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Tag: Chicago

Andrew Traver Who Was Nominated for Director is Named Head of ATF’s Denver Office

Andrew Traver/zerocancer.org photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Andrew Traver, whose nomination by President Obama to head up ATF seems to have gone nowhere, is the new head of ATF’s  Denver office.

Before getting this new assignment he was head of the Chicago ATF.

Traver began his ATF career in 1987 as a special agent in the Chicago Field Division and went on to other posts, including Group Supervisor in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New Orleans.

In November 2010, Traver was nominated by President Barack Obama to become director of ATF. He was subsequently re-nominated to the new session of Congress in January 2011, the first ATF career Special Agent to be so nominated.

But there seemed to be resistance on the Hill to appointing him and the nomination seemed to go nowhere.

 

Chicago’s Longest FBI Chief Robert Grant Stepping Down; Going to Work for Walt Disney

Robert Grant/fbi photo

By STEFANO ESPOSITO
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — The city’s longest-serving FBI chief is retiring — just one month after the city’s top federal prosecutor stepped down.

Robert D. Grant, 54, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office, has accepted a job with the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles, where he will be part of their “Global Security Team,” according to the FBI.

“I have witnessed the FBI do some amazing things,” Grant said in a written statement Monday. “It has grown and stretched in ways I never thought possible. What I have come to realize is there is almost nothing the FBI cannot do when it sets a proper course and supports its tremendous people. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not impressed and amazed at the work of the men and women of this organization, who I will miss greatly.”

To read the full story click here. 

Column: Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald Will Return to Public Office: Count on It

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Once in a while a U.S. Attorney comes along and makes a mark not only locally but nationally.

U.S. Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago was one of those guys.

Fitzgerald resigned and left office last Friday, leaving behind a legacy that included prosecuting the ever-chatty ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Dick Cheney’s right hand guy Scooter Libby.

He left office, offering little reflection last week to the hungry media. He said he has no plans, but hopes to make a decision by Labor Day, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Among the U.S. Attorney’s, he was rock star. In the public’s eye, he was a modern-day Eliot Ness.

Was he perfect? No. But he inspired faith in the system and that the good guys had a strong hand to fight crime and corruption.

He was in Chicago for 11 years as prosecutor.

Whatever he does next — even if it’s going to law firm —  ultimately it would be hard to believe that the 51-year-old won’t end up back in public service, be it as a federal judge or FBI director or governor.

Count on it.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Adds Accused Rapist and Murderer to Top 10 Most Wanted List

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has a new face on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list.

The FBI in Chicago announced Tuesday that Fidel Urbina, the subject of a nationwide manhunt since 1999, was put on the infamous list.

He’s wanted in connection with two sexual assaults and murder.

The former Chicago resident is accused of beating and raping a woman in March 1998, and seven months later—while free on bond—for beating, raping, and strangling a second Chicago woman to death, the FBI said in a press release.  Her body was found in the trunk of a burned-out car.

“Fidel Urbina is wanted for his role in two brutal attacks directed against innocent victims,” Robert Grant, head of the Chicago office,  said in a statement.

“These crimes have demonstrated his violent nature and the need to locate and apprehend him before he can strike again. We are hoping that the publicity associated with this case, along with the significant reward being offered, will lead to his arrest.”

 

U.S. Attorney Who Prosecuted Blagojevich Heads for Private Sector

Gov. Blagojevich

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Reid J. Schar, lead prosecutor in the Rod Blagojevich corruption retrial in 2011, may have cinched the convictions that sent Blago to prison with the question:

“Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?”

Now Schar, 40, is taking his show on the road. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Schar is leaving the U.S. attorney’s office for the private sector after 13 years of service, not all of them so glamorous as nailing the former governor.

Schar becomes partner at the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block next month, focusing on white-collar criminal defense and investigations.

The Sun-Times points out that there is change afoot in the Chicago’s U.S. attorney’s office, signaled by Patrick Fitzgerald also recently announcing his departure after 10 years.

To read more click here.

New Head of North Fla. FBI is a Rising Star

Michael Steinbach/ fbi photo

By Jim Schoettler
Florida Times-Union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On his first day at work, Mike Steinbach sat at a Chicago Denny’s drinking coffee, reading a newspaper and covertly protecting a nearby federal witness from a possible hit attempt by the mob.

“I thought, ‘Holy moly.’ This is a pretty good deal,” Steinbach said. “I knew I had made the right [career] choice.”

The undercover surveillance assignment was Steinbach’s welcome to the FBI.

Seventeen years later, after adding the capture of a serial killer, an interview with a 9/11 facilitator and breaking bread with Israelis and Palestinians to his many accomplishments, Steinbach has arrived in Jacksonville.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI’s Michael Steinbach to Head Jacksonville Division

fbi photo

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael B. Steinbach is taking over the FBI’s Jacksonville Division.

Steinbach, the special assistant to associate deputy director Thomas Harrington at FBI Headquarters, began his career in April 1995 and was first assigned to the Chicago divison, working fugitives and violent crimes.

In 2003, he went to headquarters as a supervisor in the Counterterrorism Division.

Part of his job there was to provide program management for FBI operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Afghanistan.

In 2004, he headed off to Afghanistan to serve as the deputy on-scene commander for FBI operations. As result of his stint there, he was awarded the Shield of Bravery.

In 2005, Mr. Steinbach he was promoted to assistant legal attaché for Tel Aviv, Israel, and in January 2006 he was appointed as legal attaché there.

While in Israel, he worked with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority on FBI investigative matters, with an emphasis on national security issues.

In 2008, he became a supervisor of the Violent Crimes Task Force at the FBI Washington Field Office.

In 2009, he was promoted to assistant section chief for the International Terrorism Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division.

In May 2010, he became deputy director for Law Enforcement Services at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. Later that year, he was assigned to his most recent post.

In October of that year, he was appointed to his most recent post.

 

 

Would-be Bomber Pleads Guilty to 2010 Attempt to Target Chicago Hot Spots

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

A 2010 sting nailed a  would-be bomber for attempting to plant an explosive device in the bustling Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. Now, he’s likely to be out of commission for a long time.

The FBI announced Monday that Sami Samir Hassoun, a 24-year-old green card holder from Lebanon, pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device.

The plea  capped the  FBI probe that began in July 2010, when a cooperating source introduced undercover agents to Hassoun.

Believing the agent and the FBI source were collaborators, Hassoun led the planning of a “series of escalating violent attacks” intended to “damage Chicago’s sense of security, its economy, and trust in leadership.”

According to the plea agreement, Hassoun’s targets included Chicago entertainment hot spots, civic buildings, commercial high-rises and transportation infrastructure. He was finally busted for planting a backpack with what turned out to be a FBI-provided inert bomb, in the heart of one of Chicago’s busiest neighborhoods in September 2010.

According to the plea agreement, the court must impose a minimum 20 year, max 30 year sentence or reject the plea agreement. Hassoun will also be obligated to cooperate with authorities at their request.

To read more click here.