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Tag: ATF

Transgender Woman Wins Discrimination Suit Against ATF

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman who was denied a job after ATF officials discovered she was transgender won a lawsuit this week in which she claimed she was the victim of unlawful discrimination, the Transgender Law Center reports.

Mia Macy, an experienced police detective who has worked with the ATF on ballistics, said she was denied the job because she was transgender.

Macy identified as a male at the beginning of the application process, but by the time of the hiring decision, she changed her name to Macy.

Under the decision, the ATF must offer Macy the position and provide back pay and benefits with interest.

“It’s a victory for all transgender people to know that we have a voice, that we have recourse, and that when it comes to workplace protections we deserve to make a living,” said Macy in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier.”

ATF Official Who Oversaw Botched Sting Will Oversee Phoenix Office

By John Diedrich
Journal Sentinel

The ATF leader who oversaw a botched undercover operation in Milwaukee will now be in charge of the agency’s embattled Phoenix office, where agents allowed more than 2,000 guns to walk into the hands of suspected criminals through the infamous “Operation Fast and Furious.”

Bernard “B.J.” Zapor will be reunited in Phoenix with Fred Milanowski, another key figure in Milwaukee’s “Operation Fearless,” where a Journal Sentinel investigation found agents lost government guns, had their storefront ripped off and arrested at least four of the wrong people.

Zapor was in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ St. Paul Field Division, which covers Wisconsin and three other states. In November, shortly after the Milwaukee sting was abruptly shut down, he was promoted to a position in Washington, D.C., supervising eight field divisions.

Officials from the ATF and the U.S. Department of Justice told congressional staffers in April that disciplinary action was under way against Zapor because of the Milwaukee operation. They won’t say if Zapor’s assignment to Phoenix is punishment.

To read the full story click here. 

GOP Resistance to Confirming Todd Jones as ATF Director is Stiffening

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anyone who follows politics inside the Beltway knows the confirmation process for ATF director, by it’s nature, is challenging.

That’s certainly the case with Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who has been the acting head of ATF.

Kevin Diaz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that GOP resistance to Jone’s confirmation is “stiffening.”

The paper reports that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday requested that top federal law enforcement officials in Washington turn over documents that might reveal “conflicts” with Jones.

The requests were made in a series of letters from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the paper reported.

The paper writes:

The letters, obtained by the Star Tribune, allude to three unnamed witnesses, presumably all law enforcement officials in Minnesota, who reportedly talked privately to Grassley’s staff. Sources close to the matter say they are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. Nevertheless, Grassley cited them to contradict Jones’ testimony before the Senate last month that he was unaware of any “deterioration” in relations between his office and law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.

The letters also refer indirectly to a whistleblower complaint brought against Jones by Jeffrey Paulsen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, who says he was unfairly disciplined by Jones for raising management concerns.

To read more click here.

 

Watch Underground ATF Agent Snag Would-Be Robber on Surveillance

Former Spokesman for U.S. Attorney Blasts Feds for Subpoenaing His Documents; Questions Government Going After Client Communications

Patrick Crosby

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, blasted the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco for issuing him a subpoena in a case involving an ATF agent.

Crosby, who now runs an Atlanta-based media relations company, GeorgiaNewsmakers.com, represents controversial ATF agent Vince Cefalu, who has a whistleblower lawsuit against the government for allegedly retaliating against him on the job. Crosby said he and Cefalu got to be friends when Cefalu was an agent in Atlanta.

Crosby said the Civil Division of the San Francisco Office has issued a subpoena in the civil suit and has asked him  to turn over “any and all documents or information of communications between Vince…and me, his friend whose firm does his PR.”  Cefalu currently works in the California-Nevada area for ATF.

“This wide-ranging subpoena in my opinion, goes far beyond a civil case involving a whistleblower and his job, and wastes even more resources. For what?,” Crosby said in a statement. He said he found it highly unusual for the government to go after client communications from a public relations firm.

“Next will the US Attorney’s Office seek cellular taped conversations between Vince and his PR firm? “This is exactly what the Justice Department, where I worked for 15 years, is trying to get away from—wasting the taxpayers money on something that has nothing to do with Justice.

“They’ve actually filed this. This odd and invasive tactic speaks for itself. I can tell you that most communications between Vince and his PR firm are quite boring, and it usually involves Vince not being able to afford to pay his bills.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco declined comment Tuesday when called by ticklethewire.com.

 

Ranking Senator Questions Quickness of Confirming New ATF Head B. Todd Jones Gets

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said “very troubling allegations” have surfaced that suggest B. Todd Jones, who is President Obama’s choice to head the ATF, retaliated against a whistleblower, The Washington Times reports.

The Iowa senator questioned why the confirmation hearings last week weren’t delayed while an investigation of Jones continues. 

When asked about the whistle-blowing complaints, Jones said he wasn’t familiar with the “substance of the complaints” and declined to comment.

“I must say that the allegations in the complaint are extremely troubling,” Grassley said.

Texas ATF Agent Shoots Burglar As He Searched Home for Valuables

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A burglar chose the wrong house to rob early Sunday.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the homeowner, an ATF agent, shot the suspect as he entered the home in Spring, Tex. in search of valuables.

Wounded, the suspect fled in a car but was stopped by police shortly after, The Houston Chronicle wrote.

The suspect had nonfatal wounds to his arm and was taken to a hospital.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Controversial ATF Agent Vince Cefalu Calls ATF Leadership “A Joke That is Not Funny”

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
As acting director B. Todd Jones faces questioning this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination for director, veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu is weighing in.

Cefalu, who has been described as a whistleblower, and is embroiled in multiple controversial legal actions against ATF, says that the current leadership at the top of ATF is, in his words, is “A joke that is not funny.”

“Not only do we have no Director in place, this climate allows the corrupt middle management at ATF to live on and keep their jobs, ATF needs a total housecleaning and a new direction, not just a figurehead who isn’t even confirmed by Congress,” he said in a statement provided to ticklethewire.com

“Not just ANY Director. DOJ cannot just keep throwing up names without a nationwide search or at least considering nominees with significant law enforcement experience. ATF is an elite law enforcement agency. Merely choosing lawyers who are friendly to the administration does not ensure competency in critical and very dynamic law enforcement operations.”

His spokesman, Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, describes Cefalu as a an agent who “successfully infiltrated the KKK and California biker groups in key cases for ATF” and is known as a whistleblower. Crosby, who runs a media relations firm, says that Cefalu is an activist within ATF, who was responsible for first bringing to light the ill-fated ‘Fast and Furious’ case fiasco.

Crosby says that he is currently employed by ATF while his personal case against ATF is dragging on without a final disposition.

“My case is important to me, but what is more important is that ATF get some real leadership, and that situation dragging on is much more important to the country and the safety of its citizens than my individual case,” Cefalu said.

“As I have said all along, there needs to be accountability for abuses and incompetence. Not reassignments to a locale of the specific managers’ choosing. The agency has dropped to 280 out of 294 in trust in the integrity and honesty in management in the 2012 OPM-sanctioned annual employee survey. The practice of demoting in title only is destructive and sends the message to corrupt managers that ‘We will protect’ retaliation waste fraud and abuse and incompetence. Yet the attacks on complainants and whistleblowers continue. My disputes are now being litigated in multiple venues at great expense to the taxpayers and the public who rely on the Department of Justice to police itself. DOJ has consistently fought vigorously to protect corrupt managers in my case rather than to resolve these disputes and return to serving the public safety.”