Archive for March 17th, 2017
By Steve Neavling
A woman who previously headed the FBI Philadelphia office’s computer unit claimed Thursday that she was demoted and replaced with a male employee.
In a civil rights lawsuit, computer specialist Megan Lampinski was removed from her job as a supervisor the information technology division in 2008 because of sexual discrimination, Philly.com reports.
“The government asserts she was a poor supervisor…. The evidence doesn’t back that up,” Lampinski’s attorney, Maurice R. Mitts, told a jury in the civil trial, noting glowing performance evaluations that Lampinski had received before she was demoted.
Lampinski, 52, was promoted to supervisor in the information technology unit in 2004. Then four years later, she said, she was given a nonsupervisory position in security screening, a job for which she had no experience.
The FBI asserts that Lampinski wasn’t performing well.
“There was no discrimination and no retaliation,” said government attorney Kelly A. Smith.
The trial continues Friday.
By Steve Neavling
The FBI is one of the few federal agencies that could benefit from President Trump’s proposed budget.
Under the budget proposal, Trump’s administration recommends a $61 million increase for the FBI and Justice Department to improve tracking terrorist communications and combat cybercriminals, FedScoop reports.
“The FBI would devote resources toward its world-class cadre of special agents and intelligence analysts, as well as invest $61 million more to fight terrorism and combat foreign intelligence and cyber threats and address public safety and national security risks that result from malicious actors’ use of encrypted products and services,” the budget blueprint states.
Trump’s proposed budget would increase the FBI’s overall funding by $249 million, or 3%.
By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times
A woman in El Paso showed up at a courthouse last month seeking protection from an abusive spouse. Instead, she was arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and slated for deportation. In a Pasadena courthouse, a defendant was snatched from his attorney’s side and whisked away for deportation.
President Trump’s supporters may cheer on the ICE agents in these cases — after all, he won the White House in part by promising to crack down on illegal immigration. But as the government itself has recognized, it is both heartless and counterproductive to arrest people on immigration violations as they engage with the fundamentals of civic life: taking children to school (remember: children here illegally are entitled to attend public schools under the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler v. Doe ruling) or going to church or seeking treatment at a hospital. Under the Obama administration, ICE adopted a formal policy of avoiding arrests in such “sensitive locations.”
Courthouses, however, were wrongly excluded from the list of sensitive locations. On Thursday, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, asked the government to keep ICE agents away from courthouses, which, she said, “should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.” The ACLU, noting countless cases around the country in which ICE has interrogated and arrested people as they sought to pay for traffic citations, appear for court hearings as witnesses, get married or obtain restraining orders in domestic violence cases, said the practice “obstructs the ability of immigrants to access the courts” and “endangers public safety.”
To read more click here.
By Steve Neavling
The DEA has raided more than a dozen locations in Colorado over an alleged scheme to ship marijuana out-of-state.
Although Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana, an organization is accused of working with others to ship marijuana out of the state.
The DEA said it was assisting local authorities serve search warrants at 30 locations in Colorado on Thursday, U.S. News & World Report wrote.
New Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to better enforce federal laws on marijuana had nothing to do with the raids, which were months in the making, a DEA spokesman said.
By Steve Neavling
A Massachusetts man who told the FBI of plans to kill then-President Obama was sentenced to time served and five years of supervised release.
Masslive.com reports that Andrew O’Keefe was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday to six months of time already served.
In May 2o15, O’Keefe boldly contacted the FBI using an online anonymous tip page to say, “I’m planning to kill President Barack Obama, and I’ve got a really good plan.”
O’Keefe used his Social Security number to sign in to the tip line.
“Have the Secret Service give me a visit. I could use some company,” O’Keefe wrote in the post.
O’Keefe apparently displayed signs of questionable mental health, telling authorities that he first needed to eat something so that he would have “enough energy” to survive being shot by police. He also apparently told them that words have no meaning and are “myths.”
Eventually, he peacefully surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody.
During court proceedings, O’Keefe’s lawyer characterized him as “a bright … college graduate who seems to be experiencing some emotional problems.”
Previously, Secret Service Special Agent Fred F. Mitchell III had also stated that O’Keefe had “mental health issues” and noted that he had been previously charged with weapons offenses in state court.