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Archive for October 10th, 2012

ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Fired

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu, a whistleblower who became a particularly  controversial figure after voicing concern about the failed Operation Fast and Furious, was “unceremoniously” handed his dismissal papers on Tuesday, according his spokesman.

An ATF official met him at the Denny’s parking lot in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, near his home, where Cefalu turned in his credentials,  said his spokesman Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, who now has his own public relations firm.

Crosby said Cefalu was fired for “lack of candor.”  He did not elaborate.

Cefalu has hired an Atlanta law firm to fight the dismissal.

Cefalu worked for more than two decades for ATF, often in an undercover capacity in major cases involving motorcycle gangs in California and the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

Wade Drew, a spokesman for ATF, said he could confirm that Cefalu worked for ATF for nearly 25 years and that he was no longer with the agency. But he said ATF does not comment on personnel or disciplinary matters.

In recent years, Cefalu  has been one of the more publicly vocal critics of ATF management. He claims to have gone through all the proper channels to voice his concerns about ATF management, but all to no avail.

“I have just been trying to do my job: make good cases, put away the bad guys, keep the our citizens and our agents safe,” he said in a statement after his termination. “ATF management has been bending the rules and breaking the rules. The agents want ATF to be the proud agency it once was, not a place where some managers jeopardize our citizens and our cases. The behavior of ATF management has been speaking for itself with all the transfers, reassignments, resignations. It has been a mess and an embarrassment. That’s not the ATF I have devoted my career and life to, and I do not regret trying to change it.”

Zahra S. Karinshak, an Atlanta-based attorney from Krevolin & Horst, who represents Cefalu, said in a statement:

“Vince has tremendous courage. Anyone who infiltrates the KKK and biker gangs to bring them to justice has an incredible sense of dedication. Vince has a team who will fight for him in court as aggressively as he fought violent crime on our streets.”

ATF had tried firing Cefalu last year. However, he appealed the termination. It  became final on Tuesday.

 

FBI: Tell the Truth Or You Could End up Behind Bars Like Martha Stewart

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one wants to end up like Martha Stewart – a raging success who landed behind bars.

Tapping into that fear, FBI agents bounced around the design diva’s name several times during a year-long probe into whether Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and staffer Kathleen Winn violated election laws, the East Valley Tribune reports.

The newspaper’s review of FBI transcripts revealed that agents used her name at least three times in hopes of getting witnesses to divulge more information.

Despite the FBI’s efforts, no charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

FBI Taps New Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Division in Washington Field Office, Timothy Gallagher

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI has tapped a new Special Agent in Charge of the bureau’s Washington Field Office, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Timothy Gallagher, who most recently served as chief of the Financial Crimes Section at FBI headquarters, will head criminal and cyber probes in D.C. and northern Virginia.

Gallagher’s career as a special agent began in 1996, when he investigated a wide-range of criminal activities at the Cleveland Division’s Canton Resident Agency.

He also was a member of the team that responded to the crash site of United Flight 93 in Somerset, PA, on Sept. 11, 2011.

Con Man Wanted Hitmen to Store Heads of Judge, Prosecutor in Formaldehyde Until His Release

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Romano, a convicted con man, wanted revenge for being sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

So much so, reports the New York Daily News, that he tried to hire hitmen to torture and decapitate the judge and prosecutor who oversaw his case in New York.

An added bonus to the killers: Store their heads in formaldehyde until Romano’s release from prison, according to the Daily News, citing authorities at a court hearing Tuesday.

Romano, 49, was convicted in 2010 of wire and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to sell collectible coins at outrageously inflated prices.

Border Patrol Shoots at Suspicious Driver in Texas; Car Crashes, Catches Fire

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents opened fire on a stolen car when the driver tried to run over agents in a desperate attempt to flee Tuesday, News 4 WOAI reports.

The incident happened after agents pulled over the car after discovering it was stolen.

But when agents got out to talk to the driver, he reversed the car and tried to hit the agents, a Border Patrol spokesperson told News 4.

After agents opened fire, the driver crashed through a fence and hit a tree before the car caught fire, News 4 reported.

Agents rescued the driver, who was in serious condition at a San Antonio hospital, according to News 4.