Barnes, 84, and McCabe, 40, issued a joint statement, announcing the moves after a week that saw Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), who is the state Democratic Party chairman, and the local chairs from seven towns issue statements throwing their support behind McCabe.
“I am proud of having served as chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization and of everything our party has accomplished over the last two years,” Barnes said. “But now it is time to pass the baton to a new generation of leadership and that is why I am proud to endorse Kevin McCabe to succeed me…when my term expires in June.”
McCabe thanked Barnes for his “dedicated leadership and support.”
He said in the statement that over the next month, “I will be meeting with county committee members throughout Middlesex County to discuss my vision (for the party) to gauge their thoughts on the best way to move our organization forward and to ask them for their vote.”
McCabe, who served as state labor commissioner under Gov. James McGreevey, ran for chairman two years ago after the arrest and indictment of former Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo on corruption charges. Spicuzzo was the longtime county chairman.
The race exposed cracks in the county committee, which seemed divided between those supporting state Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and those who agreed with Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, who backed McCabe.
Wisniewski nominated Barnes — a retired FBI agent, former assemblyman and former director of the state parole board — two years ago, and criticized McCormac for hosting Gov. Chris Christie on a walking tour of Woodbridge just after Christie was elected.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
SOUTHINGTON — John Daly is the first Southington police chief to join Connecticut’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council. He was appointed to the council last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Daly will be involved in setting the training standards for new recruits, and certification of veteran officers, throughout the state. He will also be involved with granting accreditation for departments that comply with the council’s standards.
“I truly appreciate the trust that the governor has put in me to be appointed to the council,” Daly said. “It’s a very important part of policing.”
He will have a seat at the table where decisions are made on training of police officers statewide. The Southington department is not accredited, but it is a goal Daly wants to achieve. The council meets bimonthly and he will go to his first meeting Thursday.
The council has 20 members, including the state’s FBI special agent, the chief state’s attorney, the commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, police chiefs from around the state, two municipal officials, a faculty member from the University of Connecticut, a union representative, and five members of the public.
Cromwell Police Chief Tony Salvatore has been on the council since 1997 and became chairman in 2003. His department has also been working toward accreditation. Salvatore said Daly will be a welcome addition to the council and he looks forward to serving with him.
Officers have to be trained and recertified every three years.
He said accreditation means policies and procedures are in place to help prepare officers to do a better job. Standards include procedures of investigating missing person cases, training on the use of stun guns, and providing mutual aid. Salvatore said accreditation also helps departments reduce the potential of liability lawsuits.
see link for full story
(CN) - The FBI should not face a lawsuit from the analyst it claims to have fired after she became romantic with the son of an investigation target, the 5th Circuit ruled. In a federal complaint for discrimination and retaliation, Bobbi-Anne Toy said the FBI actually barred her from stepping foot in her old office because her new boss at the bureau, Brett Davis, "had problems with women." Toy said she had always gotten glowing reviews while working at the FBI's office in Beaumont, Texas, as a data and intelligence analyst employed by nonparty DynCorp. When Davis stepped in as director of that office, however, he allegedly lodged a number of complaints about Toy, the FBI revoked her access and DynCorp fired her. Toy denied having committed misdeeds such as installing software and buying unapproved items on FBI computers; participating in undercover operations without approval, falsely holding herself out as an FBI employee; and becoming romantically involved with the son of the target of an investigation.
Frederick P. Smith Jr., an FBI special agent from 1955 to 1979 and former chief of the agency’s explosives unit, died May 22 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He was 83.
He had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, said his son-in-law Bill Moller.
Mr. Smith, an Alexandria resident, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1955 and became chief of the bureau’s explosives unit in 1970.
During his tenure, he received more than 40 commendations for his investigative work, said his family. He received special recognition for his assistance in the murder investigation of civil rights activist Medgar Evers and in the investigation of a bombing at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
After his retirement from the FBI, Mr. Smith served as president and executive director of the Institute of Makers of Explosives, a Washington lobbying and advocacy group, until 1994. He then worked as a consultant for several years.
Frederick Pierpont Smith Jr., a native of Thomaston, Ga., was a 1951 industrial management graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a Navy veteran of the Korean War.
Series officials said a post-race inspection found that the car didn't comply with a rule requiring the "exit of the underwing height" to be 7.6 inches.
***UPDATE***: In Boston federal court on January 24, Magistrate Judge Judith Dein dismissed the government’s attempt to seize Russ Caswell’s motel property.
The suicide January 11 of information activist, computer hacker and technical wunderkind Aaron Swartz has focused attention on Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, whose overzealous prosecution may have led to his death. Swartz, co-founder of a website later acquired by Reddit as well as a prime developer of the online publishing infrastructure known as Rich Site Summary (RSS), was under federal indictment for logging into JSTOR—a database of scholarly articles accessible from universities across the country—and downloading its content with the intent to distribute the articles online free of charge.
Despite JSTOR’s subsequent securing of the “stolen” content and refusal to press charges, Swartz was arrested by the feds and charged originally with four felony counts under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. On those charges alone, Swartz was facing a possible 35-year sentence and over $1,000,000 in fines. Just three months ago, a “Superseding Indictment” filed in the case by the U.S. attorney’s office upped the felony count from four to 13. If convicted, Swartz was looking at possibly over 50 years in prison: a conceivable life sentence.
Ortiz, the politically ambitious U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, spearheaded the prosecution against Swartz. “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar,” Ortiz proclaimed in a 2011 press release. Her point man in the case was Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, a specialist in computer crime and son of Philip Heymann, the United States Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration. Stephen Heymann led the 2010 investigation into Albert Gonzalez, the TJX hacker, in the largest identity fraud case in history. Heymann’s office suspected that one of the unindicted co-conspirators named in that criminal complaint—“JJ”—was Jonathan James, a juvenile hacker who also killed himself two weeks after his house was raided.
The details of the Swartz case are so suggestive of prosecutorial abuse that they have already led to widespread condemnation of Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann. However, what’s missing from much of the expressed outrage is recognition that the “bullying” tactics employed by Ms. Ortiz are standard operating procedure for federal prosecutors when pursuing criminal cases.
The Great Heist of Tewksbury
With a population just under 30,000, the town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is hardly considered ground zero for federal drug trafficking crimes. Just off Route 38, the town’s only major thoroughfare, sits the modest Motel Caswell. With just six reviews on tripadvisor.com—one “Poor” and five “Terrible”—even defenders of the $57 per night operation admit its shabby digs: “The Motel Caswell isn’t the Ritz,” its lawyer told a federal courtroom in November 2012. But that didn’t stop the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Ms. Ortiz’s office from trying to seize its assets .
