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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shields and Cragan: "...Integrity is Intact."

Yesterday, I wrote to the website that had the Shields and Cragan report that claimed Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak was investigated by the DOJ and letting them know that the Mayor's office denies that he was investigated. I told them that I have not read or heard of an investigation of the Mayor. I asked that Shields and Cragan reveal their sources for that claim.

I received this response:

We received a response back late evening, I am reproducing it herein, if you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Being that this is ongoing research, any errors are corrected as encountered. Also note that was posted on our site as an Op-Ed piece and non-juried.

This is Shields and Cragan's response:

Here is the url for the original press report, a statement from Mayor Rybak:

"Mayor Rybak's Statement on Federal Investigation

Minneapolis (March 14, 2002) Mayor R.T.Rybak issued the following statement this morning in response to a Star Tribune news report in this morning's paper about a grand jury investigation involving plumbing unions in the city.

We have no information from the U.S. Attorney's office about the purpose or the scope of the investigation. We will fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's office if they request our assistance."

Thus, the original date was 3/14/2002; that investigation was re-mentioned in the Zimmerman press story in 09/09/05.

Hope this helps; please send to everyone who is referenced in the statement below. The fact that there were leaks of a grand jury investigation and then nothing happened to the mayor is a major thrust of the harms of political profiling by these Bush U.S. Attorneys.

Trust this helps. Thanks for the alert and tell all the checkers that there integrity is intact.


Donald Shields for me and John Cragan

Looks to me like the professors are trying to say the corruption investigations in Minneapolis conducted by the DOJ were politically motivated and therefore have some relevance to the current flap over the Bush administration's firing of US Attorneys.

As far as I know, the DOJ never said they were investigating Rybak. I don't recall Grand Jury leaks about Mayor Rybak either. The DOJ issued a press release that said the Zimmerman investigation was the result of an ongoing investigation. But, that doesn't mean that they were investigating Rybak or any other city official:

"The case is the result of an ongoing investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Docherty."

It looks to me like the professors are trying to inflate their figures by saying Rybak was investigated based on news reports that quoted Rybak's office saying they were "cooperating" with the investigation (I read that lots of officials at City Hall were asked to cooperate with the FBI back then... big deal).

I hope that Professor Cragan and Professor Shields are aware that claiming Mayor Rybak was investigated damages the Mayor's reputation. If they are throwing the Mayor's reputation under the bus to make a point that the DOJ's investigations were politically motivated, that's wrong.

If the corruption investigations were purely political persecutions, the investigations would have resulted in nothing... but the DOJ got Brian Herron and G. Dean Zimmerman on tape taking bribes. I saw the tapes of Zimmermann at his trial asking for and receiving large amounts of cash. The tapes also reveal a cynical and sleazy side to the ex-councilman that belies his reputation as a progressive.

I think we should be grateful to the FBI and the DOJ for going after official corruption. I don't care about the party affiliation of public officials who take bribes.. bribery is unethical and a serious felony.

I hope the DOJ will release the Zimmermann tapes soon so all the conspiracy nonsense about the FBI framing Zimmermann would go away.


lloydletta said...

Great work, Avidor.