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Tag: office of inspector general

Controversy Surfaces in Wake of FBI Officials Attending Dodgers’ Playoff Game

Dodger Stadium (deposit photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some FBI agents in the Los Angeles division have been bothered by allegations that top brass attended a Dodgers playoff game last Fall for free while the team was under federal investigation, the website, True Pundit reports.

A source confirms to ticklethewire.com that some agents were concerned about the appearance of a conflict, and said the top brass in question included three special agents in charge in the LA division– Matthew Moon, Voviette Morgan and Stephen Woolery. Other members of the FBI LA office were also there.

The matter has been the subject of a probe by the Office of Inspector General, which on Wednesday morning declined comment. The Los Angeles FBI also declined comment on Tuesday.

Top management was supposedly at the game to get briefed by law enforcement and security personal at Dodger Stadium.  One question is whether they stayed afterwards to watch the game and enjoy complimentary food, one person said.

“There were agents who were assigned to the game for special events, so the SACs (special agents in charge) had no business being there — or maybe one,” said the source who talked about agents’ concerns. “They just took advantage of the situation.”

The source went on to say that FBI management has been quick to go after agents for “unsubstantiated allegations, but they seem to be immune to the rules they’re enforcing. ”

Last October, Sports Illustrated reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had launched “a sweeping probe” into possible corruption tied to the recruitment of international players, centered on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Dodgers figured prominently in the probe, which is not being overseen by the LA FBI office.

The magazine also reported that multiple alleged victims of smuggling and human trafficking operations have already  given evidence to law enforcement agents or testified before a federal grand jury.

In its report, the publication, True Pundit, erroneously reported that the game in question was during the World Series. It was a post-season game, but not the World Series. Some other facts in the story were also suspect including allegations that the officials “racked up” a massive tab in freebies running into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Lawrence Berger, a New York Attorney representing the top brass in the Los Angeles FBI, tells ticklethewire.com “there’s no truth to any of the allegations in the publication. I understand the Office of Inspector General has reviewed the story and agrees that there’s nothing factual in that. But they haven’t yet issued a report.”

Sports Illustrated cited a “thick dossier of documentation”  that was provided to the FBI at the beginning of the probe and that the “Los Angeles Dodgers, a franchise with extensive scouting and development operations in the Caribbean, figure most prominently in the dossier.”

Sports Illustrated went on to report:

 Internal communications by the Dodgers show concerns about what team officials called a “mafia” entrenched in their operations in the Caribbean and Venezuela, including a key employee who dealt “with the agents and buscones” and was “unbelievably corrupt.” Other personnel were suspected of being tied to “altered books” or “shady dealings,” according to the documents.

 

Homeland Security Watchdog Finds ‘Egregious Violation’ at ICE Detention Facilities

A shower stall and bathroom pictured in the report.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nooses in detainee cells, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, moldy and dilapidated bathrooms, rotting food and overly restrictive segregation were among the findings at immigration detention facilities.

Homeland Security’s internal watchdog made the discoveries during unannounced visits to four facilities in California, Colorado, Louisiana and New Jersey between May 2018 and November 2018, according to a report published by the Office of Inspector General on Thursday.

The discoveries raise serious questions about how the Trump administration is handling the dramatic increase in Central American migrants crossing the border.

Just last month, Border Patrol agents apprehended 132,887 migrants. It was the first time the apprehensions topped 100,000 since April 2007.

“All ICE detainees are held in civil, not criminal custody, which is not supposed to be punitive,” the reported stated.

According to the report, the unannounced visits uncovered “immediate risks and egregious violations of detention standards at the Adelanto and Essex facilities.”

“Overall, our inspections of the four detention facilities revealed violations of ICE’s detention standards and raised concerns about the environment in which detainees are held,” the report states. “Although the conditions varied among the facilities and not every problem was present at each, our observations, interviews with detainees and staff, and reviews of documents revealed several persistent issues.”

Report Slams Justice Department for Inappropriate Handling of Sexual Misconduct Cases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is increasingly mishandling sexual harassment complaints and often failing to properly discipline government employees who behave inappropriately, according to the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General.

