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News Story

Ex-Lobbyist Prime Candidate For Va. U.S. Atty

Neil MacBride/linkedin photo

Neil MacBride/ linkedin photo

President Obama rode into town on an anti-lobby crusade. Will he now appoint a lobbyist for the U.S. Attorney job in Virginia and risk creating controversy?  Then again, the guy is currently employed by the  Justice Department. So how big of a risk is it?

By Jerry Markon and Meg Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
ALEXANDRIA, Va — A former corporate lobbyist has emerged as a top candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, raising questions about how his appointment would square with the Obama administration’s efforts to change the culture of Washington, according to legal and political sources.

Neil MacBride, 43, lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007 on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and a host of other leading computer companies, U.S. Senate records show. MacBride, a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, was appointed in January as an associate deputy attorney general.

Justice Department officials and former colleagues described MacBride, who spent four years as a prosecutor, as savvy and highly ethical and said lobbying was a small part of his career. But MacBride would probably have to recuse himself from some cases involving former clients, because the Alexandria prosecutor’s office is one of the nation’s most aggressive in targeting copyright enforcement and cyber security — areas in which he lobbied.

The $149,000-a-year job is among the nation’s most prominent law enforcement posts and has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases.

For Full Story

Phoenix FBI Agent Pleads Guility to Having an Affair With the Wife of a Man He Was Investigating

fbi-logo3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The libido of an FBI agent in Phoenix is likely to land him in prison.

Agent Joe L. Gordwin, 40, of Phoenix pleaded guilty earlier this week in U.S. District Court to wire fraud charges for carrying on an improper sexual relationship with the wife of a criminal he was investigating, the FBI said.

Sentencing is set for June 29 before U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton in Phoenix. The charges carry a maximum of 60 years in prison.

“Mr. Gordwin flagrantly and repeatedly violated the oath he took to follow all the rules, regulations and laws that govern the conduct of a federal agent,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien in a statement. O’Brien is from the Central District of California, whose office handled the case.

According to authorities, Gordwin arrested the husband in 2002 and subsequently began a sexual relationship with the wife. Subsequently, Gordwin successfully recommended to the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office that the husband, not identified in the plea agreement document, get a reduced sentence.

The relationship between Gordwin and the wife continued until January 2004, and stopped for several months after the woman’s husband was released from prison, according to the plea agreement.

In November 2004, Gordwin got word that the husband was involved in criminal activity and passed that on to the Scottsdale Police Department. Around that time, he also resumed the affair.

Read more »

Baseball Shortstop Miguel Tejada Gets Probaton for Lying to Congress

Miguel Tejada- webchannel4com21

Miguel Tejada- webchannel4com21

As expected, and as recommended by the prosecution, Miguel Tejada got probation. It’s probably the right call this time.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada today was sentenced to one year of probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for lying to Congress about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

Tejada, 34, pleaded guilty last month to making a misrepresentation to Congress, admitting that he lied to congressional staffers during an interview in a Baltimore hotel room in 2005 that focused on the prevalence of steroids in the game.

Tejada apologized for his actions during brief hearing this morning in the District’s federal courthouse. “I take full responsibility,” he said. “I apologize to the Congress and to the court and especially to the kids.”

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

D.C.’s Marion Barry Owes $277,000 in Back Taxes: Feds Want Him Jailed (By Del Quentin Wilber -Washington Post)

“Goodfellas” Mobster Gets Probation for Public Intoxication

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Henry Hill, the New York mobster who inspired the Martin Scorcese film “Goodfellas”, has been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of public intoxication, the Associated Press reported.

Hill, 65, a mobster turned informant, got credit for four days served and was fined $220 in the San Bernardino, Calif., earlier this week, the AP reported.

An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month after Hill failed to appear in court.

Hill was played by actor Ray Liotta in the 1990 film, which also featured standout performances by Robert Di Niro and Joe Pesci. Some lines in the movie became legendary (like in the video below).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_ff46b58Hk



Things We Still Don’t Know About Airport Security on 9/11

twin-towers-9-111As Andrew Cochran points out, there’s so much we still don’t know about what happened on 9/11. Time for some of that transparency the Obama administration has promised.