In 2009, the 69-year-old owner, Russ Caswell, received a letter from the DOJ indicating the government was pursuing a civil forfeiture case against him with the intention of seizing his family’s motel—it was built in 1955 by Russ’s father—and the surrounding property. Ms. Ortiz’s office asserted that the motel had been the site of multiple crimes by its occupants over the years: 15 low-level drug offenses between 1994 and 2008 (out of an estimated 125,000 room rentals). Of those who stayed in the motel from 2001 to 2008, .05% were arrested for drug crimes on the property. Local and state officials in charge of those investigations never accused the Caswells of any wrongdoing.
Nor is the U.S. attorney charging Russ Caswell with a crime. The feds are using a vague but increasingly common procedure known as civil asset forfeiture. In criminal forfeiture, after a person is convicted of a crime the state must prove that the perpetrator’s property had a sufficiently strong relationship to the crime to warrant seizure by the government. In civil forfeiture proceedings, the state asserts the property committed the crime, and—under civil law—the burden of proof is on the defense to demonstrate their property is innocent.
“I’ve found…I’m responsible for the action of people I don’t even know, I’ve never even met, and for the most part I have no control over them,” Mr. Caswell told WBUR Boston. “And when they do something wrong, the government wants to steal my property for the actions of those people, which to me makes absolutely no sense. It’s more like we’re in Russia or Venezuela or something.”
According to the sworn testimony of a DEA agent operating out of Boston, it was his job to comb through news stories for properties that might be subject to forfeiture. When he finds a likely candidate, he goes to the Registry of Deeds, determines the value of the property in question, and refers it to the U.S. attorney for seizure. It is DEA policy to reject anything with less than $50,000 equity.
In other cases, that DEA agent testified, the property is brought to his attention by local police departments. He could not recall whether Mr. Caswell’s case was brought by local authorities or picked by his own research. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokesperson for Ms. Ortiz’s office, maintained in an interview that local police brought the case to DEA. But if Tewksbury’s Finest suspected crime was occurring on specific property, why not initiate an investigation themselves? Why simply hand a case like that over to the feds?
Through a policy known as equitable sharing, “the federal government has the discretion to dispense 80%” of the proceeds of liquidated seized assets “with the local authorities [that] cooperate,” Larry Salzman—attorney for Mr. Caswell—told WhoWhatWhy in an interview. He maintains this provision creates a perverse incentive to initiate such proceedings, even when the investigating authorities have no reason to suspect criminal wrongdoing. “It’s obvious it turns the American idea of innocent until proven guilty on its head.”
When asked about the possibility of an 80% haul that Tewksbury PD stood to gain from the liquidation of Mr. Caswell’s property, Ms. Sterling responded that such processes are referred all the way up through the Department of Justice (DOJ), before any arrangement with local authorities is negotiated: “The equitable sharing process is a lengthy one.”
Mr. Caswell’s family-owned and -operated property was worth approximately $1.5 million with no mortgage—making it a perfect target. Without a bank involved, the likelihood of the Caswells’ mounting a drawn-out legal defense was miniscule. Through a spokeswoman, Ms. Ortiz’s office released a statement at the time of trial on why they were choosing to pursue Mr. Caswell:
“The government believed that this was an important case…because of the deterrent message it sends to others who may turn a blind eye to crime occurring at their place of business.”
Mr. Salzman doesn’t buy the message of deterrence. He asserts that just up the street, a Motel 6, Walmart and Home Depot all operate with similar—in many cases higher—rates of drug crimes on their properties, referencing numbers obtained from the Tewksbury Police Department. An investigation by the Lowell Sun confirms this:
A review of Police Department arrest logs from 2007 through 2012 shows that despite a relatively high number of drug arrests at the Motel Caswell property in recent years, more suspects have been busted on drug-related charges at nearby addresses.
During the examined six-year time period, police made 19 drug arrests at the Motel Caswell at 450 Main St., five fewer than at the property where Walmart is located at 333 Main St. Twenty-six drug arrests were made at each of the properties located at 85 Main St. [Home Depot & Applebees] and 95 Main St. [Motel 6 & IHOP]
But those corporations have extensive financial and legal resources, and would put up much more of a fight than a small business owned and operated by a single family. Before a public interest law firm took on his case, Mr. Caswell had already spent over $100,000 and was near bankruptcy.
Ms. Sterling maintains that Ms. Ortiz’s office has no discretion in which properties are targeted. They simply act as the lawyers for other agencies of the federal government, in this case the DEA.
The Kingpins of Patronage
In March 2012, former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner John J. O’Brien was indicted by a federal grand jury under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). With two of his former deputies and alleged co-conspirators, he was charged with “one count of racketeering conspiracy and 10 counts of mail fraud,” according to The Patriot Ledger. Each of the 11 counts carries a sentence of up to 20 years.
The lengthy indictment alleges that the three ran a hiring system for the Massachusetts Probation Department that gave preference to friends and family members of certain legislators and politically connected prospects. Those aforementioned counts of mail fraud consisted of “sending rejection letters to applicants they knew from the start they weren’t going to actually consider.” By this standard, any boss who ever hired a friend’s child—yet sent letters to other applicants in which he claimed they were considered before being rejected, as per standard hiring procedure—has committed mail fraud.
Enacted in 1970 to enable prosecutors to convict leaders of criminal organizations who order subordinates to commit crimes but who are never themselves at the crime scene, RICO statutes have most widely been applied to drug cartels, the Mafia, and terrorist organizations. The logic is simple: if a mob kingpin orders a hit on someone, he has a strong First Amendment case that he isn’t at fault for the murder. Under RICO, the government only needs to prove a relationship between murderer and kingpin within an ongoing criminal organization.
Mr. O’Brien and his codefendants are also under indictment for violating state campaign finance laws. But those are charges being brought by the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, and are unrelated to the federal indictments issued by Ms. Ortiz’s office.
It is the job of prosecutors to bring malefactors to justice with tools appropriate to the alleged offenses — for example, RICO vs. the Mafia or al-Qaeda. But excessive prosecutorial zeal that regularly aims the biggest guns in the government’s arsenal at the smallest fry can only undermine public support for the justice system itself. In cases like that of John J. O’Brien and Aaron Swartz, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s penchant for bringing disproportionate charges intended for serious criminals against defendants who pose little or no threat to the public’s well-being suggests either puritanical vengeance or brazen self-promotion.
Speaking While Brown (and Bearded)
Now consider the case of Tarek Mehanna, a Massachusetts pharmacist sentenced to 17 years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of supporting al-Qaeda and conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Ms. Ortiz’s office claimed in the indictment that Mehanna travelled to Yemen with the intent of joining a terrorist training camp — although he never found one.
