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FBI

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces New Professional Misconduct Review Unit

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has created a “Professional Misconduct Review Unit” to handle disciplinary actions for career attorneys at the department resulting from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr., in announcing the new unit on Tuesday, said it will be headed up by Kevin Ohlson,who has served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to Holder since February 2009.

OPR investigates allegations of professional misconduct involving Department attorneys. The new unit will review OPR findings of reckless professional misconduct and determine whether evidence supports those findings. The United States Attorneys (EOUSA) will still refer findings of “poor judgment or mistake” to the appropriate U.S. Attorney for appropriate action.

“The current procedures for resolving these disciplinary matters consume too much time, and risk inconsistent resolutions, but this new Unit will help change that by providing consistent, fair, and timely resolution of these cases,” Holder said.

“In the vast majority of cases, Department attorneys meet their professional obligations but when allegations of misconduct occur, all parties deserve a fair and timely resolution. This Unit will be instrumental in achieving that goal and will also further the Department’s mission of meeting its ethical obligations in every case.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Woman Pleads to Voluntary Manslaughter in Death of Pitts. FBI Agent Sam Hicks; Gets Nearly 16 Years

Christina Korbe/wtae tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in federal court in Pittsburgh to voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence in the fatal  shooting of FBI agent Sam Hicks in 2008, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Under the plea agreement, Christina Korbe was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months in prison, the paper reported, adding that she entered her plea before a standing-room-only courtroom.

Korbe shot and killed Hicks, who along with other law enforcement agents, had come to arrest her husband Robert Korbe, a drug dealer, who is now serving a 25-year prison term.

She had claimed that she shot Hicks, 33, after thinking someone was breaking in the home, and that she wanted to protect her family. Hicks was the first to enter the home.

The Post-Gazette reported that Hick’s widow Brooke Hicks spoke after sentencing, saying:

“The most important thing was she stood up in that courtroom and accepted responsibility for shooting Sam.”She added that she was relieved Korbe can’t appeal, though ” everyone in here would have loved to see her do more time.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Korbe spoke in court and admitted she was wrong. And her family provided to the media a written statement from Kobe, which said:  “To the Hicks family, I am deeply, deeply sorry, more than you’ll ever know.

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about your son, your husband, your father, your brother, your friend, and wish it were me instead of him.”

But she also blamed the FBI tactics for the ordeal.

“I have never denied that I was the one who fired that fateful shot that morning and am taking on that responsibility. I still have not heard the FBI taking any responsibility in all of this because they refuse to accept that their unnecessary actions played an integral part,” she wrote.

She went on to blame the FBI for harassing her family, fabricating evidence and threatening witnesses, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Attorneys for FBI

Department of Justice Seal

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS GS 12-15


About the Office:The Mission of the FBI is to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to investigate violations of federal criminal law; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and faithful to the Constitution of the United States. The FBI is the principal investigative arm of the DOJ and has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes. The FBI is also authorized to investigate matters where no prosecution is contemplated; for example, under the authority of several Executives Orders, the FBI conducts background security checks concerning nominees to sensitive government positions.

Role of Counsel: Attorneys for the FBI provide comprehensive legal advice and counsel to the FBI personnel on both operational and administrative matters; and perform related legal services in a wide range of substantive areas including, but not limited to: national security law, criminal investigative law, privacy law, civil liberties, employment law and litigation, Federal tort claims, general civil litigation, administrative law, standards of conduct and compliance, forfeiture law, Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts law and litigation, criminal and civil discovery, science and technology law, employee discipline, equal employment opportunity, fiscal law, procurement and contracting, and general law.

Opportunities Offered: Requirements for experience attorneys in a wide range of FBI legal practice areas arise through normal attrition, re-prioritization of mission, promotion of incumbent personnel and so forth. Vacancies remain open until filled. Personnel selected for employment will be offered a starting grade and step level commensurate with the level of experience in the practice area under consideration. Most applicants will be required to serve in a probationary status for up to two years. Experience in the following practice areas is particularly desirable:

