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Archive for July 29th, 2009

Attorney Says Jefferson May Have Violated Ethics But Didn’t Break Law

I dunno know about morals but I do got rules” Tony Soprano

tony-soprano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
ALEXANDRIA,Va. – The prosecution’s closing argument went something like this: Ex-Congressman William Jefferson was a crook. He sold his office. He took bribes.

The defense argument went something like this: Sure Jefferson may have had some ethical breaches; done some stupid and reckless things. But he committed no crime and the government simply created a case out of fiction.

With that kind exchange of words, court ended late Wednesday afternoon. The jury of eight women and four men will get instructions from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III Thursday morning and then begin deliberating on the 16 felony counts.

Jefferson,62, chose to go to trial and fight the case rather than entertain a plea agreement.

Earlier on, after the FBI raided his homes in August 2005, there were some initial talks of a plea agreement that amounted to about six years in prison. They never went very far.

Now we’ll finally see if the gamble pays off.  A conviction could easily land him at least 10 years in prison, that is if you take into account that two smaller fish – Vernon Jackson and Brett Pfeffer — are already serving more than seven years each for pleading guilty to bribing him.

William Jefferson
William Jefferson

Jackson, owner of iGate, a high tech company, and Pfeffer, a former Jefferson aide, both testified against Jefferson during the seven-week trial and are likely to get sentence reductions.

Jefferson faces a mountain of felony charges including soliciting bribes, bribing a foreign official, racketeering, obstruction of justice and money laundering. He is accused of taking more than $400,000 in bribes and working to get millions more.

Authorities have contended that he used his official office to promote business in Africa that he and his family had secret financial interest in. Payoffs were made to sham, paper companies, the prosecution charged.

On Wednesday, the 9th floor courtroom in Alexandria was packed – at least for part of the day with Jefferson’s wife and five daughters in attendance.  So was Ed Weidenfeld, the D.C.. attorney for the Atiku Abubakar, the ex-Vice President of Nigeria, whom Jefferson is accused of bribing.

During the defense’s closing argument, some how the classic line from Tony Soprano came to mind: “I dunno about morals, but I do got rules.”

In Jefferson’s case, perhaps, more appropriately,  the theme of his defense would be; “I dunno about ethics, but I do got rules”, meaning his ethics are suspect, but he has rules when it comes to stepping over the line and committing a crime.

Read more »

Texas Tech Professors Protest Hiring of ex-Atty Gen. Alberto Gonzales

At the onset, the university said it was excited to get Alberto Gonzales. But why? Sure he had a great title. But he was one of the most inept Attorney Generals in recent U.S. history. Titles aren’t everything.

Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales

By Jason Leopold
The Public Record

Seventy professors at Texas Tech University have signed a petition protesting the hiring of Alberto Gonzales and accused the college’s chancellor of nepotism in bringing the disgraced former attorney general to campus to teach a political science class.

According a copy of the petition obtained by the Texas Tech’s student newspaper, The Daily Toreador, the nine-page petition, which includes an appendix, calls Gonzales’s one-year professorship “a troubling example of a ‘celebrity hire'” and claims that the hiring of Gonzales by his “good friend,” Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, “cannot be seen as a commitment to ethical conduct.”

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State Cop Could Be Massachusetts’ First African American U.S. Marshal

It’s interesting that in the year 2009 they are just breaking a racial barrier in a law enforcement post.

mass-state-police1

By Milton J. Valencia
Boston Globe
BOSTON — A 30-year veteran of the State Police who has spent much of his career in investigative units could be named the next US marshal for the District of Massachusetts, and would be the first African-American to hold the post.

Detective Lieutenant John Gibbons was nominated by US Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry to become the first permanent marshal the district has had since 2005. President Obama must send the nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation, but historically, a state’s senior senator makes the nomination.

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Veteran N.J. Political Consultant Arrested in Corruption Sweep Found Dead

This case is only going to get more complicated.  Here’s the latest wrinkle.

Jack Shaw
Jack Shaw/nbc

By Amy Sara Clark and Agustin C. Torres
The Jersey Journal
Jersey City political strategist Jack Shaw, one of the 44 people arrested in Thursday’s massive New Jersey corruption scandal, was found dead in his apartment tonight, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

A relative found Shaw’s body, DeFazio said. Police were called to the ninth-floor apartment at the Towers at Portside, 100 Warren St., at 5:17 p.m. and Shaw was officially declared dead at 6 p.m.

Two officials with knowledge of the investigation told The Star-Ledger that several bottles of pills were found near Shaw’s body. However, Shaw, who has diabetes, was on several medications and worried about his health, according to Jersey Journal opinion editor Agustin Torres, who often spoke with Shaw. He recently lost 60 pounds, Torres added.

No weapon was found near the body and the death does not appear to be a homicide, DeFazio said.

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Justice Dept. Lawyer Matthew Glomb Struck Dead by Lightning While Jogging on North Carolina Beach

It’s amazing how you can go from virtual heaven — jogging on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina — to being struck dead by lightning. A sad tale.

outter-banks-of-nc

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer

A Department of Justice lawyer from Prince William County was fatally struck by lightning Monday while jogging on the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, authorities said.

Matthew Glomb, 49, of Woodbridge was remembered by friends and colleagues as a family man and a deeply religious person who had a great sense of humor.

“The second you met him he cared about you,” said Sara Scichilone, 21, who met Glomb through Chrysalis, a group that runs Christian youth retreats.

Glomb joined the Justice Department in 2002 after a career in the U.S. Coast Guard that included a stint as a military judge, said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller. At the Justice Department, Glomb worked in the aviation-admiralty office and specialized in maritime law. He was a 1994 graduate of George Washington University’s law school.

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