Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2019
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Barbara McQuade

Major Shakeup at ATF; Thomas Brandon Named New Deputy Director

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A big shakeup has begun at ATF.

Thomas Brandon, who had recently been sent from Detroit to head up the Phoenix Division and clean up the fall out from Operation Fast and Furious, will become the agency’s deputy director — the number two person.

The acting number two person, William J. Hoover, will move from headquarters to head up ATF’s Washington Field Office. And  Mark Chait, Assistant Director of Field Operations, will head up the Baltimore Division.

At headquarters, Mark Potter, former head of the Philly office, who recently was named Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations for the Western Region of the U.S. and International Operations, will become the ATF Assistant Director for the Office of Management. Larry Ford Will become Assistant Director of Office of Field Operations. Julie Torres will become Assistant Director of Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations.

Other changes are as follows: Gregory Gant will become the Assistant Director of Public and Governmental Affairs; James McDermond will return to the Office of Science and Technology as the Assistant Director; Theresa Stoop, head of the Baltimore Division, will become the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Professional Development; Vivian Michalic will become the Deputy Assistant Director of Office of Management and will remain the Chief Financial Officer for ATF; and Melanie Stinnett will become Deputy Chief Counsel of ATF.

The shakeups come in the midst of a Congressional inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious, a failed operation that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels. Some of those guns have surfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border.

They also come as  the new acting director B. Todd Jones moves to try and resurrect an agency that has been suffering from a severe case of low morale.

Reaction inside and outside ATF about the appointment of Brandon was met with praise.

“He’s a straight shooter, extremely competent, and he wants to do what’s right,” said one veteran ATF agent.

Andrew Arena, who heads up the FBI in Detroit, where Brandon was special agent in charge until recently, said:

“He’s one of the top officials I‘ve ever worked with in nearly 24 years of law enforcement. He gets what the mission is and he’s not into turf battles. He’s about getting it done.”

And Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney in Detroit said “You’ll never meet a more dedicated law enforcement professional than Tom Brandon. He’s incredibly hard working, no ego and just cares about getting the job done. He’s everything you would want in a public servant.”

The change also come as the White House’s nomination for permanent director, Andrew Traver, remains in limbo. The NRA and other gun-rights groups have opposed his nomination, which has stalled in the Senate.  Observers say the nomination is likely to simply die. Traver heads up ATF’s Chicago office.

Brandon might have a better chance of getting confirmed as director. That being said,  the Obama administration isn’t like to spend political capital trying to get a director confirmed before the November 2012 election.   Jones, who is also a U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, is expected to stay on as acting director at least through the end of President Obama’s first term.

 

The Underwear Bomber and Ex-Mayor Indicted; Detroit U.S. Atty. Barbara McQuade Has Had a Busy 1st Year

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By TRESA BALDAS
Free Press Staff Writer

DETROIT — A man suspected of trying to blow up a plane with a bomb in his underwear. A former mayor accused of turning city hall into a mob-like racket. And a man facing the death penalty.

Pretty hairy for her first year on the job.

But U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade took it all in stride, finishing the year with one of the biggest indictments in Detroit history: busting the alleged Kilpatrick Enterprise.

On Wednesday, culminating a six-year investigation, federal prosecutors charged ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and three associates with shaking down city contractors to steer millions in public funds into their own pockets.

To read full story click here.

Ex-Detroit Mayor Hammered Again: Indicted on Public Corruption Charges with Father and Others

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, already facing an avalanche of legal trouble, was hammered again on Wednesday when a federal grand jury in Detroit  indicted him, his father, a city contractor and former aides on public corruption charges centering on government contracts and kickbacks.

In announcing the 38-count  indictment at a televised afternoon press conference, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Kilpatrick used  “his public office as a corrupt organization.”  Authorities said the probe was ongoing for six-years.

