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February 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February 2nd, 2009

Breaking News: Eric Holder Jr. Confirmed 75-21 as New Atty. General

Eric Holder Jr.

Eric Holder Jr.

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — It’s official.
The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Eric. H. Holder Jr. Monday night as the 82nd  Attorney General of United States, replacing Michael Mukasey who was tasked with repairing the damaged reputation of the department.
The vote was 75-21.
Holder,  a well-liked figure in Washington,  becomes the first black Attorney General.  He faced some tough questioning last month about pardons under the Clinton administration during confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But in the end, the committee voted 17-2 to confirm him.
Before Monday’s full Senate vote, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) voiced opposition to the confirmation because of Holder’s pro-gun control views.  Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) said he didn’t agree with all of Holders’ beliefs, but said he supported him.
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a big Holdler supporter,  voiced sharp criticism of former A.G. Alberto Gonzalez  while saying that no “nomination for attorney general fills me with greater pride than this one.”

Cleveland Federal Prosecutor Says He Was Fired for Questioning DEA Agent’s Conduct

A federal prosecutor says he was fired for raising questions about a DEA agent. Is the prosecutor a whistleblower or is it simply an internal personnel matter?

John Caniglia
Cleveland Plain Dealer Reporter
CLEVELAND — Several years before a grand jury started investigating Drug Enforcement Administration agent Lee Lucas for his role in a bungled probe that sent innocent people to prison, a federal prosecutor wrote a memo to his superiors questioning Lucas’ tactics.
That prosecutor, Thomas Gruscinski, lost his job last month. Gruscinski has hired a lawyer, who says the former prosecutor’s criticism of Lucas led to Gruscinski’s dismissal.
“Mr. Gruscinski’s firing was initiated after he had reported numerous instances of suspected misconduct by members of his office to various agencies of the United States government,” said attorney J. Michael Hannon.
He pointed out that Gruscinski was “fired in the midst of very serious issues being raised about the conduct of federal law enforcement authorities” in Cleveland.
U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards would not say that Gruscinski, who has been a prosecutor for 21 years, was fired, only that “he no longer works for the Department of Justice.”

For Full Story


Former Mass Gop Leader Pleads to Money Laundering (AP)

FBI Investigating LA PD Perjury Allegations

The last thing this police department needs is more bad publicity. The question is whether this probe will have any legs.

By Jack Leonard
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities have launched a civil rights investigation into several Los Angeles police officers accused of lying under oath in a drug possession case that was dismissed last year when a videotape sharply contradicted their testimony.
An FBI agent and a federal prosecutor last week surveyed a Hollywood apartment complex where a security camera documented the 2007 arrest of Guillermo Alarcon Jr. by LAPD officers, according to an attorney who represents Alarcon in a civil claim against the Police Department.
An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the existence of the probe and said that Department of Justice officials in Washington, D.C., would ultimately weigh in on whether federal charges would be filed against the officers.
“We’re investigating allegations that the defendant’s civil rights may have been violated,” said spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. She declined to provide further details.

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FBI and IRS Looking at Memphis Mayor’s Lavish Parties

Mayor WIllie Herenton

Mayor WIllie Herenton

In Detroit, the mayor recently went to jail. In Birmingham, Ala., the mayor faces public corruption charges. Ditto for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In Arizona, ex-Rep. Rick Renzi faces trial. Ex-U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens was recently convicted of wrongdoing. And on and on. Is it that our politicians are doing more and more questionable things, or are authorities getting better at unearthing their indiscretions?

By Amos Maki and Marc Perrusquia
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS — The lamb chops were tender, the wine fine and the setting exquisite — an upper room at the luxurious Peabody hotel.
The exclusive parties came at a price: a $1,000 donation to honor Mayor Willie Herenton.
The annual fetes, thrown at Christmas by the mayor’s aide, Pete Aviotti, are legend in Memphis, yet never has interest been more intense or more consuming.
In recent weeks, agents with the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service have been asking about those lavish parties as part of a federal probe focusing on Herenton’s private business dealings.
But if Aviotti is worried that agents have gathered evidence of wrongdoing in staging the parties, he isn’t showing it.
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Ex-Gov Blago Has Flamoyant Father-Son Attorneys

Blagojevich in happier days
Blagojevich in happier times

Yes, in the world of ex- Gov Rod Blagojevich, the show must go on.  To assure us that happens, he’s hired some very flamboyant attorneys.

Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO – Now that he’s been ousted from the governor’s office, Rod Blagojevich is pinning his hopes of staying out of prison on a father-and-son duo of defense attorneys, one of whom grabbed the limelight at R&B superstar R. Kelly’s sex tape trial.
“These are two of the most flamboyant attorneys in town,” DePaul University law professor Leonard Cavise says of the team of Sam Adam and his son, Samuel E. Adam.
Cavise predicts fireworks if Blagojevich goes to trial on federal corruption charges, including allegations that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
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Locals Want What Feds Have: Ability to Jam Cellphones

The question is: Will local police abuse the right if allowed to jam cellphones? And how often are local police in a situation that would require such action?

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — As President Obama’s motorcade rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, federal authorities deployed a closely held law enforcement tool: equipment that can jam cellphones and other wireless devices to foil remote-controlled bombs, sources said.
It is an increasingly common technology, with federal agencies expanding its use as state and local agencies are pushing for permission to do the same. Police and others say it could stop terrorists from coordinating during an attack, prevent suspects from erasing evidence on wireless devices, simplify arrests and keep inmates from using contraband phones.
But jamming remains strictly illegal for state and local agencies. Federal officials barely acknowledge that they use it inside the United States, and the few federal agencies that can jam signals usually must seek a legal waiver first.
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