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Tag: New Orleans

New Orleans U.S. Attorneys Falls in Online Scandal

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

By NOLA.com
The Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Abruptly ending an 11-year run highlighted by the convictions of more than a dozen crooked politicians, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten resigned Thursday morning amid a metastasizing scandal in his office that started with prosecutors posting anonymous screeds on NOLA.com. Letten was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. attorney, having been kept in the job by President Barack Obama despite his Republican affiliation.

Ironically, his fall was engineered by Fred Heebe, the landfill magnate who very nearly became U.S. attorney himself after George W. Bush was elected president — and then, years later, found himself a target of the office.

While it was Heebe’s filing of a defamation lawsuit that set Letten’s downfall in motion, he was finally done in by the failure of his most trusted lieutenant — First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann — to admit that she, too, had been posting vituperative online comments about federal targets.

In an emotional and strident 11-minute speech, Letten said his resignation would be effective Tuesday, but that he would stay on for a “very, very short time” to aid in the transition. He spoke of his pride in having served as the region’s top federal law enforcement officer for more than a decade.

To read full story click here.

Prolific Retired-ATF Official Bernie La Forest Cranks Out His Third Novel

Bernie La Forest/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
 
Ex-ATF official Bernie La Forest is at it again.

The prolific La Forest has just knocked out his third mystery novel, “A Matter of Lex Talionis,” the story of a Lt. Andre de Avilés, who heads the Detroit Police Department’s Intel Squad.

Described as a forty-somethin’, ‘balls-to-the-wall” detective known for fighting organized crimes, the lieutenant gets tied up in a probe involving a bombing in Detroit’s Mexican Town that appears to be an act of terrorism.

He joins up with ATF and eventually some retired associates.

La Forest headed up ATF offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Phoenix, and was a former Detroit cop. He retired from ATF in 1998.

I asked La Forest a few questions about his writing.

Here’s how he responded:

What kind of discipline does it take to write three books? Do you write everyday at a certain time?

I do not prepare an outline or chapter guide. However, I do spend a few months rolling potential plots around in my head. The first day that I begin writing is the most difficult. But, once I type the first paragraph . . . it’s off to the races. As you probably know, my novels are based loosely on a series format. I do not have one single hero or heroine, but rather, I lean on what I always believed. Most large law enforcement agencies . . . federal state or local . . . have many characters working on complex investigations. There may be one or two “case writers” or “lead detective or special agent,” but many more are involved in the day-to-day operation. For example, these are just a few tasks that might break the case wide open: Forensics, intelligence gathering, informants, surveillance, undercover, investigators on multi-agency task forces, timing of arrests or raids, etc. So in the end, on many investigations there are usually many heroes or heroines. Which in the end, allows an author using my style and POV . . . to spread the credit around instead of picking one standout.

The bottom line, while working in two DPD precincts and being an original member of the expanded TMU . . . followed by my thirteen moves around the country with ATF, I have come in contact with hundreds of cops, deputies, troopers, and specialized investigators. Stories are not a problem . . . the well is deep and the water is constantly refreshed by memories of partners, friends and associates who toiled on The Job.

How long did it take you to write this one?

I get up around 6 a.m. every day and take the mountain bike into the desert behind our place. After four or five miles on the dirt trails on the backside of the McDowell Mountains, sometimes more, I clean up, watch the news, check out Stratfor.com, WSJ, AZCentral.com for local news, and the Detroit News and the Freep for hometown “stuff.” Then I station my self next to a twenty-four cup coffee urn with a free flowing spigot . . . around Ten o’clock. Then I begin—after opening pages in Wikipedia, Google Maps and others that will provide definitions or descriptive material . . . and, most importantly Dictionary/Thesaurus.com. I began writing A Matter of Lex Talionis on October 6th of last year. I finished in May of 2012. Review and editing took us . . . my two editors and me, another three months . . . including the galley which contains errors caused by the printing setup at the publisher.

Here’s a hint, almost every street, highway, business address, and location mentioned, e.g., surveillance routes . . . is viewed by me on Google street image program . . . in every country where the trucks have uploaded images. I usually wrap up a session around 4:00 p.m., although, sometimes I will continue until dark. There are occasions where I may spend two or three hours working an one or two pages . . . or, start moving sections back toward the beginning or further into the story. That can be a dangerous proposition if I’m not careful . . . lots of copies of what is, what was, what might be, and what looks best.

Does  it get easier or harder?

It gets easier with every book, and hopefully, a much improved product.

To find out more about the book click here. 

Prolific Retired-ATF Official Bernie La Forest Cranks Out His Third Novel

Bernie La Forest/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Ex-ATF official Bernie La Forest is at it again.

The prolific La Forest has just knocked out his third mystery novel, “A Matter of Lex Talionis,” the story of a Lt. Andre de Avilés, who heads the Detroit Police Department’s Intel Squad.

Described as a forty-somethin’, ‘balls-to-the-wall” detective known for fighting organized crimes, the lieutenant gets tied up in a probe involving a bombing in Detroit’s Mexican Town that appears to be an act of terrorism.

He joins up with ATF and eventually some retired associates.

La Forest headed up ATF offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Phoenix, and was a former Detroit cop. He retired from ATF in 1998.

I asked La Forest a few questions about his writing.

Here’s how he responded:

What kind of discipline does it take to write three books? Do you write everyday at a certain time?

