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Archive for September 30th, 2008

Ex-Gary Police Chief Convicted Of Excessive Force

GARY, Indiana –  A federal jury on Tuesday convicted Thomas Houston, former Gary, Indiana police chief  on a felony civil rights violation for using excessive force, the Justice Department said.
The jury acquitted Houston on other charges and also acquitted Houston’s former deputy chief, Thomas Branson, and Sgt. Thomas Decanter in the case, the Justice Department said.
“Abuse of law enforcement authority is a grave offense and undermines the work of the vast majority of public servants who serve with honor every day,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker in a prepared statement. “It erodes citizens’ trust in government at the most basic and fundamental level, and must be prosecuted accordingly.”

Sen. Stevens’ Buddy Delivers Damaging Testimony

Ted Stevens’ good buddy Bill Allen on Tuesday delivered the most damaging testimony to date in the Senator’s public corruption trial. Will the testimony be enough to do him in?

By Matt Apuzzo and Tom Hays
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A longtime friend of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens crossed the powerful lawmaker Tuesday and testified that he gave the Republican senator thousands of dollars in gifts.
The fiercely loyal Stevens gave no indication he even saw former fishing and drinking buddy Bill Allen enter the courtroom, and the two men barely looked at each other as Allen testified about the expensive gifts he gave Stevens during their 26-year friendship.

For Full Story

FBI And U.S. Atty to Probe New Orleans Police Shootings

The FBI will investigate the controversial police shootings on Danziger Bridge three years ago that left two people dead and four wounded.

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten/doj photo

By The New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced today that federal authorities will examine if there is a basis for federal criminal charges in connection with the Sept. 4, 2005 shooting of citizens by police at the Danziger Bridge.
At the request of families of shooting victims and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Justice Department agreed to examine facts of the Hurricane Katrina episode, which left two men dead and four people wounded.
“As a result of this productive dialog and referral to us, the Civil Rights Division, FBI and our U.S. Attorney’s Office will utilize as much time and resources as necessary to determine whether there are any prosecutable violation of federal criminal laws in this matter,” Letten said in a news release.
For Full Story

FBI Nabs Another In Scandal Plagued D.C. Tax Office

The city hall tax scandal in Washington just keeps getting stranger. The FBI has nabbed a new suspect — an auditor — who allegedly got involved in a scam even as agents were swarming about.

By Del Quentin Wilber and Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON – An auditor for the D.C. tax office has been charged with accepting a $6,000 bribe to lower a business’s taxes, allegedly taking the cash even as the FBI was swooping in on another scam at the agency.
El-Hadj Drame, 36, is accused of soliciting and taking the money between Nov. 4 and Nov. 14, a time when federal authorities were focused on a major fraud in the tax office. Harriette Walters, a mid-level manager, was arrested Nov. 7 and charged with carrying out the biggest embezzlement in the District government’s history.
For Full Story

Read Court Filing

Ex-Tenn State Rep Gets Whacked Again By Feds

They say it is better to give than receive. No one knows that better than former state Sen. John Ford who was sentenced to 14 more years in prison for his federal wire fraud conviction. Ford is already serving 5 1/2 years for bribery. He is the uncle of former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.

By Richard Locker
Memphis Commercial Appeal
NASHVILLE — Barring a successful appeal, former state senator John Ford will be 82 to 85 years old when he is released from prison.
U.S. Dist. Judge Todd J. Campbell sentenced Ford, 66, to an additional 14 years in prison Monday for his July conviction for wire fraud and concealment in connection with his receipt of $854,000 from two major TennCare contractors while serving in the legislature.
For Full Story
See Ford Indictment