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$100K Down the Toilet: Scandal Rocks DC Suburb as FBI Investigates

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The former school superintendent is behind bars. County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife are whisked away in handcuffs by FBI agents, after authorities say she flushed evidence in the form of a $100,000 check down the toilet. And a few days later, three county cops are indicted in an FBI probe linked to the county executive — a probe that has all the markings of a much bigger scandal to come.

This is no obscure county in the middle of Nowheresville, U.S.A. It’s Prince George’s County, 498 square miles with more than 800,000 residents, long considered one of the most affluent African-American majority counties in the nation. It’s home to the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field and the University of Maryland. And it borders Washington, D.C.

Still, for all the good in the county, including some first-rate neighborhoods and a major new hotel, shopping and entertainment complex on the Potomac River, it has long fought hard in the public relations game and often come up short, battling nagging negatives.

Over the years, the police department was plagued by allegations of excessive force. The crime rate spiked a few years ago, with homicides hitting a record 173 in 2005, just 21 short of Washington’s tally. In 2008, Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby was convicted of steering contracts to a girlfriend and a business associate in exchange for money. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

And now this.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: U.S. Attys and AUSAs in Michigan Have Played Key Roles in Shaping “Rule of Law”

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The “rule of law”—What does it mean?

For most of history since its origin in ancient Greece it has meant that the law, however it was created, rules events and relationships not the whim of the sovereign or the government.

But in this country rule of law has evolved through a gradual building process to encompass more than that—equality and certainty in enforcement and the fair and impartial adjudication of rights and liabilities.

The federal courts and the USAOs have had an unrecognized role in this process.

Today I would like to give you just a few examples of USAs and their Assistants and their contributions.

Solomon Sibley was the first USA.

In 1805 the village of Detroit burned to the ground. Sibley was the first mayor. Perhaps where we are today he walked amidst the smoking rubble and thought as one of 3-4 lawyers in the whole Michigan Territory, surrounded by swamps and wilderness, will this place ever amount to anything?

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime: The Secrets of the Secret Service – Part 2

“Fair Game”: The Movie on CIA Spy Valerie Plame and the Leak

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWzhwRJbcJY

Fed Judge in Atlanta Linked to Cocaine and Stripper Pleads Guilty

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Camp of Atlanta, one of three judges featured in a ticklethewire.com story on “Fed Judges Gone Wild”,  pleaded guilty Friday in a case in which he is accused of buying drugs for a stripper he was having a relationship with, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Camp pleaded guilty to one felony, aiding and abetting a felon’s possession of cocaine, a painkiller and marijuana and two misdemeanors — possession of illegal drugs and giving his government-issued laptop to the stripper, the Atlanta paper reported.

Sentencing is set for March. He must at least get 15 days in custody, the paper reported. He also resigned as a federal judge, which is normally a lifetime appointment.

Rather than appear before a colleague, Camp, 67,  appeared in Atlanta before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, a D.C. judge assigned to the case.

To read more click here.

Charges Dropped Against 3 FBI Agents and an Analyst in Steroid Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Charges have been dropped against three Washington area FBI agents and an analyst who were accused of covering up use of steroids and human growth hormones.

In federal court on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a one-page document dismissing the charges without prejudice, leaving open the possibility of new charges down the road as the probe continues. One factor in the dismissal was the pressure of bringing the trial in a timely manner as authorities continue to sift through a mound of evidence.

Special Agent James Barnett of Alexandria,Va., counterterrorism analyst Ali Sawan of Sterling,Va., and Special Agents Katia and Matthew Litton, who are married and live in McLean, Va., were charged with making false statements in an annual fitness report.

“The case against the four FBI employees was dismissed without prejudice and the government retains the option to seek charges at a later date, ” said Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. ”   He said the investigation into the matter is continuing, but he  declined to comment on the reasons for the dismissal.

The agents were charged in September with providing false statements after they allegedly failed to disclose on government forms the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones commonly taken in the sports and bodybuilding world, authorities announced today. One agent is a former bodybuilder.

Authorities said the FBI employees received different diagnoses from a doctor, including “pituitary dwarfism” — a stunted-growth condition normally diagnosed in children — and then got numerous prescriptions for the steroids and growth drugs for “which there was no known medical necessity.”

Mueller Meets With Google and Facebook to Discuss Wiretaps

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III headed out to California earlier this week, not to let his hair down, but to meet in Silicon Valley with top executives from several companies including Facebook and Google to discuss a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users, the New York Times reported.

The Times, citing “several people familiar with the dicussions”, reported that Mueller and the FBI’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of the different companies.

“I can confirm that F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller is visiting Facebook during his trip to Silicon Valley,” said Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s public policy manager told the Times. FBI spokesman Michael Kortan, also acknowledged the meetings.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES ON INTEREST

Column: Under Atty. Gen. Holder American Detainee Policy Is a “Politicized Mess”

By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post

The closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison and civilian trials for terrorists were more than policy changes proposed by Barack Obama as a presidential candidate. They were presented as a return to constitutional government – a dividing line from an uncivilized past.

The indefinite detention of terrorists, according to Obama, had “destroyed our credibility when it comes to the rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment.”

Testifying last year before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder not only defended a New York trial for lead Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, he lectured, he taunted, he preened. Unlike others, he was not “scared” of what Mohammed would say at trial. Failure was “not an option.” This case, he told a reporter, would be “the defining event of my time as attorney general.”

Which it certainly has been. Under Holder’s influence, American detainee policy is a botched, hypocritical, politicized mess.

To read more click here.