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FBI Celebrates One of Its First Female Special Agents Susan Riley Malone

Former FBI Special Agent Susan Riley Malone. Screenshot via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Susan Riley Malone, the daughter of a Marine pilot, made history 50 years ago, becoming one of the first two women to graduate as a special agent from the FBI Academy.  

The FBI celebrated the special anniversary recently at the academy with current and former female agents, CBS reports.

Malone said she wanted to be an agent since she was in eighth grade, so when her dream came true, she would stop at nothing to prove she had what it takes.  

“I think in some quarters it was an experiment and, you know, would it fail? I certainly wasn’t going to fail. If they had to kill me, I wouldn’t quit,” she said. 

It wasn’t easy. 

“I think some of the challenges, even from some of my colleagues in our class, a couple of them had a difficult time being in a class with two women agents that carried the same badge and did the same job they were going to do,” she said. 

Since then, women have become a bigger part of the agency, but they still only make up a small fraction of the bureau’s agents. 

Today, only 22% of special agents are women. Just seven of the 56 FBI field offices are led by women.

“I think there’s few women in law enforcement in general,” said Jacqueline Maguire, who runs the Philadelphia Field Office. “It’s a tough job.” 

Maguire encourages women to join the bureau. 

“I say go for it,” Maguire said. “It’s really cool to be able to go home at the end of the day and say, ‘I tried to make an impact. I tried to make the world better.'” 

Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover barred women from being agents. But when he died in 1972, that rule was lifted. 

Malone attended Hoover’s funeral, and two months later, she met her roommate, Joanne Pierce Misko, at a swearing-in ceremony at FBI headquarters. 

In July 2012, the FBI featured an eye-opening interview with Malone.

House Dems Call on Inspector General to Remove Himself from Probe of Secret Service Texts

DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari

By Steve Neavling

Lawmakers are calling for a new inspector general to head the investigation into deleted Secret Service text messages in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, who also chairs the committee investigating the Capitol riots, are asking DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to recuse himself. 

In a letter to Cuffari, the top Democrats say his failure to notify Congress that the Secret Service wasn’t providing records “cast serious doubt on his independence and his ability to effectively conduct such an important investigation.”

“These omissions left Congress in the dark about key developments in this investigation and may have cost investigators precious time to capture relevant evidence,” the lawmakers wrote. “There must be no doubt that the Inspector General leading this investigation can conduct it thoroughly and with integrity, objectivity and independence. We do not have confidence that Inspector General Cuffari can achieve those standards.”

Cuffari waited months to notify Congress that the messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021 had been erased. Earlier this month, he finally notified Congress of the deleted texts. 

“Inspector General Cuffari’s actions in this matter, which follow other troubling reports about his conduct as Inspector General, cast serious doubt on his independence and his ability to effectively conduct such an important investigation. In light of these serious failures, we request that Inspector General Cuffari step aside from the ongoing investigation into the Secret Service’s erasure of text messages,” the lawmakers wrote.

Justice Department Is Now Investigating Trump’s Role in Trying to Overturn Election

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump’s actions are now a focus of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, The Washington Post reports

Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before the grand jury have asked about Trump’s involvement in the campaign to reverse his election loss. 

Among those interviewed before the grand jury is Marc Short, the former chief of staff to former President Mike Pence. 

Investigators also received phone records of key Trump officials, including his former chief of staff mark Meadows. 

These revelations are significant because they show a major escalation in the Justice Department’s widening investigation. 

U.S. Marshal Shot by Teenager Murder Suspect in Georgia

By Steve Neavling

A teenager murder suspect shot a U.S. marshal who was helping arrest the man in Fayette County in Georgia on Sunday. 

The GBI is investigating the shooting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The marshal was shot when officers entered a residence at the Shiloh Mobile Home ranch. The marshal was taken to the hospital and expected to be released Sunday. 

Officers then shot the suspect, 19-year-old Antonio Murgado Jr., multiple times. The suspect was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Murgado was among three suspects charged in the shooting death of a 19-year-old on July 16 during what appeared to be a drug deal. 

When the GBI investigation is complete, the case will be reviewed by Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. 

TSA Employees Hammered by COVID-19 Outbreak at LAX

By Steve Neavling

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit Los Angeles International Airport, infecting at least 233 TSA employees and more than 150 workers at American and Southwest airlines, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

The outbreak comes three months after the TSA stopped reporting the number of its employees who are actively infected with the coronavirus.

The TSA and LAX told The Los Angeles Times that the outbreak has not impacted services.

“There has not been any effect to security lines at LAX,” said Daniel D. Velez, a spokesperson for TSA.

As of March, when the TSA was still posting the number of positive cases among TSA employees, nearly 23,000 of its workers had been infected by COVID-19 and 36 had died, more than any other federal agency. 

Secret Service Investigators Find Metadata of Deleted Text Messages on 10 Agents’ Phones

By Steve Neavling

An internal Secret Service investigation has uncovered metadata showing text messages sent and received from the phones of 10 agents around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots. 

The messages have since been deleted, and their content is unknown, CNN reports.

The messages are at the center of the House committee investigating the insurrection. The committee was seeking the records in hopes of revealing new information about former President Trump’s interactions in the lead-up to the attack on the Capitol. 

The messages were deleted, despite the Homeland Security inspector general requesting them last year. 

The inspector general is now investigating what happened to the text messages. 

Michael F. Paul Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Operational Technology Division

Special Agent Michael F. Paul

By Steve Neavling

Michael F. Paul, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office, has been named assistant director of the Operational Technology Division (OTD) at the bureau’s headquarters.  

OTD uses technology to enable and enhance the FBI’s intelligence, national security, and law enforcement operations.

Paul began working for the FBI as an intern in 1994, and a year later was hired as a management and program analyst for the Criminal Justice Information Services Division. 

He became a special agent in 1999 and worked in the Detroit Field Office.

In 2005, Paul became supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters and was detailed to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. 

In 2006, he was a senior detailee and unit chief under the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, where he oversaw bureau employees detailed to the CIA, National Counterterrorism Threat Center, and the National Security Agency.

In 2008, Paul was named the chief of the WMDD’s executive staff, and a year later was selected as a Joint Terrorism Task Force field supervisor for the Cleveland Field Office. 

In 2013, he was named an assistant special agent in charge in the Norfolk Field Office in Virginia, leading counterintelligence, counterterrorism, intelligence, and crisis management programs.

In 2015, Paul became chief of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters. 

In 2018, he began to serve as chief of the Technology and Data Innovation Section.

In 2020, Paul became special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Field Office.

Mr. Paul received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He also received advanced degrees from West Virginia University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Al Capone