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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Justice Department

D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office #2 Prosecutor Channing Phillips Off to the Justice Dept. to Help With Diversity Management

Channing Phillips/doj photo

Channing Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Channing Phillips, the number two person in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, is heading off to the Justice Department several blocks away to become Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity Management.

A Justice Department memo announcing the move said Phillips will be responsible for the implementation  of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Diversity Management Plan, which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals.

Phillips will also serve as Executive Director for the Attorney General’s Diversity Management Advisory Council.

Phillips first joined the Justice Department in 1990 and was hired by then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder Jr. in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. office. He held a variety of posts over the year, including chief of staff,  but was best known to reporters as the affable and very able person who dealt with the media.

Last May, he was appointed interim U.S. Attorney and tossed his hat into the ring to be considered for the permanent post, which is a presidential appointment.  But he lost out to a private attorney and former federal prosecutor Ronald Machen, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February.  Phillips subsequently became the second in command of the office.

Many believed that Phillips was clearly capable of handling the U.S. Attorney job, but because he had been a career prosecutor, he wasn’t able to build up the political capital necessary to close the deal.

Justice Dept. to Examine New Orleans Police Department

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

By Allan Lengel

In response to a cry for help from the newly minted Mayor, the Justice Department announced Monday that it will conduct an evaluation of the New Orleans Police Department to figure out reforms for the troubled agency, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, attending a news conference in New Orleans with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials, said the assessment will start immediately, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Perez wrote a letter to Landrieu saying the Justice Department will “examine allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional searches and seizures, racial profiling, failures to provide adequate police services to particular neighborhoods and related misconduct.”

“We already have boots on the ground right now. We will spend a lot of time here in the weeks and months ahead in the city of New Orleans,” Perez said, according to the paper.

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Shortly after taking office,Landrieu asked the Justice Department to examine the police department. News of the assessment was first reported on Friday by the website Main Justice.

The department has been plagued by problems and tarnished lately by guilty pleas of officers involved in covering up  the infamous Danziger Bridge police shootings after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that left  two people dead and four injured.

The community distrust of the department has a been a running problem.

New Orleans Mayor Asks Justice Dept. to Help Reform Troubled Police Dept.

Mayor Landrieu/city photo

Mayor Landrieu/city photo

By Allan Lengel

Newly minted New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking the Justice Department to step in and help reform the troubled police department that has been plagued by scandal, including the cover up of police shootings right after Katrina in 2005.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Landrieu on Wednesday asked Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to to do an assessment of the police department and the criminal justice system.

“It is clear that nothing short of a complete transformation is necessary and essential to ensure safety for the citizens of New Orleans,” Landrieu wrote in a letter to Holder that was published in the Times-Picayune.

The paper reported that the Justice Department has eight open civil rights investigations into the conduct of New Orlean police officers.

The Justice Department issued a statement Wednesday saying it will ” consider these requests to determine what action, if any, is appropriate,” said DOJ spokesman Alejandro Miyar, according to the paper.

To read more click here.

Justice to Add 33 New Prosecutors in Indian Country

justice logo2By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will allocate 33 new assistant U.S. Attorneys to address crime in Indian Country in 21 judicial districts across the nation.

Additionally, the Justice Department has launched three Indian Country Prosecution Teams that will work closely with the Indian community.

“Violent crimes, and particularly crimes against women and girls, continue to devastate tribal communities across the country, and the U.S. Attorney community is crucial to the Department of Justice’s response,” Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said.

“With 33 more federal prosecutors headed to Indian Country, and the launch of three new Community Prosecution Pilot Projects, we have made significant progress finding and implementing solutions to the public safety challenges confronting tribal communities. This Administration is committed to reducing the level of violent crime in tribal communities.”

Each of the community prosecution pilot projects will have one prosecutor and one victim-witness position. The projects will be implemented in the Navajo nation in New Mexico; the Oglala Sioux Tribe on Pine Ridge Reservation; and the Menominee Indian Tribe in Wisconsin.


