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Senate Judiciary Approves U.S. Attorneys for Tenn. and Ill.

Wiggington/law firm photo

Wiggington/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to chip away at confirming U.S. Attorneys around the country.

On Thursday, the commmittee gave the nod to Stephen Wiggington for the Southern District of Illinois and Edward L. Stanton III for the Western District of Tennessee.

To date, the panel has approved 59 U.S. Attorney nominees and the Senate has confirmed 57 of those, according to the website Main Justice, which closely follows the process.

Minn. Man Charged With Sending Threatening Email to Vice Pres. Joe Biden, Gov and Senator

white house photo

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 45-year-old Minnesota man was indicted Thursday for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless router Internet service and sending threats to the vice president and the governor and senator from Minnesota   from email under the neighbor’s name.

Authorities said Barry Vincent Ardolf was charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of making threats to the president and successors to the presidency, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Ardolf is accused of hacking into his neigbhors wireless router in February 2009 and creating Yahoo.com e-mail accounts under the neigbhor’s name. In May 2009, he used on of the accounts to send Vice President Biden an email under his neighbors’s name:

“This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don’t have…. I’m assigning myself to be judge jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don’t have it’s time to pay the ultimate price. Time for new officials after you all are put to death by us….”

The e-mail was also sent to the governor and a U.S. senator from Minnesota, and threatened to kill the officials one at a time, starting June 1.

On top of that, he is accused of sending child pornography to the neighbor’s co-workers with the intention of the email being traced to his neighbor.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Breaking News: Philly’s Janice Fedarcyk Named Head of New York FBI; First Woman To Head Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Janice Fedarcyk, one of the names that had been circulating as a prospect to head the New York FBI,  has been named to that post. She is the first female to head that office.

Janice K. Fedarcyk-FBI Philadelphia

Janice K. Fedarcyk-FBI Philadelphia

Fedarcyk currently heads up the Philadelphia FBI. Agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the N.Y.  office, confirmed the appointment Thursday afternoon.

She replaces Joseph Demarest, who left the office under a cloud and was later assigned to headquarters  where he now works as Assistant Director of the International Operations Division.

He had  been under internal investigation in connection with an affair he’d had with a supervisor in his office. Investigators were looking into whether he had been totally forthright when questioned about it.

At the time, no permanent replacement had been named, so the office’s special agent in charge George Venizelos was named as the interim head.

Early on, Fedarcyk’s name had surfaced as a candidate along with some others including Andy Arena, who heads the Detroit FBI.

Supreme Court Ruling Casts Doubt on Conviction of Enron Exec Skilling and Other Cases

The ruling by the Supreme Court could spell trouble for some federal cases. It will also change the way federal prosecutors charge certain defendants, though  some had started to look at different ways in anticipation of the ruling.

judge and gavelBy Robert Barnes
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Thursday restricted one of federal prosecutors’ favorite tools for pursuing corrupt politicians and self-dealing corporate chiefs, and cast doubt on the conviction of former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling.

It also sent back to a lower court the conviction of newspaper magnate Conrad Black for a decision on whether his conviction should be overturned.

The justices were passing judgment on a federal statute used in the prosecution of both men, and many others. It makes it a crime to deprive the public or one’s employer or shareholders of the “intangible right of honest services.”

Although a favorite of federal prosecutors–it figures in the current trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich– it has been roundly criticized as being so vague as to make it impossible to know what sorts of actions are illegal. Skilling said it should be struck as unconstitutional.

To read full story click here.

Read Supreme Court Ruling

5 Northern Virginia Men Convicted of Terrorism in Pakistan

pakistan-map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Five  Northern Virginia men who vanished, only to appear in Pakistan, were sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of terrorism charges Thursday by a Pakistani court, the Washington Post reported.

Pakistani authorities introduced evidence including emails, which it said showed the young men planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the Post reported.

The attorneys for the men questioned the verdict and the legitimacy of the emails. The Post reported that the families back home were devastated by the verdicts.

To Read more click here.

Blago’s Attorneys Want FBI Reports on Pres. Obama Interview

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to look at the written reports on President Obama’s interviews with the FBI and prosecutors in his case, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The Sun-Times reports that the Blago defense team has filed a motion asking for the reports, claiming court testimony by government witness John Harris contradicts the government’s previous contention that Obama was unaware of any deals involving the Senate seat appointment.

“Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama’s direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his senate seat,” lawyers wrote in the filing, according to the Sun-Times.

To read more click here.

Off-Duty FBI Agent’s Rifle and Bullet Proof Vest Stolen From Car in NJ

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It happens from time to time. Nonetheless, it’s never good.

CBS News reports that an off-duty FBI agent had his M-4 rifle and bulletproof vest were stolen from his car in New Jersey Saturday night.

The television station reported that the New Jersey FBI was on the hunt to recover the property.

“It makes our urgency even greater because the weapon is in the hands of a criminal,” FBI agent Bryan L. Travers told CBS. “We are in charge with protecting the public, and we don’t want someone being hurt with our weapon.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

James Lewis Confirmed as U.S. Atty. for Central District of Ill.

illinois-map-with-harvey-illBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James Lewis got the final nod from the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to become U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, the State Journal- Register reported.

The paper reported that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who recommended Lewis for the post, noted that Lewis had a strong background in the law and had served as an assistant U.S. Attorney since 1983.

“I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama and am confident that he will bring a strong work ethic, independence, and depth of knowledge to the position of U.S. attorney,” Durbin said, according to the paper.