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Archive for January 18th, 2013

Justice Department Slammed for Not Checking References for Job Applicants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department was sharply criticized Thursday for rarely checking references for law-enforcement candidates, according to a report by the agency’s inspector general, the Washington Post wrote

The report said all government agencies are encouraged to conduct reference checks when choosing new employees, the report said.

The Justice Department only mandates those background searches for new attorney applicants, according to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

Horowitz said that some in charge of hiring “are simply not bothering to check references.”

Rep. Issa Calls President’s Nomination for ATF Director a “Slap in the Face”

Rep. Issa/gov photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) said Friday that President Barack Obama’s nomination of B. Todd Jones to permanent director of ATF is a slap in the face.

“Acting Director Jones was at the helm of ATF as many troubling problems from the fallout of Operation Fast and Furious festered,” Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. “His specific decisions on a number of Fast and Furious related issues raise concerns about his judgment and ability to lead the agency. While I continue to believe that ATF needs to have a Senate confirmed Director, President Obama has a responsibility to find a nominee who can win confirmation and is not saddled by a string of bad decisions related to the agency’s greatest recent failure.”

“Jones was first brought into the job of ATF Acting Director in the middle of the Fast and Furious scandal after Justice Department officials had falsely denied reckless conduct and allegations by his predecessor that there was an effort underway to shield the Department’s senior political appointees from the scandal. Because of the numerous ATF mistakes during his tenure as Acting Director pertaining to Fast and Furious, his nomination is a slap in the face to the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Mexican citizens whose murder has been linked to Fast and Furious weapons, and ATF whistleblowers whom he failed to support.”

Jones has been acting director since 2011.

Issa, in a press release wrote that his specific concerns included:

  •  · Failure to hold all the ATF personnel responsible for Operation Fast and Furious accountable – Nearly two years have gone by since the congressional investigation began. Still, several key individuals identified by both Congress and the Inspector General as having played prominent roles in using reckless tactics remain with the agency.
  • Read more »

Defense: FBI Terrorism Sting Went Too Far and Targeted ‘a Kid’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The defense attorney for a man accused of plotting to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Oregon said his client was coerced by over-enthusiastic undercover FBI agents who were bent on getting a terrorism arrest, the AP reports.

The trial continued Thursday in the case of Mohamed Mohamud, who thought he was detonating what turned out to be a phony bomb devised by the FBI. 

The prosecution’s narrative of the case was hammered by the defense who had pointed to recorded conversations between the FBI and Mohamud.

“We are fortunate in this case that the government forgot to turn off its microphones,” federal public defender Steve Wax said, the AP reported.

The case continues today.

Auto Mechanic Dismissed Claims That He Helped Cop Accused in Cannibalism Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A New Jersey auto mechanic was not being serious when he allegedly conspired with a New York City police officer to rape and murder a woman in a cannibalism case, his attorney said in hopes of getting his client’s bail reduced, the Associated Press reports.

In fact, attorney Alice Fontier said her client, 22-year-old Michael Vanhise, wanted the FBI involved in the bizarre case.

“He was happy,” attorney Alice Fontier said of her 22-year-old client, Michael Vanhise. “He was ready and willing to cooperate and help the FBI.”

The attorney said Vanhise went to police on at least four occasions about the NYC cop but was told to go away, the AP wrote.

The officer, Gilberto Valle, is accused in a scheme to kidnap, kill and eat women.

FBI Agent Slammed in Trial Over $14,5000 Spent on Entertainment in Philippines

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Charles Ro, an FBI agent, spent more than $14,500 in taxpayer money on entertainment, cocktails and tips while investigating weapons smugglers in the Philippines, the LA Times reported following testimony during a trial.

The defense for Filipino national Sergio Santiago Syjuco, who is accused of smuggling assault rifles, grenades and mortar launchers from the Philippines to Long Beach, Calif., said Ro had committed “outrageous government misconduct,” defense attorney John Littrell said, accusing the agent of paying for prostitutes, possibly including minors, to encourage participation in the smuggling case, the AP reported.

The “government’s actions in this case, if committed by a private citizen, would be serious federal crimes,” Littrell said in court documents.

Ro and the feds reject the allegations and are expected to present the prosecution side today.

Ex-Homeland Security Agent Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Investigative Records

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former Homeland Security agent who conspired to falsify investigative records pleaded guilty Thursday, and new evidence suggests he faked the documents at the urging of his supervisor, the Associated Press reports.

Wayne Ball was a special agent with Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s Office in McAllen, Texas, when he falsified records in a probe into a customs officer accused of assisting in drug and human trafficking, the AP wrote.

Prosecutors declined to identify the supervisor but an investigation is underway.

Under a plea agreement, Ball is required to cooperate with the prosecutors.

The case involves Ball backdating falsified reports to show investigative work had been done when it had not.

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