Fitz Being Smeared by Murdoch

First I’d heard of this

Patrick Fitzgerald may be the most feared prosecutor in the country, but even as he’s racked up headlines for big-name convictions (Scooter Libby) and indictments (Rod Blagojevich), the hard-charging U.S. attorney from Chicago has been waging a private crusade: trying to kill a book he believes maligns his reputation. In the past year and a half, Fitzgerald has written four letters to HarperCollins—owned by Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp.—demanding it “cease publication” and “withdraw” copies of Triple Cross, a 2006 book by ex–TV newsman Peter Lance that criticizes Fitzgerald’s handling of terror cases in New York in the 1990s. Fitzgerald raised the temperature even more last week, aiming to halt a paperback version. “To put it plain and simple,” he wrote in a June 2 letter obtained by NEWSWEEK, “if in fact you publish the book this month and it defames me or casts me in a false light, HarperCollins will be sued.”

Media experts say Fitzgerald’s letters, written on personal stationery and totaling 30 pages, are unusual for a top lawman. “We certainly find it highly offensive that a federal prosecutor would do something like this,” says Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But Fitzgerald makes no apologies. The book’s claims, he wrote in an e-mail, are “outrageously dishonest.” He says that Lance “alleged that I deliberately misled courts and the public” in ways that led to the 9/11 attacks.

[Click to continue reading US Attorney Fitzgerald Fights a Book Publication | Newsweek Politics |]

Claiming that Fiztgerald is responsible for 9/11? I could see why he would be offended. Is this payback for the Valerie Plame prosecution? or just another hatchet-job by News Corp?

Operation Crooked Code

EveryBlock is making a very cool news-related mapping project:

In May 2008, 15 people — including developers, contractors and city inspectors — were arrested on bribery charges as part of a federal probe called “Operation Crooked Code.” These people were involved with exchanging cash and other benefits in return for various Chicago permits and city services, acccording to U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Following our philosophy of identifying news near your block, we at EveryBlock have identified the specific addresses mentioned in Fitzgerald’s complaints and mapped them here, for your exploration. Included are the locations of the buildings in question and where alleged bribes occurred.

[From Special report: Operation Crooked Code | EveryBlock Chicago]

Side note: I strongly suspect our building also involved crooked City of Chicago Building Inspectors – too many non-compliant code items have been discovered (electrical conduit wrong size, unmarked electric boxes, non-compliant plumbing, air-conditioning not installed, roof installed sans insulation, yadda yadda) – unfortunately, our building was rehabbed in 1996, and I don’t know how to track down those kinds of historic city records.

Individual entries read like a bad movie

On the morning of June 6, 2007, CW1 met with agents at the briefing location. Agents gave $500 cash to CW1 to pay a bribe to VALENTINO for the Garfield project.5 The money was photocopied and placed in an envelope in the presence of agents. An audio recording device was placed on CW1. At approximately 9:30 am, CW1 was driven by agents to the Dunkin Donuts located at Washington and Wells to meet with VALENTINO. At approximately 9:35 am, surveillance agents videotaped VALENTINO entering the Dunkin Donuts. Due to the location of VALENTINO and CW1 inside of the store, surveillance agents were unable to observe CW1 and VALENTINO during the meeting. Surveillance agents were not able to videotape VALENTINO leaving the Dunkin Donuts following the meeting due to their position but did videotape VALENTINO walking down the street away from the Dunkin Donuts a short time after the meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, CW1 was picked up by agents and taken to the briefing location. CW1 informed agents at the debriefing that CW1 had delivered the envelope containing $500 cash to VALENTINO for the favorable zoning inspection for the Garfield property. The meeting was audiorecorded, and I have reviewed the recording. The conversation was brief and primarily personal in nature.