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Tag: Chicago

It’s Almost Blago Time Again; Sentencing Set for Dec. 6

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s almost Blago time again.

The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge James Zagel of Chicago set sentencing for the ever-chatty, ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Dec. 6.

Blago almost skated in his first public corruption trial when the jury convicted on only 1 of 24 counts. It deadlocked on the remainder.

But the second time around, in a retrial, the prosecution tightened up and simplified its case. The jury convicted Blago on 17 or 20 public corruption counts.

The Tribune reported that Blago’s attorney said his client intends to speak at the sentencing hearing.

co-defendant, William Cellini, a Springfield power broker who was convicted last wee

Bank Bandit Leaves Behind Demand Note with Prints; Suspected of Robbing Same Bank 4 Times

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

David E. Gregory, 57, walked into the Chicago Community Bank at 52 East Lake Street in Chicago, Ill. at around 9:30am on Sept. 30. He handed the teller a note which said he had a gun and a bomb, and demanded money from the teller’s drawer. Gregory walked out of the bank with $631 in cash, but left behind the note.

The FBI reports that Gregory was arrested on Friday without incident by members of the Chicago FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF), who had determined through forensic work that the demand note left behind at the scene had a latent fingerprint belonging to Gregory.

Gregory is also suspected of robbing the same bank on three other occasions–August 12, September 16 and October 12–though he has not yet been charged in those incidents. He is being held without bond until his next court hearing, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, at 2:30 in the afternoon. He faces a possible 20 year jail sentence.

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Column: Ex-ATF Official Questions Sincerity of White House Concerns About Layoffs in Law Enforcement

Bernard La Forest retired from ATF after heading up its offices in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles. His column is in response to a story that appeared in ticklethewire.com on Monday about a speech Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. gave in Chicago. Holder said there will be 13,000 cops laid off by year’s end, but that $240 million in grants will help in the hiring and retention of more than 1,000 cops nationwide.

Bernie La Forest/facebook

By Bernard La Forest
for ticklethewire.com

I read the piece on DOJ using “laid off cops” as a political spear thrown at Republicans in Congress. I find this a weak attack and subject to rebuttal.

I’ve been told that ATF has recently upped their “buy-out offers” from $20,000 to $25,000. These buyouts are tempting special agents to pull the plug early . . . after the “G” has spent so much money training and bringing them along to a point where each possesses a great deal of expertise.

For those special agents who have made good use of available opportunities throughout their careers, I’m fairly certain they will continue to be successful in the private sector once they cash out.

However, all of their accumulated know-how and capability will be lost. After all the negative focus caused by a few people in just one small ATF squad, and then exacerbated by incompetent managers in Washington . . . I certainly can’t fault those men and women who take the money.

Nonetheless, I do remain suspicious of the real reasons behind DOJ’s decision to “ease out” the government crime fighters, especially since I see no plan in the offing that even hints they will be replaced anytime soon.

It’s a typical example of fear-mongering by the AG. He is being assisted in this political charade by the President and the VP. Joe Biden scowls for the media cameras, tries to act tough, and then stretches the truth which bordered on a very large and ugly white lie.

Why, just to gain a few points?

President Clinton pulled the same trick through his bait and switch “cops on the beat” program. There was only enough money for the first year or two.

When that ran out, I’m pretty sure many of the officers lost their jobs, leaving hiring, training and related costs flushed down the drain.

Don’t you wish it was November 7, 2012?

FBI Director Mueller’s Nostalgic Moment

ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — This same time last year, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was feeling a little nostalgic when he spoke in Orlando before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. It was like a final victory lap, the last speech as director  before the group.

But in a move that caught almost everyone by surprise, the White House earlier this year asked him to stay on two more years beyond his 10-year term. After some consultation, Mueller, now 67, obliged and Congress confirmed his stay.

On Monday, here in downtown Chicago, that twist in the road was not lost as he spoke before a crowd  at the IACP in a cavernous auditorium at the McCormick Place convention center.

“I will admit to feeling a bit nostalgic last year, believing it was my final meeting with you. I fully intended to finish my term last month,” he said before the crowd and some Washington-based notables, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

“I will say when the President asked whether I would be willing to continue as FBI Director for another two years, I sought advice from many people, because I believe a leader is often the last to know when it is time to go.