Justice Dept. Reviewing FBI Policy on Recording Interviews

sony tapeBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — In a practice that has long been a contentious issue, a Justice Department advisory committee is reviewing the FBI practice of memorializing interviews with suspects in handwritten notes rather than recordings, the website Main Justice is reporting.

The website reported that the issue has become pronounced since an increasing number of local and state law enforcement agencies are recording statements via video and audio recording devices, Main Justice reported.

The website reported that FBI police forbids agents from recording interviews without the OK of the special agent in charge.

“In the past, the bureau and other federal law enforcement agencies have strongly argued against proposals that would require agents to electronically record interviews, on the grounds that they could hinder rapport-building, discourage suspects from speaking candidly and expose juries to unsettling interrogation techniques,” the website reported.


Former Bush Official Pleads to Criminal Contempt of Congress

Scott Bloch/govt. photo

Scott Bloch/govt. photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The ex-head of the  U.S. Office of Special Counsel, who was appointed by President Bush, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington to criminal contempt of Congress “for willfully and unlawfully withholding pertinent information from a House committee investigating his decision to have several government computers wiped” of emails, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Sentencing for Scott J. Bloch is set for July 20. He faces up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. The federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 0 to six months in jail.

Bloch, who is  also the former head of  the Justice Department’s Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives,  headed up the Office of Special Counsel from 2004 and 2008, which protects federal employees “with an emphasis on protecting federal whistleblowers”, according to a government description.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged that Bloch withheld information from the  U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which had been investigating “whether and why Bloch: directed the deletion of e-mails or files on any of Bloch’s OSC-issued computers in December of 2006 by using the computer repair service Geeks On Call; directed that the computer repair service delete e-mails or files contained on the computers of two of his OSC aides; and directed that any such deletion of computer files be done by use of a “seven-level wipe” process.”

In May 2008, FBI agents raided his offices.

Read press release

Spies for Cuba Have Met 50 to 60 Times With U.S. Investigators

spy graphicBy Allan Lengel

A couple who admitted spying for Cuba have met with federal investigators 50 to 60 times to divulge their secret work, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald.

Walter Kendall Myers, a former State Department worker with top secret clearance — and his wife Gwendolyn Myers, pleaded guilty last November to sending secrets to Cuba over a span of three decades.

Under the plea agreement, the husband agreed to a life sentence, but his wife is likely to get off much lighter, and could possibly get up to 7 1/2 years, the Herald reported.

The two appeared at a hearing in U.S. District Court in D.C. on Tuesday, the Herald reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Michael Harvey told the judge the “debriefings” of the couple is expected to take about six months, the Herald reported. Both appeared in good spirits, clad in dark blue jail jumpsuits, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Prosecutor Eli Rosenbaum Still Hunting Nazis

Eli Rosenbaum/doj photo

Eli Rosenbaum/doj photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Many of them are dead and gone. Some are elderly and sickly.

But Justice Department prosecutor Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, continues to hunt down the elderly Nazis in the U.S.

“We’ve sent a loud, clear message that the U.S. is not willing to be the sanctuary for perpetrators of crimes against humanity,’ Rosenbaum, 54, told Parade magazine.

Some like tv commentator Pat Buchanan have criticized the unit, calling it a group of “hair chested Nazi hunters” who have devoted time hunting old guards, Parade reported.

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

But Rosenbaum tells Parade:”If you’re guilty, you can reasonably expect to be pursued for the rest of your life.” Rosenbaum joined the unit after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1980. He left in the mid-1980s and returned in 1988 and became director in 1994, parade reported.

Some of the suspected Nazis he’s gone after have included John Demjanjuk, Andrija Artukovic and Helmut Oberlander, Parade reported.

The magazine reports that the unit has won denaturalization or deportation against 107 accused Nazis in the U.S. It said later this year the unit will merge with another human rights enforcement unit at Justice.

To read the full article click here.