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Tag: misconduct

Whistleblower Protections to Be Expanded for FBI Agents, Employees Who Report Internal Misconduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department outlined new changes that will make it easier for agents and employees of the FBI to blow the whistle on misconduct within the bureau, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The idea is to ensure complaints are handled swiftly and fairly.

President Obama directed the rule change in 2012 following complaints that whistleblower aren’t properly protected.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a long-time critic of how the FBI handles internal complaints, said he pleased with the changes.

“Nobody’s got on rose-colored glasses that the culture for whistleblowers at the FBI will change anytime soon, but many of the items outlined in the FBI’s analysis are promising,’’ he said in a statement. “In an agency with so much focus on the chain of command, it makes no sense for the FBI to be the only agency in the federal government not to protect disclosures of waste, fraud, and abuse to immediate supervisors.”

The FBI didn’t comment immediately on the changes.

Secret Service Director Defends Subordinates on Capitol Hill Following High Profile Mishaps

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service’s first female director was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss the misbehavior of her male subordinates.

CNN reports that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson brushed off allegations of widespread problems among employees, saying  recent highly publicized allegations were unusual.

“These are isolated incidents of misconduct and we’re working every day to correct our behavior,” Pierson told reporters Tuesday after leaving a closed meeting with top senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Three agents were recently sent home after they were found drunk at a hotel in the Netherlands.

“We’re human and we make mistakes,” Pierson said when asked why the agency continues to be plagued by such problems.

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Senators Call for Inspector General Investigation of Ethics Infractions by Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new report shows that Justice Department lawyers committed hundreds of ethics infractions ranging from recklessness to misconduct.

Now a bipartisan group of senators is supporting a bill that would empower the inspector general to conduct an investigation, NPR reports.

The senators want to bypass the traditional route – using the Office of Professional Responsibility, which reports to the Attorney General and has been criticized for being too secretive.

“Current law invites undue influence from the Attorney General’s office into the process and should be changed to ensure the integrity of investigations of misconduct within the Justice Department,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a prepared statement.

The bill would give the inspect general limitless jurisdiction.

Some of the cases involve intentionally misleading courts.

Justice Department Declines to Identify 100s of Federal Prosecutors Accused of Serious Misconduct

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is refusing to identify hundreds of federal prosecutors who are accused of committing serious misconduct over the past decade, the Washington Times reports.

Most of the actions were described as “reckless” or “intentional misconduct,” according to a scathing report released Thursday.

“The lack of transparency insulates the Justice Department from meaningful public scrutiny,” Danielle Brian, the Project on Government Oversight’s executive director, said in a statement. “Our findings raise serious concerns that the attorney general’s office isn’t aggressively overseeing or disciplining its bad apples.”

A bi-partisan group of Senators is calling for an independent investigation.

Secret Service Agents Under Investigation for Alleged Misconduct

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It started with a bullet inside a woman’s hotel room.

Ignacio Zamora Jr., a senior supervisor who oversees a dozen agents in the president’s detail, tried to force his way into the hotel room and retrieve the bullet, the Washington Post reports.

After launching that investigation, authorities also discovered that Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, sent sexually suggestive e-mails to a female subordinate, the Post reported.

The Secret Service declined to comment on the case.

“We have always maintained that the Secret Service has a professional and dedicated workforce,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said in a statement, referring to the Hay-Adams incident. “Periodically we have isolated incidents of misconduct, just like every organization does.”

Internal Probe Targets Several at ICE For Alleged Misconduct

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A splash of trouble is bubbling over at ICE.

The Center for Investigative Reporting reports in the Washington Post that several several agents at  Immigration and Customs Enforcement,  including the ex-head of its intelligence office, have been the target of an internal investigation into personal misconduct.

The journalistic investigative reporting unit reported that James M. Woosley, ICE’s assistant director for intelligence, “was relieved of his position.” The unit reported that several other mid- to low-level ICE employees are the target of the probe and that matter with Woosley has to do with travel. The report did not provide more details of the alleged wrongdoing.

To read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces New Professional Misconduct Review Unit

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has created a “Professional Misconduct Review Unit” to handle disciplinary actions for career attorneys at the department resulting from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr., in announcing the new unit on Tuesday, said it will be headed up by Kevin Ohlson,who has served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to Holder since February 2009.

OPR investigates allegations of professional misconduct involving Department attorneys. The new unit will review OPR findings of reckless professional misconduct and determine whether evidence supports those findings. The United States Attorneys (EOUSA) will still refer findings of “poor judgment or mistake” to the appropriate U.S. Attorney for appropriate action.

“The current procedures for resolving these disciplinary matters consume too much time, and risk inconsistent resolutions, but this new Unit will help change that by providing consistent, fair, and timely resolution of these cases,” Holder said.

“In the vast majority of cases, Department attorneys meet their professional obligations but when allegations of misconduct occur, all parties deserve a fair and timely resolution. This Unit will be instrumental in achieving that goal and will also further the Department’s mission of meeting its ethical obligations in every case.”

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Cleveland Federal Prosecutor Says He Was Fired for Questioning DEA Agent’s Conduct

A federal prosecutor says he was fired for raising questions about a DEA agent. Is the prosecutor a whistleblower or is it simply an internal personnel matter?

John Caniglia
Cleveland Plain Dealer Reporter
CLEVELAND — Several years before a grand jury started investigating Drug Enforcement Administration agent Lee Lucas for his role in a bungled probe that sent innocent people to prison, a federal prosecutor wrote a memo to his superiors questioning Lucas’ tactics.
That prosecutor, Thomas Gruscinski, lost his job last month. Gruscinski has hired a lawyer, who says the former prosecutor’s criticism of Lucas led to Gruscinski’s dismissal.
“Mr. Gruscinski’s firing was initiated after he had reported numerous instances of suspected misconduct by members of his office to various agencies of the United States government,” said attorney J. Michael Hannon.
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He pointed out that Gruscinski was “fired in the midst of very serious issues being raised about the conduct of federal law enforcement authorities” in Cleveland.
U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards would not say that Gruscinski, who has been a prosecutor for 21 years, was fired, only that “he no longer works for the Department of Justice.”

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Former Mass Gop Leader Pleads to Money Laundering (AP)