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Tag: ethics

FBI Director Warns Feds to Resist Pressure to Act Unethically

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s new director warned agents and others in federal government to resist pressure to act unethically.

“At some point for everybody in this room and everybody in my organization, our integrity will be tested,” Christopher Wray told a Washington audience of investigators who work for federal government inspectors general, Politico reports. “It happens to everybody. It happens to all of us. It could be at a time where we’re being asked to make a decision that is inconsistent with what we know is right and what we know is true, where we’ll be asked to do something without fully thinking it through.”

Wray offered no details of the ethical challenges he expects to face, but he urged internal government watchdogs to resist the pressure.

“It could be at a time we think no one will notice, no one will know,” the FBI chief said. “I would argue that actually those are the times where we need to stay most true to our core integrity and our professionalism. To think critically and thoughtfully and to do what’s right, not just for ourselves individually so we can look ourselves in the mirror as leaders, but for our agencies and the government and the public that we all serve.”

Iowa Judge Profited from Sending Hundreds of Immigrants to Private Prisons

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Iowa federal judge allegedly conspired to profit from investments in private prisons by sending hundreds of immigrants to jail in one of the largest, more unusual immigration raids in U.S. history.

Judge Linda R. Reade and her husband Michael Figenshaw increased their shares in CoreCivic and CEO Group five days before a planned immigration raid at a meatpacking plant in Pottsville, Ia., in May 2008, Mother Jones reports

Reade presided over the mass trials of 400 undocumented prisoners during a brief nine-day period in trailers and even a dance hall at a fairground in Waterloo.

In similar immigration cases, defendants are usually charged with civic misconduct and then deported. But under Reade’s jurisprudence, the immigrants were charged with a more serious crimes – fraud. About 270 people were sentenced to five months in prison.

The prosecution also was accused of misconduct.

Before the raid, Reade met often with immigration officials about the impending arrests. 

In just five months, the judge and her husband watched their stock values increase from $130,000 to $215,000 before cashing out.

Ex-Officer: Secret Service’s Internal Problems Is Its Greatest Challenge

secret serviceBy Former Secret Service Officer Gary Byrne
Washington Examiner

On Inauguration Day, the extensive premises of Washington, D.C., will be secured and re-secured. Hordes of protesters and professional activists will descend on the capital. Terrorists, wannabes inspired by the Islamic State, madmen and cop-haters will literally set their sights. But the Secret Service will stand ready to protect President Obama, President-elect Trump and both of their families from harm.

There will be constant foot, bike and vehicle patrols. There will be metal detection, K-9 bomb sniffing, X-ray and coordination between the military and at least fifty agencies from across the nation. There will be counter-sniper, counter-recon, counter-assault, SWAT, communications monitoring, radiological and explosive ordnance detection. Every single manhole and window will be screened and patrolled.

As some would have you believe, the only thing impairing the Secret Service are the unparalleled challenges presented by Trump. It’s true that his children, grandchildren and many residences create significant challenges. Still, every new president brings unique tests. The agency will always adapt. But it’s at a crossroads for another reason.

The Secret Service’s greatest challenge is not external. It doesn’t come from assassination threats and social unrest. It’s internal, and unless addressed soon, it will become a true danger to Trump, his family, the government and the American people.

The Secret Service that I served, and still love, has two major problems: A systemic ethics problem that makes the protection of its own image a priority, and the employment of far too many administrators and not enough doers.

The 151-year-old institution has been disgraced by scandals involving drones, prostitutes and drunken agents (one of whom, the second-in-charge of Obama’s personal detail, plowed his government car into a barrier at the White House after a late-night rager).

To read more click here.

New York Post: Justice Department Lawyers Get Slap They Deserve

courtroomBy Editorial Board
New York Post

In a stinging slap at the Justice Department, a federal judge last week ordered practically all the lawyers in its main DC office to take ethics training for five years.

At that, they got off lightly: Judge Andrew Hanen said he would have disbarred the lawyers, who had deceived him, if he had the power.

