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New Head of FBI’s Connecticut Office Pledges to Make Public Corruption Top Priority

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Patricia M. Ferrick, the new head of the FBI in Connecticut, said Wednesday that a top priority is cracking down on public corruption, the Associated Press reports.

“You have to look for corruption to find it,” Ferrick said Wednesday during an interview in her office with The Associated Press. “It doesn’t walk in the door. I made it pretty clear to my staff that is a priority for me.”

Connecticut has been beset with government scandals in the past.

One scandal involving former Gov. John G. Rowland and two mayors of large cities about a decade ago earned the state the nickname Corrupticut.

 

Head of FBI’s Miami Office Gets Promoted to Counter-Terrorism Post in Washington

 

Michael Steinbach/ fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Michael B. Steinbach, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami office, is returning to Washington to take a top job fighting counter-terrorism, the Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

The 47-year-old will be promoted to deputy assistant director in the counter-terrorism division, where he had previously worked.

Steinbach, whose departure date has not yet been determined, took the Miami job in February 2013.

He currently leads about 800 employees in the Miami Division, which covers nine counties.

His replacement has been decided but the name has not been released yet, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Justice Department to Dramatically Expand Rules Aimed at Profiling by Federal Agents

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a move to address decades of concerns about the protection of civil rights, the Justice Department plans to expand its definition of racial profiling to alleviate discrimination by religion, nationality, gender and sexual orientation, the New York Times reports.

Although the Bush administration banned racial profiling in 2003, it provided exclusions for national security cases and Latinos for immigration probes.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants that to change, the Times wrote.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I.’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It’s unclear when the new rules will go into effect.

Budget Cuts Dramatically Reduce Spending on Homeland Security Headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new Homeland Security headquarters in Washington will be much smaller than initially conceived because of budget cuts approved by the House on Wednesday, the Washington Post reports.

Instead of having $354 million for the HQ, the agency will have about $155 million.

The Republican-Controlled House Appropriations Committee described the bill as “responsible choices to save taxpayer dollars by reducing overhead costs and cutting funding for lower-priority programs.”

Homeland Security, the third largest department in the federal government, has operated for 11 years without a consolidated headquarters, the Post wrote.

Was California Man Retaliated Against for Shooting Cell Phone Video of Border Patrol Agent?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A California man says he was arrested in retaliation for shooting cell phone video of a Border Patrol agent appearing to use excessive force while trying to arrest an undocumented worker, ABC 10 News reports.

“I think this is a classic example of what we call excessive use of force in its literal definition,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Mitra Ebadoulahi. “The force is excessive, it’s uncalled for.”

After capturing the video, agents demanded and retrieved the video from Jose Guzman, who said he handed it over without a search warrant because he was a parolee and didn’t want trouble.

But trouble is what he got.

Two days later, Guzman’s probation officer called to say that his GPS ankle bracelet wasn’t working properly. When he brought it in for inspection, he was arrested.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Ex-Fed Prosecutor James Baker Named General Counsel for FBI

James Baker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James A. Baker, a former federal prosecutor,  has been named the general counsel for the FBI.

Baker, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman in Detroit before joining the Department of Justice with the Criminal Division through the Attorney General’s Honors Program in 1990. He worked as a federal prosecutor with the division’s Fraud Section.

In 1996, he joined the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which later became part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

From 2001 to 2007, he served as counsel for intelligence policy and head of OIPR.

Back in 2006, Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post reported  that in 2004 Baker discovered “the government’s failure to share information about its spying program had rendered useless a federal screening system that the judges had insisted upon to shield the court from tainted information. He alerted (U.S. District Judge Colleen)  Kollar-Kotelly, who complained to Justice, prompting a temporary suspension of the NSA spying program.”

From 2008 to 2009, Baker was assistant general counsel for national security at Verizon Business. He then returned to the Justice Department and from 2009 to 2011, served as an associate deputy attorney general where he worked on a range of national security issues, including cyber security.

He last worked as associate general counsel for  Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge fund firms based in Connecticut.

“Jim’s experience as a career prosecutor and as a national security official, as well his experience in the private sector, make him an excellent fit for his new position here at the FBI,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement.

 

David T. Resch Heads Up FBI’s Little Rock Division

David Resch/FBI photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David T. Resch, who most recently served as chief of the Tactical Operations Section in the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico, Va., has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Little Rock, Ark. office.

Resch became an agent in 1996, and was first assigned to the Houston Division, where worked criminal matters and served as the crimes against children coordinator and the kidnapping coordinator, the FBI said in a press release.

In 2003, he was promoted to the Crisis Management Unit in the Critical Incident Response Group and then transferred to the Behavioral Analysis Unit in 2004, the FBI said.

In 2006, he was promoted to lead the unit in 2006 and directed the FBI’s response to complex and time sensitive crimes involving acts or threats of violence and terrorism.

He transferred to the Richmond Division in 2008 as the supervisory special agent of the Gangs, Violent Crimes, and Cyber programs and subsequently as the Joint Terrorism Task Force supervisor.

In 2012, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge and was responsible for all criminal and administrative programs in the division, the press release said.

 

Obama’s Nominee for Civil Rights Post in Justice Department Faces Heated Criticism from Foes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has drawn strong criticism from opponents of the appointment of Debo Adegbile, Fox News reports.

They’ve described the former NAACP lawyer as “radical,” “dangerous” and “outside the mainstream.”

Now he’s being criticized for playing a role in overturning the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

Asked about the overturned sentence, Adegbile responded: “It’s important, I think, to understand that in no way does that legal representation, zealously as an advocate, cast any aspersion or look past the grievous loss of Sergeant Faulkner.”