Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

April 2009
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for April 7th, 2009

Judge Tosses Ted Stevens Case; Appoints Lawyer to Probe Government’s Misconduct

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan

As expected U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan not only voided the conviction of  ex-Senator Ted Stevens but he publicly criticized the Justice Department for its embarrassing execution of the case. This isn’t the end of all this.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A federal judge this morning tossed out the conviction of former senator Ted Stevens and assigned an outside lawyer to investigate allegations of misconduct by the prosecutors who tried him on public corruption charges.

In throwing out the October conviction, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called accusations that prosecutors mishandled evidence and witnesses “shocking and disturbing.” In his 25 years on the bench, the judge said he had “never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct in this case.” He then urged Attorney General Eric H. Holder to better train prosecutors about the requirements for turning over evidence to defense lawyers that may help their case.

Stevens, 85, who narrowly lost reelection eight days after being found guilty of seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms, said the actions of prosecutors had “nearly destroyed” his faith in the criminal justice system. But he thanked the judge and a new team of Justice Department lawyers for pressing to uncover the truth.

For Full Story

Fed Law Enforcement Better Get Necessary Funding For Its Broad Mission

I have struggled with writing this column lately. Every time I have settled on something I want to say, a national event has dumped some cold water on my tentative muse.

Like most Americans, I find the swirl of daily calamitous economic, political and news in general, depressing and intimidating.

I also believe there is a meaner dimension to the streets brought on by the daily onslaught of bad news we endure. When that anxiety is combined with the seemingly clumsy attempt of government to deal with these things it does not leave one confident, to say the least.

I am deeply concerned about the ability of Federal law enforcement to meet the public’s expectations to reign in the rogue financial shenanigans that brought us to this economic quagmire.

How can we broach universal healthcare when we continually struggle with the resources necessary to reign in the fraud, waste and abuse in our existing social insurance delivery systems, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance?

The oversight mission over the stimulus funding given to the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board is staggeringly complex and important.

Yet there can be no compromise in our existing efforts to keep us safe from the unabated terrorist threat. To top it off, we have the boil over of drug war violence on the Mexican border that needs immediate int
ervention.

Where are the resources for all of this? There is no finger-snap solution to the fact that Federal law enforcement has significantly too much mission to address.

Add to this conundrum the increasing public violence of the past several weeks with the deaths of local law enforcement officers and you understand that this mission strain is a very serious concern.

The financial downturn with falling tax revenues is directly reducing the capacity of local law enforcement to deal with these strains. What help can they receive from Federal law enforcement whose own resources are committed to other emergencies?

We need to be aware of these demands and strains and understand that we have to push back and demand the appropriate resources to help the over-burdened Federal law enforcement agencies address these problems and get the job done.

All existing missions need to be reassessed, reprioritized, and in some instances set aside.

On April 19, in my native Massachusetts, there is the annual celebration of the original Patriot’s Day (before it was recast by President Bush after 9/11/01) saluting the brave Minutemen who stood, as Emerson said, “on that rude bridge that arched the flood”, in Concord in 1775 and confronted their exigent furies embodied by King George’s soldiers.

Those patriots found their priorities that fateful day by mustering, setting aside their quotidian concerns,
and arguably focusing on what was important.

Our Federal leaders and law enforcement agencies need to borrow from this historical motivation, and do much the same, make the hard choices and get it done.

(Jim Huse is the CEO of IntegriGuard, LLC, a program integrity, payment accuracy company in Omaha, NE. You can learn more about him and his company at www.integriguard.org).

Feds Question Jesse Jackson Jr. in Blago Case

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

In Chicago politics, where ever there’s smoke, at minimum, there’s more smoke. We’ll see if there’s any fire here. This probe could still have more legs.

NATASHA KORECKI AND FRAN SPIELMAN
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Federal authorities have asked U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson (D.-Ill) why former Gov. Rod Blagojevich believed he would get campaign cash in exchange for appointing Jackson to President Obama’s vacant Senate seat, sources told the Sun-Times.

More than a week ago, Jackson and his criminal defense lawyer sat down for an interview with investigators in connection with the ongoing corruption probe of the now-indicted Blagojevich.

Among the areas of interest, sources say, was what Jackson told his representatives to convey to the Blagojevich camp on his behalf last year — a time Jackson sought the Senate seat appointment.

And, in a signal that the probe into dealings involving a possible Jackson appointment is still under way, witnesses and possible evidence involved in that part of the alleged scheme were recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, sources say.

Jackson’s recent interview took place nearly four months after he publicly announced he wasn’t a target in the probe and said then that he expected to sit down with the feds in a matter of days. He isn’t accused of wrongdoing and has said he never gave anyone the authority to trade cash for the appointment.

For Full Story

Justice Department Still Moving Against Aging Nazis

Holocaust memorialBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — They’re getting up there in age, but the Justice Department continues to take action against Nazi guards living in the U.S.

The lastest effort is against Anton Geiser, 84, of Sharon, Pa., who authorities say served as an armed SS guard at two Nazi concentration camps in Germany during World War II.

The Justice Department announced last Friday that it had launched removal proceeedings against Geiser.

The latest move comes as the U.S. battles to deport suspected Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, 89. Demjanjuk of Ohio was supposed to be deported to Germany by Monday, but he got a last minute stay in court. That stay was lifted on Monday by an immigration judge, but Demjanjuk plans to appeal.

Geiser served as a guard in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin and at Buchenwald Concentration Camp, authorities said.

He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1962 and his citizenship was revoked in 2006 because “his service to Nazi Germany made him ineligible to enter the United States,” the Justice Department said.

“Through his service as a Nazi concentration camp guard, Anton Geiser helped subject thousands of innocent civilians to inhumane and frequently lethal treatment,” Acting Assistant Attorney Gen. Rita M. Glavin said in a prepared statement. “The United States will not provide a safe haven for such individuals.”

The Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deal with Nazis in the U.S., has reportedly won more than 100 cases against Nazis.

Alabama U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes Latest to Step Down

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
U.S. Attorney Deborah Rhodes of Alabama’s Southern District in Mobile becomes the latest U.S. Attorney to step down.

The Press-Register in Alabama reported that the prosecutor will step down April 17.

Rhodes assumed the position initially on an interim basis in 2005 after U.S. Attorney David York resigned “amid allegations of an improper relationship with an assistant prosecutor”, the paper said.

She became the permanent U.S. Attorney in 2006.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and a panel has recommended that federal prosecutor Vicki Davis get the post. A rival panel has recommended former District Attorney Barrown Lankster, the Press-Register reported.

“She’s been a terrific leader for this office…,” Maria Murphy, criminal division chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the paper. “I think we will all be sorry to see her go.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST