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Kenyen Brown Set to Become Alabama’s First Black U.S. Atty

alabama-map

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Congressional staffer Kenyen Brown is set to become the first black U.S. Attorney in Alabama history.

President Obama nominated Brown Thursday to the office, which covers 13 counties.

Brown currently serves as director of advice and education for the House Ethics committee.

To read more go to the Mobile Press-Register.

Other Presidential nominations announced Thursday included Neil H. MacBride for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Steven Gerard O’Donnell for U.S. Marshal in Rhode Island.

FBI Agents Raid New Orleans Police Homicide Office

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office should get credit for being this aggressive in investigating the police shootings of civilians in New Orleans.

new-orleans-police-badge

By Brendan McCarthy
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Federal agents this week raided the office of the New Orleans Police Department homicide division, seizing the files and computer hard drives of two officers assigned to investigate police conduct in one deadly post-Katrina shooting episode, law enforcement sources told The Times-Picayune.

Representatives of the FBI and NOPD confirmed the seizure late Thursday.

FBI agents served a search warrant Wednesday afternoon for files in the offices of two supervisors, Sgt. Gerard Dugue and Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, the sources said.

The two sergeants were the lead investigators who examined the shooting of civilians by police on the Danziger Bridge days after Hurricane Katrina.

Gunfire from police, who were responding to reports of shots fired at officers, left two men dead and four people wounded.

For Full Story

Prosecutor Benjamin Wagner Nominated for U.S. Atty. in Sacramento

sacramento-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Benjamin Wagner, a federal prosecutor, has been nominated to become U.S. Attorney in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Wagner, the chief of special prosecutions in the Sacramento U.S. Attorney’s Office, was nominated by President Obama Thursday.

The Bee reported that Wagner as recommended by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Jury that Convicted Jefferson Says He Should Forfeit $470,000

William Jefferson was already in financial straights before this. He bounced plenty checks and ran up credit cards. Now he and his family face some tough times ahead with the jury’s latest finding.

money-photo

By Bruce Alpert and Jonathan Tilove
New Orleans Times-Picayune

William Jefferson, the former Democratic congressman convicted of 11 of 16 counts of corruption, can be held liable to forfeit more than $470,000 in bribe money paid to sham companies under his family’s control, a jury ruled Thursday, one day after convicting him.

The jury also found that ANJ Group, one of those front companies controlled by Jefferson’s wife, Andrea, and their five daughters, could be required to surrender millions of shares of stock in a Kentucky technology company and a Nigerian telecommunications venture that were at the center of the FBI investigation into Jefferson and are now presumably worthless.

The jury’s forfeiture verdict establishes which assets controlled by the defendant amount to ill-gotten gains, and sets an upper limit on how much the government may demand that he forfeit.

The precise determination of how much Jefferson owes and how it would exacted is left to the judge, T.S. Ellis III, who could make a determination any time up to and including at Jefferson’s sentencing, which is set for Oct. 30.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Head of FBI in Mobile, Ala. Is Stepping Down Under a Cloud

FBI Agent Debra Mack
FBI Agent Debra Mack

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Debra Mack, the first African American female  to head the FBI Mobile, Ala., office, is stepping down under a cloud of controversy.

WKRG tv reports that  Mack had been the subject of a two-year internal investigation involving a high ranking local politician.

A source tells ticklethewire.com that FBI agents in the Mobile division were unhappy with her leadership and management style  for a long time. In recent times, the FBI conducted a surprise inspection of the bureau and agents complained to inspectors about Mack.

Eventually, the tv station reports that Mack, a 26-year veteran of the FBI, was offered a choice: Become an FBI agent in Birmingham, which would have been a big demotion, or retire.

Angela Tobon, a spokeswoman for the FBI Mobile office, said Mack announced to staff earlier this week that she was retiring at the end of the month. She had headed up the FBI office since February 2005.

“She just said it was time to retire,” Tobon said. She declined to comment on reports of an internal probe or the FBI inspection.

For the past 60 days, Mack has been working in Washington as a deputy assistant director in the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence, Tobon said.

She said Mack will go on vacation and contemplate her future.

John Edwards’ Ex-Mistress Appears Before North Carolina Grand Jury

It has come down to this. John Edwards, once a viable candidate for president has fallen very far from grace. Now he’s got his former mistress going before a grand jury investigating his campaign finances. Maybe it’s just bad karma to get a $400 haircut during a campaign where you voice concern about poverty.

John Edwards

John Edwards

By ALYSIA PATTERSON
Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. — The former mistress of John Edwards arrived at a federal courthouse in Raleigh where a grand jury was meeting Thursday – an appearance that comes as federal investigators examine the two-time presidential candidate’s finances.

Rielle Hunter walked into the building through a back entrance and holding a young child.

Edwards adamantly denied during his confessional interview with ABC News last summer that he had fathered a child with Hunter, and he welcomed a paternity test. His wife, Elizabeth, has said while promoting her book that she doesn’t know if her husband is the father.

For Full Story

Book Gives Behind the Scenes Glimpse of U.S. Secret Service

Ronald Kessler has written an interesting book on the Secret Service. Inside the agency, some people aren’t very happy about it and have expressed disappointment that some former agents have opened up and talked. The following is an excerpt of the book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect” (Crown Publishing Group). It was printed in Newsmax Magazine.

secret-service-book

By Ronald Kessler

All eyes in the crowd were on the new president and first lady as they smiled and waved and held hands, celebrating the moment. But the men and women who walked along Pennsylvania Avenue with them never looked at the couple, only into the crowd.

The temperature was twenty- eight degrees, but the Secret Service agents’ suit jackets were open, hands held free in front of the chest, just in case they had to reach for their SIG Sauer P229 pistols. On television as the motorcade proceeded, the world could sometimes catch a glimpse of a man’s silhouette on top of a building, a countersniper poised and watching. But that was just a hint of the massive security precautions that had been planned in secret for months.

The Secret Service scripted where Barack and Michelle Obama could step out of “the Beast,” as the presidential limousine is called. At those points, counterassault teams stood ready, armed with fully automatic Stoner SR- 16 rifles and flash bang grenades for diversionary tactics.

If they spotted any hint of a threat, the grim- faced agents never betrayed it. It is the same when they see what goes on behind the scenes. Because Secret Service agents are sworn to secrecy, voters rarely know what their presidents, vice presidents, presidential candidates, and Cabinet officers are really like. If they did, says a former Secret Service agent, “They would scream.”

To Read More

Woman Who Tried Shooting Pres. Ford — Squeaky Fromme — Will Get Paroled

Few have forgotten her attempt on President Ford’s life 34 years ago. And few have forgotten that name “Squeaky”. Maybe she’ll get a new nickname once she’s on the outside.

Pres. Ford
Pres. Ford

Demian Bulwa and John Koopman
San Francisco Chronicle

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the waif-like Charles Manson follower who tried to shoot President Gerald Ford outside the Capitol in Sacramento in 1975, will be released from prison as early as Aug. 14, authorities said Wednesday.
Images

Fromme, now 60, has been serving a life sentence in Texas. A federal parole board granted her parole last year, but her release was delayed because she got extra time after trying to escape from a West Virginia facility in 1987.

Traci Billingsley, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said Fromme remains at a prison for women with special medical or mental health needs in Fort Worth, Texas. Billingsley said her agency had the authority to release Fromme Aug. 14, 15 or 16. She said she did not have any information about Fromme’s plans.

For Full Story

A 1987 Interview With Squeaky Fromme

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-fJGxTfeqI