By Andrew Cochran
Counterterrorism Blog

Here is what we still don’t know, over seven years after the 9/11 attacks, about airline and airport security on that day:

1. We don’t know if all of the metal screening machines at the airports involved had been tested and were actually working as designed;

2. We don’t know if the security personnel working on those machines and screen passengers were qualified and properly trained to find barred and dangerous items; and

3. We don’t know how the terrorists made it through the checkpoints with their deadly box-cutters, knives and mace.

All that, and more, was unilaterally designated by the aviation industry defendants as confidential, wrongfully exploiting a protective order issued by a federal judge in 2004, designed only to protect trade secret and competitive information.

The order was entered in lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims against certain airlines, security companies and others responsible for airline and airport security (the “aviation defendants”) on that fateful day.

The remaining three families, out of 96 who filed lawsuits, have challenged the defendants’ “confidential trade secrets” designations, claiming that one of their major motivations for filing lawsuits and not going into the no-fault Victims Compensation Fund created by Congress was to ask questions, demand accountability and shed light on the checkpoint failures that allowed 19-for-19 hijackers to board aircrafts with prohibited weapons and hazardous materials.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Florida Fed Prosecutors Want to Limit Wesley Snipe’s International Party Plans

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes is simply a party animal. But federal prosecutors want to put a clamp on that partying — at least when it comes to overseas parties.

By The Associated Press
Prosecutors in Florida want a judge to restrict actor Wesley Snipes’ international travel because they say he attended a lavish party in Dubai while free on bond as he appeals a tax conviction.

Snipes attended the $20 million party last November for the opening of the $1.5 billion Atlantis Hotel resort, U.S. attorneys in Ocala, Fla., said in court filings, according to The Associated Press.

A jury convicted the action star last year of three counts of willfully failing to file his income taxes. Snipes is free on bond while he appeals the convictions and his 3-year prison sentence to the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta.

A federal judge last year said Snipes could travel only to London and Bangkok for work on the movies “Gallowwalker” and “Chasing the Dragon.” Federal prosecutors said Snipes traveled 2,000 miles from Thailand to Dubai to attend the party.

“Defendant Snipes abused the Court’s trust, and did so in a very public way,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its motion.

To Read More

Read Government Motion on Snipe’s Travel


BIO: Homeland Sec. Napolitano Rose to Prominence As Anita Hill’s Lawyer

Janet Napolitano/gov photo

Janet Napolitano/gov photo

Read the stats on the new Secretary of Homeland Security and it comes as  no surprise she’s risen to top.

By AllGov
Janet Napolitano does not shy away from tough fights, having first risen to prominence as Anita Hill’s attorney during the Clarence Thomas controversy, and later as a Democratic governor of a very Republican state.

Napolitano was born on November 19, 1957, in New York City to Jane Marie Winer and Leonard Michael Napolitano, an anatomy professor who was the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

She was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and Albuquerque, NM, and she enjoyed her time so much as a Girl Scout that she became a lifetime member. She graduated from Sandia High School in 1975 and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.”

Napolitano attended college in California, earning a Truman Scholarship and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Santa Clara University in 1979.

She was valedictorian of her graduating class, the first female to earn the honor in the school’s history. Napolitano then received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983.

For Full Story

DEA Busts San Francisco Medical Marijuana Center Despite Administration’s New Policy

marijuana-umledu2Here’s an interesting development. The Obama Administration has made it clear that it would no longer  bust legal medical marijuana dispensaries. Was that too broad of a policy statement or have some people just not gotten the memo?

By Rachel Gordon
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco’s South of Market district mid-afternoon.

They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors.

The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Department of Public Health.

“Based on our investigation, we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony Williams said in a prepared statement.

Williams, who runs the San Francisco field office that covers a territory stretching from Bakersfield to Redding, would not specify the alleged violations. The information was under court seal.

For Full Story