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Selection Process For D.C. U.S. Atty Slot Begins; Some Names Have Already Surfaced

Ron Machen's name has surfaced in contest

Ron Machen's name has surfaced in contest

The current U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor is well respected and doing a good job, but there’s no way D.C. Del Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has had limited power as a member of Congress, is going to pass up an opportunity to exert her influence and help select a new U.S. Attorney. So far, according to the Legal Times, some names have alreadyh surfaced including former prosecutor Ron Machen  and Monty Wilkinson, who recently left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. to work for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. This should be an interesting contest. 

By Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
WASHINGTON –The search for the next U.S. attorney for the District of Colum­bia has begun.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) opened the application process on April 10. The nominating commission she resurrected from the Clinton years will be accepting applications for the post through May 11. (The application can be downloaded from Norton’s Web site.)

The 17-member commission is staggering its work by focusing on the U.S. attorney slot first. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Pauline Schneider, who chairs the commission, says Norton could make applications available for three vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as soon as the end of this week.

Formally known as the Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission, the body will also review candidates for U.S. marshal and other federal officials assigned to the District.

Several names have already surfaced for U.S. attorney. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner Ron Machen, McDermott Will & Emery partner Roy Austin Jr., and D.C. Supe­rior Judge Thomas Motley-all veterans of the office-are said to be considering a run for the job. Monty Wilkinson, who recently left the office’s No. 3 position to join Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s staff, has also been named as a potential candidate by several former D.C. federal prosecutors.

For Full Story

FBI Names Agent Daniel Roberts Assist. Director of Criminal Justice Information Services

fbi1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Daniel D. Roberts, a Detroit native, has been named assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

Roberts, who  replaces the retiring Thomas E. Bush, III,  was most recently Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division, the FBI said.

“Dan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position and will continue the legacy of CJIS that involves sharing data with over 18,000 law enforcement partners,” FBI Director Robert E. Mueller III said in a statement.

Roberts started his career in 1987 in Chicago, where he served as a primary SWAT team member and as a firearms instructor, the FBI said.

Eventually, in March 2000, Roberts was assigned to FBI headquarters as a unit chief of the Chief of the Violent Crimes/Fugitive Unit. He later became an assistant special ageent in charge in Salt Lake City
In June 2004, Roberts became special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office.

History: J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King: Part 8 in a Series

Controversy Continues Over Release of Justice Dept. Torture Memos

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

FBI Says Bank Robberies Up in Last Quarter of 2008

Bank robber-Auburn, Mass. Dec. 2008

Bank robber-Auburn, Mass. Dec. 2008

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — There were 1,645 robberies, burglaries and larcenies nationwide involving banks in the last quarter of 2008, up 19.5 percent from the previous quarter in 2008, according to FBI stats released this past week.

The following are stats provided in an FBI Press release:

Of the 1,645 total reported violations, loot was taken in 1,527 incidents (93 percent). In contrast, loot was taken in 1,267 incidents (92 percent) during the third quarter of 2008.

The total amount taken was valued at more than $15.4 million dollars, an increase from the previous quarter’s total of more than $12.5 million stolen.
A note was used in 839 incidents; a firearm was used in 465 incidents; and robbers threatened the use of a weapon in 696 incidents.

Acts of violence were committed during 75 of the reported incidents. These acts included 22 instances involving the discharge of firearms, 37 instances involving assaults, and 15 instances of hostage situations.

Three deaths occurred during this reporting period, all three of which were perpetrators. No law enforcement officers were killed responding to these incidents.
Most violations occurred on Friday. Regardless of the day of the week, violations between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. were the most common.

Missouri U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway to Step Down and Join Law Firm With Ex-A.G. John Ashcroft

U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway

U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The exodus of U.S. Attorneys continues.

The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway of the Eastern District of Missouri will resign to join a law firm with former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Her last day is Sunday.

The wire service reported that the Kansas City law firm will be called Ashcroft Hanaway. AP reported that Hanaway will work in St. Louis and Ashcroft will be based in Washington.

Court of Appeals Orders Detroit Reporter to Answer Pre-trial Questions in Case Involving Confidential Sources

David Ashenfelter

David Ashenfelter

The chess game between an ex-federal prosecutor and a Pulitzer Prize reporter continues to play out in Detroit. The media and federal law enforcement community is watching. The latest court order came down on Thursday.

By JOE SWICKARD
Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — A federal appeals court said this afternoon that Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter will have to sit for pretrial questioning by attorneys for a former federal prosecutor wanting to find out who leaked word to Ashenfelter that he was under an internal investigation.
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Free Press attorneys had asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the deposition process ordered by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland for next Tuesday, but the appellate court said in a two-page order that Ashenfelter hadn’t shown Cleland abused his discretion.

Ashenfelter has refused to name his source for his 2004 story, citing First Amendment freedom of press protections and Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

The former prosecutor, Richard Convertino, came under fire and stood trial for alleged misconduct in a discredited 2003 terror trial. He has said that Ashenfelter may have conspired with the leakers to break federal laws. Convertino was acquitted in 2007 of hiding evidence from defense lawyers in the terror trial.

Cleland has said he’ll decide if Ashenfelter’s assertions are valid on a question-by-question basis.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Transportation Security Administration Hopes to Ditch Airport Rule Against Carrying on Liquids & Gels

JetIf ever there was an annoying rule, it’s the one at the airport about carrying on liquids and gels. The sooner this one goes away the better. I can’t count how many times I’ve forgotten and had to throw out bottles of water at the security checkpoint.

By Budget Travel website
The TSA’s goal is to lift the restrictions on carrying liquids, aerosols, and gels aboard aircraft. Toward that end, the TSA has been rolling out new luggage screening machines that can tell the difference between a harmless drink and a deadly explosive. Already, about 500 of these AT X-ray machines have been installed. That number should be doubled by year-end.

By fall 2009, the TSA hopes to get rid of its rule that you must carry all of your liquids in a single clear bag. For a brief period, you’ll probably still have to place all of your liquids in a plastic bin separate from your laptop and carry-on bag when passing through airport screening machines.

By next winter, the TSA hopes to lift its size restrictions on liquids, which now limit the carry-on size to 3.4 liquid ounces. The timetable depends on how quickly software updates can be installed on all of the machines and how quickly TSA agents can be trained to use the machines correctly. Officials with the British counterpart to the TSA, the transport ministry, have made a similar pledge.

Another change is to move the baggage screening machines from airport terminals, where they clutter the floor, and put them off-site. So-called “in-line” machines at the Las Vegas and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports can test bags for explosives without requiring the physical handling of each bag. Las Vegas airport, for once, has embraced the change because it can use the freed-up terminal space to add more slot machines for waiting passengers to use. (For a video explanation of the new baggage inspection system, see below.)

For Full Story

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yre_NUaAF0&feature=player_embedded