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Archive for October 25th, 2012

FBI Probes Letters Designed to Scare Florida Voters from the Voting Polls

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI is investigating potential voter intimidation after official-looking letters questioning people’s eligibility to vote began turning up in mailboxes in at least  28 Florida counties, NBC News reports.

“We’re taking it as a serious situation,” David Couvertier, a spokesman for the FBI in Tampa, told NBC News on Wednesday. “We’re looking at everything from civil rights violations to election fraud — to everything in between.”

The letters, which began arriving Friday under the real names of Florida county election supervisors, raise questions about recipients’ citizenship status.

The letter threatens arrest for people who cast a ballot and aren’t eligible.

Florida is a critical battleground state in the 2012 presidential election.

Border Patrol Agent Settles Whistleblower Retaliation Claim Over Comments About Port Angeles Station

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who said he and his family were subjected to “ugly harassment” by federal officials in retaliation for complaining that the Port Angeles station is wasting resources reached a settlement with the agency, the Associated Press reports.

Christian Sanchez settled with Border Patrol over his whistleblower retaliation claim during mediation by the Office of Special Counsel, the AP reported.

Border Patrol officials declined to divulge details of the settlement, saying the terms were confidential.

Sanchez apparently ruffled feathers when he told the Sunlight Foundation Advisory Committee on Transparency in July 2011 that the Port Angeles station is a “black hole” with “no purpose, no mission.”

ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Reinstated While Federal Board Investigates His Case

Vince Cefalu

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The ATF special agent who was fired recently after blowing the whistle on the failed gun-running operation, Fast and Furious returned to his job, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

Vince Cefalu is back on the payroll for at least 45 days while the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, which oversees federal employment issues, examines the case, the Journal reported.

The request to temporarily reinstate Cefalu came the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigator.

Giving ATF officials five days to comply, the board ordered the agency to “reinstate Mr. Cefalu to his position of Criminal Investigator, with the same duties and responsibilities in effect immediately prior to his removal,” according to the Journal.

The agency maintains Cefalu was fired for “lack of candor.”

City of Joliet Considers New Detention Center for Immigrants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The city of Joliet in Illinois could be home to a new detention center for immigrants facing deportation after residents of suburban Crete derailed a similar plan in their city, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Joliet officials are considering the plan but were short on specifics.

The Tribune said City Manager Tom Thanas met with ICE officials last week in Washington to discuss the issue.

City Council members were briefed on the proposal during a closed-door session last week, the Tribune reported.

“I don’t know enough about it at this point to offer an informed opinion,” Councilwoman Jan Quillman told the tribune. “My understanding is that this is all very preliminary.”

ICE has been looking for a site near Chicago where a private company would build and operate the detention center.

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Millie Parsons, Longest Serving Employee in FBI History, Dies at Age 99

Millie Parsons

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mildred C. Parsons, the longest working FBI employee, who retired in 2002, died on Sunday. She was 99.

In June 2002, I was working at the Washington Post and I had the opportunity to interview Mildred Parsons, a sweet woman who worked as an FBI secretary in Washington for 62 years, 9 months and 2 days — never once calling in sick.

I wrote back then:

Yesterday, clad in a bright-pink dress suit adorned with a white corsage, Parsons, 88, the longest-serving employee in FBI history, retired. Her final day on the job included a visit to the office of the director, Robert S. Mueller III, and a party, during which former and current co-workers showered her with hugs and unbridled adulation.

“No, I’m not going to cry,” she told well-wishers. “It is sad, but at the same time, it’s nice. Everyone has to retire sometime. It’s time for me to leave.”

In nearly 63 years on the job, Parsons, known as Millie, had a headache or two and a cold, but no ailment serious enough to make her stay home.

“I may have sneezed or something, or had a little bit of a cold,” she said. “If I had a headache, I just went in there. If I was around people, I would forget.”

Parsons died on Sunday, reportedly from heart failure. She was 99.

I got emails from folks who worked with her letting me know. She was one of those FBI legends.

A funeral service  will be held on Thursday. A posting on the funeral page website said: “Beloved wife of the late Harry B. Parsons; survived by her nephews Robert Engle, Marion “Skip” Toms, niece Barbara Farmer, her friend and dance partner Robert M. Harris and numerous great nieces and nephews.”

(If anyone would like me to post a comment about Millie on this story, please send comments to: Lengela@ticklethewire.com.)