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Archive for November, 2011

FBI Admits Report Overestimated Gang Problem in Utah


fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Salt Lake County, Utah may not be gang free, but it’s not nearly as bad as the FBI initially suggested.

The Deseret News reports that the FBI has conceded that it far overestimated the gang problem in Salt Lake County, saying it miscalculated the numbers.

The paper reported that the FBI had said Utah County was among the 10 top in the nation when it came to gang problems.

It had estimated a gang population of more than 15,000.

On Friday, the FBI recalculated and came up with a figure of about 2,500 the Deseret News reported.

The original figures were released by the FBI last month in a national gang report.

The paper reported that “when officers with the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit saw the numbers, they immediately knew they were flawed.”

“I think the (FBI) stat is erroneous. The suggestion that Salt Lake has 15,000 documented gang members is inaccurate. How that inaccuracy was achieved, I don’t know,” Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder told the Deseret News last week. “I think the Metro numbers are very accurate.”

The Metro Gang Unit pegged the number at about 2,500.

 

Retired FBI Employee Who Helped Crew in “J. Edgar” Reflects on Movie and Power of Hollywood

Rex Tomb served in the FBI from 1968 until his retirement in 2006. For most of his career he served in the Office of Public Affairs, retiring as Chief of its Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit.
 

Rex Tomb

By Rex Tomb
for ticklethewire.com

About a year ago I received a telephone call from my former boss at the FBI. No biggie. Usually they call to tell me that a former colleague is retiring or that maybe someone I know is ill or transferring. This call however, was different. He told me that some people were coming to town and that they were producing a feature film about the life of J. Edgar Hoover. Would I give them a tour of Mr. Hoover’s old office? I immediately agreed to do so.

I am not a historian, nor can I claim to have known Mr. Hoover, though in a couple of those “my brushes with fame” moments, I did catch glimpses of him and even exchanged a few words with the man (very few). To say however, that I knew him? When he was alive, I worked in the mail room and conducted FBI tours. We weren’t on a first name basis. I served under him for the first four years of my FBI career which, by the way, stretched from 1968 until my retirement in 2006.

In the early 1970s, I was given an assignment that enabled me to obtain a very good knowledge of how Mr. Hoover’s office had been laid out: Who sat where, where the entrances were, where some of the furniture stood, etc. Mr. Hoover’s office was in the Department of Justice Building which is located in Washington, D.C. Several years ago the building underwent an extensive renovation. Much of the building’s interior was gutted and rebuilt, making it much harder for newer people to know exactly where things were. Since I live only a few miles away and was available, I was called.

While some parts of Mr. Hoover’s office suite no longer exist, I was still able to show them Mr. Hoover’s old conference room, his working office as well as his secretary’s office. The movie production people that I met with could not have been nicer. I liked them then, and I still do. They were intelligent, courteous and very kind. I also tried to recommend that they telephone some people who actually knew Mr. Hoover. Believe it or not, there are still a few around. They were appreciative, but it was obvious that they had already been in touch with some of them. Researchers who work on major film productions are notoriously efficient.

After the tour, I eagerly anticipated the film’s release, and several weeks ago, “J. Edgar” which was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer, came to Washington area movie theaters. The night I went to see it the theater was packed.

Read more »

Longest Serving Fed Prosecutor John C. Keeney Dead at Age 89

John Keeney

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It was Billy Joel who once sang “Only the Good Die Young.”

Not so.

AP reported that retired Justice Department official John C. Keeney, the longest-serving federal prosecutor in history, died on Saturday in Kensington, Md., at age 89.

In a statement posted on the Justice Department website on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. remarked:

“For the last six decades, Jack Keeney served the Department of Justice with dedication, integrity and an unshakeable commitment to the rule of law. As the longest-serving federal prosecutor in the history of the United States, the contributions that he made – to the Justice Department and to the nation he was so proud to serve – are beyond measure. And I am one of many who have been grateful to count him as a mentor, advisor and friend.

“Although Mr. Keeney will be sorely missed, his legacy will live on – in the Justice Department building that bears his name, in the standard of excellence that he established in the department’s Criminal Division, in the work of countless attorneys that he mentored throughout his career, and in the inspiration that he will continue to provide public servants across our nation.”

Justice Dept. Probes Allegations Boston FBI Lied About Mob Informant

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This can’t be good publicity for the FBI.