I do not prepare an outline or chapter guide. However, I do spend a few months rolling potential plots around in my head. The first day that I begin writing is the most difficult. But, once I type the first paragraph . . . it’s off to the races. As you probably know, my novels are based loosely on a series format. I do not have one single hero or heroine, but rather, I lean on what I always believed. Most large law enforcement agencies . . . federal state or local . . . have many characters working on complex investigations. There may be one or two “case writers” or “lead detective or special agent,” but many more are involved in the day-to-day operation. For example, these are just a few tasks that might break the case wide open: Forensics, intelligence gathering, informants, surveillance, undercover, investigators on multi-agency task forces, timing of arrests or raids, etc. So in the end, on many investigations there are usually many heroes or heroines. Which in the end, allows an author using my style and POV . . . to spread the credit around instead of picking one standout.

The bottom line, while working in two DPD precincts and being an original member of the expanded TMU . . . followed by my thirteen moves around the country with ATF, I have come in contact with hundreds of cops, deputies, troopers, and specialized investigators. Stories are not a problem . . . the well is deep and the water is constantly refreshed by memories of partners, friends and associates who toiled on The Job.

How long did it take you to write this one?

I get up around 6 a.m. every day and take the mountain bike into the desert behind our place. After four or five miles on the dirt trails on the backside of the McDowell Mountains, sometimes more, I clean up, watch the news, check out Stratfor.com, WSJ, AZCentral.com for local news, and the Detroit News and the Freep for hometown “stuff.” Then I station my self next to a twenty-four cup coffee urn with a free flowing spigot . . . around Ten o’clock. Then I begin—after opening pages in Wikipedia, Google Maps and others that will provide definitions or descriptive material . . . and, most importantly Dictionary/Thesaurus.com. I began writing A Matter of Lex Talionis on October 6th of last year. I finished in May of 2012. Review and editing took us . . . my two editors and me, another three months . . . including the galley which contains errors caused by the printing setup at the publisher.

Here’s a hint, almost every street, highway, business address, and location mentioned, e.g., surveillance routes . . . is viewed by me on Google street image program . . . in every country where the trucks have uploaded images. I usually wrap up a session around 4:00 p.m., although, sometimes I will continue until dark. There are occasions where I may spend two or three hours working an one or two pages . . . or, start moving sections back toward the beginning or further into the story. That can be a dangerous proposition if I’m not careful . . . lots of copies of what is, what was, what might be, and what looks best.

Does  it get easier or harder?

It gets easier with every book, and hopefully, a much improved product.

To find out more about the book click here. 

 

Authorities: No Evidence Saints Eavesdropped on Opposing Teams

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A joint investigation between the FBI and state police found no evidence that the New Orleans Saints or General Manager Mickey Loomis intercepted opposing teams’ radio communications, authorities announced Monday, the Associated Press reports.

“We found no corroborating evidence that Mickey Loomis or anybody in the Saints was engaged in wiretapping or eavesdropping,” Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police said.

Allegations first surfaced that the Saints were eavesdropping in April, prompting the investigation.

The team has hired the firm of former FBI director Louis J. Freeh to conduct an independent probe.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Money-in-the-Freezer Fame Wants Supreme Court To Hear His Case

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

WASHINGTON — in what is likely the last chance to overturn his 13-year prison sentence for public corruption, former Rep. William Jefferson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to schedule arguments on whether the trial judge gave an overly expansive definition of a congressman’s duties.

The question is central, attorneys for Jefferson said in a filing Wednesday, because the congressman was convicted almost entirely on bribery and bribery-related charges that require the government to show the defendant performed an “official act” in return for something of value.

To read the full story click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

 

 

New Orleans Police Reach Far-Reaching Deal with Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The New Orleans Police Department reached a landmark deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul the city’s scandal-plagued police force, the New York Times reports.

The aim of the 122-page consent decree is to improve safety in the city and end corruption and abuse.

“Effective policing and constitutional policing go hand in hand,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at an afternoon news conference with federal and local officials.

The Justice Department has consent decress with others, such as the Detroit Police Department, but none is as wide-ranging as New Orleans, the Times reported.

Head of New Orleans FBI Dave Welker is Retiring

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Dave Welker knew there was plenty cajun food and beer in New Orleans and plenty corruption.

Now after dealing with that corruption the pastfour years as head of the FBI in New Orleans, he’s retiring.

“I found (New Orleans) by far has been my best assignment, by far,” said Welker, according to WWLTV. “Part of it is by virtue of my position. A great deal of it is the work that we’ve done. I think the impact we’ve had on the community.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

William Jefferson Reports to Texas Prison

America's Most Famous Freezer where cash was found.

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The inevitable has arrived.

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of cash-in-the-freezer fame is heading off to prison Friday in Beaumont, Tex.  to begin serving his 13-year sentence, Bruce Alpert, star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

He was sentenced 2 1/2 years ago, but stayed out of prison pending his appeal.  In March, the Court of Appeals finally ruled against him.

After he lost the appeal, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., revoked bail and ordered Jefferson’s 13-year sentence for corruption to begin. Jefferson is still hoping the Supreme Court will take up the appeal.

Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 counts for rigging west African business contracts and funneling $470k to his family’s businesses. He potentially stood to make millions.

When less than 10 years of his sentence remain, Jefferson will be eligible for transfer to a fence-free prison camp, with slightly loosened restrictions. Either way, the lack of freedom will take some getting used to for someone apparently very accustomed to filling his own whims.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST