November 23, 2007

US Judge Faults FBI

US Judge Faults FBI

Once again the taxpayer loses twice. (Jonathan Saltzman, "US judge faults
FBI in 1982 slayings," Boston Globe, November 20, 2007) Citizens did not get
what they paid these criminal FBI agents to do. Now the taxpayer must pay for
their malfeasance. Taxpayers paid while they broke the law and violated their
oaths of office.
No supervising agent has been held personally liable for his negligence.
None of the agents have been held personally liable for their crimes.
There is still no incentive for FBI agents to obey the laws. As a creature
of statute the FBI violates the Constitution wherein there is no mention of the

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

US judge faults FBI in 1982 slayings
Tells prosecutors to settle mob cases; Ex-agent's role taints argument

By Jonathan Saltzman,
Boston Globe Staff
November 20, 2007

A federal judge in Boston ruled yesterday that the FBI was responsible for the
1982 execution-style deaths of two men who were allegedly slain by members of
the Winter Hill gang and urged prosecutors to settle for damages with the

In unusual comments from the bench, US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay
pointed out that the government itself had argued in several high-profile
criminal prosecutions that Edward Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue were slain
because a rogue FBI agent tipped off fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger that
Halloran was an informant.

As a result, Lindsay said, a trial was not necessary in the families' wrongful
death civil suits to determine whether the government was liable. The judge said
he will hold a trial next year to decide what damages the government owes the
families of Halloran and Donahue

In a stern rebuke to the government, Lindsay also urged the prosecutor, Andrew
Kaplan, to relay a message to US Department of Justice officials: Avoid a trial
by settling the Halloran and Donahue lawsuits and at least four others filed by
families of other people allegedly killed because of the FBI's mishandling of
Bulger and other criminal informants.

"Mr. Kaplan, please take back to Washington my suggestion that now is the time
to settle this case and, indeed, all of them," Lindsay said. He added that he
has made similar entreaties to the Justice Department in the past that "fell on
deaf ears."

Kaplan declined comment after leaving the courtroom, referring inquires to a
Justice Department spokesman, who did not return calls for comment.

Yesterday's ruling came 14 months after Lindsay found that the FBI was liable in
the 1984 killing of Quincy fisherman John McIntyre. In that case, the judge
ordered the government to pay more than $3 million to McIntyre's mother and

In the McIntyre case, the first ruling on a lawsuit brought against the
government by victims of Bulger and mob associates, Lindsay ruled only after
presiding over an 18-day bench trial. In a 110-page decision, Lindsay found that
the FBI had failed to properly supervise former agent John J. Connolly Jr. and
failed to investigate numerous allegations that Bulger and informant Stephen
"The Rifleman" Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking, murder, and other

Lindsay's ruling heartened some lawyers for families of alleged victims of
Bulger who have lawsuits pending against the government.

"What you saw happen today is that Judge Lindsay told the government he will not
conduct another trial unless they can demonstrate that the evidence will be any
different than in the McIntyre case," said Robert George, a lawyer for Donahue's
family. "For a judge to make a decision that basically preempts a trial and puts
not only the government's feet to the fire but throws them in the flames is an
extraordinary legal development."

Edward Berkin, who represents the widow of Louis R. Litif in a lawsuit,
expressed hope "that the government accepts the recommendation of Judge Lindsay
that it should seriously consider settling the remaining cases beyond McIntyre."

But he added that he had seen little sign that the government would act on the
judge's recommendation.

According to the suit filed by Litif's widow, the South Boston bookmaker was
killed in 1980 because he had offered the FBI incriminating evidence about
Bulger and Flemmi.

On April 12, 1980, prosecutors say, Bulger shot Litif in the head and put the
body in the trunk of Litif's car.

Yesterday, Lindsay scheduled a hearing for Feb. 7 to discuss the schedule for a
trial to determine damages in the lawsuits by the families of Halloran and

William Christie, a lawyer for Halloran and the McIntyre family, applauded the
judge's ruling, which caught several seasoned lawyers by surprise.

He said the evidence was overwhelming that Connolly had leaked to Bulger and
Flemmi that Halloran was cooperating with the FBI about their role in the murder
of Roger Wheeler.

As a result of that disclosure, he said Halloran was shot to death on Northern
Avenue along with Donahue, who was driving Halloran.

Lindsay said that in the federal prosecution of Connolly and other associates of
Bulger, the government had admitted that Halloran and Donahue died as a direct
result of information Connolly had leaked to Bulger and Flemmi.

Lindsay told federal prosecutors they had to reconcile their position in the
criminal cases with their stance in the civil suits.

In the civil suits, the government argued that it was not liable for the deaths
because Connolly was not acting within the scope of his authority as an FBI
agent when he leaked the information.

Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in prison following his conviction on charges
of racketeering, obstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent about his
dealings with Bulger and Flemmi.

He is in custody in Miami, where he is scheduled to stand trial in March on
state charges that he helped Bulger and Flemmi to orchestrate the gangland
slaying of a Boston businessman with ties to Bulger's gang.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at

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