The station Newscenter 5 reports that the Justice Department is probing allegations by Massachusetts law enforcement officials that the Boston FBI lied about using Mafia capo Mark Rossetti, 54, as an informant.

The station quoted FBI spokesman Paul Bresson as saying: “Regarding the Rosetti matter, an inspection team from FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., is currently reviewing.’’

Previously, the Boston FBI got in big trouble for using mobster James “Whitey” Bulger as an informant while he committed numerous murders and other crimes.

In fact, comparisons to Bulger and this case were not lost. The headline on the station’s website read: “Another Bulger? Feds Probe FBI Mob Informant Use.”

To read more click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Report on Sen. Stevens’ Prosecutors Doesn’t Call for Charges, But Finds Plenty Wrong

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

By Nedra Pickler
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The special prosecutor who investigated the botched case against late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is not recommending criminal charges against any of the Justice Department attorneys who tried him despite finding widespread misconduct beyond what has yet been publicly revealed.

The findings in a two-and-a-half-year investigation by Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III were revealed Monday in an order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan wrote that the investigation found the Stevens prosecution was “permeated” by the prosecutors’ concealment of evidence they collected that could have helped the senator’s defense.

The full 500-page report remains under seal until the Justice Department has a chance to respond, but Sullivan says he will release it publicly.

To read more click here.

Was FBI’s Disinterest in NY Terror Case an Indicator That It May Have Been Overblown?

Mayor Bloomberg

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Did police, district attorneys and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg inflate the importance of a recent terror suspect arrest?  A New York magazine report suggests that was possibility.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Mayor Bloomberg announced the arrest of Jose Pimentel at a city hall news conference Sunday night. But it turns out that the FBI had turned down requests to take part in the Pimentel investigation, citing some “issues” the agency had with the case.

“But more information on the seriousness of Pimentel’s threat, as suggested by the absence of the FBI in the investigation, could indicate that the arrest was more insignificant than it appeared last night,” New York magazine wrote.

Pimentel had been under investigation for more than two years. Bloomberg told the press the suspect had no connections to outside terror groups and was acting as “a total lone wolf.” Pimentel kept up the website www.trueislam1.com, which posted bomb-making directions from the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire, and had allegedly spoken of his desire to train in Yemen to carry out jihad in New York.

A law enforcement official, according to New York magazine, saw it this way:  “We weren’t going to wait around to figure out what he wanted to do with his bombs. He was in Harlem about an hour from actually having assembled the bombs” at the time of his arrest, but had all the “unassembled components ready to go.”

To read more click here.

Ex-FBI Dir. Freeh to Head Up Penn State Probe

 

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Ex-FBI director Louie Freeh, father of six, will head up Penn State University’s own probe into the child sex abuse scandal rocking that school, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The Inquirer reported that Freeh’s appointment was announced Monday morning by Ken Frazier, president and CEO of Merck and Co. who is the chair of the special investigative committee created by the Penn State Board of Trustees.

“The scope of our probe will be broad, covering a lengthy period of time,” said Freeh, promising to “leave no stone unturned” to get to the root of the scandal, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Freeh will review the university’s policies and internal controls, the paper reported. Freeh said he has put together a team of investigators which includes former FBI agents and fed prosecutors.

“The allegations that have been raised and the charges that have been brought are extraordinarily serious,” said Freeh, according to the Inquirer.

 

Herman Cain Asked for Secret Service Protection, Washington Post Reports

Cain with his wife Gloria/ cain campaign photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

We’re getting a little more insight as to why presidential candidate Herman Cain was granted Secret Service protection — the first candidate to get protection in this campaign season.

Apparently Cain asked for it, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and congressional leaders approved it Thursday,  reports the Washington Post.

The Secret Service has requested $113.4 million to guard the Republican primary winner in the general election — $4 million more than in 2008 and about two-thirds more than 2004.

The Secret Service has a long history of protecting those seeking the highest office in the land.

Barack Obama was the earliest candidate to receive Secret Service protection when agents began tailing the then-senator eight months before the first primary contest, in May 2007.

Campaign trail security began in 1968 with Congressional authorization to protect major presidential candidates after Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in California.

While Obama received protection earliest, having agents at his side for 629 days. But Ronald Reagan holds the record for the most “protection days:” Over the course of three campaigns, the Secret Service protected Reagan for 791 days.

To read more click here.