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Archive for March 20th, 2009

Elena Kagan Sworn in as 1st Woman Solicitor General

Elena Kagen

Elena Kagan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Elena Kagan was sworn in Friday, becoming the first woman Solicitor General of the United States.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. swore in the former Dean of Harvard Law School, in a ceremony held in his U.S. Supreme Court chambers.

“Elena Kagan’s intelligence, experience and commitment to the rule of law will make her an exceptional Solicitor General,” U.S. Atty. General Eric Holder said in a prepared statement. “With the addition of Elena Kagan, we are building a strong, effective leadership team to enforce our nation’s laws.”

Kagan is the 45th person to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.

The FBI’s Top Ten Stories of the Week

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Bernie Madoff’s accountant was charged
Madoff's accountant charged

Madoff's accountant charged

with securities fraud. An Albany on-line organ transplant broker was charged with defrauding desperately ill patients. And an ex-FBI agent was convicted in California in a home invasion robbery scheme.

These were just some of the stories that made the FBI’s Top Ten Stories For The Week, ending March 20.

To look at the list of  top 10 FBI stories of the week  click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces More Openess With Freedom of Informaton Act

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –  This announcement comes under the category of: “I’m skeptical”.

Some federal law enforcement agencies have been reluctant to give up information, even the simplest of information. So this is very welcome. But still, I’m  attaching  a  wait-and-see caveat to this.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder on Thursday announced “comprehensive new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines… that direct  all executive branch departments and agencies to apply a presumption of openness when administering the FOIA.”

“By restoring the presumption of disclosure that is at the heart of the Freedom of Information Act, we are making a critical change that will restore the public’s ability to access information in a timely manner,” Holder said in a prepared statement. “The American people have the right to information about their government’s activities, and these new guidelines will ensure they are able to obtain that information under principles of openness and transparency.”

We shall see.

Read Press Release

Philly FBI Agent Shows a little Courtroom Theatrics in Corruption Probe

philly-mapThere was little doubt that there wasn’t more corruption beyond the probe into crooked ex-state Sen. Vincent Fumo. And an FBI agent proved that point with a little courtroom theatrics. It will be interesting to see how deep this goes and whether Fumo, just convicted, will cooperate and point fingers.

By Craig R. McCoy and Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — With brutal directness, the FBI revealed yesterday that its long-running investigation into “Fumo World” isn’t over.

After a post-conviction hearing in U.S. District Court for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, an FBI agent stood up, crossed the courtroom toward Fumo friend Mitchell Rubin, and handed him a “target letter” warning him that he could face criminal charges.

Rubin, chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, was sitting in the audience in support of his wife, Ruth Arnao, the former Fumo aide convicted Monday, alongside Fumo, on corruption charges.

After FBI Special Agent Vicki Humphreys handed Rubin an envelope with the letter, Rubin read it, and then slumped in his front-row bench. He was the picture of shock and despair.

The federal jury that convicted Fumo found as part of its sweeping 137-count tally of guilty verdicts that he had defrauded the Senate by handing Rubin a “no-work” contract.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES Of INTEREST

N.Y. Man Gets Probation For Using Fake U.S. Marshal Badge

us-marshalBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Newsday is reporting that a Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months probation in federal court for possession of a counterfeit U.S. Marshal’s badge.

The paper said that Richard Kudlik, 46, created a website in which he posed as a federeal marshal to lure woman.

Kudlik could have gotten up to six months in prison, the paper said.

Senate Judiciary Gives the Nod to Dawn Johnsen for DOJ Office of Legal Counsel

Dawn Johnsen

Dawn Johnsen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –If you’re looking for any inkling of bipartisanship in Washington, don’t count on  the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee voted 11-7  Thursday to confirm the nomination of  Dawn E. Johnsen as Office of Legal Counsel for the Justice Department.

All the Republicans voted against her except for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who passed on the vote. He said he was reserving judgment until he got a better sense of her views.

Johnsen,  an Indiana University law professor has been a big critic of the Bush administration’s policies. Johnsen still faces a confirmation by the full Senate.