Upon returning to the U.S., prosecutors allege, Mehanna translated documents written by members of al-Qaeda and posted YouTube videos in support of suicide bombings. The 2010 Supreme Court case Holder v. Humanitarian Law held that “protected speech can be a criminal act if it occurs at the direction of a terrorist organization.” Mehanna was eventually found guilty, although no causal relationship was established between his controversial advocacy against American foreign policy and direction by a designated member of al-Qaeda.
Although her office failed to win the 25-year minimum sentence she had requested, Ms. Ortiz said that Mehanna “faced the consequences of his actions, for conspiring to support terrorists, for conspiring to kill Americans overseas, and for lying to the FBI.”
At his sentencing hearing, Mr. Mehanna claimed he was being persecuted for not cooperating with the FBI, which had pressured him to join its sprawling, thousands-strong network of paid informants and provocateurs (the prime source of most federal terrorism indictments since 9/11):
As I was walking to my car I was approached by two federal agents. They said that I had a choice to make: I could do things the easy way, or I could do them the hard way. The “easy ” way, as they explained, was that I would become an informant for the government, and if I did so I would never see the inside of a courtroom or a prison cell. As for the hard way, this is it. Here I am, having spent the majority of the four years since then in a solitary cell the size of a small closet, in which I am locked down for 23 hours each day. The FBI and these prosecutors worked very hard — and the government spent millions of tax dollars – to put me in that cell, keep me there, put me on trial, and finally to have me stand here before you today to be sentenced to even more time in a cell.
As I pointed out in an article discussing the assassination by drone strike of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, legal precedent holds that independent political speech—no matter how heinous and suggestive—is protected unless it passes the Brandenburg test of inciting imminent lawless behavior. According to this reading of the law, whether Mehanna simply agreed with al-Qaeda’s message and promoted his own views in that vein or was deliberately ordered to do so by al-Qaeda members, he was still engaging in constitutionally protected speech.
But the Holder interpretation establishes that coordination between a designated terrorist organization and an individual, even to the point of providing that organization with advice to lay down arms and pursue non-violence, constitutes material support for terrorism. This was the precedent cited in finding that Mr. Mehanna was conspiring with terrorist organizations by virtue of his advocacy.
One can debate whether or not that’s an appropriate legal restriction on free speech, and how the Holder ruling can be reconciled with Brandenburg. What shouldn’t be up for debate is the practice of threatening defendants with draconian outcomes—bankruptcy, 25 years in prison—to leverage guilty pleas to lesser crimes or on-going cooperation with the government.
For Carmen Ortiz, Russ Caswell was like the weakest kid on the block who was wearing something she, or the agencies her office represents, coveted. In the cases of Aaron Swartz, Tarek Mehanna and John O’Brien, Ms. Ortiz’s fervency seems to have stemmed from the publicity such cases were sure to generate. All the defendants insisted on their innocence and fought the charges. The jury’s still out on O’Brien and Caswell, but Swartz and Mehanna have paid the price for their defiance.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued an order naming Freeh, who now runs a consulting firm, a "special master" for the investigation. In another high-profile case, Freeh recently led a university-sanctioned probe of the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal.
Oil spill claims administrator Patrick Juneau announced last month that his office is investigating allegations that an attorney on his staff received a portion of settlement proceeds for claims he had referred to a law firm before he started working on the settlement program.
Freeh was a federal judge in New York before serving as FBI director from 1993 to 2001. He founded his consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, in 2007.
After being appointed Tuesday, Freeh met in the judge's chambers with Barbier, BP representatives and top plaintiff attorneys. He had no comment afterward.
BP had called for an independent review of the allegations. A company spokesman said in a statement that it was pleased with the appointment to try to ensure the integrity of the claims process.
"We believe that Judge Freeh's experience on the federal bench and as director of the FBI make him ideally suited to conduct a thorough investigation into the recent allegations of unethical and potentially criminal behavior within the program," BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in the statement.
The husband has the lead role overseeing the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies.
The wife advises businesses on securing defense and security contracts with some of the same agencies, but not for intelligence operations.
The marriage of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, and Kristi Rogers, who works for a powerful Washington, D.C., firm caused a technology blogger to suggest that a conflict of interest exists in the marriage.
The technology blog Techdirt specifically claimed Kristi Rogers stood to benefit from passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by her husband, through potential cybersecurity contracts. Mike Rogers’ office said the measure would not create any new contracting opportunities.
Since the Techdirt blog post was posted, multiple online publications, including the widely read Huffington Post, have reposted or linked to the story.
In 1973, the Watergate investigation was in full swing and the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing Roe vs. Wade, and making landmark decisions that changed the country’s culture.
It was a heady time to be a law student at George Washington University and Carmen Espinosa found herself at home in law school.
Espinosa’s life and career have been a blend of family and work that has taken her from her birthplace in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, to Central Connecticut State University, the FBI, and earlier this year to the state Supreme Court.
“People that do not know me personally, know my story, and tell me how proud they are of what I have achieved as a Puerto Rican woman,” Espinosa, 63, told a crowd of close to 150 people who attended her swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol in March. “The Hispanic community wants to celebrate its successes, just like any other community.”
It’s a personal and professional achievement for Espinosa on three fronts: She was the first in her family to attend college, she is among fewer than 10 women to be named to the state’s highest court, and she is the first Hispanic justice in the state’s history.
“I was thrilled and honored that the governor thought that I had done a good job as a trial judge and an appellate judge,” said Espinosa, a longtime Southington resident. “It was a thorough vetting job they did, which I feel is justified. It’s very exciting.”
Justices are appointed for eight years, but they are typically lifetime appointments, so the openings are few and far between. Espinosa had been on the short list for about a decade.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed Espinosa to the appellate court bench two years ago, and prior to that she spent 19 years presiding over trials in Waterbury, Hartford, Bristol and New Britain. Most of the cases were criminal, and many were high profile.
Malloy said when he saw her name on the list of potential judicial nominees, he determined she was a “tremendous individual and a tremendous American story that was deserving of more attention than it had received.”
Several days before Espinosa’s nomination, members of the General Assembly’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission had lobbied members of Malloy’s staff to add more diversity to the bench and throughout the state’s courthouses.
“We commend her for her stellar career,” said Werner Oyanadel, acting executive director of the commission. “She is one of a handful in the country. She is somebody who knows the concerns of the community and has dedicated her life to be where she is. We are pretty excited.”
“It’s a different thing,” she said about the switch from Superior Court to appellate court. “I spent 19 years as a judge handling mostly criminal cases, researching, writing, using the legal skills coupled with life experiences. All of that is helpful. But after a while, it’s natural to want to move up into the appellate courts.”