  • National Security Law: Counterterrorism and counter-intelligence investigations and operations, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance and searches, weapons of mass destruction and counter proliferation, government sponsored cyber crime and espionage, protection of civil liberties, information dissemination, classified litigation, and national security legal policy and training.
  • Employment Law and Litigation: Legal representation in defense of the FBI before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in the administrative hearing process; coordination of the agencys defense with DOJ when such mattes are in federal, district or appellate court; provide advice to management concerning issues arising under Title VII, the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family Medical Leave Act, disciplinary matters, hiring, termination and other personnel related decisions. (Note: In addition to the minimum requirements listed below, applicants for positions in this practice area must have prior litigation experience, with prior practice area in Title VII and MSPB preferred but not required.)
  • Civil Litigation: Legal representation in defense of the agency through all stages of litigation, service and receipt of process, depositions, brief preparation, discovery demands and responses, electronic discovery, tort litigation including constitutional tort actions, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act claims and litigation, and related fields.
  • Criminal Law: Criminal investigative operations, Title III applications, undercover operations, interrogation of witnesses and subjects, criminal procedure, rewards, use and operation of informants, federal juvenile law and procedure, forfeiture law and administration; domestic counterterrorism, discovery demand response, and related fields.
  • Science and Technology: Legal issues surrounding the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act implementation, DNA, computer analysis, cyber crime, fingerprint and other forensic analyses: FCC rulemaking, petitions, and enforcement actions; authorized communication interception, and related fields.
  • Procurement and Contracting: Legal issues surrounding compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation; general procurement law including Federal socio-economic procurement policies such as Small Business set asides; memoranda of agreement; bid protest and contract dispute litigation; intellectual property licensing; IT system procurement, development, and implementation; and related fields.
  • General Law: Legal issues surrounding agency administration and authority; fiscal law and policy; regulation and legislation review and proposals; privacy and civil liberty protection; information access, protection, and dissemination; criminal justice information systems; standards of conduct and compliance; and related fields.

Minimum Qualifications Required: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, 1 year of experience (minimum), a solid academic background and be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction).

Salary Information: The possible salary range is GS 12 ($74,872 – $97,333) to GS 15 (123,758 – $155,500), which includes locality pay for the Washington, D.C., area. Salary offered shall be commensurate with the candidates qualifications and experience.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized.

Submission Process and Deadline Date: Applicants must be United States citizens and must consent to a complete background investigation, urinalysis, and a polygraph examination. All applicants are requested to note the practice areas for which they wish to be considered in the cover letter to their resume.

For consideration, please submit a letter of interest, a current resume describing qualifications and experience, and a writing sample not to exceed ten pages, to:

Ms. Elaine N. Lammert
Deputy General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel
Room 7427
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20535

These positions are open until filled. Because of the current mail situation, it is recommended that applicants submit their information via facsimile at (202) 324-5366.

The FBI is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, status as a parent, membership or nonmembership in an employee organization or on the basis of personal favoritism. The Federal Bureau of Investigation welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons. The FBI is firmly committed to satisfying its obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on a basis of merit within the FBI.

The FBI is a drug-free workplace with standards in place regarding the timing of permissible drug use in the past. All candidates are required to successfully complete a background investigation for purposes of obtaining a Top Secret security clearance. Compliance with the FBI’s drug policy, as well as other matters relating the an applicants suitability for FBI employment will be verified by a pre-employment polygraph examination and a urinalysis test.

Internet Site: For more information about the FBI, please visit our website at http://www.fbi.gov./ Other Department attorney vacancy announcements can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/attvacancies.html.

Department Policies: Department Policies: The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination based on color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, status as a parent, membership or nonmembership in an employee organization, or personal favoritism. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department’s mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no formal rating system for applying veterans preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans preference are encouraged to include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214 or other substantiating documents) to their submissions.

Constitutional Clause Causing Headaches for Justice Department in Probes on Capitol Hill

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A 2007 court ruling saying FBI agents violated the Constitution when they raided the Congressional office of Rep. William J. Jefferson in 2006, appears to be haunting the Justice Department.

Washington Post reporters Jerry Markon and R. Jeffrey Smith report that the 2007 ruling, based on the “speech or debate”clause ,   “has helped derail or slow several recent corruption investigations of lawmakers, according to court documents and sources.” The clause protects members of Congress who are conducting official business from some scrutiny or intrusion from the Justice Department.

Ex-Rep. John Doolittle

The Post reports that since the ruling “speech or debate challenges have killed an investigation of former representative Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), hampered probes of Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.) and former representative John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), and slowed a pending corruption case against former representative Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), sources familiar with those inquiries said.”

