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Archive for February 28th, 2012

Atty. Gen. Holder Defends the Way he Handled ATF’s Fast and Furious

Ex-Detroit Treasurer Indicted for Taking Bribes in Case that Cost Pension Funds $84 Million

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — In this cash-strapped city on the brink of financial collapse, seeing public corruption run wild is tough.

On Tuesday, the feds struck back, indicting the city’s former treasurer Jeffrey Beasley for taking bribes and kickbacks in return for approving more than $200 million in investments for two city of Detroit pension funds that lost $84 million from investments associated with the bribes.

Interestingly, Beasley is the former appointee and frat brother of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is already under indictment for public corruption.

The indictment against Beasley alleges that he conspired with others to personally enrich himself and his co-conspirators between 2006 and 2008 by accepting bribes in the form of cash, travel, meals, golf clubs, drinks, gambling money, hotel stays, entertainment, Las Vegas concert tickets, massages, limousine service, private plane flights, and other things of value.

Authorities said that the bribes came from people who had  business before the General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement.

The indictment alleges that Beasley personally received more than $100,000 in cash from people having business before the two pension funds. Another part of the scheme included demands by Beasley and others that individuals having business before the pension funds contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in order to receive approval for their investment requests.

“Employees of the City of Detroit are entitled to honest services from the trustees of their pension funds. We will prosecute public officials who abuse their positions of trust to personally enrich themselves at the expense of the people they were intended to serve,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.

Detroit’s top FBI agent Andrew Arena added:  “This is another example of a once trusted public official abusing their power for personal gain. The FBI remains dedicated to rooting out this type of corruption and reminding public officials they serve the citizens not themselves.”

 

ATF to Ditch the Blackberry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

By Bye Blackberry.

Daid Saleh Rauf of Politico reports that ATF plans to ditch the Blackberry phone “largely in favor of the iPhone.”

“We’re going to delete the BlackBerry from the mix,” Rick Holgate, ATF’s chief information officer, said in an interview, according to Politico.

To read more click here.

 

Mich. Sen. Office Receives Letter with White Powder

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced on Monday that US Senator Carl Levin’s downtown Detroit  office was evacuated after an employee came across a letter filled with a “suspicious white powder,” reports the Detroit News. The powder was later determined to be harmless.

Levin’s office, located in the McNamara Federal Building, has since been reopened, according to the Detroit News. The senator was in Washington when the letter and the powder were discovered.

The Michigan senator is the latest across the nation to receive letters with the powder over the last week, though none have yet proved to be dangerous.

To read more click here.

 

Fla. Lawmaker Resigns After Admitting He Sent Anonymous, Flirtatious Texts to Fed Prosecutor

Rep Steinberg/official photo

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Florida state lawmaker announced his resignation on Friday after admitting that he sent anonymous, flirtatious text messages in 2011 to a married assistant U.S. Attorney, ABC 25 reported.

The admission by Fla. House Rep. Richard Steinberg, 39,  came after the Secret Service traced the unsolicited texts he sent to assistant U.S attorney, Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, who is married. Steinberg is married and has a daughter, according to the Miami Herald. The texts were sent over a three-month period via phone with software that disguised the number.

NBC Miami reported that the station reported that the federal prosecutor knew Steinberg professionally, but not in an intimate way.

The station reported that some of the messages went like this:

itsjustme24680: sexxxxy mama? 🙂

Fernandez-Karavetsos: How do i know you?

itsjustme24680: Hi…sorry, I missed you… what’s up?