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News Story

Did Justice Dept. Railroad Ex-FBI & CIA Agent Nada Prouty?

Stomach Turner: FBI Investigating Ex-Official of Impovervished Detroit School District For Allegedly Diverting $57 Million

Detroit_Public_Schools_Welcome_CenterBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Detroit, where the unemployment is very very high, and the city suffers from serious deficits, comes the latest news about the ailing school district that is guaranteed to turn stomachs.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the FBI is looking into a former department chief at Detroit Public Schools and his assistant who allegedly “used secret offices and their own computer system to improperly divert more than $57 million in school funds to vendors who provided little, if anything, in return, according to sworn records reviewed by the Free Press.”

The documents are part of a Wayne County Circuit Court lawsuit filed by the school district against Stephen Hill of Detroit, who was director of the district’s risk management from 2001-05, the Free Press reported.

The suit alleges — Hill received luxury vehicles and other kickbacks. The paper reported that vendors who benefited from the corruption included friends, associates and relatives of Hill or his assistant Christina Polk-Osumah of Detroit, the paper reported.

The paper notes that the lawsuit alleges that when Hill left in 2005 the District threw him a $40,000 “champagne-and-tenderloin farewell bash.”

That’s the least the district could have done to honor him for his services.

To read full story click here.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES

African-American Community Rallies and Asks for Answers in FBI Shooting of Detroit Imam (Detroit Free Press)

President’s Picks to Run TSA Keep Imploding After Running into Controversies

tsa_logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The attempted bombing on Christmas Day in Detroit was a reminder of the importance of airport security and the need for someone to lead the Transportation Security Administration under the Obama administration.

Problem is, the last two Presidential nominees have imploded on the administration.

Washington Post reporter Robert O’Harrow Jr. reported that the latest pick, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, withcrew his name on Friday.

The paper reported that Harding had become “a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence” and withdrew his name after being repeatedly question about his contract activities and “The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.”

The Post reported that the “firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.”

The White House had hoped Harding would solve its dilemma when the last nominee, ex-FBI agent Erroll Southers withdrew after controversy surfaced about him giving conflicting accounts to Congress about him accessing a federal data base as an FBI agent to get info about his ex-wife’s lover more two decades ago.

To read more click here.

Kentucky U.S. Attorney Jim Zerhusen Steps Down

Jim Zerhusen/govt photo

Jim Zerhusen/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Veteran prosecutor Jim Zerhusen for the Eastern District of Kentucky called it quits on Friday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Zerhusen, 59, who had worked in the office in various jobs since 1980, plans to do some traveling, the paper reported.

President Obama has appointed Kerry Harvey to fill the spot, but he has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the paper reported. Acting first assistant to the U.S. Attorney, E.J. Walbourn, will fill the spot in the interim.

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Pablo Escobar Part 2

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIsr_94KEAk

Suspended NBA Star Gilbert Arenas Dodges Bullet: Avoids Jail But Will Serve 30 Days in Halfway House on Gun Charge

nba-logo_1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Suspended NBA Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas dodged the bullet Friday during sentencing. He won’t be going to jail, but he will have to spend 30 days in a halfway house and two years on probation, the Associated Press reported.

The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office had recommended a 3 month jail sentence, saying Arenas was not remorseful and was less than candid about bringing four guns to the locker room at the Verizon Center and getting into a confrontation with a teammate Javaris Crittenon.

After getting in a gambling dispute with Crittenton, he brought the guns to the Verizon Center and put them in front of Crittenton’s locker with a note that said to pick one.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin also ordered Arenas to perform 400 hours of community service and contribute $5,000 to a victims of violence fund, CNN reported.

Your Facebook Friend Could Be an Undercover Fed

facebook-logoBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department document asks the simple question: Why Go Undercover on Facebook, MySpace, etc.?

Then it goes on to explain: “Communicate with suspects/targets” … “gain access to non-public info” … “map social relationships/networks.”

The document, part of a Justice Department PowerPoint presentation, demonstrates how some federal and local law enforcement agents are quietly creating fictitious accounts on social networks like Facebook and MySpace to get dirt on suspected criminals. The presentation recently surfaced in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court.

Some federal and local law enforcement agents are quietly creating fictitious accounts on social networks like Facebook and MySpace to get dirt on suspected criminals

“This is just the way people meet these days — electronically,” James Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told AOL News. “It wouldn’t be any different than calling someone on the phone, say, in an undercover capacity. If we can meet them on Facebook by creating a fictitious account, that’s great. ”

Even so, the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco filed the lawsuit in December against about a half a dozen federal agencies to create a public dialogue on the matter and make sure agencies have guidelines for agents, according to Marcia Hofmann, a senior staff attorney for the foundation. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, Treasury, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are included in the suit.

For Full Story

Ex-FBI Dir. Monitoring Automaker Daimler’s Bribery Case

Louis J. Freeh/adl photo

Louis J. Freeh/adl photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh has been tasked with monitoring the cleanup of  automaker Daimler AG which has been accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to at least 22  foreign governments from 1998 to 2008, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that the Justice Department has agreed to let Freeh be “an independent corporate compliance monitor who will assess Daimler’s performance for the next three years.”

Daimler AG will reportedly pay a $185 million settlement and avoid indictment. Two of its subsidiaries are slated to plead guilty in the case on April 1,  AP reported.

To read more click here.