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Archive for March 19th, 2010

Head of NY FBI Under Internal Investigation in Connection With Affair and Statements Made About It

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., the head of the New York FBI, the agency’s largest office, is under internal investigation in connection with an alleged affair he had with an underling in management, sources familiar with the situation told ticklethewire.com., which first reported the story.

Demarest, who has headed the New York office since January 2009,  has been temporarily assigned to headquarters in Washington while the Office of Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility look into the matter, sources said.

Demarest (far right) with Pres. Obama and FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi photo

Demarest (far right) with Pres. Obama and FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi photo

As a key part of the probe, according to sources,  investigators are trying to determine how truthful Demarest  was about the matter when he was questioned about it internally.  A website Main Justice reported that his version differed from the woman he had the affair with, and that the probe had been going since January.

A confirmed misconduct in the bureau can result in action ranging from a reprimand to a firing to a forced resignation or a demotion.

It is fairly common for high-ranking FBI officials in the field to be brought back to Washington on a temporary assignment while they are  under internal investigation.  In the past, some of those officials were eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

Demarest began his career with the FBI in 1988 after serving as a Florida sheriff”s deputy for five years. An FBI press release in 2006 said he was married with two children, but he reportedly is no longer married.

Demarest, through a spokesman, declined to comment Thursday.

Michael P, Kortan, the FBI’s chief spokesman, declined to comment on the report. However, he emphasized that Demarest remains in charge of the New York office.

He also said that Demarest was on temporary assignment in Washington to help further develop an FBI management system known as Strategy Performance Sessions (SPS). The program helps monitor and evaluate investigative programs, with an emphasis on the collection of intelligence.

He said Demarest was one of the people who helped originally develop the program for the FBI and his office in New York was noted for having a strong SPS management program.

Prominent Arab American Lawyer to Join TSA to Advise on Civil Rights

Nawar ShoraBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for screening passengers at our nation’s airports, is getting an interesting addition: Nawar Shora, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

The Washington Post reports that Shora, who was born in Syria and raised in West Virginia,  is joining the agency as a senior adviser for its office of civil rights and liberties.

“I’m finally practicing what I preach,” Shora,33, told the Post. “It’s about time I cross over to the government and start working within the system. That’s the beauty of our society: Anybody can work with the government.”

Shora has been a prominent voice for the American Arab community and has worked to foster better relations between the community and agencies like the FBI.

More Delays in FBI Computer Overhaul: Overruns Expected to Cost at Least $30 Mil

fbi logo large
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has been struggling a long time to catch up to the 21st century when it comes to having  a top-flight computer system.

The New York Times reports that the struggle continues and that the agency “has suspended work on parts of its huge computer overhaul, dealing the agency the latest costly setback in a decade-long effort to develop a modernized information system to combat crime and terrorism.”

The paper reported that completion of the overhaul, whic was slated for the fall, has been delayed until early next year. Not only is the delay bad news, it could cost at least an extra $30 million in cost overruns, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Feds and Locals Rounded Up Gang Members to Try and Get Info on Mexican Consulate Murders

el paso map istock
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. law enforcement started to flex its muscle Thursday in an attempt to find out who killed three people last Saturday who were tied to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The Associated Press reported that more 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers conducted a broad sweep in El Paso on Thursday, and picked up suspected members of the Barrio Azteca gang, hoping to get intelligence on who was responsible for the killings. El Paso borders Ciudad Juarez, regarded as one of  the most dangerous cities in the world because of its high number of drug related murders.

“The El Paso law enforcement community has come together today to locate Barrio Azteca members as part of a major intelligence collection effort in an attempt to generate leads into Saturday’s Juarez murders,” FBI Special Agent Andrea Simmons said, according to the Associated Press.

To read more click here.

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