August 14, 2012, - 11:35 am

Party Time! Top Obama Homeland Security Officials Spend Big Coin at Houston Confab; Roman Holiday

By Debbie Schlussel

At a time when the nation has over 8% unemployment and Homeland Security’s largest agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is broke, top ICE leaders–at the behest of its Obama-appointed leader are in Houston partying and living it up on your dime. As I write this most of ICE’s top officials, including its Obama-chosen director, John Morton, are either en route or are already in Houston for 2-3 days of partying to celebrate the retirement of Houston’s retiring ICE Special Agent in Charge, Robert Rutt. While Rutt is well-liked and respected by his agents and colleagues, many ICE officials I spoke with are wondering why ICE leadership is spending government funds to fund the airfare, hotel rooms for 1-2 days, and open bar and festivities for at least 20 ICE Special Agents in Charge, when ICE cannot balance its budget, is cutting 700 positions (including 500 ICE Special Agents), and is parking agents’ cars because it cannot afford gas, oil changes, and maintenance. One ICE Agent, Michael Unzueta, is being flown in from Rome, Italy, where he is the ICE attache. It’s a reverse “Roman Holiday” for him. Is it just a coincidence that this big party is taking place today–of all days–the 30th anniversary of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”? Just askin’. I mean, these days, ICE has a Spicoli-style atmosphere.

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Pimp My Country: Obama ICE Director John Morton Gets a Cool Buzz on You

Artwork by David Lunde/Lundesigns & Fred Taub; Designed by Debbie Schlussel

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DHS Chief Janet Napolitano & Flamboyant ICE Chief John (Moron) Morton

Sources say that some of the ICE traveling party, including Obama’s Morton and Islamo-pandering Michigan/Ohio ICE Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz a/k/a “Abu Moskowitz,” arrived in Houston yesterday. (He is leaving Detroit for Houston at summer’s end, and his demoralized agents are cheering from the rooftops that he will be leaving Detroit to demoralize agents, pander to extremist Muslims with terrorist ties, and seek extramarital chicks in Texas.) The big party with an open bar takes place tonight and the ICE officials–about 30 of them–will be staying the night and living it up, courtesy of you. The agents and officials will be chauffeured around Houston by ICE Special Agents in government vehicles, and government-reimbursed taxi service will be available at the end of the party for guests. The open bar begins tonight at 6:00 p.m. A number of career ICE agents who’ve contacted me about the event are dismayed at this party, which they aptly term, “waste, fraud, and abuse.” If Obama’s hand-picked ICE chief, John Morton, cannot balance the ICE budget, if he is cutting ICE agent positions, and grounding agents because he can’t afford to repair and gas up their vehicles, how can he afford this confab? Agents estimate that the event and all of the associated salary, travel, lodging, and per diem costs, could be close to $100,000. While you might say that’s a drop in the bucket, it could pay for car repairs, gas, and oil changes for the hundreds of government vehicles ICE grounds every day, due to budget constraints, making it impossible for agents to do their jobs. It could pay for an ICE Special Agent’s salary. View the invitation to the event. There is a nominal cost of $20 per person, which won’t even begin to cover the cost of the event. Hawaiian shirts are the encouraged attire!

And that is on top of John Morton’s and his Chief of Staff, Suzy Barr’s (of sexual-harassment-against-male-agents fame), many trips to England over the last few years on your dime. Agents say John Morton was born in Ireland, and sources say he uses the Great Britain trips to visit family.

Notes one agent:

On Tuesday, August 14th at 6pm at the Saint Arnolds Brewing Company, Second Floor, 2000 Lyons Ave. Houston, Texas a retirement party will commence for Robert P. Rutt the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Houston office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Expected to attend will be John Morton, Director of ICE, James Dinkins, Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Also expected to attend will be Janet Ayala, Assistant Director for HSI
who supervises all the Special Agents in Charge positions nationwide and various other SACs and law enforcement leaders. It is not known if Morton’s Chief of Staff Suzy Barr will attend.


All of the high ranking HSI personnel will be traveling to Houston from around the country along with one individual who is confirmed to attend coming from as far away as the Attaché Office in Rome, Italy.

It is believed based on previous reports, some of the managers attending the function have used government funds to travel to retirement events in the past.

For the past month, the party has been planned by SAC Rutt’s staff, coordinating the location and receiving fees. It is speculated that SAC Rutt is or will be an investor in the Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company but that has not been confirmed.

For the past few days, top management at the Houston HSI office identified street agents and supervisors who were assigned large government owned SUVs. Orders were given to use the SUVs to transport Headquarters’ personnel and dignitaries to and from the airport and hotel and the party venue. Special Agents and Supervisors will be driving the SUVs for this personal after-hours event. The agents will not be on the clock nor paid, some feel pressured others volunteered. Regardless, the use
of government transportation for a private function is not allowed. It is not known how many will use government funds to provide air travel to Houston, but based on past experiences, a number of them will be claiming to “have meetings.” This is possible as each SAC has control of their individual travel budgets.

There will be three hours of free alcohol (beer) served, it is unknown if attending personnel will be driving government vehicles after consuming alcohol or required to be on standby for driving duties only. Remember they are not on the clock, nor can they be assigned to drive a government vehicle while not officially working.

