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FBI Investigating ex-President Andy Stern of SEIU Union; Stern Says Reports Not True

Andy Stern

Andy Stern

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Andy Stern, the contentious man who headed the 2.2 million member Service Employees International Union, is under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department, the Associated Press reports.

AP reports that two organized labor officials were interviewed this summer by federal agents about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and what role he played in approving a salary for a California SEIU leader who supposedly performed no work.

Stern issued a statement saying reports about a probe are false, according to the New York Times.

”I have absolutely no reason to believe, and not the slightest indication, that I am being investigated by federal authorities,” Stern said.

Stern abruptly resigned as president of the SEIU in April, saying he wanted to focus on his personal life.

He played to mixed reviews in the labor community as president of SEIU. Some didn’t like his management style.

To read more click here.

The FBI Cheating Scandal: ticklethewire.com Editor Allan Lengel Interviewed

Whistleblower Trial Highlights FBI’s Change After 9-11

whistleBy Spencer Hsu
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — An FBI whistleblower trial has cast a spotlight on the bureau’s difficult transition from a crime-fighting agency into a counterterrorism and intelligence force, as seen through the career of its highest-ranking Arab American agent.

Over a two-week trial in Washington, a federal jury heard for the first time how Bassem Youssef, 52, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, recruited the U.S. government’s top informant in the terror cell that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.

Youssef alleged, however, that he was sidelined during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after publicly airing concerns about the FBI’s dearth of Middle Eastern experts.

To read full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Louisiana Man Allegedly Ties Noose Around Racoon’s Neck to Intimidate African-American Students

louisiana-mapBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

A Louisiana man faces federal hate crime charges for allegedly tying a noose around the neck of a dead raccoon and hanging it from a flagpole at a middle school to intimidate African-American students who were attending the school under a court-ordered busing policy.

Authorities on Monday announced that  Christopher Shane Montgomery of Bastrop La.,  had been indicted for allegedly going to  Beekman Junior High School in Bastrop in 2007 and tying the noose on the flagpole.

He faces charges including conspiracy to commit a hate crime, tampering with a witness during the investigation and for lying to an FBI agent on two occasions.

FBI’s Joe Persichini Lands Job with D.C. Police Foundation

Joseph Persichini Jr./fbi photo

Joseph Persichini Jr./fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph Persichini Jr., who headed the FBI’s Washington Field Office until he retired last Christmas, is now the executive director of the Washington D.C. Police Foundation, the Washington Examiner reported.

Persichini left the FBI under a cloud after he and two other top officials in the office were investigated internally for cheating on an open book exam on bureau policy about conducting surveillances on Americans.

A report issued Monday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that the cheating on that test was pervasive around the country.

It also noted that Persichini had cheated on the test but Persichini retired “from the FBI after learning that the FBI proposed to discipline him, but before the FBI had reached a final decision about that discipline.”

FBI Arrests Az. Border Town Mayor in Arizona on Corruption Charges

Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel

Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents on Tuesday arrested the mayor of the border town of Nogales, Az., on public corruption charges including bribery, theft, fraud and money laundering, authorities said.

Mayor Garcia Von Borstel, a Democrat, was arrested at his city hall office in the morning and search warrants were executed at his home, business and government office, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said.

“Today’s arrest of Mayor Van Borstel has been a collaborative effort with the FBI’s Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office,” Nathan T. Gray, head of the FBI’s Phoenix office said in a statement. “When a public official allegedly commits criminal acts it erodes the public’s trust. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to address public corruption at all levels of government.”

The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office in state court.

Read more »

Inside the FBI’s Terrorism Fight; Making Friends

Ex-N.J. State Sen. Indicted Along With Attorney

Wayne Bryant

Wayne Bryant

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Former New Jersey state Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, who is already serving a four year sentence on a public corruption conviction, was indicted Monday in another case involving allegations that he took $192,000 in bribes to support some major building projects, authorities said.

Bryant, who represented New Jersey’s 5th District, was also an equity partner in a Cherry Hill law firm. Attorney Eric D. Wisler, who was also indicted in the case, was an equity partner at a Teaneck, N.J. firm.

In 2004, Wisler, who represented developers,  arranged for Bryant’s firm to get an $8,000 per month retainer for legal fees and other costs that would help with the development projects in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

The payment fee was supposedly made to cover fees for legal work and other costs.

But authorities allege that the payments were bribes paid in exchange for official action that Bryant took in favor of the different redevelopment projects on behalf of Wisler and his clients, according to the indictment.

One of the projects included a proposed $1.2 billion redevelopment of Camden’s Cramer Hill neighborhood, which is in Bryant’s legislative district.

Bryant’s firm was paid approximately $192,000 in fees between August 2004 and August 2006, but no actual legal work took place under the retainer agreement, authorities alleged.

The indictment alleges that both Wisler and Bryant made an effort to hide the retainer agreement and they created fake invoices to try and show that Bryant’s firm was providing actual legal services.

The indictment charges Bryant and Wisler with bribery and mail fraud.

In 2008, Bryant was convicted of selling his office to get a low-work job at the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Camden to help pad his pension. In exchange, he agreed to use his influence to help the school get $10.5 million in state grants.