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Archive for January 21st, 2014

Ex-Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and his Wife Are Indicted in Alleged Public Corruption Scheme

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected, former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, once mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate,  and his wife Maureen, were charged Tuesday in a 14-count indictment for allegedly taking gifts and cash in exchange for improperly helping a businessman.

Authorities in Eastern District of Virginia alleged in the indictment that from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells schemed to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation, and “JW,” then Star Scientific’s chief executive officer.

The McDonnells obtained the things of value in exchange for the former governor performing official actions on an as-needed basis to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc, a press release said.

McDonnell denied wrongdoing, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Authorities allege that the McDonnells obtained from JW more than $135,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous other things of value.

As part of the scheme, Robert McDonnell arranged meetings for JW with Virginia government officials. McDonnell also hosted and attended events at the Governor’s Mansion that encouraged Virginia university researchers to initiate studies of Star’s products and to promote Star’s products to doctors for referral to their patients.

“Public officials hold positions of trust and must accept the transparency and accountability that our laws require and their constituents expect,” said IRS-CI Chief Richard Weber in a statement. “IRS-CI stands committed to investigating those officials. This case should serve as a strong warning to those who might consider similar behavior. No one is above the law and everyone is accountable for their misdeeds.”

 

FBI Joins Search for Missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird in New Jersey


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird was last seen leaving his home in New Jersey more than a week ago.

Now the FBI is getting involved and helping local police, Fox News reports.

Bird, 55, disappeared on Jan. 11 after going on a short walk in Morris County.

So far, local police have been unable to find any credible leads.

FBI Director Comey Raises Concerns About Radicalized Americans Carrying Out Attacks

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey is expressing increased concerns about Americans being radicalized in the Middle East and North Africa and returning to the U.S. to carry out attacks, the Tribune Washington Bureau reports.

The agency is stepping up efforts to identify radicalized Americans who who travel overseas.

“We are focused on trying to figure out what our people are up to, who should be spoken to, who should be followed, who should be charged,” Comey said in a recent meeting with reporters. “It’s something we are intensely focused on.”

Justice Department Finds Alabama Failed to Protect Female Inmates from Sexual Abuse

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department leveled serious allegations against Alabama officials, saying the state failed to protect female prisoners from being sexually assaulted and harassed by correctional staff, Fox 6 WBRC reports.

“Tutwiler has a history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment,” the department wrote in a report to Gov. Robert Bentley. “The women at Tutwiler universally fear for their safety. They live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior, including: abusive sexual contact between staff and prisoners; sexualized activity, including a strip show condoned by staff; profane and unprofessional sexualized language and harassment; and deliberate cross-gender viewing of prisoners showering, urinating, and defecating.”

The governor’s office expressed support for the investigation.

“Governor Bentley has been supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ proactive measures to address the needs and issues in our prison system. The Department of Corrections has been putting recommendations from the NIC report in place since last January. It is important to ensure safety of inmates and staff inside our prisons, and the Governor is supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ efforts to do just that.”

Video: Border Patrol Denies Excessive Force Was Used in Arrest of Undocumented Immigrant

Controversy surrounds this video of a Border Patrol agent arresting an undocumented immigrant.

The video was captured by resident Jose Guzman, who was arrested after turning over his cell phone video to a TV new station.

 

Documentary about Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Premiered During Sundance Film Festival

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new documentary that explores the life of recently convicted mobster James “Whitey” Bulger premiered this week to a sold-out audience at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The New York Times reports that the film, “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” explores Bulger’s life, his crimes and his 2013 murder and racketeering trial.

The filmmaker, Joe Berlinger, is an acclaimed documentarian who also was behind “Brother’s Keeper” (1992) and the “Paradise Lost” trilogy.

“While the movie aims for balance, its contentions are simple and twofold: that the full measure of the FBI’s complicity in Bulger’s reign of violence was not allowed to be brought out in court, and that history and US citizens will not be served until that happens,” The Times wrote.

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