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March 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for March, 2009

FBI Dir. Mueller Presents 42 Honorary Medals

By Allan Lengel
Recipients of the FBI medals

Recipients of the FBI medals
WASHINGTON — Three FBI agents wounded during a 2008 bombing in Pakistan were among  38 FBI and other law enforcement people awarded honorary FBI medals by the director Robert S. Mueller III during a standing- room only ceremony at headquarters Friday.

In all, Mueller presented 42 honorary FBI medals to the 38 people that included the FBI Star, the FBI Medal for Meritorious Achievement, the FBI Shield of Bravery, and the FBI Medal of Valor.

The FBI said the awards recognized “exceptional acts by both FBI and other law enforcement personnel working with the FBI, across the country and around the world.”

“These men and women are not the kind to call attention to their individual acts of heroism, but those brave and courageous acts deserve our attention and our gratitude,” Mueller said. “Today we stand here and formally recognize them with the FBI’s highest honors.”

The three agents in Pakistan who were given awards included Bruce Bennett, Tricia Gibbs and Raymond Pitesky.

Read More Details in Press Release

Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Joins Covington & Burling Law Firm in D.C.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Allan Lengel

The AmLaw Daily is reporting that ex-Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has joined the law firm Covington & Burling’s white-collar defense and investigations practice.

The website said Chertoff is senior of counsel in the Washington office. He started earlier this week.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back as a working lawyer, not just as a rainmaker,” Chertoff told AmLaw. “And while it’s been a bit of a transition [this week], I’m happy to be doing real legal work as I genuinely love being a lawyer.”

FBI Promoting Diversity With Interesting Pitch

Elizabeth Morris

Elizabeth Morris

By Al Kamen
Washington Post Columnist
WASHINGTON –The FBI is interested in showing its commitment to diversity. So on its employment Web site, at, it touts an “American Indian/Native Alaskan” initiative.

Alas, the bureau is using a picture on that page of a former special agent, Elizabeth Morris, who alleges that she was retaliated against, in part, for filing a complaint of workplace bias. Morris says she was fired in 2007 for filing a complaint against a supervisor for making racially insensitive remarks and for alleging that another agent sent subpoenas to dozens of businesses not under investigation with no intent of reviewing the records.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked the Justice Department inspector general to look into that.


Ex-Lobbyist Prime Candidate For Va. U.S. Atty

Neil MacBride/linkedin photo

Neil MacBride/ linkedin photo

President Obama rode into town on an anti-lobby crusade. Will he now appoint a lobbyist for the U.S. Attorney job in Virginia and risk creating controversy?  Then again, the guy is currently employed by the  Justice Department. So how big of a risk is it?

By Jerry Markon and Meg Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
ALEXANDRIA, Va — A former corporate lobbyist has emerged as a top candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, raising questions about how his appointment would square with the Obama administration’s efforts to change the culture of Washington, according to legal and political sources.

Neil MacBride, 43, lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007 on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and a host of other leading computer companies, U.S. Senate records show. MacBride, a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, was appointed in January as an associate deputy attorney general.

Justice Department officials and former colleagues described MacBride, who spent four years as a prosecutor, as savvy and highly ethical and said lobbying was a small part of his career. But MacBride would probably have to recuse himself from some cases involving former clients, because the Alexandria prosecutor’s office is one of the nation’s most aggressive in targeting copyright enforcement and cyber security — areas in which he lobbied.

The $149,000-a-year job is among the nation’s most prominent law enforcement posts and has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases.

For Full Story

Phoenix FBI Agent Pleads Guility to Having an Affair With the Wife of a Man He Was Investigating

fbi-logo3By Allan Lengel

The libido of an FBI agent in Phoenix is likely to land him in prison.

Agent Joe L. Gordwin, 40, of Phoenix pleaded guilty earlier this week in U.S. District Court to wire fraud charges for carrying on an improper sexual relationship with the wife of a criminal he was investigating, the FBI said.

Sentencing is set for June 29 before U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton in Phoenix. The charges carry a maximum of 60 years in prison.

“Mr. Gordwin flagrantly and repeatedly violated the oath he took to follow all the rules, regulations and laws that govern the conduct of a federal agent,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien in a statement. O’Brien is from the Central District of California, whose office handled the case.

According to authorities, Gordwin arrested the husband in 2002 and subsequently began a sexual relationship with the wife. Subsequently, Gordwin successfully recommended to the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office that the husband, not identified in the plea agreement document, get a reduced sentence.

The relationship between Gordwin and the wife continued until January 2004, and stopped for several months after the woman’s husband was released from prison, according to the plea agreement.

In November 2004, Gordwin got word that the husband was involved in criminal activity and passed that on to the Scottsdale Police Department. Around that time, he also resumed the affair.

Read more »

Baseball Shortstop Miguel Tejada Gets Probaton for Lying to Congress

Miguel Tejada- webchannel4com21

Miguel Tejada- webchannel4com21

As expected, and as recommended by the prosecution, Miguel Tejada got probation. It’s probably the right call this time.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada today was sentenced to one year of probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for lying to Congress about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

Tejada, 34, pleaded guilty last month to making a misrepresentation to Congress, admitting that he lied to congressional staffers during an interview in a Baltimore hotel room in 2005 that focused on the prevalence of steroids in the game.

Tejada apologized for his actions during brief hearing this morning in the District’s federal courthouse. “I take full responsibility,” he said. “I apologize to the Congress and to the court and especially to the kids.”

For Full Story


D.C.’s Marion Barry Owes $277,000 in Back Taxes: Feds Want Him Jailed (By Del Quentin Wilber -Washington Post)

“Goodfellas” Mobster Gets Probation for Public Intoxication

By Allan Lengel

Henry Hill, the New York mobster who inspired the Martin Scorcese film “Goodfellas”, has been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of public intoxication, the Associated Press reported.

Hill, 65, a mobster turned informant, got credit for four days served and was fined $220 in the San Bernardino, Calif., earlier this week, the AP reported.

An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month after Hill failed to appear in court.

Hill was played by actor Ray Liotta in the 1990 film, which also featured standout performances by Robert Di Niro and Joe Pesci. Some lines in the movie became legendary (like in the video below).


Things We Still Don’t Know About Airport Security on 9/11

twin-towers-9-111As Andrew Cochran points out, there’s so much we still don’t know about what happened on 9/11. Time for some of that transparency the Obama administration has promised.

By Andrew Cochran
Counterterrorism Blog

Here is what we still don’t know, over seven years after the 9/11 attacks, about airline and airport security on that day:

1. We don’t know if all of the metal screening machines at the airports involved had been tested and were actually working as designed;

2. We don’t know if the security personnel working on those machines and screen passengers were qualified and properly trained to find barred and dangerous items; and

3. We don’t know how the terrorists made it through the checkpoints with their deadly box-cutters, knives and mace.

All that, and more, was unilaterally designated by the aviation industry defendants as confidential, wrongfully exploiting a protective order issued by a federal judge in 2004, designed only to protect trade secret and competitive information.

The order was entered in lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims against certain airlines, security companies and others responsible for airline and airport security (the “aviation defendants”) on that fateful day.

The remaining three families, out of 96 who filed lawsuits, have challenged the defendants’ “confidential trade secrets” designations, claiming that one of their major motivations for filing lawsuits and not going into the no-fault Victims Compensation Fund created by Congress was to ask questions, demand accountability and shed light on the checkpoint failures that allowed 19-for-19 hijackers to board aircrafts with prohibited weapons and hazardous materials.

To Read More