Judicial Watch • Central Intelligence Agency

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

A French Connection to Oil for Food…

Another link has emerged between Kofi Annan and the U.N.’s “Oil for Food” scandal. A former “special adviser” to Annan, Jean-Bernard Merimee, was arrested in Paris this week. Merimee, who also served as a French ambassador to the U.N. in the early 1990s, is accused having received “illicit and lucrative…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Clinton Back in Hollywood Fundraising Game

Less than a year removed from the indictment of her National Finance Director for failing to report the cost of a celebrity campaign fundraiser, Hillary Clinton is back in the Hollywood fundraising game. This today from Variety.com? “For someone who’s not running for the White House, Hillary Clinton will certainly…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Stealing From Children

The former chief of the Roslyn, New York school district has plead guilty to grand larceny charges, admitting that he took millions of taxpayer money to finance a lavish lifestyle that included European vacations on the supersonic Concorde. He also used the money for mortgage payments for homes in Florida,…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

City Pension Fiasco

A few months ago the San Diego (California) County District Attorney charged six city officials with felony conflict of interest in the pension-fund scandal that prompted the resignation of Mayor Dick Murphy. Now the FBI has launched a probe that focuses on City Manager Lamont Ewell. The feds recently subpoenaed…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

What’s wrong with this picture?

A family in the development business hosts a fundraiser for Assemblyman Joseph Cryan of Union Township, NJ. A few days later in May, an ordinance is introduced by Union Township allowing the developers to build 90 townhouses on six acres of abandoned land. The problem? Union Township doesn’t own the…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

George Ryan Trial, Part 2

Today we were treated to a one hour argument by defense counsel Dan Webb. He argued ad nauseam about whether or not the government should be allowed to describe to the jury nine ostentatious trips that the former governor took that were paid for by people who were at the…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Thug-Run City?

After being fired as the police chief of Lake City, South Carolina earlier this year, Kenneth McCaster issued a public letter calling Lake City a “thug-run city” and “a society of illegal administrative practices, sexual relations at work, political favors, nepotism, voter fraud, election fraud, intimidation, bad judicial practices,

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

New Jersey Mayor Indicted

With a population of 7,750 and a land area of only 1.4 square miles, Keyport is a quaint little city in New Jersey that bills itself as “The Pearl of the Bayshore.” But its mayor, a man named John Merla, has been up to no good, according to a federal…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Ex-Legislator in Milwaukee Takes Plea Agreement

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, former state Senator Brian Burke could face jail time and stiff penalties for crimes he committed while in office: The Milwaukee Democrat is charged with 13 felonies and five misdemeanors that accuse him of claiming $88 daily expense reimbursements on days he wasn’t in Madison,…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Members of Congress Retain Lobbyists to Run PACs

A study recently released by The Center for Public Integrity shows that at least 79 members of Congress have appointed lobbyists to head their campaign committees or leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) since 1998. Currently, 39 sitting members of Congress retain lobbyists as the treasurers of their campaign committees or…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

George Ryan Trial, Part 1

The second day of the testimony of Scott Fawell, Ryan’s campaign manager and chief of staff, began much more sedate than the first (not attended by this observer). Fawell had been cautioned by Judge Pallmeyer to limit his responses to direct answers and to avoid the theatrics that he had…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Migrant Identity Fraud

Assuring that employers hire only legal residents continues to be a low priority for federal officials and rampant identity fraud continues to hinder efforts to verify employees’ immigration status, according to a recent report from the congressional watchdog called the General Accountability Office. The GAO report said that under the…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Troubled State Treasurer

New Mexico’s state treasurer, Robert Vigil, will continue to collect his annual salary of $85,000 even though he stepped down after being charged with federal extortion. Prosecutors say that Vigil and the state’s former treasurer, Michael Montoya, demanded kickbacks from financial advisors for steering state investment business through them.

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Questionable Government Contracts

More than 80% of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by FEMA for hurricane Katrina-related work were awarded without bidding or with very limited competition. Why? Because many of the firms awarded the major contracts have big political connections, not only to Mississippi’s governor but also to President George W.…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Cheating in Chicago

It’s comforting to know that longtime Democratic political consultant and former head of Chicago’s largest public interest group, Robert Creamer, ?never intended to enrich himself? when he ran a check-kiting scheme and failed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes. At least that is what his wife, Democrat U.S. Congresswoman…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Judge Rewarded For Misconduct?

An Orlando Florida circuit judge was removed from the bench eight months ago for judicial misconduct yet he has been collecting his regular annual salary of $139,497 to stay home and go golfing. A Judicial Qualifications Commission found Orange Circuit Judge James Henson guilty of taking on a criminal-defense client…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Kentuck Governing

There appears to be no end in sight to the scandals surrounding Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. The latest involves the indictment of his buddy, Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, for violating Kentucky whistleblower law and seeking revenge against a public employee who reported hiring violations to the attorney general. Recently, nine…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

“Your Honor” Is Disgraced

For the first time in 15 years, a state judge has been charged in federal court. His name is David A. Gross and he sits on the bench in Nassau County, New York. Gross was recently arraigned on federal money-laundering charges along with three men described by prosecutors as mob…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Saved By the Storm

Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. won’t have to go to trial for federal tax evasion, at least not in early October as originally scheduled. An indictment accuses Diaz and his former wife of filing misleading tax returns. The indictment says that in 1999 the…

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES

Campaign Ethics Violations

Corruption in fundraising is so rampant in Los Angeles County that nearly a decade ago voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that limited election fundraising. The problem is that the violations continue and no candidate or donor has ever been fined, punished or prosecuted for breaking the law. The reason is…


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