‘Three considerations persuaded me to extend my term. First, it would be hard, at any time, to leave the FBI family, and indeed, the larger law enforcement family. I am lucky to work with such talented and dedicated people.

“Second, as each of you knows, there is nothing more rewarding than public service.”

“Lastly, we in the FBI do have unfinished business. We must continue to improve our technology, expand our intelligence capabilities, and adapt to meet new challenges. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of that.”

Mueller went on to talk about the changes at the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, organized crime and the ever-looming threat of terrorism.

“Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, and other key leaders are no longer in the picture.  Nonetheless, al Qaeda remains the top terrorist threat.”

 

Atty Gen. Holder Says 12,000 Cops to be Laid Off This Year

ticklethewire.com

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO —   Times are tough.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder brought that point home Monday morning as he spoke to a large audience at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago about the state of law enforcement in the country as departments face  budget cuts.

Holder said nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies will be laid off by the end of this year.

“Of course – as cities, states, and counties confront once-in-a-century financial constraints – this has never been more difficult,” said Holder.  “Across the country, mayors, sheriffs, and chiefs have been asked – not only to do more with less – but also to make painful budgetary cuts.

Holder, citing a recent economic outlook report conducted by the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Strategies (COPS), said nationwide that law enforcement agencies have almost 30,000 unfilled vacancies–the first-ever national decrease in law enforcement positions.

These challenges are not insurmountable, he continued.

“Block by block, city by city, department by department, the Administration is determined – and I am determined – to help build capacity, to enable our law enforcement partners to make the most of precious resources, and to encourage their most promising and effective public safety efforts,” he said.

Holder also noted that last month COPS Director Bernard Melekian announced more than $240 million in grants, which will support the hiring and retention of more than a thousand officers across the nation.

Teresa Carlson to Head FBI’s Milwaukee Division


Teresa Carlson/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Teresa L. Carlson, FBI section chief in the Directorate of Intelligence, has been named the new head of the Milwaukee Division.

Carlson, a 19-year veteran of the FBI, started her career in the Chicago Division where she worked violent crimes and public corruption cases.

While in Chicago, she was a case agent for Operation Silver Shovel, an undercover investigation that involved bribery, drug trafficking, and organized crime activity. It resulted in more than 20 convictions, including elected officials, the FBI said.

She went on to the Inspection Division at headquarters before heading south to the Birmingham bureau, where she was a supervisor in the white-collar crime program.

After that, she served as assistant special agent in charge of the white-collar crime and cyber programs in the New York Division.

She returned to FBI headquarters in the  National Security Branch, which is responsible for national security matters, including budget matters and liaison with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Congress, and the White House.

 

Dozens of Justice Dept. Antitrust Lawyers May Quit Rather Than Move

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Speaking anonymously to the Washington Post,  several attorneys said dozens of career antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department say they are likely to quit if the department goes ahead with plans to close four regional offices.

Plans were announced earlier this month to close offices in the antitrust division in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas and Philadelphia, the Post reported.  Consequently, there are plans to move 94 attorneys and support staff to offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and headquarters in Washington. The plan is part of an effort to “consolidate operations and focus on larger criminal investigations,” according to the Post.

The Department has offered to pay for and support staffer’s moving process, but that may not be enough for some. “There aren’t a lot of people who’ve been with the division a long time who can pick up and move,” said one attorney from the Philadelphia office, according to the Post. “Many people have families and spouses with jobs where they’re already located. And there’s no assurances that in two years there won’t be further cuts, and then we’ll lose a job we picked up and moved for.”

To read more click here.

 

Robert J. Holley to Head FBI’s Indianapolis Office

Robert Holley/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert J. Holley, a native of Indiana, and a section chief of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, is leaving the mothership to head up the Indianapolis office.

Holley began his career as a special agent in 1995, and was first assigned to Chicago where he investigated domestic and international terrorism cases.

In November 2005, Holley was promoted to a unit chief in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters. He was deployed to Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Tanzania, and Israel “in support of the FBI’s number one priority, counterterrorism,” the FBI said.

Holley transferred back to the Chicago Division, where he served as assistant special agent in charge of the National Security Branch from 2008-2010.

Prior to his FBI career, he served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer.