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Archive for February 10th, 2010

Ex-Gov Blago Wants Judge to Let Him Play All FBI Tapes at Trial

Rod Blagojevich/rod radio photo

Rod Blagojevich/rod radio photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Publicity hound Rod Blagojevich, the ex-Gov. of Illinois, pleaded “innocent” Wednesday in federal court in Chicago to a revised public corruption indictment, and his attorneys indicated they want the green light to play all the secret FBI recordings they desire during trial, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Tribune reported that Blago’s attorneys wrote in a motion that the former governor is “desirous that the recordings be heard in open court by the jury, believing as he does that a full airing of the recordings will establish his innocence of every count in the indictment.”

After the hearing, the Tribune reported that Blago said:

“Play the truth and nothing but the truth. Play all the tapes.”

He is accused of using his office to make money and trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Prosecutors had filed a revised indictment to avoid any complications that might come from a pending Supreme Court ruling on “honest services” fraud.

Read full story.

Read Blago’s Motion on Tapes

Angel Moreno Named Acting U.S. Atty. in Texas

texasBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Moreno, who is based in Laredo, Tex., is the new acting U.S. Attorney for the Houston division, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The federal judges in the Southern District of Texas voted to appoint Moreno to the position, the Chronicle reported.

President Obama has yet to name anyone for the four U.S. Attorney posts in Texas, which include Houston, Dallas, Beaumont and San Antonio.

To read more click here.

ATF Offers $5,000 Reward in San Diego Co. Church Fire

arsonBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is offering a $5,000 reward for for information leading to the arrest in the January arson fire at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a beach community in San Diego County.

Authorities say sometime between 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 24, and 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 25  a fire broke out in the foyer at the church. Damage was estimated at more than $5,000.

ATF said parishioners found graffiti spray painted on two different exterior doors of their church.

Bernie Kerik: Evil Lawbreaker or Family Guy?

Bernie Kerik/facebook

Bernie Kerik/facebook

By Allan Lengel
For Aol News

Who will U.S. District Judge Stephen C. Robinson see when he peers down at ex-New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik during sentencing Feb. 18 in White Plains, N.Y.?

An egotistical, lying, greedy lawbreaker, as the government suggests in documents filed Monday in federal court? Or a dedicated public servant, 9/11 hero, compassionate cop, father and husband who made some “poor decisions,” as his defense team asserts?

To read each side’s sentencing memorandum is to get a very different view as to the real Bernie Kerik, 54, who pleaded guilty last November to eight felony counts including tax fraud and lying to the Bush White House while being considered for the coveted Cabinet post of secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The plea agreement calls for a sentence of 27 to 33 months. Kerik’s attorney is asking for 27 months.

Whatever the take on Kerik — and whether the sentencing memos make an impact on the judge — one thing is clear: His digressions have taken a toll on his family.

To read more click here.

Judge May Sanction Ex-Fed Prosecutor in Wild Tiff With Supervisor

tampa1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a case chock full of drama and wild accusations, a federal judge in Tampa is considering whether to sanction a former federal prosecutor in connection with his libel lawsuit against his former supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Tampa Tribune reported.

The paper reported that the judge is considering whether ex-prosecutor Jeffrey Del Fuoco tried to “perpetuate the pattern of harassment” and “scandalous and impertinent accusations” in his suit against former boss, assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill.

De Fuoco, who left his job on bad terms four years ago, sees himself as a whistleblower, the paper wrote. And O’Neill sees De Fuoco as unhinged.

The paper reported that De Fuoco has tried to derail any chances of O’Neill becoming the U.S. Attorney and has written officials accusing him of him of adultery and corruption.

At one point, the paper reported that De Fuoco accused O’Neill of being a member of the Irish Republican Army.

To read more about this mess click here.

LA U.S. Atty. Asks for 27 Months for Man Who Videotaped ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is recommending that the man who secretly videotaped ESPN reporter Erin Andrews naked through hotel peep holes and posted the material on the Internet, get 27 months in prison.

“She has lived in fear for her physical safety,” according to the government’s sentencing document filed on Monday for the defendant Michael David Barrett, 49. “She has nightmares about defendant. She also wakes up at least once a night fearing that defendant is breaking into her home.

“Every time she turns on a computer, Victim Andrews is reminded that the videos cannot be removed from the Internet…, and she knows that her future husband and her future children will have to confront these videos.

“Whenever she goes to work, she must deal both with worries that she is not being taken seriously and with “fans” that say things about the videos to her.

“Also disturbing is the fact that many people, including some of Victim Andrews’ peers in the media, wrongly believed that Victim Andrews had something to do with these videos, i.e., that she orchestrated them to boost her career.”

“Victim Andrews’ father has also suffered significant emotional distress, with his daughter calling in tears and being “ravaged on the Internet. Taken together, the nature and circumstances of defendant’s conduct require significant punishment.”

Read Sentencing Document

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

New York Times Editorial: Republicans Using Fear and Terrorism for Politics and Sound Bites For Nov.

NervousThe New York Times
Editorial Page

An election is coming, so the Republicans are trying to scare Americans by making it appear as if the Democrats don’t care about catching or punishing terrorists.

It’s nonsense, of course, but effective. The be-very-afraid approach helped former President George W. Bush ram laws through Congress that chipped away at Americans’ rights. He used it to get re-elected in 2004. Now the Republicans are playing the fear card for the fall elections.

The most recent target is the Obama administration’s handling of the failed Christmas Day bomber, particularly its decision (an absolutely correct one) to have the F.B.I. arrest and interrogate the suspect and file federal terrorism charges rather than throw him into a military prison where the Republicans seem to expect that he would be given no rights, questioned and held without charges.

To read more click here.