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Tag: flint water crisis

A Chat With the Head of the Detroit FBI on ISIS, Corruption, Jimmy Hoffa and Flint

David P. Gelios

David P. Gelios

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — It has been anything but dull since David P. Gelios arrived eight months ago from FBI headquarters in Washington to head up the Detroit FBI office.

For one, his agents have been busy probing the highly-publicized Flint water crisis.  And then there’s the kickback scandal in Detroit Public Schools that has resulted in charges against a dozen principals, a school administrator and a greedy vendor.  He says the investigation, which is still open, hit close to home because of his previous life as a school teacher.

A native of the Toledo area, Gelios graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He went on to work as a high school teacher in Bakersfield, Calif., a college volley ball coach at Ball State and an outreach officer for the University of California Office of the President.

In 1995, he joined the FBI, first working in the Sacramento Division. He then went on to work in a number of offices including Juneau, Louisville, New Haven and headquarters in D.C., his last stop before Detroit where he served as chief of the Inspection Division, overseeing all FBI field inspections, national program reviews and agent-involved shootings

Of his new assignment in Detroit, he says:

“I like to call it one of the better kept secrets in the FBI.”

In a wide ranging interview, Gelios recently sat down with ticklethewire.com’s Allan Lengel to talk about public corruption, the challenges of encrypted communication devices and apps, cyber crime, ISIS recruiting, the Hoffa investigation and organized crime.

The following interview has been trimmed for brevity. The questions have been edited for clarity.

DD: As a former teacher, did you look at the kickback investigation into the Detroit school principals and the administrator from more than just the perspective of an FBI agent?

Gelios: I absolutely did and in my remarks at the announcement of the charges at the press conference, I said, having been a former teacher, I found it especially disturbing to me knowing what I know about education and knowing what I know about education in the city of Detroit, that people would embezzle such limited funds from a struggling school district.

DD: Being an FBI agent, does it surprise you that people would take advantage of a situation like that?

Gelios: You know in my career, nothing really surprises me any more. School districts have been embezzled from in the past and they continue to be embezzled from.

DD: Do you expect more charges in the school scandal?

Gelios: I would only say that it’s possible. It remains a pending investigation, but that’s as far as I’ll go with that.

DD: In the Flint water system mess, the state has its own investigation and the FBI has an investigation with the U.S. Attorney and EPA. Are you working with state investigators?

Gelios: We have a separate investigation, but the door is open for collaboration between the state investigation and the FBI’s investigation. But I’d best characterize it as an independent investigation being conducted with EPA and the FBI.

David Gelios (far right) at press conference for school corruption probe.

DD: Are you concentrating more on federal employees and federal charges?

Gelios: It’s a pending investigation, so I’m not going to be able to say much. But I think we’re investigating the entire situation, so ours would not just be focused on federal employees. Often times when there’s a state investigation and a federal investigation, we work through the appropriate prosecutors at the state level and the federal levels to see where we can most effectively bring charges. It’s conceivable that some charges would simply be at the state level and some charges would be at the federal level, if and when there are federal charges.

Read more »

FBI Investigating Flint Water Crisis That Led to Thousands of Residents Being Poisoned

featured_water_13312By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has joined the investigation into the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of residents with lead-contaminated drinking water while the city was under state control.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that federal prosecutors are “working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”

The contamination began when state officials began using the Flint River for drinking water while the city was working on a new pipeline.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Oversight Committee is scheduled to begin its first hearing on the issue.

Former Detroit FBI Chief to Help State Investigation of Flint Water Crisis

Andy Arena

Andy Arena

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former head of the Detroit FBI is helping assist a Michigan attorney general investigation into the handling of the Flint water crisis that led to thousands of residents being poisoned by lead, The Detroit Free Press reports. 

Attorney General Bill Schuette, who originally refused to get involved in the water crisis, said he’s tapping Andrew Arena, a former FBI Director in Detroit, to help investigate.

“We will do our job thoroughly and let the chips fall where they may,” Schuette said in a news release.

“This investigation is about beginning the road back to rebuild, regain and restore trust in government.”

The Republican, who appears to be planning to run for governor in 2018, said the investigation will determine whether city or state officials violated laws for their handling of the crisis.

Arena, a former prosecutor in Michigan, worked on high-profile corruption cases while he was the head of the FBI’s Detroit office.

“I am honored to return to public service on a case so important to the public trust,” Arena said in the news release. “We will enter the investigation with open eyes and follow the facts, whatever the outcome, and Flint families and Michigan families will receive a full and independent report of our investigation.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating to determine if any laws were broken.