Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2020
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: affair

Movie Depicting Hoover as Having Gay Affair Rankles Some in FBI

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The bulldog-like mug of J. Edgar Hoover has long been synonymous with the FBI, a world-renowned law enforcement agency forever hyper-sensitive about its public image. Still, Hoover’s legend has taken its lumps over the years.

Now comes the latest: an upcoming movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover, in which the iconic G-man reportedly has a romantic affair with FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson, his constant companion and alter ego.

Word of the movie — with the working title “J. Edgar” and slated for release later this year — is already stirring feelings among current and former FBI agents and employees, and raises the question: What does the legacy of J. Edgar Hoover mean to today’s FBI?

“Obviously it upsets me when he’s commonly portrayed wearing a dress or having an alleged relationship with Clyde Tolson,” says Terry Booth, a retired FBI agent who works for the bureau as a contract employee for its Law Enforcement Online program. “There are those who choose to believe it and those who choose not to. I think 99 percent of the agents don’t believe it.”

Some agents don’t care how Hoover is sexually portrayed in the movie. But there are plenty of others who do, who admire Hoover and feel his reputation is being unfairly besmirched as head of an agency that is still considered conservative and male dominated.

Whatever the case, there are those who say the FBI has moved on.

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

“There are certainly people who are protective of his image,” says former FBI official Mike Mason, who left the bureau in 2007 as executive assistant director at headquarters. “As to his entire legacy, I don’t know how much time agents today think about it. I think the FBI has grown beyond the shadow of Mr. Hoover.”

It is certainly not the first time agents have seen Hoover portrayed in a fashion they find less than flattering. There have been articles and books and YouTube videos portraying him as a sexist and carrying on an affair with Tolson — and yes, even being a cross-dresser. In his later years, he was accused of overstepping his bounds, harassing political dissidents, building files on enemies and becoming far too powerful.

But a movie — which can sometimes have broader impact these days than print in shaping public opinion — has some current and former agents and employees uneasy.

Greg Stejskal, a retired 31-year veteran of the FBI and a columnist for the website ticklethewire.com, says Hoover should get credit for creating a first-rate law enforcement agency that lives on today.

“I think most of my generation and prior to that think Hoover has been done a disservice,” said Stejskal, who concedes that Hoover was far from perfect.

“He’s been vilified in the media, in Hollywood,” Stejskal said. “Unfortunately, he’s not around to defend himself. I think he’s blamed for a lot of things. But people forget things like the wiretaps on Martin Luther King were signed off by Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the Kennedy brothers sat around and listened to some of the tapes, and they didn’t complain then.

“If in fact the reports are based on fact and he’s going to be portrayed as having a sexual relation with Clyde Tolson — or alluding to it — I don’t think that’s fair. There’s no evidence. I suspect Hoover was asexual and married to the bureau. I hate to see the new generation take this as fact.”

Hoover first became director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924 and 11 years later helped found the FBI, which he headed up until his death on May 2, 1972, at age 77.

Some agents and former agents referred to him as a trail blazer in law enforcement, a man who created a sophisticated machinery that relied on science and a world-class fingerprint collection and electronic listening devices.

“The guy was probably the founding father of modern law enforcement,” Stejskal said. “Did he do some things wrong? Probably. But there were a lot of good things. I think the FBI is what it is because of Hoover. I think we owe him. The American citizens owe him a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices he made. The worst crime is that he stuck around too long.”

Most agents agreed that the tactics Hoover used early on in his career did not play well, particularly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By the time he left, the FBI had no female employees and relatively few African-Americans.

Former agent Terry Booth says that even though he arrived at the FBI in 1983 after Hoover had long passed, his presence was felt.

“He was a legendary figure we heard about during our entire career,” Booth recalled. “When I was a new agent, I would see an older agent who worked under Hoover and had an autographed picture of him or a letter of commendation signed by Hoover; I was in awe.”

But some agents dismiss concerns about the new movie.

Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

“First off, who cares?” said one veteran FBI agent who asked not to be named. “I thought a little higher of Mr. Eastwood than that. But I don’t think it hurts the FBI. To me it’s just silliness. Why do it? The guy has been dead since 1972.”

Another agent simply said: “I think the bureau takes the good part of what he did. Without him we don’t have an FBI. He was kind of a visionary. That’s the backbone of how we got started. I think certainly some of the people still in the FBI who worked for him (support staff) drank the Kool-Aid and support him to the end. But I don’t care what he did in his free time. I could care less.”

Added another fellow agent said, “If he were gay today, everyone would applaud it.”

“Is he important? Yes, as the founding father. Is he George Washington? No,” said William M. Baker, who worked under Hoover, was former assistant director of the FBI at headquarters and is a director of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation.

As for the movie, Baker said: “I think it could do damage to his reputation more than the FBI.”

But he dismisses suggestions that Hoover had a romantic tie to Tolson.

“It would be wrong I think if (Clint Eastwood) goes in that direction in any explicit detail. It would be imagination. I worked with agents who protected him and many who were close to him, and no one ever saw anything between the two men that one could use to jump off to depict a sexual relationship. I believe he was truly married to the FBI.”

Head of NY FBI Joseph Demarest Permanently Reassigned to Headquarters

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Demarest, the head of New York FBI, who had been under internal investigation in connection with an affair he’d had with a supervisor in his office, will become the new Assistant Director of the International Operations Division at headquarters in Washington, ticklethewire.com has learned.

