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Was President Obama’s Amusing Anecdote About a Mobster and FBI Director Comey Even True?

Gang Land photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Barack Obama had a very amusing anecdote several days ago when praising James Comey as his choice to head the FBI during  Comey’s official installment at FBI headquarters.

The only question is: Was it even true?

Jerry Capeci, mob expert who runs the website Gang Land News, reported that the president mentioned the first name of Gambino mobster Lorenzo Mannino during his remarks at the installment. Comey was prosecuting Mannino and some other mobsters in 1993 in Manhattan.

“One of the defendants was an alleged hit man named Lorenzo,” said the President, according to Gang Land News. “And during the trial, Jim won an award from the New York City Bar Association.

“When the court convened the next morning, everybody was buzzing about it, and suddenly, a note was passed down from the defendant’s table, across the aisle to the prosecutor’s table. It was handed to Jim, and it read: ‘Dear Jim, congratulations on your award. No one deserves it more than you. You’re a true professional. Sincerely, Lorenzo.’ “Sincerely Lorenzo,” the President cracked. “Now, we don’t know how sincere he was. We don’t know whether this was a veiled threat, or a plea for leniency, or an honest compliment. But I think it is fair to say that Jim has won the respect of folks across the spectrum — including Lorenzo,” smiled Obama.

Capeci reports that there was polite laughter in the crowd  “but in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, which has been home for Lorenzo since his release from prison in 2004, the 54-year-old Mannino wasn’t smiling. 

The kicker, according to Gang Land: “He never wrote the letter,” said Charles Carnesi, who defended Mannino during the lengthy 1993 trial that ended in a hung jury. “It didn’t happen,” said Carnesi, adding: “Although I personally agree with the sentiments expressed in it.”

Capeci reported that the White House did not respond for comment, but an FBI spokesman insisted the anecdote was true.

As a side note: The jury hung. But a year later, on the eve of the retrial,  Mannino and codefendants John and Joseph Gambino all pleaded guilty and were released after serving their 15 year sentences.  

httpv://youtu.be/2N-6al2l0PE

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: Nixon Talks to LBJ About J. Edgar Hoover’s Death

httpv://youtu.be/LLlnkluhah4

TSA Officer Killed at LAX

By JENNIFER MEDINA, IAN LOVETT and TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
New York Times

LOS ANGELES — A Transportation Security Administration officer was killed Friday at Los Angeles International Airport in a shooting that left several other T.S.A. employees injured and led the authorities to evacuate thousands of passengers and temporarily ground all flights there, the authorities said.

The police said that a gunman, identified by a federal official as Paul Ciancia, 23, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and opened fire about 9:20 a.m. as he entered Terminal 3 at the airport, one of the world’s busiest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference that the airport police had responded to the gunfire, trailed Mr. Ciancia and shot him after he crossed through a security checkpoint as he continued firing the weapon. The authorities did not say whether Mr. Ciancia had been killed. The police said one person had been arrested.

“We’re not going to be able to tell you a lot of things you might want to know, but this is ongoing,” Mayor Garcetti said.

To read more click here.

FBI, Other Feds Face Budget Cuts That Could Mean Fewer Personnel

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Budget cuts in 2014 could mean fewer FBI agents and other reductions to federal law enforcement agencies, CNN reports.

“What we’re going to see is really tough decisions, really cutting into the bone of programs,” said Scott Klinger, director of revenue and spending policies at the Center for Effective Government, a budget watchdog group. “The belt tightening, the deferred maintenance, the tapping of rainy day funds — it’s all been done already.”

Lawmakers already began meeting to discuss the cuts.

A new round of sequester cuts could mean a whopping $800 million reduction for the FBI budget.

“That cupboard is bare. I can’t avoid it this year,” FBI DIrector James Comey said.

FBI Reports ‘Solid New Leads’ in Mysterious 1966 Kidnapping of Chicago Baby

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The unsolved case of a baby stolen from his mother in Chicago nearly a half century ago is a nagging mystery to many.

Now the FBI says it has “solid new leads” in the 1966 case, ABC News reports.

The parents, Chester and Dora Fronczak, thought they found their son Paul in New Jersey but DNA tests recently revealed they were wrong.

The FBI re-opened the case.

“We’re going to do everything that we can to follow up to see if that baby is out there,” said Bob Shields, the special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office.

Fewer Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Line of Duty in 2012, FBI Reports

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement is a dangerous job, but fewer police officers were killed in the line of duty last year, according to newly released FBI statistics.

The bureau reported 95 cop-related deaths in 2012, compared to 125 a year earlier, Phoenix New Times reports.

The officers included in the reports are “duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers.”

Read the full report here.

AG Holder Says Justice Department Is ‘Broken,” Needs to Handle Racial Inequalities

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Attorney General Eric Holder reflected on his life as a black man in a Queens neighborhood, Huffington Post reports.

Holder said the experience shed light on the challenges facing African Americans, many of whom ended up in jail when he was growing up.

“Kids who I grew up with, who I played ball with, basketball, baseball, and went to parties with — for whatever reason — they ended up in a fundamentally different place than I did,” Holder said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “I’m the attorney general of the United States and they are ex-felons. At some point, usually in high school or maybe a little later, they ran afoul of the law and had to serve time.”

Holder said the system is “broken” and needs to be reformed.

Homeland Security Employees Routinely Misuse Overtime Money

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Homeland Security employees are helping themselves to unearned overtime, costing the federal agency a lot of money, whistleblowers are reporting, according to the Washington Post.

The overtime can add as much as 25% to a paycheck and is used as an incentive for new employees, the Post reported.

The federal Office of Special Counsel on Thursday released a report that declared Homeland Security is involved in a “gross waste of government funds.”

Overtime pay in six offices reached $8.7 million a year, the Post reported.

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