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FBI

Station Posts FBI Recording of County Exec. Telling Wife to Destroy Evidence As Agents Pound on Door

Jack Johnson/wusa

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Considering he was once the top prosecutor for a prominent suburban county just outside D.C., Jack B. Johnson was not such a smart crook and shakedown artist.

Johnson was arrested by the FBI late last year while in his final weeks in office as county executive of Prince George’s County on charges of taking more than $400,000 in bribes. He was recorded by the FBI on a tense phone call with his wife Leslie, who was home at the time when two FBI agents knocked at the front door. He was advising her to hide incriminating evidence including wads of cash. In May, he pleaded guilty in federal court, and sentencing is set for Dec. 6.

Channel 4 in Washington posted on its website the recordings, which are fascinating to listen to.

Below is the recording.

Grassley Questions Justice Dept. Commitment to FBI Whistleblowers

Sen. Grassley/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Chuck Grassley is questioning the commitment of Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and his Deputy Attorney General James Cole to FBI whistleblowers.

In a press released issued Monday, Grassley said one FBI whistleblower case “continues to languish for nine years and a second case sits in limbo for more than four years.”

“Whistleblowers are key to unlocking many of the secrets hidden deep in the closets of the federal government,” Grassley said in a statement. “Allowing a case to sit in limbo for more than nine years shows a lack of commitment to resolving issues for these courageous people.

“The excessive time to make a judgment on these cases indicates that the process for adjudicating FBI whistleblower claims is broken, and needs to be fixed,” Grassley added. “The Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have significant say over the speed at which these matters are addressed, and the recent decision by Deputy Attorney General Cole to remand a nine year old case for further proceedings is mind boggling and calls into question his commitment to help support whistleblowers.”

Grassley, in a letter to Holder, urged the attorney general to address whistleblower cases in a more timely manner.

Grassley mentioned former FBI agent Jane Turner who was fired in 2002 after disclosing to the Justice Department Inspector General after discovering that FBI agents removed items from Ground Zero following the attacks of 9/11.

Grassley said in his release that due to the Inspector General’s delayed decision, Agent Turner was forced to file an appeal with the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, which ordered the FBI to issue back pay, attorney’s fees and other relief.

After an FBI appeal, the Deputy Attorney General remanded the case for further proceedings and it now continues to languish nine years after Agent Turner’s original complaint, Grassley said.

Grassley also cited the case of Robert Kobus, a 30-year non-agent employee of the FBI who more than four years ago disclosed time and attendance fraud by FBI agents. The Inspector General substantiated his claims of retaliation for protected whistleblowing, yet his case has been sitting with the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management for four years.

“I presume you would agree that DOJ is sxending the wrong message to whistleblowers by taking an inordinate amount of time to issue final declarations for Agent Turner and Mr. Kobus,” Grassley wrote in the letter to Holder.

Read letter to Holder

 

DEA Beats FBI in Charity Hockey Game

FBI-DEA game/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In case you’re keeping score, yes, the FBI still has far more agents than the DEA.

But on the ice that didn’t seem to matter Saturday when the two agencies squared off at the Ashburn Ice house in Virginia to play a friendly game of hockey to raise money for the DEA’s Survivors Benefit Fund.

AOL’s website Patch reported that DEA won by a score of 7-4.

The website reported that the ceremonial puck drop was dropped by Loudoun County sheriff-elect Mike Chapman, and the DEA hung jerseys behind its bench of fallen agents Chad Michael, Forrest Leamon and Michael Weston, who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2009.

fbi photo

“We gave it a good try,” said FBI player-coach Dan Storey, according to Patch. “They did skate really hard, and we’ll look for a rematch against our buddies here at the DEA.”

NY Muslim Groups Resist Cooperating With Police

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After all the efforts by law enforcement to forge a lasting cooperation — particularly in the post-9/11 era —  some in the Muslim community in America remain skeptical.

The Associated Press reports  Muslim groups in New York are discouraging people from going to the New York police with concerns about terrorism, and are teaching members how to identify informants.

The distrust grows from allegations that the NYPD has spied on Muslim groups in many different ways, the AP reported.

The distrust goes far beyond NY. One national Muslim organization in California put a poster on its website warning Muslims not to talk to the FBI, thought the poster was later gotten rid of.

To read more click here.

FBI Report Says Hate Crime Rate Held Steady in 2010

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Hate crimes held steady in 2010, new FBI stats show, with 6,628 hate crime incidents reported for the year. That figure was slightly up from the 6,604 in 2009.

Almost half of all incidents were motivated by racial bias, according to the FBI report released Monday. Roughly 20 percent of the incidences were motivated by bias towards religious orientation and 19.3 percent because of sexual orientation.

Almost 60 percent of offenders were white, compared to the 18.4 overall black offenders.

Most incidents–31.4 percent–occurred in or near homes, while 17 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys and streets. Almost 11 percent occurred at schools or colleges.

To read more click here.

US, UK Security Directives Clash Over London Olympics; FBI Plans to Send 500 Agents

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Expressing deep unease about the UK’s restricting the scope of anti-terrorism “stop and search” powers, the U.S, plans to send about 1,000 security agents to the 2012 London Olympics, which will include a contingent of about 500 FBI agent, reports Adelaide Now.

“We are not equal partners in this,” said an unnamed UK security official of the United States, according to Adelaide Now. “They are being very demanding.”

“The Americans are risk-averse, with a capital ‘A’ and underlined. They want to see everything … They want to be on top of everything – building protection, counterterrorism strategy and VIP security – everything,” said another. “(The US) don’t do things by halves.”

To read more click here.

 

Hunt on for $600M; Smelling Like Fraud

Ex- NJ Gov. John Corzine

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI investigators have found themselves in a “Whack-a-Mole” like search for $600 million in missing funds, reports MSNBC.

The search, in partnership with the Commodity Futures Training Commission and the SEC, is for lost customer cash in an investigation into New Jersey Gov. John Corzine’s now bankrupt brokerage firm MF Global. The missing funds are starting to smell like fraud, says former SEC chief accountant. “The fact that people today can’t tell us where the $600 million went is not a good sign.”

Investigators are looking into whether or not the firm used client money to fund its trades, an illegal practice, which may be difficult to determine. “They may have been involved in an aggressive interpretation of the securities laws,” said one anonymous  securities lawyer. “They met the letter of the law — the question is whether they met the spirit of the law.”

To read more about the investigation click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

Authorities Mistakenly Arrest Arab-American Leader

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — There’s different kinds of Ooops. There’s the recent one when presidential candidate Rick Perry had a senior moment during the debates. Then there’s the ones where authorities arrest the wrong guy.

This one involved the wrong guy.

The Detroit Free Press reports that police, acting on an FBI arrest warrant, mistakenly arrested an Arab-American leader in Dearborn Friday night in connection with a cigarette smuggling probe and supporting Hezbollah.

Ali Hammoud, president of the Bint Jebail Cultural Center, was released on Saturday after the FBI questioned him and figured out they had the wrong guy, the Free Press reported.

Detroit FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold told the Free Press: “The individual fit the description/identifiers of an active warrant. It was later determined it was not the correct individual, and he was released.”