In a 3 to 0 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. ruled that FBI agents went too far in searching Jefferson’s office in May 2006 when they viewed paper documents before giving Jefferson an opportunity to say whether the material was connected to legislative activity, and consequently protected by the “speech or debate” clause. Jefferson lost his bid for re-election in 2008.

And though he won a big pre-trial legal battle over the search of his office,  he went on to get convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts and was sentenced in Alexandria, Va. to 13 years in prison. He remains free pending an appeal.

To read more click here.

Surprise Development: Woman Plans to Plea in Fatal Shooting of FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a surprise development, a woman who fatally shot Pittsburgh FBI agent Sam Hicks in 2008 is set to enter a guilty plea in federal court Tuesday morning, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry set the plea date for Christina Korbe just three days after he ordered the federal jury administrator to summon 350 people to serve as the jury pool for the March 7 trial. The potential jurors were set to report to the courthouse on Feb. 14 for preliminary instructions.

Christina Korbe is charged with shooting Hicks to death. Hicks and other agents had come to the house to serve an arrest warrant for Korbe’s husband. She opened fire, killing Hicks. Her husband Robert Korbe has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on drug and other charges. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported the plea agreement.

Authorities said when the agents came to the home, Robert Korbe ran in the basement to get rid of cocaine and his wife Christina opened fire from upstairs.

In November 2009, the Baltimore FBI building was named after Hicks, who had been a Baltimore cop before joining the FBI.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Rowley “Secretive, Unaccountable” Homeland Security Turning Inward on Americans

Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent and legal counsel in the Minneapolis field office, wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures. She retired in 2004 and is now a writer and speaker.

FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

By COLEEN ROWLEY
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

A secretive, unaccountable, post-9/11 homeland security apparatus has increasingly turned inward on American citizens.

The evidence includes everything from controversial airport body scanners to the FBI’s raids last September on antiwar activists’ homes in Minneapolis and Chicago. A federal grand jury investigation in Chicago was recently expanded.

Unless the erosion of proper legal safeguards is halted, we risk a return to Vietnam-era abuses on the part of the FBI and other security agencies.

Agents are now given a green light, for instance, to check off “statistical achievements” by sending well-paid, manipulative informants into mosques and peace groups.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Prepare for Trial of Woman Accused of Killing Pitts. FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are gearing up for the trial of a woman accused of killing Pittsburgh FBI agent Sam Hicks in 2008.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry has ordered the federal jury administrator to summon 350 people to serve as the jury pool for the March 7 trial. The potential jurors will report to the courthouse on Feb. 14 for preliminary instructions.

Christina Korbe is charged with shooting Hicks to death. Hicks and other agents had come to the house to serve an arrest warrant for Korbe’s husband. She opened fire, killing Hicks. Her husband Robert Korbe has been sentenced to 25 years  in prison on drug and other charges.

Authorities said when the agents came to the home, Robert  Korbe ran in the basement to get rid of cocaine and his wife Christina opened fire from upstairs.

In November 2009, the Baltimore FBI building was named after Hicks, who had been a Baltimore cop before joining the FBI.

Detained Teen Says FBI Pressed Him During Interrogation in Kuwait

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A controversy is surfacing over the questioning of an American teen in Kuwait who is on the no-fly list.

The New York Times reports that the teen Gulet Mohamed says he was detained in Kuwait and “underwent a heated interrogation by F.B.I. agents for several hours on Wednesday, in a case that has renewed debate over the Obama administration’s expansion of the no-fly list after the attempted bombing of a passenger plane bound for Detroit in 2009.”

The New York Times wrote: “The interrogation grew steadily more hostile when the agents pressed the teenager, Gulet Mohamed, on his travels to Yemen and Somalia and began calling him an ”embarrassment to his country,” accusing him of lying about his contacts with militants overseas, he said.”

The Times reported that the teen says agents began yelling the name of the radical cleric”Anwar al-Awlaki”, who is wanted by the U.S. Kuwaiti officials then asked that the interrogation end.

The teen, who spoke to the Times by phone from a Kuwait deportation facility, claims the FBI continued to question him even after he asked to be represented by a lawyer.

”They wanted me to lie about myself, and pushed me to lie about things I had done,” he said, according to the Times.

The FBI declined comment, the Times reported.