Espinosa’s family moved to New Britain from Puerto Rico when she was a young child and she attended local schools. After graduating high school she attended CCSU where she received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, and moved on to Brown University in Rhode Island to get a master’s degree in Hispanic studies.
“My goal was to teach,” she said.
After graduating, she was going to pursue a doctoral degree when she decided she would try teaching before making the commitment.
She taught Spanish and French at Kennedy Middle School in Southington for a few years before deciding the constant repetition involved in language instruction wasn’t for her. A friend in New Britain was applying to law school and Espinosa saw an opportunity.
“I always liked the law,” she said, adding that most of what she knew of it at the time she learned from watching shows like Perry Mason as a child.
She was accepted and spent the next few years in D.C. until graduating. In the meantime, the FBI was recruiting at the George Washington University and pursued her after finding her resume. Espinosa had three things going for her: She was a woman, she had a law degree and she knew three languages. She became the agency’s 68th female agent and worked as a special agent at offices in Newark, N.J. and later in New York City.
Deloitte & Touche LLP said on Monday it hired a former senior FBI official as its new director of security and privacy, as the firm seeks to help its client companies fight the threat from increasingly sophisticated computer hackers.
Mary E. Galligan, who supervised the FBI's investigation into the September 11 attacks during a more than 25 year career in law enforcement, will advise Fortune 500 companies on cyber security risks for Deloitte.
She began her role last week, Deloitte said.
Galligan joined the FBI in 1988 and most recently served as special agent in charge of the FBI New York Office's special operations and cyber division.
ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University’s weekly “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” forum continues Tuesday with a look inside the life of an FBI agent, as told by Dr. Bill Mathews, former agent and current director of DSU’s Southwest Regional Computer Crimes Institute. The forum will begin at noon, in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus. The forum is free and open to the public.
Mathews retired from the FBI after 25 years of service, and in 2010, he accepted a position at DSU. Matthews has had an interesting and diverse career in investigations ranging from working undercover in Las Vegas, to the conducting of digital triage in Iraq on the Saddam Hussein seizures. While with the FBI, Matthews assisted in the creation of the Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Salt Lake City.
For years, the East Orange Community Development Corp. has been a last line of defense for needy residents of Essex County.
The agency receives funding from such sources as the United Way, the state Department of Youth and Family Services and community development block grants. It distributes those dollars to people who need help paying the rent, a utility bill or an emergency expense. To qualify for help, each of the hundreds of clients that come through the agency doors every year has to prove they are in need.
At least that is the way it worked until 2009, when Essex County’s Division of Community Action — or DCA — set up a mysterious account to help distribute new federal and state money that was pouring into county coffers to help people in the wake of the financial crisis.
Suddenly, the standards changed and the money began to flow to those without demonstrated need for help. According to Connie Crawford, who had been running the program for 20 years, pressure to approve these grants came from the office of Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.
Among those receiving DCA money:
• A well-connected religious figure who first listed his family’s income at $144,999 and then lowered it to $72,499 on applications — still far above normal guidelines. Regardless, he received more than $1,100 to pay utility bills.
• At least 12 individuals without children who exceeded income cutoffs, earning between $40,000 and $60,000 a year. Together, the dozen received more than $37,000. Federal guidelines discourage aid to people who earn more than $35,000 and have no children.
• At least 13 people on public payrolls, including four employees of Essex County.
The money in this account came from three sources, each with a different standard of eligibility. One was earmarked for those earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level; a second was for those under 350 percent of poverty, and a third had no income guidelines but was intended to prevent homelessness.
Crawford herself had long restricted aid from her agency to those with documented need earning under 350 percent of poverty, or about $40,000 a year. In a series of interviews, Crawford said that county officials told her to disregard that standard and award the money to those they recommended, even those with flimsy or nonexistent documentation.
“It can be used whenever they choose, however they choose,” she said she was told. Crawford said she and her employees often questioned clients referred by the county but were told, essentially, to mind their own business. Two agency employees confirmed Crawford’s story but requested anonymity, fearing retribution.
“We caught hell,” Crawford said, when resisting some applicants. “It was always the threat of: ‘This is coming from Joey D’s office.’ “
In a statement, DiVincenzo denied he exercised any influence over the awarding of aid.
“In this difficult economy, people from all socioeconomic backgrounds experience hardship and seek help from Essex County,” he said. “Any Essex resident who meets the program criteria and completes the required paperwork is eligible to receive assistance. These applications are reviewed by our staff and contracted vendors, without any recommendations from my office.”
The Essex County Department of Community Action, which set up the account in East Orange, is part of a larger Department of Citizen Services, run by Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, a candidate for mayor.
Ramos, who recently stepped down from his county post to campaign full time, declined to comment, referring the newspaper to a county spokesman.
County officials did, however, say they looked into their practices after The Star-Ledger raised questions.
“We found no improprieties whatsoever,” said Essex Inspector General and former FBI agent Dominic Scaglione. “There’s a lot of needy people here that need this money, and from what we’ve been able to determine, they’ve done a great job disseminating it.”
Northridge, CA (PRWEB) October 24, 2013
Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), the world leader in crowd management and event security, announces that Chris Davis will serve as its Senior Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Davis recently completed a distinguished twenty-three year career as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where he developed expertise in counterterrorism, criminal investigations, strategic planning, crisis resolution, and tactical leadership of comprehensive security operations worldwide. Mr. Davis began his career with CSC in 1982 as an event staff employee while he was a student-athlete both at Purdue and San Diego State University. Following completion of his undergraduate academic requirements and prior to his acceptance into the FBI, Mr. Davis enjoyed a career in professional football as a member of the National Football League’s New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
During his twenty-three year FBI career, Mr. Davis investigated a wide variety of matters and served in various leadership capacities. He developed and implemented security and contingency planning in support of the 2002 G-8 summit, Super Bowl XL, and Presidential, Secretary of State, and Attorney General delegation visits. Mr. Davis was also a Bureau-certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, Post Blast Bomb Investigator, General Police Instructor, and was collaterally involved in many of the FBI’s most significant counterterrorism investigations. Mr. Davis was a member of the FBI’s Executive Management Special Events Security planning and preparedness teams for events including five NFL Super Bowls, two Presidential National Conventions, NBA Finals, NBA All Star Game and Weekend, World Series, G-8 Summit, and the 2012 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, where he served as the FBI Sector Commander. Mr. Davis has received numerous Incentive Awards and letters of commendation for his investigative and managerial accomplishments and for his dedicated work with underprivileged children. Mr. Davis is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), and the NFL Alumni.
