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Archive for April 26th, 2009

Homeland Sec. Napolitano Declares “Public Health Emergency” But Says Swine Flu Situation NOT Dire

Woman Charged With Exortion and Lying to FBI in Connection With Louisville Coach Rick Pitino

Who thought college basketball could be this exciting?

The Louisville Courier-Journal
LOUISVILLE — Six days after the disclosure that University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino was the target of an extortion attempt, a Louisville woman was charged today with extortion and lying to the FBI.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S District Court, Karen Sypher (see video below), with the help of unnamed others, tried to extort money from Pitino with threats to harm his reputation in connection with events that occurred in 2003.

The complaint, filed by FBI agent Steven J. Wight, said she lied to the FBI when she told investigators that she didn’t know the identity of the person who was making threatening phone calls to Pitino.

According to an affidavit by Wight, Pitino told investigators that he received three voice-mail messages in late February threatening to go public with criminal allegations against him.

Pitino said that after receiving the first two messages he met with Sypher and her husband, Tim, according to the affidavit, and asked what she wanted.

For Full Story

Nine-Year-Old FBI Report on Corruption in the Philly Police Narcotics Squad Remains Under Seal

philadelphia-policeSome information in the 9-year-old report on corruption in the Philly police narcotics unit is finally surfacing. Maybe it should have been publicly disclosed long ago. Perhaps the department wouldn’t be dealing with the same issues today.

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI memorandum describes a pattern of corruption among a group of Philadelphia narcotics officers: false information used to get search warrants, planted evidence and perjured testimony, thefts of drugs, cash, and valuables from dealers.

It’s called the Roberts report and, though it’s nine years old, it deals with the same issues that a federal-city task force is now investigating.

The report, written on Sept. 5, 2000, by FBI Agent John Roberts – now head of the FBI’s public-corruption unit in Philadelphia – remains under seal by order of a federal judge and has never been made public. It’s unclear who received the report and what became of its recommendations.

But what has surfaced from court documents is that the report foreshadowed some of the allegations involving brothers Jeffrey and Richard L. Cujdik and other officers in the Narcotics Field Unit.

“At the very least, a department investigation should have been conducted into whether or not police were fabricating evidence simply to obtain convictions,” defense attorney Jerry S. Goldman said.

The report, according to court documents, looked at 12 allegations involving a group of narcotics officers. Some were determined to be credible, others unfounded.

For Full Story