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Audit: Justice Department Overstates Terrorism Conviction Statistics

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department grossly overstated the number of terrorism convictions and made other inaccuracies because of shoddy record keeping, a federal audit has found, the Washington Post reports.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz concluded in a report that the federal agency, which has 93 U.S. attorneys’ offices, over-reported the number of defendants who had been found guilty of terrorism.

The number was overstated by 13% in 2009 and 26% in 2010, the Post wrote.

The investigation found other significant errors in record keeping, according to the Post.

FBI: Windy City Became Murder Capital of U.S. in 2012

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Chicago led the nation in the sheer number of murders last year with 500, eclipsing even New York, which has a much larger population.

The FBI statistics released this week show that New York City had 419 murders, followed by Detroit with 386 and Philadelphia with 331 last year.

But on a per-capita basis, Flint, Mi., led the nation, followed by Detroit.

Other cities with more than 200 murders include Los Angeles (299), Baltimore (219) and Houston (217).

Of the murders, 69% involved a gun.

 

Washington Navy Yard Shooter Was ‘Wondering Around Looking for People to Shoot’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was “wondering around looking for people to shoot” and didn’t appear to have specific targets, new FBI Director James Comey said, NPR reports.

It was Comey’s first public comments since taking office this month.

Comey said Alexis used a legally purchased sawed-off shotgun. When he ran out of ammunition, he used a Beretta that he stole from a wounded guard, NPR reported.

The shooting ended a little more than a half hour after it started.

A “sustained exchange” of gunfire killed Alexis, Comey said.

Counterterrorism Expert Named as Head of FBI’s Chicago Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Robert Holley, one of the FBI’s premier counterterrorism experts, was tapped to head the bureau’s Chicago office, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The 55-year-old will join the Chicago office as the new Special Agent in Charge in October, the Sun-Times wrote.

Holley worked in Chicago in the past as the office’s lead counterterrorism expert.

“Bob Holley will be terrific. He is smart, practical, hard-working and gets along with people,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, former U.S. Attorney in Chicago during the Headley investigation. “He has the experience of working side by side with federal, state and local partners as well as prosecutors. And he has the experience supervising important programs at headquarters. Working with Bob was great. The FBI Chicago will be in great hands.”

Former FBI Informant Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Same Crime He Was Helping Investigate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former college professor who was working as an FBI informant investigating mortgage fraud was sentenced to four years and four months in prison Thursdsay for hatching his own mortgage fraud scheme, The Plain Dealer reports.

Paul Tomko asked for leniency but got none from U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko.

Tomko pleaded guilty in March to five charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

While Tomko pocketed about $100,000 by filing liens for work not performed, he also was working as an FBI agent from 2006-09, helping agents target fraudulent appraisers.

“How ironic,” the judge said. “While you’re helping the FBI you’re gutting the public.”

FBI’s Public Face in Navy Yard Investigation Grew Up in Rural New York

Valerie Parlave-FBI Arkansas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For anyone following the investigation into the Washington Navy Yard shooting, the face of Valerie Parlave may be familiar.

Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, is responsible for informing the public about what happened when a gunman entered Navy Yard and opened fire, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

Parlave announced the identity of the shooter, Aaron Alexis, and appealed to the public for more information about the shooting spree.

It was big news for residents of rural Ontario County in New York.

“Here’s a small-town gal from Naples, N.Y.,” Henry Savage, a family friend who keeps in touch with Parlave from time to time, told the Democrat and Chronicle. “Naples, N.Y., in the grand scheme of things is about as small as you can get. Just through good honest hard work and stick-to-it-iveness, she’s one of the top people in the FBI now. That’s exciting, and it’s exciting for her.”

New Head of FBI Office in Boston Pledges to Continue Probing Boston Marathon Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Newly appointed chief of Boston’s FBI office, Vincent Lisi, said his office is nowhere close to being finished investigating the Boston marathon bombing shootings, The Boston Globe reports.

“We owe that to the victims of the bombing,” Vincent B. Lisi, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI, told the Globe. “Our focus, commitment, is that nobody in our office will rest until we’ve identified everyone that had anything to do with the bombing and make sure they face justice.”

The 49-year-old began his career in 1989. Since then, he’s investigated gangs and drug dealers. He also served as deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters.

While head of the Boston office, Lisi said he wants to improve the relationship between the FBI and local law enforcement to better respond to emergencies such as terrorist attacks.

Obama Nominates Leslie Caldwell to Top Post in Justice Department Division

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A defense lawyer whose expertise is white-collar crime was nominated Tuesday to be assistant attorney general  for the Justice Department’s criminal division, the New York Times reports.

President Obama nominated Leslie R. Caldwell, a former federal prosecutor who worked in the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of New York.

Caldwell served as director of the DOJ’s task force that specialized in Enron’s 2001 collapse, the Times wrote.

She graduated from Penn State University and George Washington University law School.