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Tag: Detroit Free Press

Robert Foley, Head of FBI’s Detroit Office, is Stepping Down Because of Family Illness

Robert Foley/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detroit’s FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, whose family home was custom built in the Motor City when he took the job nearly a year ago, told the Detroit Free Press today that he is stepping down.

But the East Coast native isn’t leaving the FBI; he’s taking a job fighting public corruption in Florida, the Free Press reported.

Foley, whose career with the FBI spans 17 years, said his move was prompted by a recent health issue in his family. He said he’s moving to Florida because he has a lot of family support there.

“I fell in love with the people, their worth ethic, their strength,” Foley told the Free Press of Detroiters. “Despite the many challenging economic issues here … Detroit will turn around. It’s a place full of hope, inspiration and hard work that will get it to turn around.”

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Keeps Trying and Trying to Find Out Detroit Free Press Sources

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino isn’t giving up in his quest to find out confidential sources in a story Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter wrote nine years ago.

U.S. District Court Robert Cleland in Detroit on Tuesday ordered the paper to produce documents by Jan. 29 related to the story or confidential sources, according to the Free Press.

He also ordered that the Free Press produce a witness other than Ashenfelter who would know about the sources. The judge had previously granted Ashenfelter his Fifth Amendment right not to disclose the sources. Ashenfelter recently took a buyout from the Free Press.

“We respect the court, and we also respect the public’s right to know and the protection of sources,” Free Press Editor and Publisher Paul Anger said in a story in the Free Press. “Our legal fight continues.”

To read more click here.

Ex-Detroit Prosecutor Convertino Asks Appeals Court to Reinstate Suit Against Justice Dept.

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Here we go again?

We shall see.

Ex-Detroit fed prosecutor Richard Convertino is asking a federal appeals court in D.C. to reinstate his privacy suit against the Justice Department over info leaked to Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter, the BLT: Blog of LegalTimes reported.

Convertino, who was acquitted on obstruction charges in a high-profile terrorism case he prosecuted, has alleged that the Justice Dept. leaked info to the Detroit Free Press about an ethics investigation into his conduct.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lambert in D.C. in March dismissed the suit, saying it had dragged on too long, and that after seven years, Convertino was no closer to figuring out who leaked the information.

“Despite seven years of dedicated effort, Convertino is no closer to identifying the source(s) of the leak today than he was when this litigation commenced,” the judge wrote in his ruling.

“In sum, Convertino has made a monumental effort to identify Ashenfelter’s source(s) and has had absolutely no success. Moreover, OIG (Office of Inspector General) conducted its own extensive investigation into the identity of the source(s) and was equally unsuccessful. After seven years of litigation, then, Convertino cannot answer the question that lies at the heart of [his] case.”

“Without knowledge of the leaker’s identity, Convertino cannot establish that DOJ acted willfully or intentionally,” the ruling said.

The BLT blog reported that Convertino’s attorney Stephen Kohn argued Monday against the judge’s ruling that additional time would not benefit Convertino’s case.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Reporter Scores Victory in Fight to Protect Confidential Sources

The press scored a big victory in Detroit on Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that a Detroit Free Press reporter did not have to disclose sources during a deposition because he feared incriminating himself. It’s an interesting defense and an interesting ruling.

David Ashenfelter

David Ashenfelter

By Sandra Svoboda
Detroit Metro Times
DETROIT — Veteran journalist David Ashenfelter had been ordered three times to submit to a deposition in a former federal prosecutor’s lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department.

The former prosecutor, Richard Convertino, is seeking the identity of an unnamed source or sources in a January 2004article Ashenfelter wrote about an internal investigation into Convertino’s handling of a high-profile terrorism-related trial following 9/11.

Convertino won convictions against three of the four men tried, but those verdicts were overturned after it was discovered Convertino withheld evidence from the defense.

Convertino alleges that the leak was a violation of his rights under the federal Privacy Act. He can’t win his case without knowing who talked to Ashenfelter, his attorney has said.

Ashenfelter faced the possibility of jail or fines for contempt of court if he didn’t cooperate with the deposition.

Although U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland had previously ruled that Ashenfelter had to answer questions from Convertino’s attorney, Tuesday in a closed-door deposition Cleland agreed with Ashenfelter and the paper’s attorneys that the Pulitzer Prize winner had sufficient grounds for a Fifth Amendment defense – in other words he could refuse to answer questions on the grounds of possible self-incrimination.

For Full Story