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Archive for September, 2008

Council Member Testifies in Federal Grand Jury

Just days after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick stepped down, a cloud continues to hover over city hall in Motown. A veteran city council member was among the guests at a federal grand jury probing city hall corruption. 

Paul Egan and Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

DETROIT — The only official sent to prison as a result of an FBI investigation of Wayne County government under Edward H. McNamara, the late political boss, made a surprise appearance at the federal courthouse Wednesday as a grand jury convened to probe alleged corruption at Detroit City Hall.
The grand jury heard evidence Wednesday from former county official Wilbourne Kelley III, Detroit City Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel and former Cobo Center director Lou Pavledes.
For Full Story

Southwest Border Fence Behind Schedule

Homeland Security said its goal of finishing up the border fence in Southwest U.S. this year seems to be slipping away. How long will it take?  

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
New York Times
The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that cost overruns, legal obstacles and other problems were imperiling its goal of completing the 670 miles of fencing and technological improvements on the Southwest border that President Bush has promoted as vital to securing it.
Rising costs for construction and materials and delays in acquiring land from owners could foil the effort to build the fence by the end of the year, said officials, who are now seeking more money for the project.
For Full Story
 

Actress’ Lover Pleads to Federal Charges

Italian boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway took center stage in U.S. District Court in New York and pleaded guilty to 14 federal charges.

By THOMAS ZAMBITO and CORKY SIEMASZKO
fan club photo
fan club photo
New York Daily News
NEW YORK – The slick Italian con-man who dated “Get Smart” star Anne Hathaway and posed as a Vatican insider to swindle millions from investors is heading to prison.
Raffaello Follieri pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Follieri admitted in court in accented English.
For Full Story

Chicago Mobster’s Son Gets Three Years

CHICAGO — Nicholas Ferriola, the son of the late reputed mob boss Joseph Ferriola, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to three years in prison for his role in a conspiracy case known as Family Secrets, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Ferriola, 33, who is also the alleged godson of mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., pleaded guilty to taking part in the conspiracy before the landmark trial last year. Prosecutors said he helped run a gambling operation and was part of an effort to extort the owner of the Connie’s Pizza chain, the paper reported. The judge also ordered Ferriola to make $9 million in forfeiture payments.

D.C. Gun Law Nightmare For Homeland Security

Chief Lanier/mpd

Chief Lanier/mpd

 D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier says a new bill addressing D.C.  guns is bad news for Homeland Security and citizens. She went before Congress to plead her case.

Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
  WASHINGTON — D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier assailed a new bill yesterday that would eliminate most of the District’s gun laws, telling a congressional panel that the measure would allow residents to carry loaded semiautomatic rifles in the streets, creating a nightmare scenario for homeland security officials.
“Imagine how difficult it will be for law enforcement to safeguard the public, not to mention the new president at the inaugural parade, if carrying semiautomatic rifles were to suddenly become legal in Washington,” she said.
For Full Story
For Full Text of Testimony

Arizona Man Sentenced in Clean Water Act Violation

POCATELLO, Idaho — Abner J. Schultz of  Lake Havasu, Ariz., was sentenced Monday in federal court in Pocatello, Idaho to three years probation, including six months of home detention, for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) related to unlawful dredge and fill work along the Salmon River, according to the Justice Department. He was also fined $30,000.

Stevens Forgot To Report Sled Dog, Feds Say

  The feds say Sen. Stevens forgot to report a sled dog and massage chair, just to name a few items. Trial is set for later this month.

By Richard Mauer
Sen. Stevens

Sen. Stevens

Anchorage Daily News
Federal prosecutors revealed more evidence Monday in their case against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, detailing a new round of gifts that he allegedly failed to disclose between 2001 and 2003.
In a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the government listed the items as a $1,000 sled dog, a $3,200 stained-glass window and a $2,695 massage chair. They are in addition to the $250,000-plus in labor and materials allegedly provided by the oil-field service company Veco Corp. when it renovated and furnished Stevens’ Girdwood home starting in 2000.
For Full Story

Ex-FBI Agent’s Trial No Big Deal in Florida

The Miami murder trial of an ex-FBI agent from Boston is the talk of the town in Beantown. But in Florida? Ehh. It takes a lot to knock the early bird specials off peoples’ radar in the sunshine state. 

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
MIAMI – The saga of the FBI’s relationship with fugitive gangster James “Whitey” Bulger may be legendary in Boston, but it’s not exactly table talk in Florida.
As jury selection began yesterday in Miami in the murder trial of Bulger’s former handler, retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., hardly any of the 100 prospective jurors questioned had ever heard of Bulger, one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted, much less his relationship with the former agent on trial.
For Full Story