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FBI

The Big Guns In Washington May Take The Stand

Collin Powell/white house photo

Colin Powell/white house photo

A parade of Washington insiders could take the stand in the high-profile public corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens. Jury selection began today in Washington. Opening statements are expected Wednesday.

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Several powerful senators and former Secretary of State Colin Powell are among possible witnesses at the corruption trial of the longest serving U.S. Republican senator.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of the Sen. Ted Stevens, who has represented Alaska for more than 35 years. A federal judge listed dozens of people who might be called at the monthlong trial.
Among them are Democratic Sens. Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy and Daniel Inouye. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is also on the list, as is Powell.
For Full Story
For Full Story

“Rifleman” Takes Stand In ex-FBI Agent’s Trial

Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi became the latest Boston gangster to take the stand in Miami in the murder trial of ex-FBI agent John Connolly. He didn’t disappoint.

The "Rifleman" in 1965

The Rifleman in 1965

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
MIAMI — A slim and graying Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi took the stand this morning and offered a Florida jury a primer on the history of Boston’s gang wars.
Wearing wire-rimmed glasses, Flemmi, 74, acknowledged that he killed 10 people from 1974 to 1984, 10 murders that have him serving a life sentence. The gangster was laying the groundwork for what is expected to be two days of testimony against his former FBI handler, John J. Connolly.
Staring expressionless, Flemmi described his introduction to murder in 1964, when he helped “clean up and remove the body” of a victim of a gang battle. Prosecutor Fred Wyshak asked whether Flemmi had been involved in the 1965 murder of Charlestown gang leader Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin.
For Full Story

Feds In Child Porn Case Raid Arkansas Ministry

The road to a child-porn investigation has led to a ministry in Arkansas. Just how big a scandal will this be?

By Jon Gambrell
Associated Press Writer
FOUKE, Ark. — Federal authorities conducting a child-porn investigation raided the headquarters Saturday of a ministry run by a convicted tax evader once labeled by prosecutors as a polygamist who preys on girls and women.
Social workers interviewed children who live at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries complex, which critics call a cult, to find out whether they were abused. The two-year investigation involves a law that prohibits the transportation of children across state lines for criminal activity, said Tom Browne, who runs the FBI office in Little Rock.

For Full Story

FBI Art Sleuth Calling It A Day

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

Robert K. Wittman didn’t surveil terrorists or chase bank robbers for the FBI. He chased down art thieves and helped recover more than a thousand pieces of work. Wittman worked undercover and still does not want to be photographed even though he’s retiring.

By Andrew Maykuth
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA – Robert K. Wittman, the renowned undercover art sleuth who retired yesterday after 20 years with the FBI, vividly remembers the first art theft he helped solve.
In November 1988, a few days before Wittman arrived in Philadelphia fresh from the FBI Academy, a robber stole a bronze sculpture from the Rodin Museum on the Parkway. Mask of the Man With the Broken Nose was considered Rodin’s first major work.
The thief, an unemployed dancer who Wittman said was “down on his luck,” wrapped the 12-inch bronze in brown paper and hid it beneath a hot-water heater at his mother’s house on Pine Street. That’s where investigators found it a few months later.
“That was the beginning and end of his art career,” said Wittman.
For Full Story

Hitman Gives a Sopranos Like Performance

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Testimony on Friday from hitman John Martorano was as riveting as a scene in the HBO hit The Sopranos.  Martorano calmly described a murder and said he might have killed mobster Whitey Bulger had he known Bulger had ties to the FBI. His testimony came in the murder trial of ex-FBI agent John Connolly.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
MIAMI — Confessed hitman John Martorano gave a jury a blow-by-blow description of a murder this afternoon during blistering cross-examination in the trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr.
“Can you show the jury where you shot him?” asked defense attorney Manuel Casabielle as he leaned toward the witness box.
For Full Story

Related Trial Story (Miami Herald)

Sen. Stevens A Little Tight With The Wallet?

The thing about wiretaps is that they often bring to light some of the most interesting tidbits. In this instance, two friends spoke about Sen. Ted Steven’s cheapness.