Hanen was the judge who heard the request by 26 states to toss out President Obama’s 2014 executive order granting temporarily legal status to millions of immigrants who aren’t actually legal.

The case is now before the Supreme Court — which is the only reason Hanen didn’t issue a summary judgment against Obama and the lawyers who lied.

Federal rules of civil procedure require attorneys to neither mislead the courts, nor allow the courts to be misled. Hanen found that the Justice lawyers had done just that — in his court.

How so? The states were considering filing for an immediate injunction to stop Justice from implementing the Obama order. The lawyers assured Hanen in court that nothing would go ahead before February 2015, so there was no need.

Then the department went ahead and “legalized” 100,000 illegals — without ever telling the judge.

Hence his fury once he learned the truth.

To read more click here. 

IG: Justice Department Repeatedly Failed to Train Employees on Proper Off-Duty Conduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The problems with Justice Department employees getting drunk and acting out 20 years ago have not been sufficiently addressed and are failing to curtail boisterous off-duty conduct, the Inspector General found.

The Washington Times reports that the department never followed through on recommendations from as far back as 1996 to adequately train employees on the responsibilities and consequence of off-duty conduct.

“We found no indication that DOJ had revisited its off-duty conduct policies or training in any comprehensive manner since then, and no indication that DOJ, despite its significant international presence, had established a department-wide policy or training directed at off-duty conduct abroad,” investigators said.

The IG said part of the problem is that many employees don’t know what is unacceptable behavior when off the clock.

Seattle Times: FBI ‘Obliterated a Line That Should Have Never Been Crossed’ with Fake News Site

By Seattle Times
Editorial Board

The Associated Press has a well-earned reputation as an independent, credible government watchdog. That’s why the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s appropriation of that credibility in a 2007 case obliterated a line that should never have been crossed.

The laudable end — conviction of a student making school bomb threats — does not justify the government’s outrageous disregard of the role of the press in a free society. In fact, it utterly undermines that role at a time when media companies are struggling to remain strong in the face of government abuses over the last two presidential administrations.

On Monday, Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter reported that, in 2007, the FBI mocked up a fake Associated Press story. The intention was to trick a suspect in a series of bomb threats at Lacey’s Timberline High School to click on a link sent to his MySpace account. All this was done under the authority of a federal warrant.

When the suspect clicked on the link, hidden FBI software revealed the suspect’s location to agents.

Initially, Carter found documents suggesting the FBI had nestled the AP story in an email that looked like it was from a Seattle Times’ website. But FBI officials waited almost a full day after Carter’s story was published Monday evening to suggest that, while using The Times name was contemplated and mocked up, the link to the AP story was not sent using a Times email.

The bomb-threat case was serious, no question, and deserved vigorous enforcement efforts. But agents could have tricked the student in other ways — a free concert ticket or free video game. They should not have assumed the identity of a media organization.

The damage matters: “This ploy violated AP’s name and undermined AP’s credibility,” said Paul Colford, director of AP media relations.

To read more click here.

FBI Abruptly Changes Course on Hiring Company to Grade Positivity of News

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has ended its controversial quest to hire a company to grade whether news is positive, neutral or negative, the Washington Times reports.

The bureau abruptly removed the contract solicitation without explanation, and the FBI declined to discuss it.

Journalism ethicists expressed worries about the FBI’s plans to grade news coverage.

“You would certainly worry this could affect access,” Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor for Northeastern University, said. “It might affect the way they’re going to approach your questions, whether they’re going to be extra careful not to make news if you’re on the ‘bad list.’”

Now the FBI is looking for a clipping service but not a grading system.

Jeh Johnson’s Newest appointee at Homeland Security Was Key Figure in Pennsylvania Corruption Case

Christian Morrone

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s newest appointee has a checkered past, the Washington Times reports.

According to court records, Johnson’s chief of staff, Christian Marrone, oversaw the private renovations of a mansion owned by state Sen. Vince Fumo.

At the time, Marrone was one of Fumo’s legislative aides.

According to the report Marrone spent about 80% of his time working on the private job for Fumo.

 

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