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More Shakeups at ATF

Mark Potter/atf photo

Mark Potter/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Besides the anticipated change at the top at ATF, other changes are coming.

Ronald B.  Turk, special agent in charge of the New York office, has been named Deputy Assistant Director  for Field Operations for the Central Region of  the U.S.

Mark Potter, head of the Philly office, has been named Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations for the Western Region of the U.S. and International Operations.

And Gregory K.  Gant, special agent in charge of the Atlanta office, has been named Deputy Assistant Director for Public and Governmental Affairs.  Those changes are due to take effect in August.

In Phoenix, in eye of the hurricane, where “Operation Fast Furious” was run, Thomas E. Brandon, who headed the Detroit office, has already been permanently assigned there to try and clean up the mess and raise morale.

He replaces William D. Newell, who was supposed to become the ATF attache for Mexico. But Newell has been temporarily assigned to Washington to supposedly help in the Congressional inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious.

Ken Melson, acting head of ATF, is expected to be replaced by Andrew Traver, who has been nominated for the permanent spot.   Traver met Tuesday afternoon with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

On top of that change, some think it’s just a matter of time before the second in command, William J. Hoover, is replaced.

FBI Building in Miss. Named After Slain Civil Rights Workers and FBI Agent Who Investigated Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI building in Jackson, Miss.,officially has a pretty long name.

The building this week is being named after three civil rights workers killed by Klansmen 47 years ago, as well as the FBI agent who headed the probe, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.

The paper reported that the James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building is located at 1220 Echelon Parkway in Jackson. Roy K. Moore is the FBI agent.

“We pushed for the naming because … (of) the history of our state during that time, the fact that these three young men gave their lives and the FBI helped find them and did so much background work for any convictions associated with them,” U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said, according to the paper. “This is part of the healing process.”

The three civil rights workers were killed June 21, 1964.

FBI Agent James Hosty Who Investigated Oswald Dead at Age 86; He Got Letter From Oswald Weeks Before the JFK Assassination

 
 
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald quickly became a household name. For the most part, many to this  day, have never heard of former FBI agent James P. Hosty. But there was a well-known link between the two.

Hosty, who died of prostate cancer on June 10 at age 86 in Kansas City, Mo.,   started investigating  Oswald, a suspected communist agitator, weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy, according to the New York Times. In early November, he tried to track Oswald down, but had no luck.

The Times reported that Oswald had come to the attention of authorities after returning to the states in 1962 with his Russian wife after trying, without success, to settle in the Soviet Union.

The Times reported that Oswald had previously been interviewed by other FBI agents, who noted in reports that he was an avowed communist, a potential spy and a heavy drinker. It said nothing about him being a potential assassin.

The Times reported that Hosty finally caught up with Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963, at Dallas Police headquarters where he was being held after being accused of killing  Kennedy and a Dallas cop.

At a Congressional hearing, according to the Times, years after the assassination, Hosty  told a  Congressional committee years  why he did not alert the Secret Service about Oswald: “The only thing that we could tell the Secret Service was a direct threat to the president. He made no direct threat to the president. Therefore we could not tell them.”

In 1964, before the Warren Commission, he admitted getting a letter from Oswald weeks before the assassination, protesting Hosty interviewing his wife Marina twice at their home while Oswald wasn’t there, the Times reported.  He admitted destroying the letter on the day Oswald’s assassin Jack Ruby was killed.

The Times reported that Hosty admitted some mistakes.

But he wrote in his memoirs that the FBI erred by trying to eliminate any evidence that might suggest  the bureau might have had a hint of Oswald’s plans to kill Kennedy. The bureau also tried to portray him as a bumbler.

“I came to understand that one of our jobs was to protect the bureau’s image at all costs,” he wrote.

To read more click here.

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Cashing in on His Name; Named Board of Director

Alberto Gonzales/Fox 34

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales is cashing in on his name.

