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Tag: U.S. Attorney

Criminal Charges Not Likely in Salahi-Party Crashing Case

The Salahis pose with the v.p./facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

WASHINGTON –More than a year after photogenic Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashed the White House and caused an uproar, it appears unlikely the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington will  file charges in the case, ticklethewire.com has learned.

That conclusion, according to a source, comes after an exhaustive investigation, and after some law enforcement officials had pushed for criminal charges.

The couple crashed the White House party on Nov. 24, 2009, and created an embarrassment for the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

Federal authorities had reportedly been looking at possibly charging the couple with criminally trespassing or lying to a federal agent. But some observers inside the Beltway felt all along that it would have been a tough case to prosecute, particularly  considering that the couple insisted they were invited, did nothing to disguise themselves when they entered the White House, and even posed with the vice president.

Plus, in the end, fair to say, very few people in the public wanted to see the Salahis back in the limelight.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined comment.

Ex-U.S. Atty and Current Gov. Chris Christie Tries to End Speculation About Presidential Bid: There’s “Zero Chance”

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-New Jersey U.S. Attorney and current Governor Chris Christie tried Wednesday to put an end to speculation that he might make a bid for president as a Republican in 2012.

Appearing on NBC’s Today show, Christie, 48, told Ann Curry:

“There is no chance , zero chance, under any circumstances. Close the door, nail it shut…The fact is I’m not running.”

Curry then asked the beefy governor about his weight loss, which has fueled speculation about a presidential bid.

“You’re also losing weight, how much?” asked an insistent Curry.

“We don’t give numbers out Ann, we set ourselves up for failure,” he said, as Curry kept pressing him. “Look at you , you don’t have to worry about it.”

I feel better,” he added about his weight loss. “What’s most important is I started to do this because I have four children between 7 and 17 and I want to be here for them for the long haul. They’re not worried about the numbers and neither am I. It’s that I’m feeling better, we’re moving in the right direction. Just like New Jersey. We’re not better yet, but were moving in the right direction.”

He was elected governor in November 2009 and served as U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008.

Ex-Philly Interim U.S. Atty. Laurie Magid in Hot Water

Ex-U.S. Atty. Laurie Magid

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-interim Philly U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid is facing some serious allegations.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has alleged that as a government employee Magid improperly held fundraisers for Sen. Arlen Specter in 2008 and one for U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan in 2009, and solicited funds from subordinates at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the fundraisers, according to the counsel’s Feb. 15 document posted on  Politico.

The special counsel has recommended disciplinary action for violating the Hatch Act law. which  limits political activity by federal employees.

Magid was the first assistant U.S. Attorney from summer 2005 until  July 2008 when she became acting U.S. Attorney. From February 2009 to May 2009 she was the interim U.S. Attorney and then was replaced.

The Office of Special Counsel document stated that in  2008, Magid’s husband was hosting a fundraiser at their home for Sen. Arlen Specter.

The document alleged that she helped her husband and invited eight assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSAs) for the Sen. Specter fundraiser.

“At least one one AUSA expressed concern that he felt pressure to attend this political fundraiser,” the document said.

In early 2009, the husband threw a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Patrick Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney, who eventually decided to run for Congress. Magid helped her husband with the invite list, which included 35 of her subordinate employees. Of those, about 18 got the invitations at their official U.S. Attorney address, the document said.

“When invitations were received, performance evaluations were in progress,” the document said. “Several of respondent’s subordinate employees  expressed concerns that they  felt pressure to attend this political fundraiser or make a financial contribution.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Magid did not respond to an e-mail for comment, and a person at her home said she was not available to respond.

Read Document

Ex-Nashville U.S. Atty. John Roberts Dies at age 74

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Nashville U.S. Attorney John Roberts, who served during the Clinton administration, died Sunday after a long illness, the Memphis Post reported. He was 74.

After leaving his post, Roberts served as executive director of the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, he served as a General Sessions Court judge.

The paper reported that he briefly returned to the bench in 2006 at the request of Gov. Phil Bredesen. He temporarily filled a vacancy due to a contested election.

Some Scratch Head: Wonder Why R.I. Fed Prosecutors Were Left Out of Loop on Major Drug Bust Linked to Mexican Cartels

U.S. Atty. Peter Neronha/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The unusual circumstances warranted this headline in the Providence Journal on Wednesday: “U.S. Prosecutors Left in the Cold on Drug Bust.”

The paper reported that when state police and DEA agents in Providence, R.I., last week announced the seizure of 145 pounds of cocaine, $1.2 million in cash and the arrest of three men allegedly linked to the Mexican drug cartels, “it came as news” to fed prosecutors.

“We were unaware of this investigation,” Jim Martin, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, told the paper. “These are the types of cases we certainly would want to prioritize.”

To read the full story click here.

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Named U.S. Magistrate in Baltimore

Stephanie Gallagher

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Baltimore federal prosecutor Stephanie A. Gallagher has been named a U.S. District Magistrate Judge in Baltimore.

Gallagher, 38, served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Baltimore office for seven years before forming the firm Levin & Gallagher in Baltimore.

At the U.S. Attorney’s Office she investigated and prosecuted a number of high profile cases involving public corruption, money laundering, RICO, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, tax offenses, and narcotics trafficking. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Steven Levin, her law partner and former supervisor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement:

“I have had the honor of working with Stephanie both in government service, where she proved herself to be a dedicated public servant, and in the private sector, where she has shown herself to be a consummate professional through the exercise of her sound judgment and constant adherence to the highest ethical standards.’

Levin is a contributing columnist for ticklethewire.com.

Az. Feds Bust Gun Runners to Mexico

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Arizona, which is locked in an endless battle to keep guns from going into Mexico, comes the latest.

Authorities on Tuesday announced indictments in five cases resulting in charges against 34 people accused of assisting Mexican drug trafficking organizations with illegally running firearms from the United States to Mexico.

Authorities charged in one of the key indictments that from approximately September 2009 to December of 2010 the defendants conspired to purchase hundreds of firearms, including AK-47s, to be illegally exported to Mexico.

Authorities alleged that the defendants acted as “straw purchasers” by falsely declaring they were buying the weapons for themselves. AK-47’s are considered the “weapon of choice” for Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations.

“Our office is committed to stopping the illegal flow of guns into Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said. “The massive size of this operation sadly exemplifies the magnitude of the problem — Mexican Drug Lords go shopping for war weapons in Arizona.”

Bill Newell, head of ATF in Phoenix said: “This investigation is further proof of the relentless efforts by Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, to illegally acquire large quantities of firearms in Arizona and elsewhere in the U.S. for use in the ongoing Mexican drug war.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces New Professional Misconduct Review Unit

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has created a “Professional Misconduct Review Unit” to handle disciplinary actions for career attorneys at the department resulting from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr., in announcing the new unit on Tuesday, said it will be headed up by Kevin Ohlson,who has served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to Holder since February 2009.

OPR investigates allegations of professional misconduct involving Department attorneys. The new unit will review OPR findings of reckless professional misconduct and determine whether evidence supports those findings. The United States Attorneys (EOUSA) will still refer findings of “poor judgment or mistake” to the appropriate U.S. Attorney for appropriate action.

“The current procedures for resolving these disciplinary matters consume too much time, and risk inconsistent resolutions, but this new Unit will help change that by providing consistent, fair, and timely resolution of these cases,” Holder said.

“In the vast majority of cases, Department attorneys meet their professional obligations but when allegations of misconduct occur, all parties deserve a fair and timely resolution. This Unit will be instrumental in achieving that goal and will also further the Department’s mission of meeting its ethical obligations in every case.”

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