About Contemporary Services Corporation Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) is the world leader in crowd management and event security for the entertainment and sporting event industries. Throughout its 46 years of experience, CSC has garnered a loyal and esteemed client base, including more than 100 stadiums and arenas, over 100 universities and colleges, more than 20 convention centers, and numerous clients within the professional ranks of MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. CSC has also provided services for the world’s most prestigious special events, including Collegiate Bowl Games, NCAA Final Four Tournaments, PGA Tournaments, US Open Tennis, 30 Super Bowls, 8 Olympic Games, 4 Presidential Inaugurations, 2 Papal visits, and 2 FIFA World Cups. CSC operates more than 50 branch locations throughout the United States and Canada.
November 6, 2013http://www.officer.com/news/11223456/experts-lockdown-of-conn-campus-set-off-by-costume-merited
"On the security and law enforcement side of it, they almost can't overreact anymore," said Michael J. Clark, a criminal justice professor at University of New Haven and a former FBI Special Agent.
BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Art and crime fighting are joining forces Thursday, Nov. 7 in Katonah.
FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Hemenway and Art Historian Amy Herman are set to discuss how "art-based observational techniques help solve crimes" with "Forensics of Face" at 7:30 p.m. at the Katonah Museum of Art, according to a press release.
The cost for the event is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited and advanced registration is recommended, according to the release.
This landmark exposé of the dark history of repressive police operations in American cities offers a richly detailed account of police misconduct and violations of protected freedoms over the past century. In an incisive examination of undercover work in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia as well as Washington, D.C., Detroit, New Haven, Baltimore, and Birmingham, Donner reveals the underside of American law enforcement.
Stroz Friedberg, a global investigations, intelligence, and risk services company, announced today that Michael Patsalos-Fox has joined as Chief Executive Officer. A former Chairman of the Americas for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Patsalos-Fox is responsible for the company's operations and growth strategies. Stroz Friedberg's founders, Edward Stroz and Eric Friedberg, will serve as Executive Chairmen leading client development and hands-on strategic client counsel.
Patsalos-Fox, who retired from McKinsey & Company earlier this year, had been with the firm since 1981. He served as Chairman of McKinsey in the Americas from 2003 - 2009, responsible for driving an aggressive growth agenda leading over 2,500 consultants, including 300 partners. Between 2009 and 2013, Patsalos-Fox led the creation and development of McKinsey Solutions, a practice that combined industry and functional expertise with data science to unlock lasting insights and performance for the firm's largest global clients. He also served as a senior partner on McKinsey's operating committee for nine years, and he held a seat on the firm's board for 12 years.
Stroz Friedberg was founded in 2000 and quickly became a "go-to" strategic advisor to the C-suite of a large number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a trusted resource for many of the world's leading law firms. Co-founders Edward Stroz, a former Special Agent for the FBI, and Eric Friedberg, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, are among the most respected experts in cyber-crime, digital forensics, electronic discovery, and investigations.
As a special agent, Stroz was responsible for the formation of the FBI's Computer Crime Squad in New York City, where he supervised a wide range of investigations including denial of service attacks, illegal internet wiretapping, and fraud. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Friedberg served as the lead computer crimes prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, where he conducted and directed numerous investigations and prosecutions involving computer crime and abuse, cyber extortion, and telecommunications fraud in cases impacting some of the biggest names in corporate America.
"While many consulting firms offer cyber security and risk management advisory services today, we built Stroz Friedberg to have a depth of talent and breadth of experience that are unmatched," said Eric Friedberg. "Our clients are able to access the expertise of many of the most respected professionals from government, law enforcement, and regulatory bodies to help address their greatest risk and investigations challenges, and now we have one of the most respected names in management consulting joining us as our CEO. That's really hard to beat."
Why bother to start a porn empire from scratch when you can buy one of the industry’s most established brands—Girls Gone Wild—out of bankruptcy instead?
Sixteen years after the company’s founding by Joe Francis, a team of bankruptcy professionals put in charge of Girls Gone Wild’s holding company by a federal judge have begun to look for buyers for the soft-core pornography business. The Los Angeles company, which made a name for itself by catching impaired co-eds on spring break, distributes its porn through pay-per-view channels, DVDs and the Internet.
The attorneys, under direction of the company’s Chapter 11 trustee and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent R. Todd Neilson, have already approached officials at adult film-giant Vivid Entertainment, though executive Bill Asher told Bankruptcy Beat that he’s not interested for now. Attorneys have said in court papers that they plan to market the brand to bidders who might eventually compete at a bankruptcy auction.
Oregon's top FBI official confirmed this morning that he is retiring after a two-year run at the helm of the Portland Division.
"I am retiring at the end of this month to take a position in the private sector," said Special Agent in Charge Gregory A. Fowler in a prepared statement to The Oregonian.
Fowler announced his plans to his staff Tuesday, saying he was accepting a job with Nike as director of investigations. He would not comment Wednesday about where he was going to work.
"I have been privileged to lead the men and women of the FBI's Portland Field Office, and will always be proud of their unyielding dedication to keeping Oregon and the country safe," Fowler said in his statement.
Peter J. Ahearn, who was special agent in charge of Buffalo FBI operations during a number of events in the past decade, will be presented the Founders Award of the FBI Buffalo Citizens Academy Alumni Association at its annual meeting Monday.
Ahearn is being honored for his “vision, leadership and commitment to the academy and his outstanding service to the local community,” said Michael Benzin, president of the alumni association.
Ahearn, who now operates an executive consulting and business development group in Washington, D.C., was instrumental in expanding the scope of the local FBI Citizens Academy, which graduated about 500 area business, civic and community leaders in the operations of federal law enforcement. Ahearn was appointed head of the Buffalo office of the FBI in 2001 and retired from the agency in 2006.
During his time with the FBI in Buffalo, he played a central role in the prosecution of the Lackawanna Six, the James Charles Kopp murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian and the dismantling of the corrupt leadership of Teamsters Local 91 in Niagara Falls.
He was also instrumental in establishing the FBI-supported Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Lab and setting up the Buffalo FBI’s cyber security program and its Public Corruption Task Force.
As a former FBI SWAT leader, Ahearn also oversaw the FBI’s Buffalo crisis management and tactical operations. The 1976 Rutgers University graduate was in the FBI 29 years and then worked two years as a senior adviser in the office of the Federal Director of National Intelligence.
The annual meeting will be held in the Clement Mansion on the campus of the American Red Cross at 786 Delaware Ave.
They don't have a prayer, I thought. Magistrate Sitver seemed impressed by Dokken's rhetoric.
But the hearing dragged on more than three hours. Through most of it, FBI agent Lori Bailey was on the witness stand. She testified that undercover agent Michael Tait had infiltrated Earth First!. He gained members' confidence and was able to record secretly 35 separate tapes of their conversations.
It is from these tapes, the FBI says, it learned of the Earth First! plans to damage Palo Verde and the Central Arizona Project.
Since the undercover agent was involved in the plans from day-to-day, the FBI was waiting at the scene when the group attempted to destroy a tower carrying power from Palo Verde to the Central Arizona Project.
It must have been quite a scene. The FBI, according to reports, brought forty agents and more than a dozen vehicles. Some carried automatic weapons. A few had night-vision field glasses. There was even a helicopter.
The Earth First! members weren't even armed. Since the undercover man was in on the planning of the Earth First! raid, the FBI had to know this going in. And there were just three of them. Marc Baker, Mark Davis, and Margaret Millett, all Prescott residents.
Foreman allegedly supplied $580 for the operation. But he was against taking part and remained in Tucson.
The two men in the operation, Davis and Baker, wore towels wrapped around their feet to prevent their footprints from being identified. This precaution, of course, gave them no chance to escape on foot.
Millett took no such precaution. So she managed to escape. She made her way through the woods to the highway and then walked back to Prescott. She was arrested the following day while working at her job in the Planned Parenthood clinic.
If this all sounds more to you like the gang that couldn't shoot straight rather than a legitimate terrorist cell, then you are beginning to get the idea.
However, if the case goes to trial and prosecutor Dokken is allowed to spout off about the China syndrome, it will turn out badly. A jury, reacting to memories of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, might side readily with the prosecution. It was a strange hearing and it lasted three hours. It was marked only by memorable small incidents.
The marshals were particularly grim-faced and self-righteous throughout. They made a great show of serious police work as they directed the prisoners to the defense table. They also turned the removal of the handcuffs into a ceremony.
"We'll need this front row," one of the marshals growled, looking around pointedly at the spectators already seated in that row.
It wasn't until this moment that I realized the audience was made up mostly of Foreman's followers and the friends and relatives of the other defendants, who all lived in Prescott.
Perhaps the marshal was a devotee of John Wayne Westerns. But, of course, this little piece of business was also an amplification of the prosecutor's thesis: We have criminals of intergalactic status here. They must be heavily guarded or else the entire citizenry is at risk.
The government's case came only through the testimony of FBI agent Bailey. The undercover man who infiltrated the group was not brought into court.
He succeeded, we were told, in creating 35 tapes which the government contends will be an important part of the case.
The confrontation with the informer will be saved for the trial. But the undercover man had been debriefed by agent Bailey and she merely recounted his story.
Bailey said the group admitted they had vandalized transmission towers at Palo Verde in 1986 and the ski-lift towers at Fairfield Snowbowl outside Flagstaff. They also downed electrical lines to three uranium mines near Grand Canyon National Park.
This was done, Bailey testified, by the group of three from Prescott: Davis, Millett, and Baker, who call themselves EMETIC. This stands for the Ev Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy. I thought it was a nice journalistic gaucherie on the part of the Arizona Republic to give former Governor Mecham an opportunity to say he was innocent of consorting with this group.
Agent Bailey said one thing that should be taken and studied by the people who run the Department of Defense in Washington at a cost of billions.
Foreman reportedly gave the EMETIC group $580 to finance the sabotaging not only of Palo Verde but also of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station near San Luis Obispo, California, and the Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant near Boulder, Colorado.
If Foreman and EMETIC can get all these things done for as little as $580, the charges against them should be dropped at once. The four of them should immediately be recruited by the government to run the Pentagon.
BCN: "The U.S. Justice Department and city of Oakland have signed off on a $4 million settlement of a long-running civil rights lawsuit filed by two environmental activists injured in a 1990 car bombing in Oakland, according to lawyers in the case"
Bari: "The man in charge of my case at the FBI was Richard Held, director of the San Francisco FBI office. Held has a 25-year history as one of the principle operatives of COINTELPRO. He is known for producing fake documents, including death threats and insulting letters and cartoons, and sending them back and forth between different factions of the Black Panther Party in order to terrorize or enrage the leaders and destabilize the group."
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- She is one of the most powerful women in Washington when it comes to keeping us safe.
Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue filed a motion Monday asking a federal judge to determine whether he is entitled to limited discovery into the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program.”
Click to download copy of motion (pdf).
In his motion, Trentadue described the program as one used by the bureau “to recruit and/or place informants on the staffs of members of the United States Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies as well as the White House, on defense teams in high-profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies, and even among the clergy of organized religions.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee is again deferring an investigation into Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, for possible campaign finance violations — leaving the matter in the hands of the Justice Department, which is conducting a criminal probe.
The committee said the New York Republican remains under investigation by the Justice Department for potentially violating campaign finance laws by soliciting and accepting prohibited contributions from foreign donors, actions that may have caused false information to be included in campaign finance reports.
Alvin A. Buben of Levittown, died Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, at Saint Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. He was 89.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Buben was a resident of Levittown since 1963. He was a former special agent with the F.B.I. and was a retired chief of security for US Steel, Fairless Works.
Mr. Buben was an honorably discharged veteran of World War II serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He was a life time member of Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and the SE Police Chiefs Association. He was a life time member and past president of the Police Chiefs Association of Bucks County and of Mid Eastern Pennsylvania.
Mr. Buben was a fourth degree, honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus, Saint Joseph the Worker Council #4215, the Elks and Moose Lodges and the American Legion.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to be coordinating with the Department of Justice as well as stonewalling, on the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of American citizen's groups, say Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan.
On Tuesday, according to a report from theHill, Issa and Jordan were said to be concerned about recent FBI actions which seem to suggest that "... the bureau and political appointees at the Justice Department are trying to hinder the Oversight panel’s investigation into the IRS targeting of tax-exempt groups."
A letter, sent from the two representatives of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to FBI director James Comey on Monday, quoted in the Hill, states:
“The department's tactics have impeded a congressional investigation and interfered with the committee's access to documents and information. Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime. Making false statements to congressional staff is also a crime.”
From the letter, found here in a Politicolink, the representatives stated concern that the DOJ's senior officials may have been preventing a career law enforcement officer, Valerie Parlave the Director of the FBI's Washington Field Office and the agent responsible for conducting the investigation, from sharing her information with the House Oversight panel on the matter.
WEST HAVEN — For the third time in a month, a Connecticut university campus was locked down after a report of a gunman on campus. And again, local and state police and federal agents flooded the area to search for the gunman and then to check the campus to make sure that there were no additional threats.
In Tuesday's incident at the University of New Haven, police did find a man armed with two handguns and quickly took him into custody without incident.
The school remained locked down for 4 1/2 hours, however, as SWAT teams checked the entire campus.
"They can't be too cautious," said Michael J. Clark, a former FBI agent who is now a criminal justice professor at UNH and who was locked down with a class for several hours as SWAT teams cleared the campus.
Tripoli, 5 December 2013:
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is to provide cutting-edge technology and training to Libyan criminal investigators. The initiative is aimed at achieving what the US Embassy in Tripoli has called the two countries’ critical shared objectives in law enforcement.
The training is part of wider US-Libyan law enforcement collaboration to combat terrorism and international crime.
The FBI will pass on the skills of its forensic specialists and analysts who examine data including bank and business records, according to the US embassy in Tripoli, which added that the training would begin “when circumstances permit”.
The FBI already has a standing agreement to train the Dubai National Police, where it says it teaches “cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques to international police managers through an intensive program similar to the FBI National Academy, and also provides specialised classes on everything from corruption to cyber crime”.
MARGARET WARNER: Chairman Rogers, thanks for joining us.
REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-Mich.: Thanks for having me.
MARGARET WARNER: As you know, the president is reviewing NSA surveillance policy. Whatever changes are going to happen are coming out later this month.
If he were seeking your counsel, what is the most profound thing you think he needs to address?
MIKE ROGERS: Part of the problem with where we're at is that we're fighting perception about what people think is happening vs. what's actually happening.
And so that's been our biggest challenge on the education piece. So, I think the first round, we all want to agree that these programs have kept Americans safe. They have kept our allies safe. There are multiple levels of oversight that no other intelligence service in the world has, like the United States intelligence oversight, between the courts and the Congress and the inspector general, and then the FBI, the Department of Justice. I mean, you name it. It has it all.
So I think what we can do is have some confidence-builders for the American people to look at this and understand, ah, one person can't run off and listen your phone call or read your e-mail. None of that is happening.
MARGARET WARNER: So, are you saying the president needs to maybe bring more transparency, do exactly what's being done, who is doing it, and what the safeguards are?
MIKE ROGERS: I think that would be incredibly helpful for the president to do that.
MARGARET WARNER: But isn't there then a tension between that and how much you want to divulge or he wants to divulge?
MIKE ROGERS: Well, absolutely.
Jesse Trentadue’s ongoing effort to obtain information from the FBI continued this week when he filed a motion (PDF) Wednesday aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program. The move was made one month after the Salt Lake City attorney filed his first motion — the details of which appeared in a post Jan. 30 — seeking, among other things, to learn whether the FBI has informants working inside American churches.http://bobmccarty.com/2013/03/01/are-fbi-informants-working-inside-americas-churches/
Former FBI agent Ron Reddy is joining Cendrowski Corporate Advisors in the Investigative Services Division. The addition of Mr. Reddy broadens CCA’s Investigative Services practice group, which now includes international investigations, white collar criminal investigations, international and domestic security services, background screening, and computer forensics.
Bloomfield Hills, MI (PRWEB) December 20, 2013
Cendrowski Corporate Advisors (http://www.cca-advisors.com), a financial consulting and litigation support firm, is pleased to announce that former FBI agent Ron Reddy has joined CCA’s Investigative Services division.
During an FBI career that spanned almost 30 years, Mr. Reddy served as an Assistant Section Chief in the FBI’s counter-terrorism division and as a Deputy On-Scene Commander for FBI Operations in Iraq. He was also a member of the FBI’s SWAT program for more than two decades.
“Ron’s investigative experience includes working as an undercover agent on investigations requiring the use of advanced intelligence-gathering techniques,” notes Managing Director Harry Cendrowski. “His experience in uncovering criminal activity and supervising violent crime squads gives CCA and its clients access to a powerful network that extends across Europe and Asia.”
Mr. Reddy’s investigative experience spans the globe, with emphasis in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and the Ukraine.
Smith is one of 16 service members profiled in North’s book, which includes more than 250 photos of Marines bloodied on battlefields, soldiers with amputated limbs and discharged veterans getting on with their lives after devastating injuries.
Hers is one of the longer chapters. It covers 19 pages and includes 21 photos of her on Army missions and making public appearances after her service.
Bob Hamer, a Marine and FBI agent, co-wrote the book with North and first met Smith several years ago at an event in Los Angeles for Medal of Honor recipients.
The National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB) was created by American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert S. Mueller III on December 15, 2005. Operated by the FBI and paneled by approximately 20 American university presidents and chancellors, the expressed purpose of the board is "to foster outreach and to promote understanding between higher education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation." The board also facilitates communication between universities and federal authorities on "national priorities pertaining to terrorism, counterintelligence, and homeland security." NSHEAB meets approximately three times yearly and includes representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency and other security agencies.
The National Security Higher Education Advisory Board is a part of "IARPA's mission to invest in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries."
A stated goal of NSHEAB is to prevent the theft of sensitive research conducted at American universities.
Since its creation NSHEAB has brought university and FBI officials together to discuss weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, threats to university research facilities, and "the promotion of strategic national security partnerships with academia [in] the United States." NSHEAB has also been a forum within which Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has encouraged universities to engage in "high-risk/high-payoff" research intended to "provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries." Some academics have expressed concern over the collaboration between FBI and university officials due to the agency's past espionage directed against individuals in the academic community. NSHEAB's work and the increased cooperation between federal authorities and academia is facilitated by the political framework brought about by the war on terror.
NSHEAB is currently chaired by Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University. Notable members of NSHEAB include or have included former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, MIT president Susan Hockfield, and U.C. Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.
December 29, 2013
Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday named former federal prosecutors, FBI agents and judges to a seven-member panel to review objections raised by law enforcement to people who apply to carry a concealed firearm under the state's new law.
The move is the latest step to put in place the legislative compromise enacted last summer after a federal appeals court ruled Illinois had to give up its status as the last state in the nation to ban possession of firearms in public.
Under the law, people apply for concealed carry permits and police departments can object to the application. The review panel hears appeals of those objections and is supposed to decide within 30 days whether applicants pose a danger to themselves or others or are a threat to public safety.
Appointed from the 1st District were Robinzina Bryant of Flossmoor, who spent a decade as a special agent with the FBI in Chicago and St. Louis and Virginia Wright of Palatine, who served as a special agent with the FBI for 24 years in New York, Chicago and New Haven, Conn.
For the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Will County and north central Illinois, Quinn named John Diwik of Naperville, a criminal investigator with Amtrak's office of inspector general and a former FBI special agent.
Quinn called his choices "highly qualified and committed individuals" who will "carry out their duties diligently to protect public safety." The initial appointments, which require Senate confirmation, are for a term that ends Jan. 12, 2015. The positions pay $37,571 a year.
Former FBI agent and small business owner Jack Orswell will announce his candidacy Friday for a seat in the 27th Congressional District, according to a statement.
Orswell, a Republican, will make the announcement at the monthly Foothills Lincoln Club meeting.
“I believe that I can make a difference,” Orswell said, in part, in a statement. “With my leadership skills, my small business and government experience, and a strong desire to serve my community, I know that I can represent the people of the 27th District and build a better long-term future for our families and America.”
