afternoon. Thank you for having me. I'm sorry Director
Mueller could not make it today. He very much wanted
to be here, but he had to appear today before the
9-11 Commission. Along with his apology, he sends
you his very best wishes and his gratitude for your
support and your friendship. It is good to be here
among friends, and I would like to thank the Metropolitan
Crime Commission for all you do to help us do our
jobs better. Martin and Rafael thank you for your
leadership and for your commitment to making New
Orleans a better city.
Today, I would like to speak with you about the
FBI of today - the many changes the FBI has gone
through over the past 2½ years, and where
I think the New Orleans office of the FBI is headed
in the immediate future.
As Rafael indicated, I currently serve as the Special
Agent in Charge of the FBI for the State of Louisiana.
I have been in NO for nearly ten months. I can tell
you that I view this assignment as one of the best
I have had in my career. NO is a wonderful and unique
city; the people are friendly and polite; and the
food is fabulous. If I continue to experience the
fine cuisine, I am going to have to find a tailor
to expand the waistline of my trousers.
I have served in the FBI for more than 28 years.
I have been assigned to five field offices and two
tours of duty in WDC. I have seen the FBI go through
many changes, but none as dramatic as in the past
2 ½ years. The FBI is a new, and I believe,
stronger and better organization. Some of the changes
have been slow to come. Change is difficult, particularly
when you are changing an agency which is nearing
100 years old and one with such a proud history.
Our change has been ambitious and all consuming.
And our critics, particularly in the WDC beltway,
are many. However, Winston Churchill once admonished
- "when you are going through hell -- keep
going." The FBI continues to move forward.
Since September 11 the prevention of terrorist attacks
has been the FBI's top priority and overriding focus.
While we remain committed to our other important
national security and law enforcement responsibilities,
the prevention of terrorism takes precedence in
our thinking and planning. We have doubled the number
of agents devoted to terrorism bringing the total
to approximately 2500. We have quadrupled the number
of strategy analysts at headquarters who are responsible
for producing an analytical product which is shared
with policy makers, the intelligence community,
and our law enforcement partners.
These efforts have paid off. Over the last two years,
the FBI and our partners, both in the US and abroad,
have identified, disrupted, and neutralized more
than a hundred terrorist threats and cells. Worldwide,
we have apprehended almost 3000 Al Queda operatives.
We have conducted more than 70 investigations into
terrorist money trails, and we have frozen more
than $125 million in assets. And most important,
we have not fallen victim to another catastrophic
terrorist attack in the United States.
The FBI has made significant changes in our foreign
intelligence operations and espionage programs which
are our second operational priorities. We have built
a nationally directed program for counterintelligence
and established speciality squads in each of our
56 field offices. The cybercrime program is our
third investigative priority and is again a nationally
directed program. In the past year we have opened
more than 90 cybercrime investigations involving
privacy invasion, child pornography, fraudulent
e-commerce activities, and cyber viruses involving
84,000 victims worldwide and exceeding $162 million
in losses. These cases have resulted in 97 arrests
and 64 separate indictments for cybercrime offenses.
While terrorism is our top priority and has redefined
our mission, the FBI's criminal responsibilities
remain an important part of the work we do, and
public corruption remains the number one criminal
program in the FBI. It is certainly the number one
criminal program in the NO office. It is said that
money is the root of all evil. While I don't know
if that's true, it is at the root of most public
corruption – whether legislative, regulatory,
judicial or law enforcement.
There is good reason for it being at the top of
our list of criminal priorities, and the reason
is this: like you, we in the FBI believe that public
corruption is among the most serious of criminal
violations. It is a betrayal of the public's sacred
trust. If allowed to grow, public corruption permeates
all aspects of society and affects all other criminal
priorities. And if allowed to spread unchecked,
public corruption can threaten the very foundation
Theodore Roosevelt said, "No man who is corrupt,
no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly
do his duty by the community." Here Roosevelt
identified a truth at the heart of why public corruption
is a serious threat to the fabric of our society.
Corrupt public officials are inherently compromised,
and that corrupt behavior can migrate into every
facet of our society. Regardless of their talents
and their accomplishments, corrupt officials break
down the order, confidence and trust of society.
They allow illicit drugs and weapons to flow freely;
organized crime to operate with impunity; and open
the door for terrorists who threaten our way of
To address the PC program in Louisiana, the New
Orleans office has two PC squads and my intention
is to place a PC squad in the Baton Rouge Resident
Agency this summer. The New Orleans office has several
ongoing investigations and historically has made
significant inroads into the public corruption area.
