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Archive for August 10th, 2016

Judge Doesn’t Budge on Lowering Blagojevich’s Sentence Despite Apology and Daughters’ Tears

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rod Blagojevich and his family hoped that a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday would reduce the ex-Illinois governor’s 14-year sentence during a resentencing hearing. But that didn’t happen.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Blago’s  young daughters wept openly in the front row of a federal courtroom and clutched their mom. Their dad, who is locked up at a federal prison in Colorado, appeared in court via a video transmission. He now sports stark white hair.

“I made mistakes,” Blagojevich, 59, said, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I regret those mistakes and those judgments. And I’m sorry, your honor. I wish I could find a way to turn the clock back and make different choices. But that is not possible.”

But U.S. District Judge James Zagel was unmoved and reinstated the 14-year prison sentence despite an appellate court ruling that tossed five of Blagojevich’s convictions last year,  the paper reported.

Other politicians who have gotten stiff sentences for public corruption convictions in recent years include former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson, who got 13 years and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was sentenced to 28 years.

FBI Director Appoints New SACs for Denver and Oklahoma City

Timothy Slater

Timothy Slater

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey has named Timothy Slater to head up the Denver Division and Kathryn Peterson to head the Oklahoma City Division.

Slater most recently served as the deputy assistant director of the Critical Incident Response Group at Quantico, Va.

Slater joined the FBI in 1999 and began his career in the Detroit Division on the Violent Crimes Task Force, according to a press release.  He has held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, as the senior supervisory resident agent over four resident agencies in the Oklahoma City Division, in the Critical Incident Response Group, and in the Knoxville Division.

He’ll assume the new post in September.

Kathryn Peterson most recently served as an inspector in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters.

She joined the FBI in 1990 and was first assigned to the Milwaukee Division, where she worked counterterrorism, gang, drug, and organized crime matters, the FBI said. Peterson has held leadership positions in the Chicago, Albany, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Inspection Divisions, and was a member of the Milwaukee Division’s SWAT team.

She will start the new job in late September.

Prior to joining the FBI, she served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst.

Ms. Peterson will assume her new role in late September.

Justice Department: Baltimore Police Routinely Violated Civil Rights of Residents

baltimore police departmentBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation determined that Baltimore police often are quick to stop, search, arrest and use excessive force on black residents who often did nothing wrong.

The investigation, prompted by the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, found deficiencies in training, supervision and policies “that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of federal law,” the Baltimore Sun reports. 

Part of the problem stems from a zero-tolerance policy that encouraged officers to make a lot of stops, searches and arrest without the proper training.

The investigators concluded that “supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest ‘all the black hoodies’ in a neighborhood.”

Police practices in Baltimore “perpetuate and fuel a multitude of issues rooted in poverty and race, focusing law enforcement actions on low-income, minority communities” and encourage officers to have “unnecessary, adversarial interactions with community members,” the report said.

Fear of Espionage Prompted FBI to Investigate Clinton’s Use of Emails

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she as secretary of state was prompted by fears of espionage.

Vice News obtained two secret letters the FBI sent to the State Department that revealed why an investigation was launched.

The Intelligence Community’s Inspector General feared that Clinton’s e-mails may have been “compromised” and shared with a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.”

A Section 811 referral “arises whenever there is a compromise of classified information — for whatever reason,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It could include espionage, but it could also include negligence, inadvertence, or something else…. Section 811 does not assert a violation of criminal law.”
FBI Director James Comey said last month that the bureau uncovered no “direct evidence” that Clinton’s server “was successfully hacked.”

FBI Asked to Investigate Trump’s Alleged Violent Threat Against Clinton

donald trump rallyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Concerns over Donald Trump’s suggestion that second-amendment supporters could stop Hillary Clinton from making Supreme Court picks were forwarded to the FBI.

The super PAC Democratic Coalition Against Trump contacted the FBI after believing Trump was encouraging violence against Clinton. The PAC sent this to the FBI:

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump immediately reached out to senior officials from the FBI to raise alarms about this call to violence, and to demand that Trump face felony charges under 18 U.S.C. § 879 for making these threats.

“There is no place in American politics for this kind of disgusting rhetoric,” said the organization’s senior advisor, Scott Dworkin. “Donald Trump should immediately drop out of the race, and he should be arrested for committing a federal crime. He’s proven himself to be nothing more than a thug, and anyone supporting him after this grotesque display should be publicly shamed. It’s truly abhorrent and we must all stand united – regardless of party affiliation to say loudly that Americans reject this kind of hateful and dangerous rhetoric.”

The question is whether Trump intended to incite violence against Clinton. Trump quickly said he was misunderstood when he said second-amendment supporters could stop Clinton.

Border Patrol Agents Credited with Saving Life of Car Crash Victim

Via Border Patrol

Via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are being credited with saving the life of a driver involved in a rollover accident in south Texas.

Breitbart reports that agents working out of the Falfurrias Border Patrol state in Brooks County were called to the scene of a rollover accident.

Agents arrived to find a driver near a burning, badly damaged car. The driver had serious injuries, including to his head and neck.

Before medics arrived, agents provided emergency assistance to the injured man.

“The Border Patrol is a valuable resource to our community,” Brooks County Sheriff-elect Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Tuesday. “We are a very poor County financially. Their extra manpower and their saturation throughout the county can mean the difference between life and death to people in some of the remote areas of the county. Because of the number of agents working in our county and their distribution throughout the county, Border Patrol agents are often the first to respond in an event like this. Their training, expertise, equipment, and manpower are an invaluable asset to our community.”

Inquirer Editorial: Philadelphia Politicians Are Constantly Under FBI Probes

police tapeBy Editorial Board
Philadelphia Inquirer

An FBI raid of the home and offices of electricians Local 98 boss John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty doesn’t mean he is guilty of anything. But the fact that the Justice Department keeps finding reason to investigate a union leader with strong ties to powerful elected officials is more than a bit unsettling in a city that only weeks ago saw a congressman convicted of corruption.

Federal agents similarly searched Dougherty’s home 10 years ago in trying to determine the source of mysterious bank deposits that they said suggested “an effort to conceal financial dealings.” Dougherty was given $200,000 to ren
ovate his home by his wife’s parents, his lawyer said. Investigators responded that Dougherty’s in-laws lived “paycheck to paycheck.” But no charges were filed.

In addition to Dougherty’s house, FBI agents executed search warrants Friday at his sister’s house next door; his union offices; the Mount Laurel home of Local 98 president Brian Burrows; and the City Hall and district offices of Councilman Bobby Henon, a former Local 98 political director. Henon, a rising star since his 2011 election, earlier this year ousted Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. as majority leader.

A source told the Inquirer that the FBI’s current focus was on the union’s finances and its involvement in the successful political campaigns last year of Mayor Kenney and state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, John’s younger brother. Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said he had no reason to believe the investigation was related to him. Justice Dougherty provided no immediate comment.

To read more click here. 

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