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Tag: Justice Department

Head of Interpol in D.C. Accused of Exploiting His Power to Land Jobs for Relatives, Friends

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Warren Lewis, the executive officer at Interpol’s Washington D.C. office, is accused of exploiting his authority to get a job for his son and other relatives and acquaintances, Fox News reports.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General’s Office revealed the findings in a reported released Wednesday. Other high-ranking officials are accused of doing the same thing, contributing to what the report called “a pervasive culture of nepotism and favoritism.”

Interpol serves as a liaison between the American government and the international law enforcement body and is overseen by the Justice Department.

The report says Lewis “earmark a spot” for his son and “provide extra attention to his processing, for obvious reasons.”

His son was even hired as a contractor, according to the inspector general.

“Lewis had no personal knowledge of their professional abilities,” the report says. “After the three individuals all failed to make the certified lists of qualified applicants, Lewis took steps to overcome their exclusion.”

Other Stories of Interest


Defiant Justice Department Attorneys Target California Marijuana Dispensary

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal appeals court wants to know why the Justice Department was targeting a popular marijuana dispensary after the federal government said it would not intervene in states’ medicinal pot laws, The Associated Press reports.

“The United States government, the president and the attorney general and the justice department is largely looking the other way in terms of medical marijuana facilities,” 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Murphy said while hearing arguments in a city lawsuit fighting the closure of Harborside Health Center in Oakland. “What’s the end game here?”

Other judges also expressed concerns.

Justice Department attorneys said they don’t know why the U.S. Attorney’s Office was targeting the center but added that the federal government still has authority to close down medical marijuana facilities.

In December, President Obama signed into law a measure blocking the Justice Department from raiding dispensaries that are permitted by state law.

Justice Department Won’t Pursue Charges Against Murdoch-Owned Media Companies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation into Rupert Murdoch-owned media companies won’t result in charges following allegations of voicemail hacking and payments to public officials in the U.K., the USA Today reports.

News Corp. and 21st Century Fox were under investigation after hacking the voicemail accounts of sources, celebrities and politicians. They also were accused of bribing public officials.

It’s unclear why the Justice Department dropped the case without charges.

“We are grateful that this matter has been concluded and acknowledge the fairness and professionalism of the Department of Justice throughout this investigation,” according to a statement released Monday by Gerson Zweifach, general counsel of News Corp and group general counsel and chief compliance officer of 21st Century Fox.

Other Stories of Interest


Justice Department Builds Secret Database to Spy on Millions of Cars

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A license plate tracking program established to seize cars and money to combat drug trafficking has gone far beyond its original scope and has led to the collection and storage of millions of records about motorists, Reuters reports.

Not only is the database being used to track drug dealers, but state and locals authorities are using it to search for cars tied to other serious crimes, raising questions among privacy advocates.

This is the first time the DEA has revealed it is expanding its database beyond the  Mexican border.

What remained unknown was whether a judge or agency was responsible for oversight.

A debate is being waged in Washington over what some are expressing as privacy concerns with license plate readers.

IG: Justice Department Repeatedly Failed to Train Employees on Proper Off-Duty Conduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The problems with Justice Department employees getting drunk and acting out 20 years ago have not been sufficiently addressed and are failing to curtail boisterous off-duty conduct, the Inspector General found.

The Washington Times reports that the department never followed through on recommendations from as far back as 1996 to adequately train employees on the responsibilities and consequence of off-duty conduct.

“We found no indication that DOJ had revisited its off-duty conduct policies or training in any comprehensive manner since then, and no indication that DOJ, despite its significant international presence, had established a department-wide policy or training directed at off-duty conduct abroad,” investigators said.

The IG said part of the problem is that many employees don’t know what is unacceptable behavior when off the clock.

FBI Agent: No Direct Evidence Ex-CIA Officer Leaked Info to New York Times

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent testified Wednesday that there is no direct evidence that an ex-CIA officer leaked classified information to a New York Times reporter, the Associated Press reports

But the agent said CIA man Jeffrey Sterling was often in contact with journalist James Risen as prosecutors finished up their case based on phone and email contacts. Prosecutors recently declined to force Risen to testify.

Sterling is charged with leaking information about a classified mission that Risen wrote about in his 2006 book “State of War.”

Sterling has long denied being the source.

Justice Department to Pay $134,000 to Woman After DEA Set Up Bogus Facebook Page

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A controversial tactic by federal investigators from the DEA to create a bogus Facebook page using real information from a suspect has turned into a $134,000 settlement for the woman targeted on the social media page, the Associated Press reports.

In the settlement with Sondra Arquiett, the DEA still did not admit wrongdoing.

The case has prompted the Justice Department to review how it handled the case and whether it was appropriate to set up a fake account.

“This settlement demonstrates that the government is mindful of its obligation to ensure the rights of third parties are not infringed upon in the course of its efforts to bring those who commit federal crimes to justice,” Richard Hartunian, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York, said in a statement.

“It also takes into account emerging personal privacy concerns in the age of social media, and represents a fair resolution of plaintiff’s claims,” he added.

FBI, Facebook Partner to Issue Amber Alerts to Social Media Users

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A lot more people are going to learn about missing children after the Justice Department created a partnership with Facebook to send AMBER alerts to its users, WJCL reports. 

A similar deal was reached with Bing.

Attorney General Eric Holder said this is a big step to finding more children before it’s too late.

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American,” Holder said.  “Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”

The complete text of Holder’s message:

“At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in this country – and especially our young people.  Over the last two decades, a key tool in this effort has been the AMBER Alert system – an early warning system that helps us find and return abducted children.”

“Since the first AMBER Alert system became operational in 1996, AMBER Alert’s strong network of law enforcement and transportation officials, broadcasters, private-sector representatives – and dedicated ordinary citizens – has helped to rescue and safely return more than 700 abducted children.  Just last month, two young children were recovered.  In one incident, a three-year-old boy who had been taken in a domestic dispute was used as a shield by his abductor.  In another, an infant just 20 days old was abducted by a carjacker.  Fortunately, with the help of the AMBER Alert system, both children were rescued unharmed.”

“Through radio announcements, highway signs, wireless notifications, and Web posts, AMBER Alerts are now capable of rapidly reaching millions of people across the country.  But we have a great deal more to do in order to ensure that we can spread the word about missing children as quickly and as widely as possible.”

“Today – as our nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – I am pleased to announce that we are making two vital additions to our innovative national partnerships in order to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system.  Facebook, already an AMBER Alert partner, will now begin sending alerts, along with detailed information and photographs, to its members in designated search areas.  And the search engine Bing will begin allowing users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools.  These cutting-edge tools are available as a result of agreements with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which coordinates our AMBER Alert distribution efforts.”

“Facebook’s geo-targeted alerts and Bing’s online broadcast tools will give AMBER Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence – extending our web of child protection resources into new and critical areas.  I am grateful for their involvement, and for the participation of so many organizations and agencies that have helped to make the AMBER Alert system such an important public safety asset.  And I urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.”

“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American.  Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media.  Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response.  The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”