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Archive for August 5th, 2013

Robert Foley, Head of FBI’s Detroit Office, is Stepping Down Because of Family Illness

Robert Foley/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detroit’s FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, whose family home was custom built in the Motor City when he took the job nearly a year ago, told the Detroit Free Press today that he is stepping down.

But the East Coast native isn’t leaving the FBI; he’s taking a job fighting public corruption in Florida, the Free Press reported.

Foley, whose career with the FBI spans 17 years, said his move was prompted by a recent health issue in his family. He said he’s moving to Florida because he has a lot of family support there.

“I fell in love with the people, their worth ethic, their strength,” Foley told the Free Press of Detroiters. “Despite the many challenging economic issues here … Detroit will turn around. It’s a place full of hope, inspiration and hard work that will get it to turn around.”

Ex-Prosecutor Turned Author Tries to Shield Her Parents from the Steamy Sex Scenes

Featured_leotta_7113
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Allison Leotta, a Detroit native living in the D.C. area, likes to send her parents in Michigan a draft of her new novels — minus the chapters with the steamy sex scenes.

“I take out those chapters,” says Leotta, a Michigan State University graduate.

But her mother, Diane Harnisch, of West Bloomfield, Mich., says at least with the last transcript, her daughter may have forgotten to excise those chapters. Not that it really matters. She says she reads the published books as well.

“I want to know exactly what she’s writing,” says Harnisch. “Of course as a mom, it makes me a little uncomfortable  at times. and wondering how in heavens name does she know that stuff.”

Her parents and grandmother are perhaps her  biggest fans, but certainly not the only ones.

Leotta, 40,  who is married and the mother of two young boys, is on fire in the literary world.

Described in the Providence Journal as a female John Grisham, the former D.C. sex crimes prosecutor will release her third novel “Speak of the Devil”, Tuesday.

It’s part of the ongoing series centering around a fictional sex crime prosecutor named Anna Curtis. On day of the debut, she’ll appear for a book signing at 7 p.m. at Books-A- Million on Southfield Road in Beverly Hills.

The third book isn’t her last.

Leotta recently signed a contract with Touchstone/Simon & Schuster to write two more novels as part of the series, she tells Deadline Detroit.

In her latest book, the main character, prosecutor Anna Curtis gets engaged. That’s the good news.

On the downside, one of her cases takes a vicious turn.  A criminal named Diablo — the Devil — leads an attack on a brothel. It results in an investigation into the dangerous  MS-13 gang, which has roots in El Salvador.  Curtis tries to keep her personal and professional life separate.  But the dangers of the job come to her doorstep.

Leotta says this book is a little darker than previous works, “but it’s a lot more suspenseful. People who have read it have been surprised by all the twist and turns.”

A  sex crimes prosecutor, she left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. in 2011 to write full time.

While working as a prosecutor she wrote her first novel “Law of Attraction.” As policy, the Justice Department had to review the transcript for any security breaches. Leotta wasn’t worried about that. What concerned her was having colleagues having read the sex scenes.

Leotta, who grew up in Franklin and Farmington Hills, and attended Harvard Law School, always can depend on two people to help generate interest in her book signings in Metro Detroit:  Her father, Alan Harnisch of Troy, who is  a former federal prosecutor, and her mother.

“They’re my biggest fans,” she says. “They never fail to pack the bookstore with friends whenever I’m there.”

Her mother says: “I couldn’t be more proud of her or in awe of her ability.”

Interestingly, Leotta says her grandmother has read the books as well — steamy scenes and all.

“With my grandma, she read the published  books, and she said she was shocked, and said ‘ how did you learn all that stuff?”

Besides writing books, Leotta has a blog, The Prime Time Crime Review, which evaluates crime shows for true-to-life  accuracy.

 

Retired Federal Michigan Judge Wendell A. Miles Dies at 97

Judge Miles

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Retired U.S. District Judge Wendell A. Miles of the Western District of Michigan died last Wednesday. He was 97.

Miles was appointed to the bench in 1974 by President Richard Nixon. Twelve years later, he took senior status and continued to hear cases until the end of 2008 when he took inactive status, according to an obituary posted at the funeral home of Metcalf &Jonkhoff.

In 1989, he was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a seven year term.

His full obituary is included below. It was posted on the website of Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service.

MILES, WENDELL The Honorable Wendell A. Miles, retired United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan, age 97, of Grand Rapids, passed away on July 31, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mariette B. Miles in 2009.

Read more »

New Documentary on JFK Assassination Suggests Secret Service Accidentally Shot JFK

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The endless search for answers in the JFK assassination was the impetus for yet another film.

“JFK: The Smoking Gun” pursues this question: Did a Secret Service Agent accidentally shoot President Kennedy in Dallas in November of 1963?

The docudrama that will air on ReelzChannel is based on the book, “Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK,” reports the Associated Press.

The film suggests that agent George Hickey was driving behind the president when he accidentally shot the president after Lee Harvey Oswald fire his first shot.

“What we’re saying is that we believe it was a tragic accident in the heat of that moment,” McLaren told the Television Critics Association on Sunday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Closing Arguments to Begin in Murder, Racketeering Trial of ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The murder and racketeering case against accused mobster James ‘Whitey” Bulger may have reached its final days as prosecutors and defense attorneys prepare to present lengthy closing arguments today, the Associated Press wrote.

The nearly eight-week trial will give way to closing arguments after jurors heard testimony about 19 killings in which Bulger is accused of being involved.

It has been a long time coming. The 83-year-old man fled Boston ahead of an indictment, and he remained one of the most wanted fugitives until he was found in California in 2011.

Judge Denise Casper has given each side three hours and 15 minutes to present closing arguments.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday.

Federal Agencies Complain of Being Unable to Access NSA’s Surveillance Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal intelligence agencies have been complaining of a lack of access to the NSA’s trove of surveillance information, creating what the New York Times called “turf fights.”

The Times reports that the NSA has been rejecting numerous requests for information from agencies working on cases that range from cyberattacks to money laundering.

NSA investigators said the requests were rejected because the cases weren’t considered high priority enough.

NSA officials maintain they have been careful about violating Americans’ privacy rights.

“It’s a very common complaint about N.S.A.,” said Timothy H. Edgar, a former senior intelligence official at the White House and at the office of the director of national intelligence. “They collect all this information, but it’s difficult for the other agencies to get access to what they want.”

 

Report: FBI Background Checks Are Riddled with Inaccuracies That Cost People Jobs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As employers increasingly rely on FBI background checks before hiring prospective employees, a new report shows the process is riddled with errors and omissions, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The report from the Employment Law Project estimates that 1.8 million workers are subjected to faulty background checks.

“As millions of workers struggle to navigate a still-challenging job market, the FBI must avoid creating wrongful barriers that cause unnecessary job loss and financial harm,” the report’s authors wrote. “The FBI is more than a mere receptacle of information; the imprimatur of the FBI marks the records as authoritative and trustworthy.”

That’s not good news for the increasing number of people who are subjected to FBI background checks. In the past decade, the number increased six times to 17 million last year.