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Archive for October, 2009

Beth Phillips Would be First Woman U.S. Atty. in Kansas City

kansas-city-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — It’s hard to believe in the 21st Century that this would be a first.

But apparently that’s the case. President Obama on Wednesday nominated Beth Phillips for U.S. Attorney in Kansas City. That would make her the first woman to hold that high-level position in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star reported the nomination for the Western District of Missouri.

Phillips became an assistant U.S. Attorney in 2008. Previously, the paper said, she worked in private practice and in the Jackson county prosecutor’s office.

On Wednesday, President Obama also nominated for U.S. Attorney posts:  Stephanie Villafuerte, Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter’s deputy chief of staff for community outreach, for Colorado; and Sanford Coats for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Fed Judge Says FBI is Liable For Murders by Boston Mobsters; Awards Families $1.85 Mil

The outcome was certainly not surprising. But what may be interesting is whether this ruling opens the door for any similar cases around the country. Surely there have been other cases around the country in which federal informants have killed people while snitching for the FBI or DEA or ATF.

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
BOSTON — A federal judge ruled yesterday that the government is liable for the killings of two young women and a man allegedly slain by longtime FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, but awarded limited damages to the women’s families.

US District Judge William G. Young ordered the government to pay $350,000 to the families of each of the three victims, because of the conscious pain and suffering endured by Debra Davis, 26, who was strangled in 1981; Deborah Hussey, 26, strangled in 1985; and Louis Litif, 45, who was stabbed and shot in 1980.

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

The judge awarded an additional $800,000 to Litif’s widow and two children, who were 15 and 20 when he died, for the loss of his financial and emotional support.

For Full Story

FBI Denies it Edited Oklahoma Bombing Security Videotapes

Oklahoma City Federal Building

Oklahoma City Federal Building

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The FBI is denying suggestions that it edited soundless videotapes of the aftermath of the Oklahoma bombing, the Associated Press reported.

The denial came in the form of an email to the Associated Press.

“The FBI made no edits or redactions in the processing of these videos,”FBI spokesman Paul  Bresson wrote to the Associated Press. “The tapes are typical security cameras – the view switches camera to camera every few seconds.”

The FBI released more than 24 security camera tapes from buildings near the Oklahoma bombing that showed the chaos after the bombing.

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue obtained the tapes through the Freedom of Information Act and complained of them being blank at times shortly before the explosion that killed 168.

“They have been edited,” Trentadue told the Associated Press.

ONE OF THE VIDEOS

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSzQF0wHQ3c

FBI Investigating Burbank, Calif. Police Dept.

At least seven lawsuits have been filed by officers against the department alleging racial discrimination. I’m no math major. But that seems like a big number of   lawsuits on one issue.

burbank-police-ca

By Andrew Blankstein
Los Angles Times
LOS ANGLES — FBI officials today confirmed that they are investigating possible civil rights violations alleged by officers at the Burbank Police Department.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller would not comment on specifics of the probe by the agency’s civil rights division or how long the probe would last.

At least seven suits have been filed by officers against the Burbank Police Department, alleging a pattern of racial discrimination and retaliation, as well as unlawful demotions or firings.

Mayor Gary Bric said he was confident that investigations of the Burbank Police Department, including an independent probe by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, would be thorough and complete. He said there would be no limits to investigators.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Found Passed Out and Drunk in Stranger’s Bed

us-capitol-police-badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Message to U.S. Capitol police officer Thomas Patrick McMahon: Dude, you’re not in college anymore.

The Washington Post’s Allison Klein reports that an Arlington, Va. woman came home to her apartment early Sunday morning and found McMahon of Reston, Va., drunk and passed out in her bed.

Funny thing was, the two had never met, the Post wrote in a story first reported on WUSA-9 tv. McMahon was charged with unlawful entry and placed on paid administrative leave.

“I don’t know if it looks similar to his apartment in Reston or what,” Arlington police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal told the Post. “Thankfully, nobody was hurt.”