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Tag: mayor

Marion Barry’s Civil Rights Achievements Overshadowed by FBI Sting involving crack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For better or worse, the defining moment of Marion Barry’s storied political career was an FBI bust that revealed the D.C. mayor smoking crack in a hotel room in 1990.

“Bitch set me up,” Barry said of the woman who was a part of the sting.

Barry, who also was a tireless supporter for generations of black people, died Sunday.

He was 78.

The FBI sting cost Barry six months in prison but it didn’t end his political career. The son of a sharecropper was elected to a fourth term as mayor in 1994 and then served three terms on the D.C. Council from 2004-15.

His civil rights achievements were overshadowed by the surveillance video showing him smoking crack.

Click here to see the video.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Becomes Sixth Republic Governor Under Scrutiny by Investigators

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republican governors have been under heat recently, and the latest is Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

The FBI is investigating whether Brownback confidantes were running an influence-peddling operation over getting people personal access to the governor, MSNBC reports.

He’s far from the only Republican governor receiving scrutiny.

According to MSNBC:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), for example, is at the center of a series of scandals, while former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is facing corruption charges. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has faced some uncomfortable questions recently; Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has found himself at the center of an investigation into his handling of a district attorney’s drunken driving arrest; and subpoenas have already been issued in an investigation involving North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) administration.

The Kansas inquiry is focusing on Parallel Strategies, a lobbying firm created by three former Brownback employees who left public service for the private sector.

FBI Rushed Trenton Mayor Mack Investigation Because of Suspicions from Inner Circle

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI rushed its investigation into Trenton Mayor Tony Mack because agents were worried the administration knew about the probe, the Trenton Times reports

A city carpet salesman, who was Mack’s fraternity brother, warned the mayor of an investigation, prompting the FBI to scurry for search warrants. 

“We needed to execute immediately because we believed we were compromised in the investigation,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Mike Doyle said.

Mack and his brother are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for fast-tracking the sale of property to build a garage, which actually was an FBI sting operation.

Did FBI Conduct Warrantless Wiretapping of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack?

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was listening to Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s cell phone calls for nearly six months under the authority of a court.

But that authorization ended two days after agents raided Mack’s home last summer, the NJ.com reports.

Government records now suggest agents continued to tap Mack’s phone, raising major questions surrounding the handling of the probe of the mayor of New Jersey’s capital city.

NJ.com wrote that defense attorneys are likely to challenges any warrantless wiretappings.

“It will come out at the time of motions,” said Jerome Ballarotto, a lawyer for Mack’s co-defendant Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Brothers, Father Accused of Running Small Texas Town with Retaliation, Intimidation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to politics in the small Texas town of Progreso, it’s safe to say the Vela family flexed some muscle.

Omar Vela, 35, is the town’s mayor. His brother, Michael Vela, 28 (pictured), is the president of the school board. And their father, Jose Guadalupe Vela, 64, works in management at the school district.

All three are accused of participating in a “pay-to-play” scheme involving contractors, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Following an FBI investigation, the trio were charged in federal court Wednesday with conspiracy, mail fraud, theft and bribery.

Special Agent Ricardo Ale testified in court Wednesday that the men ruled through intimidation and retaliation.

The border town of Progreso has a population of about 5,000.

Prosecution: Ex-Detroit Mayor Ran a Criminal Enterprise That Was Like a “Private Profit Machine”

Kwame Kilpatrick/deadline detroit

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Federal prosecutor Mike Bullotta loaded up with plenty of ammunition and never stopped firing away Monday afternoon during a forceful closing argument in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Standing in front of a lectern, before jurors, he said Kilpatrick turned the mayor’s office into “a private profit machine” in what the government dubbed “Kilpatrick Incorporated.”

He said the mantra of corrupt organization, made of up Kilpatrick, his dad Bernard Kilpatrick and friend Bobby Ferguson — was “no deal without me.”

“If you wanted a city contract, you had to pay,” Bullotta said. “If you didn’t pay, you didn’t get a contract.” He added that the citizens of Detroit lost out.

To read more click here. 

 

 

Prosecution in Ex-Detroit Mayor Case Rests: Defense Starts Its Offense With a Whimper

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — After 4 1/2 months and about 80 witnesses, the prosecution in the federal trial of the ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick rested Thursday morning, opening the door for the defense to begin calling witnesses in what’s expected to take less than two weeks.

But things didn’t go so great for the defense on its first day on the offense.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, called to the stand forensic accountant Gary Leeman, an expert in non-profits, who appeared to be more of a help to the prosecution than the defense.

During cross examination, Leeman laughed when prosecutor Mike Bullotta asked if yoga lessons for Kilpatrick would have been a legit expense from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a non-profit fund created to help the community.

“I would highly doubt that that would be proper,” he said laughing a bit. “Not even close.”

It was obviously something Thomas would have preferred not to hear from his own witness.

To read more click here.

 

 

In an Asian Restaurant Bathroom, Aide Delivered $10,000 Payoff to Detroit Mayor

Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick with ex-friend Derrick Miller (inset)

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — On Thursday, Derrick Miller finally talked about the much anticipated payoff in the bathroom — something out of an episdoe of “The Sopranos.”

Miller, a former close friend who was in Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration, testified at Kilpatrick’s federal trial that the then-mayor asked him to get cash for him from the partners of Asian Village, the now-defunct restaurant venture on the Detroit River.

“Can you get it from your Asian Village guys?” Miller says Kilpatrick asked.

Miller said he got $10,000 and met Kilpatrick in a bathroom at Asian Village. He did not specify a date, but it was believed to be around 2007.

“I gave him the money,” Miller said.

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked.

“What did he say?” Chutkow asked.

To read more click here.