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Tag: Office of Professional Responsibility

Opinion Column By DEA Agent: Cowardly Anonymity, False Accusations, Betrayal, Lost Leadership and Tabloid News

Richard Dobrich is the Senior Executive Service Regional Director of DEA’s Andean Region (Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela) and a former Navy SEAL. He is scheduled to retire from DEA at the end of the month. The column is in response to an Associated Press story  that reported that DEA had received an anonymous complaint alleging Dobrich directed Colombian drivers working for the U.S. Embassy in Bogota “to procure sex workers.”

Richard Dobrich (DEA photo)

By Richard Dobrich
For ticklethewire.com

Don’t confuse my situation with the current upheaval in D.C. Mine is not a battle between Red versus Blue, nor He Said versus She Said, nor Accuser versus Accused.

Mine is a story of absurd and unfounded allegations, official leaks, a leadership vacuum, and tabloid press from a supposedly responsible news organization.

I find myself as the subject of a now-debunked anonymous and maliciously false letter which was sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

I was accused of engaging in the Colombian sex trade, i.e., soliciting prostitutes while serving as the DEA Regional Director. More specifically, the allegation stated that I directed my local staff to assist me in this despicable conduct.

I was not accused of this phantom behavior by anyone involved in the sex trade – no victims have accused me of any such abhorrent behavior – and let me be clear here, I fully recognize that the sex industry in Colombia has nothing but victims – usually young women with severe economic hardships or deplorable histories of sexual abuse at home during their adolescence.

DEA OPR and DOJ OIG routinely receive allegations of misconduct. The unimpeachable moral conduct of DEA personnel (all U.S. government personnel) form the pillars upon which the Public Trust is built and there is zero tolerance for non-compliance – this is something I have always strongly subscribed to.

Some allegations are confirmed as accurate while others are discredited – in either case there is supposed to be a firewall of confidentiality and neutrality so that DEA OPR and/or DOJ OIG investigators can do their important jobs, in relative secrecy, of uncovering the truth of what has, or has not, happened.

False And Anonymous Letter

In my case, a copy of the totally false and anonymous letter was provided to the Associated Press (AP). The AP didn’t get hearsay from someone “in the know”; no, the AP received an actual copy of the letter from “DEA Sources” (as told to me by the AP).

The AP told me they didn’t know the identity of the anonymous author – presumably the AP knows their “DEA Sources”. Therefore, one can deduce that the AP’s “DEA Sources” are somewhere between DEA Executive “Leadership” or within DEA OPR.

So that’s the scene-setter. The AP gets a hot lead on a scandalous story – “the Senior Executive Regional Director (me) who was sent to Colombia in 2015 in the wake of a sex trade scandal just couldn’t resist the temptation”.

The “story” would have you believe that DEA in Colombia (or maybe it’s just me) can’t behave responsibly and ethically. Let me be unequivocally clear – the AP’s sensational storylines are categorically false and the AP was provided clear FACTS before going to print but they just couldn’t resist their own temptation to sell “print”.

To me, there is nothing more cowardly and pathetic than someone who would author anonymous and patently false accusations, which attack the moral character of someone else without one shred of evidence, not one victim’s voice, nothing other than absolute fiction.

As if a false allegation isn’t enough, I am sickened by the prospect that a “DEA Source” would leak an uncorroborated and wildly unbelievable story to the media before it had been appropriately and properly investigated.

Read more »

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.

Ted Stevens Prosecutors Won’t Face Criminal Prosecution, NPR Reports

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens is dead and so is one of the prosecutors in the prosecution of  the Stevens case, who committed suicide.

On Monday, the latest twist in a perplexing case surfaced when NPR’s Carrie Johnson  reported that the prosecutors in the bungled 2008 prosecution of the Alaskan senator will not face criminal contempt charges. NPR cited “two sources familiar with the case.”

The case had been a major embarrassment to the Justice Department. After winning a conviction against Stevens just before his re-election bid, Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to have the conviction vacated based on allegations that the government failed to share evidence it should have turned over to the defense. Stevens lost his re-election bid.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who spent many a day scolding the prosecution during trial, had ordered a criminal contempt investigation into their conduct.

NPR reported that Washington attorney Henry F. Schuelke has been interviewing the lawyers and collecting evidence in the case, but is expected to recommend in a report that no government lawyers be referred for criminal prosecution.

NPR said Schuelke and the Justice Department declined to comment when reached Monday by NPR.

Stevens died in an August in an airplane. One of the prosecutors, Nicholas Marsh, 37, committed suicide in September.

Separately, NPR reported that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has conducted it’s own probe into the botched case, but won’t make misconduct findings against William Welch, who led the Justice Department’s Public Integrity unit at the time, or his deputy, Brenda Morris, who was on the prosecution team.

NPR reported that Welch and Morris are appealing a civil contempt finding by the judge.

Justice’s OPR Clears FBI Agent and Ex-Acting U.S. Attorney of Wrongdoing in N.J. Press Conference

Dun Weysan/fbi photo

Weysan Dun/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has cleared New Jersey’s ex-acting U.S. Attorney and the former head of the Newark FBI of wrongdoing related to statements they made in 2009 at a press conference regarding a major public corruption indictment of more than 40 people, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

The Justice Department concluded that ex-acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra and  Weysan Dun, who headed the FBI’s New Jersey office at the time, but now heads up the Omaha Division, acted properly, the Star-Ledger reported.

The Justice Department had been looking into allegations that the men stepped over the line when they made comments about the probe. Some accused them of making inflammatory comments to help boost ex-U.S. Attorney Chris Christe’s chances in his run for New Jersey governor, the Star-Ledger reported.  Christie won.

“The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale. For these defendants, corruption was a way of life. They existed in an ethics-free zone,” Mara said at the press conference, according to the paper.

The FBI’s Dun, remarked: “This case is not about politics. It is certainly not about religion. It is about arrogance and it is about a shocking betrayal of the public trust.”

The paper reported that a letter issued last week from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility said:

“Based upon the results of our investigation, we concluded that you did not violate any professional obligation and thus did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment in this matter,” wrote Mary Patrice Brown, acting counsel for the office.

The paper reported that Justice Department guidelines say a prosecutor “shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the accused.”

To read more click here.