Sen. Stevens/official webpage

Sen. Stevens/official webpage

By Richard Mauel and Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON — Defense lawyers and prosecutors in Sen. Ted Stevens’ criminal disclosure case wrangled over the admissibility of a wiretapped conversation Thursday where two of Stevens’ friends spoke of his aversion to opening his own wallet.
“Ted gets hysterical when he has to spend his own money,” Alaska restaurateur Robert Persons told Bill Allen, the former chairman of oil field services company Veco Corp., in a conversation overheard by the FBI and quoted in court by a prosecutor.
For Full Story

After The Fed

It’s been called “Washington’s Brain Drain”, the mass exodus of federal employees heading for retirement. According to the Office of Personnel Management, more than 300,000 federal workers will leave government service in the next five years. Some will retire to the beaches of Florida, others will tee up on the golf courses of North Carolina, but many of you will look for another job. Are you ready for you r “Second Act”?
When Jana Monroe retired as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Office, she jumped at an offer to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms.
“I had been in the law enforcement cocoon for 32 years. I wanted to see if my skill set transferred,” Monroe said.
The salary was good, but the corporate culture was not right for Monroe. “When KPMG didn’t turn out to be a good fit, then I started doing my homework. I learned that I don’t want to work remotely or from home. For me, I needed the energy and the synergy of working with people.”
So before you begin celebrating your KMA day (agents close to retirement will understand the acronym) or making a list of all the things you’ll have time to enjoy, start planning now for the next chapter of your career. Let’s start with the basics. Ask yourself some important questions. How much do I want to work? And how much do I need to work? Do you want a new career or a part-time job to supplement your pension? The answers may be very different, but will help you formulate an action plan for the future. If you want to launch a new career, here are some tips to ensure a successful Second Act. I’ll address these points in greater detail in subsequent career columns.
Revamp your resume to attract the attention of executives in the private sector. You may have had an exemplary career as a federal agent, but Corporate America wants to know what you can do for them. Focus on leadership skills, management experience and tangible results, not how many search warrants you conducted or the number of bad guys you arrested. Find ways to quantify your successes with statistics that employers understand. Example: Led a team of 10 law enforcement professionals and managed budgets in excess of $23 million. By linking your accomplishments to statistics, you illustrate your “added value” to the organization. Make sure your resume and cover letter are written in “C-suite” language. You can gain the respect of CEOs, CFOs or human resource professionals by speaking their language, a language that includes words like sales, revenue and profitability.
Work your network. Effective networking may be the single most important skill needed to position you for a new career. Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors, contacts you’ve made over the years, and let them know you are looking for opportunities after retirement. Despite all the job boards, social networks, and recruiters out there, there is nothing that can beat a contact that understands your value and will lobby on your behalf when it comes time to hire new talent. Talk to people who are already working in the jobs that appeal to you. Scheduling a relaxed, informal interview will give you a sense of what the work entails and what opportunities might exist. We all know the best jobs are often not advertised. They are filled through referrals, personal relationships, or a particular skill matching a corporate need. Companies are more comfortable hiring employees who have a network and are recommended by someone they trust. A former colleague recommended Jana Monroe for her current job as Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness at Edison International. This time, she did her homework and it looks like a perfect fit.
Match your skill set, knowledge and experience with the needs of your target job. Don’t define yourself by prior job titles, but by the skills that made you a success in those positions.
Carve out time each day to look for a new job. You’ve heard the phrase, “job hunting is a full-time job.” It’s true and you better devote the time to identify employment prospects, network with contacts and revamp your resume or retirement will sneak up on you before you know it. It is easy to become consumed by the demands of the job, so make your job search a priority.
Join professional and industry trade associations. Attend their conferences, offer to be a speaker or moderate a session. That kind of proactive outreach will help increase your visibility and put you in contact with key business leaders in your targeted profession. The people you meet during the cocktail hour may be more beneficial to your career than the actual content of the conference.
Get published. Many federal employees do some kind of writing on the job, whether it’s reports, evaluations, or an article for a trade publication. Writing helps build your brand as an “industry expert” and is one way to illustrate your ability to communicate.
Build relationships with recruiters. Headhunters can be excellent sources of information for leads on job openings or companies you wish to target.


A Rat Tells The Meaning of Being A Rat

Yes, the trial of ex-FBI agent John Connolly has brought out the bizarre and the other day was no different when hitman John Martorano took the stand in Miami.


Kevin Cullen
Hitman John Martorano/CBS

Hitman John Martorano/CBS

Boston Globe
MIAMI – So there’s a murder trial going on down here, right? And it’s about an FBI agent named John Connolly who sold his badge to help the South Boston gangster Whitey Bulger whack guys, right?
But in the middle of all this, that noted humanitarian and etymologist, John Martorano, decided to get on the witness stand yesterday and give a seminar on the meaning of the word rat.You see, Johnny Martorano, murderer of many, has been ratting people out now for the last 10 years, giving their names to the authorities, testifying against them in court, and putting them in prison or serious legal jeopardy, sort of like the way he used to put them in trunks, with two in the cap. But now he’s using his words instead of his pistol, and, not for nothin’, that’s not ratting, according to Perfesser Martorano.
For Full Story
For Related Story (Boston Globe)