Kilpatrick, 40,  once dubbed the “hip hop mayor”,   is currently in prison, serving time for failing to pay $1 million in restitution after he pleaded in 2008 to obstruction of justice charges for  lying  about an affair with his chief of staff and about the discharge of a police official while  under oath during a whistle-blower lawsuit. The lies were revealed in Kilpatrick’s text messages the Detroit Free Press published.

He was sentenced in May to 18 months to 5 years in prison for violating his probation.

A month later, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 19 federal counts including mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion and filing a false tax return. He was Detroit mayor from 2002 to 2008.

Others indicted Wednesday  included Kilpatrick’s father Bernard Kilpatrick, city contractor Bobby Ferguson, former top Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller and former water department chief Victor Mercado.

The indictment alleged that the defendants extorted money from municipal contracts and were knee-deep in bribery.

Authorities alleged that city contractor Ferguson kicked back at least $424,000 in cash and other items of value to Mayor Kilpatrick, and that the mayor used more than $590,000 of ill-gotten cash from the conspiracy to pay off credit card bills, buy clothes and pay off loans.

Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, who had long been under federal investigation, allegedly put $600,000 in cash into his bank accounts and was charged with filing  false tax returns.

U.S. Attorney McQuade, addressing criticisms that her office is piling on charges, said the new charges were far more significant than the ones Kilpatrick has faced in the past two years.  Plus, she said she wanted to send a message to politicians that leaving office doesn’t get you off the hook.

Six Highwaymen Motorcycle Gang Members Convicted of Racketeering in Detroit

Michael Cicchetti

Michael Cicchetti

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Six members of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, accused of engaging in violence, drug trafficking and other illegal activities, were convicted Thursday in Detroit federal court of racketeering conspiracy charges including one member who was tried in absentia after having a heart attack in the third week of trial.

The verdict marked a major victory for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which took on an ambitious project by indicting more than 80 members and associates of the motorcycle gang.  This was the first of potentially many trials to come in what has been regarded as one of the biggest indictments in the history of the U.S.  Attorney’s Office in Detroit.

Those convicted included Aref (Steve) Nagi, 46; Gary (Junior) Ball Jr., 44; Leonard (Dad) Moore, 61; Joseph (Little Joe) Whiting, 56; Anthony (Mad Anthony) Clark, 52, and Michael (Cocoa) Cicchetti, 55, who recently suffered a heart attack during the trial.

“Violent crime is a top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will use all of the tools available to us to attack violent criminal organizations like this one,” Detroit  U.S. Attorney Barbara L.  McQuade said in a statement.

Read more »

Detroit U.S. Atty. Barbara McQuade Launches Media Leak Probe in Corruption Investigation

U.S. Attorney McQuade

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade in Detroit announced Thursday that she’s launched an internal inquiry into “recent disclosures of information to the press regarding federal public corruption investigations.’

McQuade asked investigating agencies to conduct similar internal inquiries, according to a press release issued by her office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI have been engaged in an ongoing probe into public corruption in city hall over the past few years. Targets include former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his father.

“Investigations are kept confidential for a number of important reasons, including protecting the integrity of the investigation, protecting the safety of witnesses, and protecting targets of investigation from public suspicion when no charges have been filed,” McQuade said in a statement. “We take our obligations to protect those interests seriously.”

She noted that if evidence was disclosed by a defendant in violation of a protective order, he would file a moiton for contempt of court.

“Although we can’t prevent witnesses from talking to the press, we will not tolerate leaks from the government or defendants in violation of protective orders,” McQuade said.

President Obama Nominates U.S. Attorneys for Wyoming, Mich., N.C. and Wisc.

Thomas Walker/law firm photo

Thomas Walker/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The slow process of lining up new U.S. Attorneys continued Monday with the nomination of four new names.

The website Main Justice reported that President Obama nominated: Christopher A. Crofts (Wyoming): James L. Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin): Thomas G. Walker (Eastern District of North Carolina): Barbara L. McQuade (Eastern District of Michigan).

The website said a total of 34 U.S. Attorney have been nominated thus far, and 24 of those have been confirmed so far.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST