn’t have a secret.

As the first openly gay federal prosecutor, she speaks freely of being gay, and did so again Monday as the keynote speaker at the Justice Department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month ceremony in Washington.

“I stand before you as the first openly gay U.S. attorney,” Durkan told the audience of more than 200 Justice Department employees and others, the Seattle Times reported.

The 52-year-old, who has a long time partner and two children, said speaking out helps other gays and lesbians and helps educate the public about “the reality of our humanity.”

To read more click here.

Read Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s Statement

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. Working to Rebuild Civil Rights Division After Bush Years

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Under the Bush years, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division took a beating. The administration was accused of politicizing its hiring. And nearly 70 percent of the lawyers left in mass between 2003 and 2007, the Washington Post reported.

Now Thomas E. Perez, who heads the division, is working to rebuild and rehire, the Post reports.

“We had to do some healing,” Perez tells the Post. “We had to restore the partnership between the career staff and the political leadership. And frankly, certain civil rights laws were not being enforced.”

The Post reports that the division has stepped up enforcement of employment, disability rights and other anti-discrimination laws and “hate crimes and police misconduct are a renewed focus, and several section chiefs from the George W. Bush era have left.”

“I think we have positioned the division to carry out its traditional mission of enforcement and be nimble enough to respond to emerging challenges,” Perez told the Post.

To read full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. to Expand Healthcare Fraud Investigations

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Not a bad idea in a country where fraud is running rampant and costing taxpayers far more than they can imagine.

By Carrie Johnson
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON– The Obama administration today announced it would expand Justice Department health-care strike forces to Detroit and Houston, part of a broader commitment to root out fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared at Justice Department headquarters in Washington to announce the move, which they portrayed as an effort to rein in fraud, waste and abuse in the taxpayer-funded programs. Medicare and Medicaid spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on health care for the elderly, disabled and poor.

Health-care fraud is among the top enforcement priorities of the new team at the Justice Department, which is working closely with the inspector general at HHS and the FBI to collect and analyze computerized information about fraudulent claims.

For Full Story