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Tag: Corruption

Feds Bring in Witnesses in Trenton Mayor Tony Mack Grand Jury

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

 Federal prosecutors seeking an indictment of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack will present testimony Thursday to a grand jury in the corruption case, the Trenton Times reports.

Witnesses are expected to appear at the federal courthouse in Trenton beginning this morning as feds build their case against the mayor, his brother and campaign donor Joseph “JoJo” Giorgiann, all of whom were arrested Sept 10, the Times reported.

The arrests follow a two-year FBI probe.

The trio are accused of attempting to extort $119,000 in bribes in connection with a downtown parking garage project the ended up being an FBI sting, the Times reported.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Observations After Week 1 of Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Corruption Trial

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit
DETROIT –– Observations from the federal courthouse on Lafayette Blvd.:

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is still managing to muster a smile after a week of his public corruption trial. And yes, he’s looking rather dapper, some days wearing a bow tie, others a traditional one.

That being said, the government had the upper hand during the first two days of testimony this week. The last two days went to the defense.

On the first two days of testimony — there was no court on Tuesday because of a Jewish holiday — the government scored points, establishing through bank records, that Kilpatrick suddenly became cash-flush as mayor, depositing more than $500,000 in cash in the bank beyond his salary, from 2002-2008. That helped lay a foundation for the feds, who have alleged that the mayor had no obvious source of cash and got the money through bribes and kickbacks, in part, by rigging city contracts to help his friend, contractor Bobby Ferguson land lucrative contracts.

Kilpatrick’s attorney, Jim Thomas, while cross examining an IRS agent about the cash, suggested that maybe Kilpatrick got legitimate cash gifts. In fact, Thomas mentioned that wealthy businessman Don Barden at a Kilpatrick birthday announced he was giving Kwame $5,000 right on the spot, and invited others do the same. (It wasn’t clear whether it was a check or cash).

To read the full story click here.

After Fighting Corruption for 25 Years, FBI Agent John Roberts Retires

photo courtesy of Philadelphia Enquirer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 An FBI agent whose work helped jail dozens of Philadelphia and New Jersey politicians is retiring after 25 years with the bureau, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Agent John Roberts spent 20 years of his career in Philadelphia, where he became an expert on corruption and the politicians who turn to the dark side.

During his last five years, he ran the corruption squad.

His expertise took him as far away as Europe to lecture on corruption and pay-to-play politics, the Inquirer reported.

Roberts will take his skills to a senior manager position in the antifraud unit of the Deloitte accounting firm, according to the Inquirer.

New FBI Team to Investigate Public Corruption in Ohio

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new team of five FBI agents soon will begin investigating public corruption in Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

While Ohio isn’t considered a hotbed of corruption, it will join many other states with a special squad dedicated to investigating public officials.

“Most capital cities have a squad,” said Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the FBI’s southern Ohio division. “I decided we needed one, not because public corruption is any worse or better here but because there’s a better chance investigators will do a better job finding corruption if that’s all they do.”

The team, which will be stationed in Columbus in October, also will investigate civil-rights issues, according to the Dispatch.

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack Arrested This Morning in Corruption Probe

Mayor Tony Mack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and others this morning as part of an ongoing corruption investigation, NBC 4 New York reports.

Among the potential charges facing the mayor is conspiracy to obstruct commerce by extortion.

Also taken into custody were top campaign contributor Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni and six others, according to NBC 4 New York.

Specific charges and more details are expected to be announced later today.

 

Ex-Border Patrol Union Leader Accused of Fraud

istock file photo

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A retired president of the union representing U.S. Border Patrol Agents is accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor funds for personal use beginning in 2007, New American reports.

Terrence J. “T.J.” Bonner, who is accused of 12 counts of conspiring to commit fraud, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego late last week.

Authorities said Bonner used dues-paying funds to visit a mistress in Chicago, store pornography and attend hockey games, according to New American.

“Siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from hard-working fellow Border Patrol agents, many of whom put their lives on the line every day to protect this country, is a particularly troubling form of corruption that must be addressed,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said.

Trenton Residents Demand Protection from Corruption as FBI Investigates Mayor

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI investigates Trenton City Hall and Mayor Tony Mack, residents are calling for the creation of an ethics board to protect against corruption, the Trentonian reports.

At a city council meeting Thursday, officials didn’t discuss details of the FBI investigation, saying they were unaware of specifics.

Residents called on the council to create an ethics board to keep elected officials in check.

“The ethics board should be a no-brainer,” “local businessman Tracey Syphax said, according to the Trentonian. “That’s definitely something we need.”

Justice Department Sues Fundamentalist Mormon Sect

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has filed suit against a fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon sect, saying it discriminates against non-members, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The suit alleges that members of the sect control government services in the towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Those towns also share a police department that “routinely uses its enforcement authority to enforce the edicts and will of the FLDS; fails to protect non-FLDS individuals from victimization by FLDS individuals; refuses to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies’ investigations of FLDS individuals; selectively enforces laws against non-FLDS; and uses its authority to facilitate unlawful evictions of non-FLDS, among other unlawful conduct,” according to an FBI statement Thursday.