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Justice Dept. Honors Robert Kennedy’s 50th Anniversary of Swearing in as Atty. Gen.

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — On Friday, the Justice Department took pause to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s Swearing-in as  Attorney General in a building named after him.

With Kennedy’s widow Ethel and daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in attendance, along with some other notables,  Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. delivered remarks.

“To Mrs. Kennedy and the Kennedy family, to our distinguished guests, to my colleagues, and to those who have served and supported our nation’s Department of Justice – it is my pleasure, and my great honor, to welcome you to the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building,” Holder said.

“Today, we come together to celebrate the achievements and enduring contributions of our nation’s 64th Attorney General – a man whose legacy continues to guide us, whose memory continues to touch us, and whose example continues to inspire us.”

Atty. Gen. Kennedy with staff/doj photo

“For me, it is a tremendous privilege to be joined by so many former Department leaders who have made this a truly historic reunion. With us, we have former Attorneys General, and a cadre of Assistant Attorneys General, First Assistants, Administrative Aides, line attorneys, and support staff who worked alongside Attorney General Kennedy – in the Criminal Division, the Lands Division, the Antitrust Division, the Tax Division, the Civil Rights Division, and the Attorney General’s Office, among other components.

“I can still remember sitting in the basement of my childhood home in Queens, watching – on our little black-and-white television – the inauguration of a young, charismatic new President. That was January 20th, 1961 – half a century ago. I was in the fourth grade. And I can still recall my mother’s enthusiasm, my father’s pride, and my own sense and certainty that something exciting – something important – was happening.

“The following day was marked by another historical moment, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy was sworn in and – after Justice Department guards initially turned him away for lack of an ID card – was finally shown to his office on the 5th floor of this building.

“That was January 21st, 1961.

doj photo

“Attorney General Kennedy championed the cause of the least among us – and made our nation more just, more fair, and more humane.

“The lessons of his life inspired my own decision, after finishing law school, to come to work in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division – just as Robert Kennedy did shortly after he graduated from law school.”

To see more photos click here.

To read text of Holder’s speech click here.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: Despite Emphasis on Terrorism, Justice Dept. Hasn’t Forgotten About the Mob


By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Editorial Page

PITTSBURGH — American mobsters probably assumed they had a free ride after Sept. 11. East Coast crime families probably breathed easier after the Justice Department turned its attention toward foreigners whose names appeared on terror-watch lists.

For sure, the specter of international terrorism provided the FBI and other law enforcement agencies with bigger fish to fry than guys with nicknames like “Jack the Whack,” “Meatball,” “Lumpy,” “Mush” and “The Claw.” Still, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demonstrated last week, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally hauling in “small fry” to keep the nation’s more traditional crime figures on their toes.

On Thursday, 800 agents and officers from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and local police in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Florida arrested 110 suspected mob members, making it one of the biggest organized crime busts in recent memory.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Charlotte FBI Agent Jerry Senatore — “Mr Relentless” — Dies at Age 46

Jerry Senatore/charlotte observer

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Charlotte Observer noted of Jerry Senatore: “As a boy, Jerry Senatore turned to his mother after an episode of the TV cop show ‘Dragnet’ and proclaimed: ‘Mom, I am going to be an FBI agent one day’.”

Last week, Senatore, who spent 20 years in the FBI’s Charlotte Division — the last seven lead a SWAT team, died from non-Hodgkins lyphoma at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., the Charlotte Observer reported. He was 46.

The paper noted that his friends and colleagues referred to him as “Mr. Relentless,” because of his toughness to battle his disease and the way he went after criminals.

“Jerry was a natural-born leader and protector,” FBI special agent Jim Page of Raleigh, Senatore’s second in command on the SWAT team told the Charlotte Observer. “He cared for everybody. He invested in you… Whenever we were on a mission, he’d pull the team together and say: ‘OK guys, it’s 5:30 in the morning, it’s cold out and we’re going after a very bad man. There’s no place I’d rather be.’

“And he meant it.”

The funeral for the father of three is Monday.

To read more click here.

Teresa Chambers to Return as U.S. Park Police Chief on Jan. 31

Teresa Chambers/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ousted U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers will return to her old job on Jan. 31,  U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced.

Chambers was fired in 2004 for publicly voicing concerns about budget shortfalls and staff shortages which she said left citizens vulnerable to crime.

The Merit Systems Protection Board earlier this month ruled that she could have her job back, plus more than six years of back pay. It concluded that the evidence against her was weak, and that the Interior Department retaliated against her.

“It is a tremendous honor to return to the United States Park Police and to work alongside the men and women of that organization who have the privilege of serving the law enforcement profession while also serving our country,” Chambers said in a statement.

In announcing her official reinstatement, Salazar said that the current chief Sal Lauro has agreed to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Interior Department.

“In that position, Chief Lauro will work closely with Kim Thorsen, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Management to launch a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Department’s and Bureaus’ law enforcement activities and programs,” a press release said.

“Chief Lauro and Deputy Assistant Secretary Thorsen will provide recommendations to the Secretary, Assistant Secretary, and Bureau heads on how to strengthen law enforcement throughout the Department and its agencies.”

Feds Charge Washington State Man With “Blinding” Border Patrol Pilots With Flashlight

Retired ATF Official Bernie La Forest Pens 2nd Book

Bernie La Forest/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Bernie La Forest, who headed up ATF offices in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles before retiring, has just penned his second suspense novel —  “In The Red Dragon’s Shadow.

The murder mystery is chock full of international intrigue and involves the ATF, Detroit Police, guns, radical Muslims from Iraq, Iran and China and assassinations. It was just released.

La Forest says the story in his latest book “reboots” a few years after the conclusion of his first book “Shadow Partners”, which was released in 2010.

La Forest, a former Detroit cop, retired from ATF in 1998 and then worked as a contractor for the agency on a gun trace project from 2002 to 2007.

The book is available on Amazon.com.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Genovese Crime Family

Could Deep Budget Cuts Spell Doom for Agencies Like FBI and DEA?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Could big Congressional budget cuts spell doom for agencies like the FBI and DEA?

Conservative Republicans on Thursday demanded dramatic cuts, the Washington Post reported. Specifically, members of the conservative Republican Study Committee said the GOP needs to keep a campaign pledge and immediately cut at least $100 billion from non-defense programs.

The Post reported that Democrats estimate that such deep cuts, if applied across the board,  could result in the firing of 4,000 FBI agents, 1,500 DEA agents and 5,700 federal correctional officers.

To read more click here.