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Archive for December 29th, 2014

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch Named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year for 2014

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, has been named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year for 2014.

Lynch, who was appointed to the post by President Obama in 2010, is known as a solid leader with strong management skills. She has shown a steady hand in leading the office, which has indicted a number of high-impact cases without worrying about generating media publicity.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Lynch’s skill set and professionalism made her a natural pick for President Obama, who has nominated her to replace Eric Holder Jr. as Attorney General.  She’s gotten the endorsements of law enforcement including the the FBI Agents Association, which said in a statement in November:

“The FBIAA appreciates the importance of Attorney General leadership, and we look forward to working with Ms. Lynch, who has been a strong supporter of FBI Agents from her days as a trial attorney to her time as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York”

This is Lynch’s second tour of duty as head of the office in Brooklyn. She headed the office from 1999 to 2001 under President Clinton.

Her office is known for its steady flow of indictments ranging from mob cases to public corruption to stock fraud.

She is the second U.S. Attorney to receive the award since it was first given in 2008. The first year, the award went to then-Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Besides Fitzgerald, previous recipients have included:  Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010) and Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011) and David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterrorism in Los Angeles. Bowdich was just named assistant director in charge of the LA office.

 

FBI Agent Under Investigation for Fatally Shooting Dog in Maryland

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating whether one of its agents acted inappropriately when he fatally shot a dog that he said was attacking his smaller canine in Glen Burnie, Maryland, ABC News reports. 

The incident happened Friday after Carol Feldhaus said she was walking her Great Dane with her 4-year-old grandson when she told a man to keep his distance because of her dog. She said the man ignored her and entered a narrow footbridge at the same time she did, and her Great Dane lunged at the smaller dog, causing her to fall to the ground.

“I heard the dogs barking at each other and growl,” she said. “Next thing I heard was bam-bam! And I’m half way up and the dog just walks to me and drops and there’s blood everywhere.

“I was just like in shock and I yelled, ‘You shot the dog,’ he said he was an undercover cop and he was protecting his dog,” she said. “Pulling a gun and shooting another dog in a park. What is wrong with this man?”

The FBI said in a statement that it is investigating.

“Initial information is that an approximately 180 pound dog broke free from the woman walking it along a footpath near Hopkins Corner and attacked a much smaller dog. An Agent shot and killed the larger dog. No one else was hurt. We are working jointly with Anne Arundel County PD, as well as the Inspection Division from FBI Headquarters to investigate.”

 

Border Patrol Beefs Up Security After Claim That Agent Kidnapped

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A claim that a Border Patrol agent was kidnapped by a Mexican cartel has prompted the agency to increase safety in some border towns, UPI reports.

As new safety measures are taken, Border Patrol officials said no agents are missing from the Rio Grande Valley sector, but they are still trying to reach some off-duty agents.

One precaution being taken in the El Pastor sector, which includes 268 miles, agents are required to keep in constant contact with headquarters, UPI wrote.

“At this time, the authenticity of the phone call received by the La Joya Police Department is uncorroborated. Nevertheless through an abundance of caution, El Paso sector has enacted safety protocols sector wide. The sector maintains communication with headquarters of the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection,” the U.S. Border Patrol said.

President George W. Bush Paved Way for Weakened Secret Service

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Secret Service’s ability to carry out its duties to protect the president was compromised by the expansion of duties in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reports.

That explains the recent string of embarrassing security lapses, the Post reported, citing interviews and government documents.

Under expansions approved by Congress and President George W. Bush, the agency began stretching responsibilities to include more monitoring of large sporting events and other big gatherings. The agency also took charge of tracking cyberthreats against U.S., and around-the-clock protection was extended to more people.

Those responsibilities came even as the agency’s ranks were diminished by early retirements.

“We are not the Super Bowl team we once were,” Dan Emmett, a former Secret Service supervisor, said in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

Ogden Editorial: Secret Service Needs New Leader Who Won’t Tolerate Inefficiency

Ogden Newspapers
Editorial Board

Unless the Secret Service is shaken up at the very top, the agency charged with protecting the president and other top officials will not correct problems that threaten its mission, an investigation has concluded.

After scandal after scandal – including lapses in which the president was put at risk – a group of former government officials was asked to examine the Secret Service and propose solutions. Earlier this month, their report was released.

Reform will not occur unless a new director from outside the agency is placed in charge of the Secret Service, those who studied it emphasize. They referred to the agency as “insular.”

In other words, the Secret Service is a bureaucracy where inefficiency has become acceptable.

The outside director proposal certainly touches on the problem of insiders unwilling to rock the boat. But it does not go far enough.

Much of the federal bureaucracy has problems similar to those plaguing the Secret Service.

Sending someone from another agency there may merely replace someone knowledgeable about it with someone else who is not – but who has the same sort of “insular” mindset.

To read more click here.

Number of Weapons Seized at Airports This Year Increased 20% Over Last Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The number of weapons seized at airports this year have increased 20% over last year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

TSA agents have confiscated 2,164 guns as of Christmas, which marks the seventh consecutive year of increases in the number of weapons seized.

So what’s the deal? Haven’t people been warned enough since Sept. 11, 2001, that they won’t be able to board a plane with a weapon?

It appears not, TSA officials said.

The agency launched a public-relations campaign last month to remind people during the holidays to leave their weapons at home.

Other Stories of Interest