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Archive for May 15th, 2012

Ex-Hip Hop Mayor’s Presence Felt in Buddy’s Detroit Trial

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Ex-Hip hop Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t on trial. He wasn’t in the gallery.

But his presence Tuesday was undeniable. His good buddy, contractor Bobby Ferguson, went on trial in downtown Detroit in a $12-million bid-rigging case involving a low-income housing project and allegations about money laundering and hidden safes flush with cash.

If it weren’t for Kwame, why else would the U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade have bothered to sit in on the opening statements? Why else would it generate intense press interest? Allegations against an ordinary businessman; who would pay that much attention?

Ferguson is no Bernie Madoff. He’s no Jeff Skilling, the CEO of Enron.

But he is FOK (Friend of Kwame), and in this town that’s big. Plus, it reminds us of the very shady, ugly dealings of the Kilpatrick administration and the lengthy FBI probe into city hall corruption.

To read more click here.

Wife Makes Plea to Missing Calif. FBI Agent

FBI Considering Hate Crime Charges Against George Zimmerman

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

George Zimmerman may face federal hate crime charges in a case that has stirred controversy and debate over race and guns.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin as he returned home from the corner store with a bag of candy in a Florida gated community last February. Now, ABC Action News reports, the FBI is considering adding hate crime charges to Zimmerman’s bill of reckoning.

Martin, a 17 year old African-American, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was killed. His death, and local authorities’ initial lack of response, triggered a national outcry on behalf of the Martin family and young black men, many who say they face daily discrimination.

A social media campaign lit up the web with photos of people across the country wearing ‘hoodies’ like Martin’s in support of his family and the right of young men to be safe on the street,  regardless of skin color or fashion choice.

Zimmerman could face up to life in prison if convicted.

To read more click here.

It’s a Family Affair: John Edwards’ Daughter Slated to Testify

John Edwards

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The corruption trial of former presidential-hopeful John Edwards continues in North Carolina, with his daughter slated to testify Tuesday, reports CBS News.

Just as Edwards’ defense began shifting attention from the affair and the cash spent to cover it up to  campaign finance law.

But the  gavel came down hard. CBS News relays that Judge Catherine Eagles threw out most of the proposed testimony from former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas, upholding the prosecutions’ objections that past FEC rulings are irrelevant in the Edward’s case.

Maybe Edwards’ defense would be better off focusing on the affair.

To read more click here.

Missing FBI Agent Still Missing, 5 Days Later

Stephen Ivens/police photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

FBI Agent Stephen Ivens, 35, has been missing for five days, and officials, concerned he may be suicidal, are calling the search to find him “urgent” reports the LA Times.

Authorities followed bloodhounds trailing a scent to the rugged Californian Verdugo Mountains near Ivens’ home, where he was last seen leaving on foot, seemingly with no personal belongings other than his handgun. This information and his reportedly distraught state have added a sense of urgency to the search.

Authorities don’t believe the agent to be a threat to anyone but himself, and urge anyone who sees him to call authorities rather than approach him.

To read more click here.

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