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Archive for October 8th, 2008

Death: Former U.S. District Judge Howard Munson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Former U.S. District Judge Howard Munson, who presided over trials involving tax protesters and an early Internet hacking case, died Sunday. He was 84.
Munson had served on the federal bench for 32 years, retiring this year.
For Full Story

Prosecution Suffers A Blow In Sen. Stevens Trial

Sen. Stevens attorneys failed to get the judge to toss out the charges or declare a mistrial, but they did score a victory in the high-profile trial.

By Richard Mauer and Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON – The corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens suffered a blow to its credibility this afternoon when a federal judge ruled that prosecutors erred and jurors won’t be able to consider crucial evidence about the time two workers spent renovating his house.
Jurors will be told to disregard evidence they’ve seen concerning how much time two Veco Corp. workers, Robert “Rocky” Williams and Dave Anderson, spent remodeling Stevens’ home in Girdwood in 2000 and 2001.
They’ll also be told that prosecutors knew the hours Anderson said he worked could be inaccurate and yet still presented it to the jury as part of the $188,000 total that Veco accounting records show the oil field services company spent on the Stevens remodel.
“It’s very troubling that the government would utilize records the government knows were false,” said Judge Emmet Sullivan said. “And there’s just no excuse for that whatsoever.”
For Full Story

Update (10/9) – Judge Bends And Lets Prosecution Call Another Witness (Anchorage Daily News)

See All Government Trial Exhibits

Read Government’s Request For Judge To Reconsider His Ruling- Oct. 8

Student Indicted In Sarah Palin E-Mail Scandal

There’s hacking and there’s hacking big time. David Kernell has hit  the big leagues. Just ask the grand jury.

 
By Richard Locker
Memphis Commercial Appeal
NASHVILLE — A federal grand jury in Knoxville has indicted David C. Kernell, a University of Tennessee student from Memphis, on charges that he intentionally accessed without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, the Justice Department announced today.
Kernell, 20, is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, and speculation had focused on him after unauthorized access of Palin’s personal e-mail account surfaced last month. An internet hacker posted excepts of some of her e-mail online following media reports that she and other Alaska officials used personal e-mail accounts to discuss state business in an attempt to avoid state public records laws.
For Full Story

Read Indictment

Read Justice Department Press Release

Virginia U.S. Atty. Chuck Rosenberg Resigns

A U.S. Attorney in one of the higher profile offices in the nation is stepping down.

U.S. Atty. Chuck Rosenberg/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Chuck Rosenberg/doj photo

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Chuck Rosenberg has resigned as U.S. attorney in Alexandria, one of the most prominent federal prosecutor’s jobs in the country, Justice Department officials said yesterday.
Rosenberg, 48, who was appointed in March 2006, sent a resignation letter to President Bush on Sept. 30. His last day on the job will be Oct. 22. An acting U.S. attorney will be named until a permanent replacement is chosen.
“I have been extraordinarily privileged to have had this opportunity. It has been a dream come true,” said Rosenberg, who declined to say what he will do next. “There is no better U.S. Attorney’s Office. There is no better client. There are no better colleagues.”
For Full Story

Death: Retired FBI Agent Curtis Allen Fitzgerald

By The Washington Post

Curtis Allen Fitzgerald, 65, a retired assistant chief in the FBI’s criminal investigations division, died of cancer Sept. 23 at his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Fitzgerald, a native of Ripley, Tenn., worked for three years at the Memphis FBI office as a clerk while going to the University of Memphis.

On April 4, 1968, he was working alone in the office on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot at the city’s Lorraine Motel.
For Full Story

Nigerian Sentenced For Forcing Teen To Work

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
GREENBELT, Md. -A Nigerian-born businessman convicted of smuggling a 14-year-old girl into the United States and forcing her to work as an unpaid servant at his home in Germantown was sentenced yesterday to more than eight years in prison.
George Udeozor, who was extradited from Nigeria in February after almost four years as a fugitive, pleaded guilty in July to holding the victim in involuntary servitude. He admitted having sex with the girl, abuse that prosecutors said began when she was 15.
For Full Story

FBI Finds Buried Colombo Underboss in N.Y.

For once, a tip about a buried mobster panned out. The FBI has been looking for three bodies.

Dead Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

Dead Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

By Robert E. Kessler
Newsday
EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – A forensic dentist has confirmed that the body whose remains were found by FBI agents excavating an apparent mob burial site is that of former Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.
A team of doctors and dentists has been working at the Suffolk medical examiner’s office in Hauppauge since Monday to identify the body through dental records and DNA tests.
Cutolo disappeared in 1999 and was believed to have been a victim in a war for control of the Colombo family in the 1990s, which resulted in more than a dozen murders.
For Full Story

Mobster Was a Dapper Guy (N.Y. Times)

Steven’s Atty Goes After Key Government Witness

The prosecution and defense in the Sen. Ted Stevens trial continued to slug it out Tuesday. Meanwhile, the judge has set a hearing later today to address a defense motion to dismiss the charges based on allegations of  government misconduct. The government has called the allegations baseless.

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Neil A. Lewis
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Senator Ted Stevens’s defense lawyer bore in on the prosecution’s chief witness on Tuesday, portraying him to a jury as someone who betrayed a longtime friend to protect his fortune.
Brendan Sullivan, the defense lawyer, suggested in his brisk questioning of Bill Allen, an Alaska oil services tycoon, that Mr. Allen had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors for an explicit promise by the government not to interfere with a pending sale of his company, Veco, for $380 million.
For Full Story

See All Government Trial Exhibits

Read Defense’s Latest Allegations Against Govt- Oct. 8

Listen to FBI Recorded Phone Calls

Story On Secretly Recorded FBI Conversations (Washington Post)