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Monday, April 09, 2007

DeVecchio subpoenas Lance and Clemente

From the New York Post:

April 9, 2007 - Lawyers for accused rogue FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio are seeking to haul into court two freelance investigators who've been credited with laying the groundwork for the Brooklyn DA's bombshell quadruple-murder case.

Both Angela Clemente, the single mother who gathered evidence against the former fed for five years and Peter Lance, an investigative journalist who has written three books on federal law enforcement's mishandling of mob and terror cases, confirmed they'd been contacted by lawyers trying to serve subpoenas.

Both said they'd fight the subpoenas, which would require them to testify in a pre-trial hearing tentatively scheduled for May.

"Since it is my intent to cover the trial as a journalist, I will resist any effort to testify - an act that would keep me out of court during the proceedings," Lance told The Post.

"I am working on securing an attorney . . . until I can . . . quash the motion," said Clemente. "I do hope this will not hinder my work. No one is paying my bills."

Both Clemente and Lance appeared at Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes' news conference a year ago announcing the DeVecchio indictments. Prosecutors specifically recognized Clemente's research and said they'd used Lance's book, "Cover Up," as a background primer.

It's worth remembering DeVecchio's lawyers are being paid by the FBI:

You pay G-man's legal bills
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Taxpayers are footing part of the mounting legal bills for an ex-FBI agent accused of helping a Brooklyn Mafia boss commit four murders, the Daily News has learned.

The Justice Department is helping fund retired agent Lindley DeVecchio's defense, which has cost more than $450,000 since his indictment last year by the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

"It's an expensive litigation," said DeVecchio's lawyer Douglas Grover, who declined to comment further.
A highly informed source confirmed the Justice Department contributions, saying, "It's on an hourly rate. Not a top New York City rate, more like a federal public defenders' rate."

It could not immediately be determined how much the department is paying.

"There is a process in place by which employees or former [FBI] employees who are the subject of civil litigation or criminal charges can apply for coverage of their legal costs. The recommendation is forwarded to the Department of Justice, where a final determination is made," FBI spokesman John Miller said.

In a case that rocked New York law enforcement, DeVecchio, 66, was indicted last year for providing information on informants and mob rivals to Colombo family boss Gregory Scarpa before the murders.
DeVecchio, who spent 33 years as an agent, is also charged with receiving payoffs from Scarpa totaling more than $66,000.
Now dead, Scarpa was DeVecchio's top secret informant for more than a decade, beginning in 1982. The murders occurred during the brutal Colombo family wars of the late 1980s and early '90s.

Grover, DeVecchio and numerous agents who worked with him maintain he is innocent of the charges and that the Brooklyn DA's prosecution is baseless and misguided.

It also appears the FBI may be obstructing the investigation:

FBI & DA fight over 'mob' agent

Saturday, April 7th 2007, 4:00 AM

The FBI and the Brooklyn district attorney's office are battling over documents critical to the prosecution of a former federal agent accused of helping a mobster kill his rivals, sources said yesterday.

Information about former agent Lindley DeVecchio's Mafia informant, Greg Scarpa Sr., once a captain in the Colombo crime family, is crucial to the prosecution's case, the sources said.

The district attorney's office has asked the FBI for batches of material on Scarpa, including his FBI informant file going back to 1962 and files on other informants, according to sources close to the probe.

But months have gone by and nothing has been delivered to the district attorney's office, even though DeVecchio's trial is scheduled to begin later this spring.

The district attorney's office declined comment yesterday.

FBI spokesman John Miller said the agency has cooperated with Brooklyn prosecutors from the outset.

Miller also said the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office is having discussions with local prosecutors over how and "what information will be shared."

Scarpa died in 1994. DeVecchio is 65, retired and living in Florida.

In the murder case, DeVecchio allegedly gave Scarpa top secret FBI information on Scarpa's Mafia rivals and other informants leading directly to the killings.

The controversy over the district attorney's requests for information also came up during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 27.

Referring to the DeVecchio case, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said, "I have also heard that the local prosecutors in New York may have some trouble getting the documents from the FBI that they need to try the case."

"It is important that the FBI not take sides as an institution, just to protect one of its own. The FBI should cooperate fully and let the court process proceed."