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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

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.

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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.

Commentary: There’s No Other Way to Say It: Jefferson Was a Crook

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Like a run of the mill drug dealer, he hid cash in the freezer.

Like a run of the mill drug dealer, he used cryptic code words in conversations. In one instance, he used the words “African Art” when referring to a cash bribe to an African official.

Like a run of the mill drug dealer, he was paranoid about the FBI, and said so much during a meeting with rich Virginia investor/FBI informant Lori Mody, who just happened to be wearing an FBI wire.

Still, William J. Jefferson , a 9-term Congressman, was anything but a run of the mill criminal. He had a law degree from Harvard. He had an advanced tax degree from Georgetown . He had a sophisticated wife and well educated daughters. He was intelligent. Low key. He was thoughtful .

And he was more than just another Congressman to many of his constituents.

He was the first African American Congressman to be elected in Louisiana since Reconstruction.

“Since he’s been in office, he’s one of the few black officials who has been able to get in office and do something for the people,” a 58-year man old man told me down in New Orleans during Jefferson’s successful re-election campaign in 2006. Jefferson lost two years later.

On Wednesday, Jefferson was convicted of 11 of 16 counts of public corruption. The case centered on allegations that Jefferson took bribes in exchange for using his Congressional influence to promote businesses in Africa he or his family members had a hidden interest in.

He’ll be sentenced in October and you can be sure he’ll get some serious prison time. At 62, whatever it is, it’s likely to amount to a life sentence — or close to one.

Now, instead of being a stand up politician, instead of being someone people could rely on, Jefferson becomes another cliché in this town, a crooked politician, who came with ideals, who left with a criminal record — someone few outside his district knew of — that is until the FBI raided his home on Capitol Hill on Aug. 3, 2005, and found $90,000 in FBI marked bills that the rich Virginia woman/FBI informant Lori Mody gave him.

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Ex-Corp. Lobbyist Surfaces as Favorite to Fill U.S. Atty Post in Va.

With all the anti-lobbying talk during the 2008 presidential campaign, it’s interesting to note that the top contender for U.S. Attorney in Virginia is a former corporate lobbyist. Will his previous life as a lobbyist impact his performance as U.S. Attorney? Not likely. Could some perceive conflicts of interests, even if they’re not there? Very possible.

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer

A Justice Department official who briefly worked as a corporate lobbyist has emerged as the leading candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, one of the nation’s most prominent law enforcement posts, sources familiar with the selection process said Wednesday.

Neil MacBride, who has been an associate deputy attorney general since January, is undergoing FBI background checks for the Alexandria job, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no appointment has been announced.

MacBride, 43, is a former federal prosecutor and a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, and he was a vice president at the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and several other leading computer companies. He was a registered lobbyist for that organization in 2007, lobbying the Senate on topics such as copyright enforcement and cybersecurity, according to Senate records and federal officials.

For Full Story

Montreal Paper Calls U.S. Homeland Security Policy “Sureal”

Canada continues to express skepticism about U.S. Homeland Security. Here’s the latest shot.

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

By the Montreal Gazette
In this sad “security trumps trade” era of United States border protection, we in this corner have more than once used the word “paranoid” about certain government policies of our friends to the south. But the latest news from the frontier makes us seek even stronger language: “surreal” perhaps.

The New York Times reported last week that at the striking new border post at Massena N.Y. – just across from Cornwall, Ont. – workmen were removing from the exterior of the building the glossy, bright yellow, 6.4-metre-high letters that spell out “United States.” This identification of the country you’re entering is apparently a security risk.

The Times quotes a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency: “There were security concerns. The sign could be a huge target and attract undue attention. Anything that would place our officers at risk we need to avoid.” Courageously, however, the post will continue to fly the U.S. flag.

Few Canadians will be surprised to learn that the border agency is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, whose leader, Secretary Janet Napolitano, thought the Sept. 11 terrorists had come through Canada. Now she seems determined to enroll her whole country in a witless protection program.

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Ex-FBI Translator Tests Justice Dept. Again (Spy Talk)

Panel Dissecting Science in Anthrax Case One Year After Suspect Killed Himself

Suspect Bruce Ivins
Suspect Bruce Ivins

Bruce Ivins was named the sole suspect, but not everyone is convinced of that. The question is will the review of the science in the case shed some light on Ivins? It would be nice if it did.

By Dan Vergano
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — A year and a day after the death of anthrax mailing suspect Bruce Ivins, a panel met here at the National Academy of Sciences to dissect the investigative science behind the FBI case against him.

“The committee will only review and assess the scientific information,” said Alice Gast of Lehigh University, head of the review panel. “We will offer no view on the guilt or innocence of any person or persons.”

Just such questions, however, surround the still-open case, said Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., who spoke before the panel, which met Thursday and Friday.

“This was the only documented bioterror attack on the U.S.,” Holt said. “Simply stated, the government suffers from a credibility gap that raises questions about the guilt of Dr. Ivins.”

An anthrax vaccine researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Md., Ivins died of a drug overdose July 29, 2008.

For Full Story

Retired FBI Agent Jim Ingram Who Investigated Civil Rights Killings Dead At Age 77

It’s nice to leave mark in your life. Jim Ingram did just that.

fbi-globe

By Jerry Mitchell
Jackson Clarion-Ledger
JACKSON, Miss. — Retired FBI agent Jim Ingram, who investigated civil rights killings and once led the state’s Department of Public Safety, died Sunday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

On his death bed last month, Ingram remarked that he’d been praying for God to take him. “I’m ready to go soar with the eagles,” he said.

In his more than 30 years with the FBI, Ingram headed the Chicago and New York offices before serving as deputy assistant director in Washington.

He worked on some of the agency’s best known cases, including the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy, the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana of more than 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones.

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