The Texas company Drexel Metals Inc., a provider of standing seam metal roofing systems, announced Monday that Gonzales has joined its board of  directors.

“I have enjoyed working with Al while he served as a valuable consultant that helped Drexel Metals establish itself in Texas and better service the Hispanic community,” said CEO Rob Waite in a statement.

“With his significant contribution to Drexel Metals, it made sense to invite Al to join our board and we are very pleased he accepted our offer.”

Gonzales, the former Attorney General under President Bush, is a visiting professor at Texas Tech University and is president of Alberto R. Gonzales, P.C., a provider of consulting, arbitration, and mediation services.

Ex-U.S. Atty. Todd Graves to Probe Sex Allegations at Kansas City Diocese

Ex-U.S. Atty Todd Graves/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Todd Graves, who served as U.S. Attorney for western Missouri under President Bush, has been given the nod to investigate how the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese handles sex crime allegations, the Kansas City Star reported.

Bishop Robert W. Finn made the announcement late last week.

The paper reported that the appontment of Graves was part of a comprehensive five-point plan to address recent allegations of a priest who possessed child pornography.

The paper noted that Graves, who is not Catholic, said: “They want to make this a model diocese for the rest of the country.”

Graves served as U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2006. He was initially on a list of 12 U.S. Attorneys slated to be fired in what became a highly politicized situation in the Bush years. He resigned March 24, 2006.

No Surprise: Raleigh U.S. Attorney George Holding Announces Resignation

U.S. Atty. George Holding

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a move that comes as no surprise, Raleigh U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding announced his resignation Friday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

The announcement by the Bush appointee comes in wake of the indictment of twice-presidential hopeful John Edwards. The resignation is effective July 8, the paper reported.

North Carolina’s two senators had agreed to leave Holding in the post until the conclusion of the case to avoid accusations of politics and any attempt to slow the probe.

President Obama has nominated Thomas Walker of Charlotte to be the new U.S. Attorney. He has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

Holding was appointed to the post by President Bush in 2006.

Someone Inside the Beltway Likes Missouri U.S. Atty. Beth Phillips

U.S. Atty. Beth Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Somebody inside the Beltway apparently likes Beth Phillips.

In 2009, President Obama appointed her as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City.

Earlier this week,  the White House nominated the U.S. Attorney for a federal judgeship in Missouri.

Before becoming U.S. Attorney she was  an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the same district from 2008 to 2009.

Before that, she  worked at the law firm of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny from 2001 to 2008.

She also worked  an Assistant Prosecutor with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office from 1997 to 2001.

Secret Service Agent to Run for U.S. Senate in Md

Daniel Bongino

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daniel Bongino, a 36-year-old U.S. Secret Service agent, who has worked protective details for President Obama and George W. Bush, has turned in his badge and gun to run as a Republican for U.S. Senate in Maryland against Democrat Ben Cardin.

Bongino, who worked as a New York cop for four years before joining the Secret Service in 1999, resigned last month from the Baltimore field office.

Bongino told ticklethewire.com that he would focus on the education and the economy in his campaign.

“You can’t have a solid economy without a solid educational system,” he said.

He said his years as a Secret Service agent, which included presidential protective details and wide-scale fraud investigations, has helped groom him for his latest venture.

He said the Secret Service has given him great leadership skills.

“Having  someone’s life in your hands with that kind of profile, there is really no greater responsibility in law enforcement,” he said.

In a press release, he stated: “In my career, I’ve seen the effects of failed policies on citizens in our inner cities. I’ve had the honor of traveling to 27 countries with the Secret Service.”

“And the common theme in every country is a line around the block at the US Embassy. America is an extraordinary place. But our citizens must be given a chance to compete in the world economy. It is an ideas economy, and we know what works and what doesn’t. This is an ‘open-book’ test, but politicians insist on trying systems that either have already failed in other countries, or are in the process of failing.”

Bongino has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology and an MBA. He lives in Severna Park, Md., with his wife, Paula, and their daughter, Isabel.