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Archive for March 14th, 2014

Weekend Series on Crime: A Photographer Talks About the Hit on Mob Boss Paul Castellano

Senators Call for Inspector General Investigation of Ethics Infractions by Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new report shows that Justice Department lawyers committed hundreds of ethics infractions ranging from recklessness to misconduct.

Now a bipartisan group of senators is supporting a bill that would empower the inspector general to conduct an investigation, NPR reports.

The senators want to bypass the traditional route – using the Office of Professional Responsibility, which reports to the Attorney General and has been criticized for being too secretive.

“Current law invites undue influence from the Attorney General’s office into the process and should be changed to ensure the integrity of investigations of misconduct within the Justice Department,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a prepared statement.

The bill would give the inspect general limitless jurisdiction.

Some of the cases involve intentionally misleading courts.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Kidnapping, Assaulting 3 Immigrants Before Shooting Self

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the death of a border patrol agent who is accused of kidnapping and assaulting three women who were  in the country illegally in South Texas , the Associated Press reports.

The probe began when authorities encountered one of the injured women, which prompted a “search and recovery” effort by Border Patrol agents.

After finding a second woman, Border Patrol and FBI agents went to the Mission home of the accused agent, Esteban Manzanares, and found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot. That is where they discovered the third woman.

Manzanares had been with the agency since 2008 and was on patrol when he discovered the women, according to investigators.

“We believe he is the person responsible for the kidnappings and the assault of all three of them,” said Michelle Lee, an FBI spokeswoman in San Antonio. She did not elaborate on the investigation.

Justice Department Declines to Identify 100s of Federal Prosecutors Accused of Serious Misconduct

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is refusing to identify hundreds of federal prosecutors who are accused of committing serious misconduct over the past decade, the Washington Times reports.

Most of the actions were described as “reckless” or “intentional misconduct,” according to a scathing report released Thursday.

“The lack of transparency insulates the Justice Department from meaningful public scrutiny,” Danielle Brian, the Project on Government Oversight’s executive director, said in a statement. “Our findings raise serious concerns that the attorney general’s office isn’t aggressively overseeing or disciplining its bad apples.”

A bi-partisan group of Senators is calling for an independent investigation.

FBI Refuses to Conduct Pot Background Checks in Washington State Despite Actions in Colorado

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI won’t conduct nationwide background checks on people applying to operate a legal marijuana business in Washington state in stark contrast to the handling of applicants in Colorado, the Associated Press reports.

The FBI’s refusal to conduct the checks surprised officials in Washington because the federal agency does similar background checks in Colorado, where marijuana also is legal for recreational use.

The inconsistent practices of the FBI worries some.

Others in Washington state are worried that people with egregious criminal histories will end up with pot licenses.

Justice Department Blocks FBI from Conducting Full Investigation of 2 U.S. Senators

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating corruption have uncovered allegations of wrongdoing against two key U.S. senators – Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Sen. Mike Lee – but there’s a big problem.

The Justice Department has prevented the FBI from launching a full investigation, the Washington Times reports.

The investigation, rather, is being led by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah.

Typically, corruption cases involving elected officials involve the Justice Department’s public integrity section.

But the Justice Department is declining the FBI’s request to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine the accuracy of the allegations.

“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody,” Sim Gill, a Democrat who is the elected chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County, told The Times. “If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”

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