The report, which called on “high level action,” citied examples of some employees receiving mild forms of discipline and even later getting bonuses or performance awards, the Washington Post reports

The number of sexual misconduct allegations has increased since 2012 and include senior officials.

“We’re talking about presidential appointees, political appointees, FBI special agents in charge, U.S. attorneys, wardens, a chief deputy U.S. marshal, a U.S. marshal assistant director, a deputy assistant attorney general,” DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said.

Homeland Security IG to Investigate Trump’s Travel Restrictions

Protest at Wayne State University in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest at Wayne State University in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Office of Inspector General for Homeland Security is investigating the agency’s role in President Trump’s immigration restrictions, CBS News reports. 

The review comes after four federal judges issued stays on Trump’s executive order, which bans travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries. Members of Congress also have complained about the constitutionality of the travel restrictions.

Lawyers representing some of the stranded travelers said CBP and DHS workers ignored the judge’s orders.

In a statement, Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin called the executive order “rushed and poorly drafted.”

Other Stories of Interest

Inspector General Slams Secret Service for IT Management Problems

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has computer systems that are neglected and rife with bad management, according to a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Homeland Security.

The OIG launched an investigation into the Secret Service after employees breached the computer systems and leaked personal information about Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Republican, in retaliation for investigating agents’ misconduct, the Washington Post reports.

“Despite past warnings, USSS (U.S. Secret Service) is still unable to assure us their IT systems are safe,” Chaffetz said, citing the report.

The problems went well beyond the Chaffetz case.

According to the report, the “audit uncovers a myriad of problems with Secret Service’s IT management including inadequate system security plans, systems with expired authorities to operate, inadequate access and audit controls, noncompliance with logical access requirements, inadequate privacy protections, and over-retention of records. The OIG concluded that Secret Service’s IT management was ineffective because Secret Service has historically not given it priority. The Secret Service CIO’s (Chief Information Officer) Office lacked authority, inadequate attention was given to updating IT policies, and Secret Service personnel were not given adequate training regarding IT security and privacy.”

DEA Violated Policy by Offering to Pay TSA Screener to Help Seize Cash from Luggage

tsaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA recruited a TSA security screener to help seize cash from passengers’ luggage, according to a Department of Justice watchdog.

The DOJ’s Office of Inspector General officially condemned the DEA this month, saying the agreement, which allowed the agency to confiscate money, “violated DEA policy,” Huffington Post reports. 

The arrangement “could have violated individuals’ protection against unreasonable searches and seizures if it led to a subsequent DEA enforcement action.”

The idea was to pay a TSA agent to tip off the DEA about cash in travelers’ luggage.

State and federal agencies have relied on civil forfeiture to seize hundreds of millions of dollars in property each year.

Other Stories of Interest

Report: FBI Failed to Reveal Flawed Lab Work in Death Row Cases

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A scathing report accuses the FBI and Justice Department of waiting too long to notify prosecutors of flawed forensic work used in death-row convictions, the Washington Post reports.

The Office of Inspector General reported Wednesday on one of the worst modern scandals involving the FBI lab. The Inspector General found that the Justice Department failed to properly review cases handled by FBI examiners with a history of flawed work.

The report indicates that more than 60 death-row defendants were notified that their cases were handled by 13 lab examiners whose work has been questioned. But it took more than five years to identify those defendants, according to the report.

One man was executed in Texas in 1997 but should not have been because of the FBI’s flawed work, the report states.

Special Agent in Charge of Milwaukee FBI Assigned to Building Division in D.C.

Teresa Carlson/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Head of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, Teresa Carlson, is temporarily working at the Facilities and Logistics Services Division at headquarters in Washington D.C. while authorities investigate claims that she pressured a subordinate to commit perjury, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Still, Carlson remains the special agent in charge of the Milwaukee office, according to FBI spokesman Leonard Peace.

Carlson is accused of pressuring a subordinate to “come down on the side of the government” in a trial by a former Army Ranger who said the FBI discriminated against him because he had lost one of his hands in a training mission.

The Office of Inspector General is investigating Carlson.