FBI agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the New York office, confirmed that Demarest was getting the headquarters job, but referred any other questions to headquarters.

Demarest, whose title was assistant director in charge of the N.Y. FBI,  had been temporarily reassigned to headquarters during the internal probe.

No permanent replacement has been named for Demarest in New York.  In the interim, special agent in charge George Venizelos will head the office.

A number of names have surfaced in the rumor mill including Andy Arena, the head of the Detroit FBI.

Back in March, ticklethewire.com reported that Demarest had been temporarily reassigned to headquarters while an internal probe looked into whether he’d been truthful to investigators looking into an affair with another agent. His story reportedly conflicted with the agent’s version.

The press office at headquarters did not immediately respond to questions about the reassignment and what the outcome was of the internal probe.

UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon the FBI announced the appointment. Here’s the press release.

Head of NY FBI Under Internal Investigation in Connection With Affair and Statements Made About It

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., the head of the New York FBI, the agency’s largest office, is under internal investigation in connection with an alleged affair he had with an underling in management, sources familiar with the situation told ticklethewire.com., which first reported the story.

Demarest, who has headed the New York office since January 2009,  has been temporarily assigned to headquarters in Washington while the Office of Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility look into the matter, sources said.

Demarest (far right) with Pres. Obama and FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi photo

Demarest (far right) with Pres. Obama and FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi photo

As a key part of the probe, according to sources,  investigators are trying to determine how truthful Demarest  was about the matter when he was questioned about it internally.  A website Main Justice reported that his version differed from the woman he had the affair with, and that the probe had been going since January.

A confirmed misconduct in the bureau can result in action ranging from a reprimand to a firing to a forced resignation or a demotion.

It is fairly common for high-ranking FBI officials in the field to be brought back to Washington on a temporary assignment while they are  under internal investigation.  In the past, some of those officials were eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

Demarest began his career with the FBI in 1988 after serving as a Florida sheriff”s deputy for five years. An FBI press release in 2006 said he was married with two children, but he reportedly is no longer married.

Demarest, through a spokesman, declined to comment Thursday.

Michael P, Kortan, the FBI’s chief spokesman, declined to comment on the report. However, he emphasized that Demarest remains in charge of the New York office.

He also said that Demarest was on temporary assignment in Washington to help further develop an FBI management system known as Strategy Performance Sessions (SPS). The program helps monitor and evaluate investigative programs, with an emphasis on the collection of intelligence.

He said Demarest was one of the people who helped originally develop the program for the FBI and his office in New York was noted for having a strong SPS management program.

Head of NY FBI Under Internal Investigation in Connection With an Alleged Affair With Underling and Statements About It

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., the head of the New York FBI, the agency’s largest office, is under internal investigation in connection with an alleged affair he had with an underling in management, sources familiar with the situation told ticklethewire.com., which broke the story.

Demarest, who has headed the New York office since January 2009,  has been temporarily assigned to headquarters in Washington while the Office of Professional Responsibility investigates the matter, sources said.

As a key part of the probe, according to sources,  investigators are trying to determine how truthful Demarest  was about the matter when he was questioned about it internally.  A website Main Justice reported that his version differed from the woman he had the affair with, and that the probe had been going since January.

A confirmed misconduct in the bureau can result in action ranging from a reprimand to a firing to a forced resignation or a demotion.

It is fairly common for high-ranking FBI officials in the field to be brought back to Washington on a temporary assignment while they are  under internal investigation.  In the past, some of those officials were eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

Demarest began his career with the FBI in 1988 after serving as a Florida sheriff”s deputy for five years. An FBI press release in 2006 said he was married with two children, but he reportedly is no longer married.

Demarest, through a spokesman, declined to comment Thursday.

Michael P, Kortan, the FBI’s chief spokesman, declined to comment on the report. However, he emphasized that Demarest remains in charge of the New York office.

He also said that Demarest was on temporary assignment in Washington to help further develop an FBI management system known as Strategy Performance Sessions (SPS). The program helps monitor and evaluate investigative programs, with an emphasis on the collection of intelligence.

He said Demarest was one of the people who helped originally develop the program for the FBI and his office in New York was noted for having a strong SPS management program.

Phoenix FBI Agent Pleads Guility to Having an Affair With the Wife of a Man He Was Investigating

fbi-logo3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The libido of an FBI agent in Phoenix is likely to land him in prison.

Agent Joe L. Gordwin, 40, of Phoenix pleaded guilty earlier this week in U.S. District Court to wire fraud charges for carrying on an improper sexual relationship with the wife of a criminal he was investigating, the FBI said.

Sentencing is set for June 29 before U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton in Phoenix. The charges carry a maximum of 60 years in prison.

“Mr. Gordwin flagrantly and repeatedly violated the oath he took to follow all the rules, regulations and laws that govern the conduct of a federal agent,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien in a statement. O’Brien is from the Central District of California, whose office handled the case.

According to authorities, Gordwin arrested the husband in 2002 and subsequently began a sexual relationship with the wife. Subsequently, Gordwin successfully recommended to the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office that the husband, not identified in the plea agreement document, get a reduced sentence.

The relationship between Gordwin and the wife continued until January 2004, and stopped for several months after the woman’s husband was released from prison, according to the plea agreement.

In November 2004, Gordwin got word that the husband was involved in criminal activity and passed that on to the Scottsdale Police Department. Around that time, he also resumed the affair.

Read more »