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FBI’s Pete Cullen Who Ran Blago Wiretaps Retires at 61 as Most Senior Agent in the Nation

FBI agent Pete Cullen should have retired in 2006 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 57. But the FBI wanted to keep him around for his expertise.  He ended up running the wire taps on ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently on trial. Last week, after getting extensions to stay, he finally retired at age 61, which made him the most senior FBI agent in the country.

fbi logo largeBy Natasha Korecki
Chicago Sun-Times

It was a historic day on Dec. 9, 2008; Illinois’ sitting governor had just been arrested and FBI supervisor Pete Cullen found himself keeping watch over Rod Blagojevich.

“He was in his running suit. He was stretching, running in place, animated. I couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t sit still,” Cullen said. “He kept combing back his hair.

“It was almost like he’s awaiting going on camera. But we were just here [in the FBI office] — no one was going to see him.”

For more than two months preceding the arrest, Cullen spent every night coordinating more than 100 agents who, in shifts, monitored at least nine different phone lines belonging to Blagojevich and those in his inner circle.

By FBI rules, Cullen shouldn’t have even been there. He reached the FBI’s mandatory retirement age of 57 in 2006.

But again and again, Chicago’s FBI chief Robert Grant had something else in mind for the longtime agent and supervisor.

To read the full story click here.


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