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Cleveland City Council Prez Mum About FBI Subpoenas

Here in the Midwest, in a city once known as the Mistake on the Lake, city council president Martin Sweeney isn’t taking chances by saying the wrong thing as a public corruption probe heats up.

Council Pres. Martin Sweeney/official photo

Council Pres. Martin Sweeney/official photo

By Henry J. Gomez
Cleveland Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND — Martin J. Sweeney offered few clues Friday as to why his name has surfaced in the corruption probe targeting Cuyahoga County.
But subpoenas obtained last week by The Plain Dealer indicate that federal investigators are curious about the Cleveland City Council president’s possible ties to Blaze Building Corp. and Lopat Development Co.
“I haven’t seen — I wasn’t aware of any subpoenas, and I won’t have any further comment about it,” Sweeney said Friday in a brief phone interview. “That’s my on-the-record statement.”
The subpoenas, served on Blaze and Lopat in July, requested documents showing any communications between Sweeney and the contractors. Investigators also demanded any evidence of financial relationships that Sweeney and others might have with Blaze and Lopat.
For Full Story

BET to Feature In Depth Show on J. Edgar Hoover

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

WASHINGTON — Love him or hate him, we can’t seem to get enough of the guy.
The BET network this Thursday at 10 p.m. will feature an in depth look at the legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on its “American Gangster” show.
In promoting it’s upcoming segment, BET said:
“The first and most famous director of the FBI, Hoover consolidated his power through a combination of brilliant public relations moves and compromising personal files he kept on politicians who held his fate in their hands. Positioned as an avowed and implacable enemy of Communism, Hoover was often at odds with left-leaning Black leaders throughout his reign, including Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson.
In recent weeks, reports surfaced that Hoover kept his eye on such notable authors as Norman Mailer and David Halberstam.
Documents recently released also showed that he not only kept tabs on investigative columnist Jack Anderson, but despised him.

Obama Moving With Caution Before Picking New Homeland Security Chief

The names of a number of possible candidates to head Homeland Security continue to circulate in this town. But the Dems are moving cautiously to make the pick.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON— As Democrats for the first time take over the five-year-old Department of Homeland Security, the watchword for Obama transition aides is caution.
The next secretary will inherit the politically perilous tasks of securing the nation’s borders against illegal immigration, as well as leading the federal response to natural disasters. He or she will take the helm of a $40 billion, 200,000-worker bureaucracy still in the throes of the most complex government merger since World War II, while contending with more than 80 congressional oversight committees and subcommittees.
Above all, the new secretary must help prevent the next terrorist attack on American soil, whatever form it might take.
Little wonder that Democrats are treading carefully.
For Full Story

FBI Honing in on Some Muslim Leaders in Phoenix Area

Several incidents have prompted the FBI in the Phoenix area to take a closer look at the Muslim community.

By Sean Holstege and Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX — The FBI has sharpened its scrutiny of some Phoenix-area Muslim leaders because of their links to two controversial incidents and a federal probe into the financing of terrorist groups.
No Arizonan has been accused of supporting terrorist groups or actions. However, a Mesa man was charged with lying to the FBI during the financing investigation.
The events that triggered the stepped-up scrutiny were the federal probe into a Muslim charity accused of funneling money to the Palestinian group Hamas; a target-shooting episode in Phoenix this year involving a large group of Muslim men and boys firing hundreds of rounds from AK-47s and other guns; and the high-profile removal in 2006 of six Arizona-bound imams from a jetliner after passengers and crew complained of their behavior. Click here to find out more!
Although some Islamic leaders say they understand the scrutiny, they also view it as another sign that innocent Muslims unjustly fall under suspicion because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
For Full Story

The Latest Law Enforcement Gizmo on the Street

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWdYja1XHVE

Rapper Terrance “Bump J” Boykin Indicted For Bank Robbery

Rapper "Bump J"

Rapper

In the recording world, there’s more than one way to get attention. Bump J has found another way.

By Associated Press
CHICAGO – Chicago area rapper Bump J has been arrested in Southern Illinois on bank robbery charges.
The man, whose real name is Terrance Boykin, was arrested in Carbondale after a traffic stop this week.
Boykin is accused of robbing an Oak Park bank with another man last January, with the FBI saying they made off with $100,000.
Authorities around the nation were searching for Boykin after he was indicted by a grand jury in September.
If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
For Full Story

Read Indictment

Sen. Stevens Harmed Himself in Trial by Testifying

Like every egocentric politician in this town, Sen. Ted Stevens may have given himself too much credit when testifying on his own behalf in a public corruption case.

Sen. Stevens During the Campaign/official photo

Sen. Stevens During the Campaign/official photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The jurors had spent the better part of two days battling one of their own, Juror No. 9, who had refused to participate in deliberations. Several feared that they were headed for a hung jury, an ignominious end to the month-long corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress.
But when the jurors reconvened a few days later, it took them just hours to find Stevens guilty on all seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide more than $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Girdwood, Alaska, house.
The jurors said they went from near-disaster to a quick verdict after they put their bickering aside and realized that prosecutors had presented an overwhelming case. Stevens, they said, did himself no favors by taking the stand, where he destroyed the grandfatherly image his lawyers had carefully crafted.
For Full Story

Convicted Sen. Ted Stevens Continues to Slip in Vote Count

Sen. Ted Stevens lost his criminal trial. Could he now lose his seat in the Senate after 40 years? It looks like it could happen.

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News
ANCHORAGE — Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is in grave danger of losing re-election after Mark Begich widened his lead to 1,022 votes Friday.
More than 90 percent of the votes are now counted, and Friday’s count of absentee and questioned ballots could have been Stevens’ best chance to make a comeback. That’s because it included all the ballots left from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, where Stevens has enjoyed his most unwavering support.
There are about 24,000 ballots left to be counted, coming from Anchorage, Southeast Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. The state will tally them all Tuesday.
For Full Story