Last year, as the 19th in size of our 56 field offices,
the FBI in Louisiana was 10th in public corruption
indictments with 24, and number 6 in public corruption
convictions. Public corruption in Louisiana has
been described to me as epidemic, endemic, and entrenched.
No branch of government is exempt. Public corruption
investigations are among the most complicated, often
requiring years of effort to make a case. That is
why working with our partners in law enforcement
and civic organizations, like the Metropolitan Crime
Commission, is essential for the successful prosecution
of significant cases. Joint investigations with
federal, state, and local law enforcement counterparts
are conducted whenever possible. Investigations
involving public officials must be coordinated in
order to ensure that we are able to address sophisticated
conspiracies using the best investigative techniques.
Our strategy is to focus public corruption investigations
on the most corrosive criminal acts by public officials.
I am placing an emphasis on liaison relationships
and training to foster focused investigations that
will result in significant prosecutions. Our message
to those who think they are above the law is that
you cannot hide. No matter how long it takes, we
will find you, and once the investigation is completed,
the USA will prosecute you to the full extent of
the law. Aside from deterrence, there are other
benefits to these successes. Devotion to the Public
Corruption crime problem can lead to enhanced FBI
credibility, intelligence, and partnerships. Our
recent New Orleans Crime Survey indicated that the
FBI is considered the only non-biased organization
able to investigate allegations of corruption without
potential of reprisal. The respondents to the crime
survey expressed their support for the FBI continuing
to take the lead in investigations of public corruption.
It is a duty that we are honored to fulfill, in
cooperation with thousands of honest Metropolitan
area police officers and attorneys who want to see
these problems addressed.
In Louisiana, in regards to public corruption, you
are either part of the solution or you are part
of the problem. I want to thank the MCC for being
part of the solution. The CC has been instrumental
in providing information, either directly or indirectly,
to the FBI. We have an outstanding partnership with
the MCC and our concerns about PC in Louisiana are
I am currently discussing with Rafael the expansion
of the MCC beyond the New Orleans metropolitan area.
We are considering initiating a statewide 800 number
to report corruption. This would be an asset for
the entire state. I suspect the Crime Commission
would garner the same public support throughout
the state as it has in the New Orleans area.
Some examples of our successes which are shared
with the MCC include an investigation which focused
on the illegal issuance of engineering licenses
by the former Chairman of the City of New Orleans
Board of Examiners for operating engineers. As a
direct result of the investigation, more than 20
licenses were identified as having been fraudulently
issued either through a direct bribe or through
association with the Chairman. The City of New Orleans
Department of Safety Permits has conducted an audit
of all existing engineering license records and
has instituted new procedures to ensure that individuals
who hold licenses have demonstrated the proficiency
to do so. This case is an example of the partnership
that the MCC has with the FBI. Some of the critical
information utilized in the investigation came from
The MCC also provided information regarding the
Orleans Parish School Board. Carl Coleman, the former
Risk Manager for the School Board facilitated the
payment of approximately 4 million dollars to Jeffrey
Pollitt for the purpose of repairs to several fire
damaged schools. Coleman and Pollitt have plead
guilty in the Eastern District of Louisiana and
admitted to bribe payments, cash kickbacks and other
acts in furtherance of the conspiracy. There are
additional ongoing Public Corruption investigations,
however I am not at liberty to discuss the cases
at this time.
The FBI is a relatively small organization, but
a determined one. We in the FBI have committed ourselves
to making the fundamental changes necessary to combat
the terrorists and criminals who target our country.
We have made much progress. We are on the right
track. Today's FBI will meet and defeat the threats
against the security of our nation.
Our system of democracy rests on the belief in justice
for all. Citizens must have confidence that, while
their government may make mistakes, those mistakes
will be examined in the light of the day, and, in
the end, be made right.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak this afternoon.
I thank the Crime Commission for taking such a significant
role in promoting an honest governmental environment.
Your recognition that public and civic leaders have
a responsibility to speak out against public corruption
is important to the people of Louisiana.
I want to also thank you for recognizing the Agents
who dedicated many hours of their professional and
personal lives to the Wrinkled Robe investigation.
I look forward to meeting each of you, either this
afternoon or in the near future.