He blasted the “career politicians” in Congress and blamed the national debt on “excessive, wasteful” spending.
The seat is held by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, who is in her third term. Chu defeated Orswell in the 2012 election, earning 63 percent of the votes to Orswell’s 37 percent of votes.BONUS READSEE LINK FOR BONUShttp://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/morning-edition/2014/01/former-fbi-agent-named-turnpike.html
Ray A. Morrow, from Washington, Pa., spent 20 years with the FBI and became special-agent-in-charge of its Pittsburgh office before working in corporate investigations. His job at the Turnpike Commission will find him looking for misconduct and dealing with it. He'll work at the Middletown, Pa., headquarters.
Grimm, left; Christie, right.
Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm came to the defense of embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today, saying the fellow Republican has “demonstrated true leadership” amid the expanding scandal surrounding the George Washington Bridge.
Christie has come under fire after e-mails and text messages became public that suggested that staffers in the governor’s office ordered the closing of lanes on the bridge to create traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It’s believed to be an act of political retribution against Fort Lee’s mayor, who backed a rival to the popular governor in the last gubernatorial election.
Christie was forced to address the issue yet again today, holding an exhaustive press conference in which he apologized profusely, and reiterated that he had no knowledge of the acts seemingly perpetrated by top aides.
“Governor Christie demonstrated true leadership and accountability during today’s press conference,” Grimm said in a statement, according to Politicker. “I have known Governor Christie since he was a United States Attorney with a distinguished anti-corruption record and I was an undercover agent working a high profile public corruption case with his office. I know him to be a man of unquestionable honor and ironclad integrity, and I take him at his word.”
During the conference, Christie also said he fired a senior aide who sent the messages, and has asked a former campaign manager who had been part of the e-mail conversation to leave the organization.
While all of the figures involved in the scandal were Republican, Grimm used the opportunity in an attempt to redirect public anger from Christie and towards Democrats and the Obama administration.
“In an a time when President Obama and key figures in his administration shamelessly pass the buck and avoid accountability for one massive failure after another, the Governor’s swift and immediate action to dismiss those responsible, commit himself to a full vetting of his staff, and embrace his responsibility as his state’s chief executive is both uncommon and refreshing,” Grimm said.
Governor Chris Christie endorsed Grimm during his Congressional campaign. The congressman is headed into another fierce campaign year against a well-funded Democrat, Domenic Recchia, and may be seeking the otherwise popular governor’s support once again.
The statement has sparked a response from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has been relentlessly pursuing Grimm, who they see as vulnerable, by frequently reminding voters of allegations against the congressman of fundraising misconduct. Here’s their response, as reported by Politicker:
“It’s comes as no surprise that Congressman Michael Grimm who is currently being investigated by the FBI himself, would be the first elected official in the country to come to Chris Christie’s defense,” said Marc Brumer, the northeast regional press secretary for the DCCC. “Maybe they can they can carpool to federal court together.“Only Congressman Michael Grimm would use a scandal in another state to try to divert attention from his own scandal plagued tenure in office. Another day, another desperate attempt by Congressman Grimm to distract New Yorkers from his failed record,” added Mr. Brumer.
“It’s comes as no surprise that Congressman Michael Grimm who is currently being investigated by the FBI himself, would be the first elected official in the country to come to Chris Christie’s defense,” said Marc Brumer, the northeast regional press secretary for the DCCC. “Maybe they can they can carpool to federal court together.
“Only Congressman Michael Grimm would use a scandal in another state to try to divert attention from his own scandal plagued tenure in office. Another day, another desperate attempt by Congressman Grimm to distract New Yorkers from his failed record,” added Mr. Brumer.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will join the University of Akron in training officers.
“This is a unique situation collaborating with the university. It’s the first time a law enforcement agency and a university have teamed up. We have always had separate academies,” said sheriff spokesman Bill Holland. “The University of Akron offers theory and the academic aspect and the sheriff’s department brings real life, hands-on street experience.”
Holland said the university was looking for a new commander. Discussions about a possible merger have been going on for several years. Then, six months ago, the sheriff’s office made a formal proposal for a joint academy.
“Sheriff [Steve] Barry embraced the idea. We co-existed for more than 20 years. It was almost as if we were competing with one another and we were right across the street,” said Stephen Motika, assistant dean of Summit College at UA. “This way we are aligning our strength to become a better academy.”
He said the sheriff’s firing range on Greensburg Road was under-utilized and the University of Akron needed a bigger facility for more students. The university has plenty of classrooms and will be using the newly acquired Central-Hower High School building for training.
Motika said the co-sponsored academy may not be the first in the state, but the idea is a first in the area.
The academy teaches officer candidates about defensive tactics, the use of firearms, driving, investigations, crime scenes, traffic stops and the Ohio Revised Code. The program calls for 600 hours of instruction and meets six days a week.
Thirty cadets, the maximum class number, are enrolled in the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at UA for the spring semester from Jan. 13 to April 25. All candidates went through regular enrollment paying tuition to the university.
The University of Akron will contribute $22,250 to the sheriff’s department for the use of the department’s firing range and to pay the salary of the commander. Holland will serve as commander as part of his regular duties.
Besides overseeing the program and paperwork, he serves as liaison between the state and the academy.
Cadets have to pass a state test — with both a written and physical exam — to be certified as a peace officer.
The newly formed joint academy will have 20 or more instructors during the course of the training to keep the state’s requirement of a 4-to-1 student-instructor ratio.
“It’s real important to keep a diversity of police agencies represented,” said Motika. “We will have several local entities represented across the townships including Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. Akron Police Chief [James] Nice will be teaching physical training and self-defense tactics.”
The instructors will be paid through the university. The deputies who will help teach the program will teach off duty for the extra pay.
Holland, a former FBI agent who has worked for the sheriff’s office for the last 10 years, has been an adjunct professor at UA for five years. He said his work with cadets will help the sheriff’s office develop candidates for future openings.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - The Texas woman who the FBI says illegally donated more than $10,000 to the 2010 campaign of Rep. Michael Grimm is relying on a former G-man who shares a New York FBI background with Grimm and who has ties to Staten Island to keep her out of jail.
Diana Durand, 47, of Houston, has hired attorney Stuart Kaplan, of the Kaplan and Sconzo law firm in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to defend her against charges of lying to federal agents and violating campaign finance regulations.
Kaplan and Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) are both former FBI agents, and both had served in the New York office. Kaplan said he served from 1995 to 2006, the same years that Grimm served with the bureau.
Kaplan, who also served the FBI in Florida, declined to say whether he knew Grimm, and declined to say whether Grimm had anything to do with Ms. Durand becoming his client.
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