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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

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Editorial: Homeland Security Grants Misspent, Steered Away from Terrorism

New York Times 

It was no surprise that a fierce budget hawk like Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, pounced on ridiculous grants doled out by the Department of Homeland Security supposedly to help local police and fire departments prepare for terrorist attacks. Mr. Coburn’s recent report on the department’s decade-long, $7 billion program, called the Urban Areas Security Initiative, offers many depressing examples of locally misspent money.

There was an armored car in New Hampshire whose duties included patrolling the annual pumpkin festival. Car-bomb barriers and surveillance cameras, purchased by authorities in Peoria, Ariz., to protect spring-training fans. License plate reading machines in Louisiana used to track car thieves. An $88,000 truck-mounted, piercingly loud device for crowd control in Pittsburgh. And $1,000 fees for first responders to attend a “zombie Apocalypse” demonstration at a counterterrorism conference in California to learn how to handle chaotic events, with actors playing the living dead.

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FBI Raids Indiana Home of Former Jets Offensive Lineman

Steve Neavling 

FBI agents raided the home of former Jets offensive tackle Jason Fabini last Thursday morning, the New York Daily News reports.

Fabini, 38, denied any wrongdoing after agents were seen removing boxes from his home in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“I am not the target of the investigation and I was not involved in any criminal activity,” Fabini said in a statement released through his attorneys, the Daily News reported. “I have not been charged, nor do I expect to be charged with a crime.”

Fabini pledged to cooperate with agents.

“My first concern is obviously with my brother and the rest of my family, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to the community and to those who believe in me as a role model, volunteer, professional and athlete,” Fabini said. “I have always made service to others a priority and I will continue to do so even during this challenging time for my family.”

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New Orleans U.S. Attorneys Falls in Online Scandal

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

The Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Abruptly ending an 11-year run highlighted by the convictions of more than a dozen crooked politicians, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten resigned Thursday morning amid a metastasizing scandal in his office that started with prosecutors posting anonymous screeds on Letten was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. attorney, having been kept in the job by President Barack Obama despite his Republican affiliation.

Ironically, his fall was engineered by Fred Heebe, the landfill magnate who very nearly became U.S. attorney himself after George W. Bush was elected president — and then, years later, found himself a target of the office.

While it was Heebe’s filing of a defamation lawsuit that set Letten’s downfall in motion, he was finally done in by the failure of his most trusted lieutenant — First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann — to admit that she, too, had been posting vituperative online comments about federal targets.

In an emotional and strident 11-minute speech, Letten said his resignation would be effective Tuesday, but that he would stay on for a “very, very short time” to aid in the transition. He spoke of his pride in having served as the region’s top federal law enforcement officer for more than a decade.

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Weekend Series on Crime: California Asian Gangs

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Senate Approves Appointment of Ex-U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg As Fed Judge

Steve Neavling

Eight months after being nominated, Terrence Berg, the former interim U.S. Attorney in Detroit, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate for a U.S. District Court judgeship in Detroit,  the Detroit Free Press reports.

Berg had been waiting for Senate approval since President Obama nominated him to the seat in April.

Berg is well-respected, Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, told the Free Press.

“It’s not like he’s going to be unfamiliar with the federal bench,” he said. “He’s an experienced, well-qualified choice.”

FBI Expands Corruption Investigation of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling 

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, who was arrested in September for allegedly extorting bribes from a parking garage developer, is now under fire for carpeting contracts in former city libraries, the Trenton Times reports.

The FBI became suspicious of the carpeting contract after questions were raised in newspapers about Mack’s decision to bypass city council and convert several closed libraries into learning centers, the Trenton Times reported.

“They just wanted to know what was going on. They saw the stuff in the paper,” said Roy Summers, who owns Justin’s Furniture & Carpet, which won a $17,000 contract to re-carpet  a library. “The gist of it was, they were fed up, frustrated with what’s going on in the city of Trenton.”

Summers said Mack’s aide, Anthony Roberts, hand-picked vendors instead of taking bids.