Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I don't know what to make of this Daily News article about prior Street's prior knowledge of the FBI bug.

POLICE COMMISSIONER Sylvester Johnson knew that the FBI was intending to plant a bug in Mayor Street's office about a month before the electronic device was discovered, according to a source close to the investigation.

Johnson, who has a long-standing relationship with the federal agency, had received a telephone call from an FBI official warning him of the unprecedented action by federal investigators.

And before the city's top cop had Street's office swept for listening devices on Oct. 7, 2003, Johnson made several calls to the FBI, telling them when the sweep would occur and urging them to remove any bugs beforehand.


Last September, the name of Karen Simmons, Johnson's departmental legal adviser, surfaced as the person who had tipped off the Street administration to the possible presence of a bug. Through an attorney, she has denied any involvement.

What Simmons knew and how she found it out is unclear, but Johnson has told federal investigators that he had kept secret the impending bugging and ongoing investigation, according to the source. But then, in early October, mayoral spokeswoman Barbara Grant and Street's top aide, George Burrell, left City Hall for a walk, during which Grant told Burrell that she'd learned the mayor's office might be bugged.

Burrell passed the information on to Johnson with a request to sweep the office.


At 11:19 AM, Blogger DanielUA said...

This is just bizarre. My guess is that Johnson just leaked this info, because yesterday the Daily News called for Johnson's ouster because he lied to the media about why he swept the Mayor's office. They basically blamed him for screwing up the bug probe. So, if this new story is true, this is clearly his attempt to distance himself from the corruption.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Yup, I think that you are right. That is why I don't know what to make of it. How the hell could anybody think that they were not going to find the bug? Also, what is the exact procedure for when to sweep the Mayor's office. I have never heard this stated.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I posted this over at DKos, and there is actually a guy talking about how this is just another right wing conspiracy. Boy, that made me laugh.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Yeah, I thought that this was odd as well. Also, I have never really heard the policy for them doing sweeps of the office. When was the last time that they did it? How often do they do it?

At 3:40 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

Check out the Inquirer Article from today about the same thing. The FBI and US Attorney took the strange step of coming right and saying the Johnson has been cooperating with the probe. Not the statement you would expect if Johnson had ruined the probe. I think Johnson is probably fed-up with being put in with the corruption, and really did not like the DN calling for his head.


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