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Ex-FBI official attacks ATF nominee

Feb. 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM   |   Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- An ex-FBI official has denounced U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, President Obama's nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Donald E. Oswald, 54, who was the special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office from May 2011 to May 2012, said he sent a letter this week to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee pointing out what he considers Jones' "atrocious professional reputation within the federal law enforcement community" in Minnesota.

The committee is preparing to consider the appointment of Jones, who has been the acting ATF director since August 2011 and a U.S. attorney since August 2009.

"He was, and still remains, a significant impediment to federal law enforcement to effectively protect the citizens of Minnesota from violent gang, drug and gun activities," Oswald's eight-page letter reads in part.

The letter included charts Oswald said showed "Jones' statistical accomplishments for FY [fiscal year] 2012 are down in every category."

Oswald, now in private law practice in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was also critical of Jones' support of the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Kayser, 51, who Oswald said lacked management experience and was the subject of complaints about her "abrasive interactions" with agents and their supervisors. Oswald said those supervisors described Kayser as antagonistic and inconsistent in her reasons for rejecting cases.

The letter called Kayser "single-handedly responsible for the disenfranchisement and destruction of relationships between [the U.S. attorney's office] and the federal agencies involved with guns and drugs."

A number of state and federal law enforcement officers have complained privately for at least a year about the handling of violent crime cases by the U.S. attorney's office in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported Friday.

Jones, 55, declined a request for an interview Thursday, the newspaper said, but in a December interview characterized complaints as a reaction to his decision to shift priorities from street-level crimes to more complex crimes involving drug cartels, white-collar crimes and terrorism cases.

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