This is the second such event this year. In late June of 2012, former Assistant Director for HSI Michael Holt held his retirement party in Birmingham, Alabama. This function was also well attended by some of the same members of ICE leadership. It is believed that many in attendance used government funds to travel to the retirement venue, some took “personal days” but the government funded the air travel.

The most common reason given to travel to these functions again is that they are “attending meetings.”

I know that some of the ICE officials in attendance, such as Leigh Winchell and Robert Webber (who is retired), are good guys and well-liked. As is Mr. Rutt, who is entitled to a retirement party, and my purpose here is not to rain on his parade after a long, respected career in law enforcement. But to fly top ICE officials from around the world to hang out and drink is ridiculous, given the bankrupt financial status at ICE . . . not to mention the tough Obamaconomy around America. On the other hand, with Obama and his cronies (such as Morton) eschewing immigration enforcement–ICE’s primary stated mission (it’s the “I” in ICE), officials need something to do with their time, right?

Here is the partial guest list of those who arrived Monday, according to one agent (note that HSI, or “Homeland Security Investigations,” one of ICE’s new “branding” names, but all of these people are the ICE officials):

John Morton, Director of HSI

Brian Moskowitz, SAC Detroit/ New SAC Houston

Robert Webber, Former SAC HSI Houston

Kumar Kibble, SAC Denver, former Deputy Director HSI

Michael Unzueta, Attaché HSI Rome Italy

John Connolly, Deputy Assistant Director HSI

Traci Lembke, Assistant Director HSI

Leigh Winchell, Assistant Director HSI

Janice Ayala, Assistant Director Operations HSI

Lev Kubiak, Director Intellectual Property Center Director

Bradford Bench, SAC Seattle

Claude Arnold, SAC Los Angeles

Raymond Robinette, SAC San Antonio

Raymond Palmer, SAC New Orleans

ICE agents say that most of the same officials will all be in San Diego, next week, for the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, where ICE will be holding a leadership conference. The party could have been held then, sparing most of the expenses. But, instead, it’s a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”-esque event, courtesy of you. Cheers!

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Actual DHS Recruitment Ad

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“We’re From the Govt & We’re Here to Help . . . My Lesbian Girlfriend”

Artwork by David Lunde/Lundesigns

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24 Responses

You would think that after the GSA scandal the Obama Administration would try to curtail this sort of thing. Of course, it seems that the mainstream press bored by such blatant examples of corruption.

Worry01 on August 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    A. R. R. O. G. A. N. C. E.

    I truly understand the definition of untouchable. Show the. You care…. At the ballot box

    As goes... on August 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Where is Suzy you ask??? Didn’t you know??? She is the bimbo popping out of the cake!

belugajedi on August 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Remember the howls that were there in 2002 over Dennis Kozlowski and Tyco and the birthday bash of his wife in Sardinia, Italy? And that was a private company, but here, youo have members of the government doing something close.

Imagine if they had been Kozlowski’s colleagues in that Sardinian orgy.

Infidel on August 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Get your facts straight Debbie. So much of this article is erroneous. Unzueta? From Rome. He is on a/l and flew on his own dime. Morton? Not attending.

Bad CI on August 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Unbelievable! Bad Cl, who obviously speaks for ICE is defending this lavish party, by saying, well, it isn’t quite as bad as Debbie says it is. One or two fewer people (assuming this person can be believed, which is doubtful for any Government bureaucrat,)

This ICE spokesperson, should, instead, apologize to the taxpayers for even holding such an event. Why can’t they just go to some restaurant next door and hold a retirement luncheon during the lunch hour like normal people do? And anyone from out-of-town should pay their own expenses. Any ICE person who writes in without apologizing for the event’s taking place is beneath contempt.

And again, reading is fundamental. If you ever learn how to read, you will see that Debbie was quoting an agent, re Morton’s attending — these are not Debbie’s words.

And I’ll bet that if Unzueta is actually paying for his own expenses, the decision was made only after his attendance was publicized.

And why is Bad Cl writing garbage like this during working hours, when s(he) should be working?

Little Al on August 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

My reference to ICE people writing in without apologizing pertained only to those speaking for the ICE administration.

Little Al on August 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Speaking of partying on one’s dime, here is where Republican frauds like Peter T. King are dumping on the Obama Adminstration for doing one of the few things it does right – I just wrote about this to Debbie:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/us/racial-profiling-at-boston-airport-officials-say.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Let me get it straight: Clueless Republicans, liberals and CAIR of course prefer a system in which grandma and a little baby get the same inspection as an Islamic terrorist suspect!

I thought “racial profiling” – or if you like – “behavioral profiling is to look for patterns of behavior and head off potential threats early in the same way cancer screening programs looking for cancer.

That would be common sense right? But not to the New York Times King, Democrats and CAIR. Because G-d knows, Homeland Security isn’t doing its job if it doesn’t give Islamic terrorists freedom to blow us up when flying in our unfriendly skies.

Genuine security in civil aviation – as opposed to the useless security theater fraud TSA is now running – we can’t have that cuz it would upset Muslims! There you have it.

NormanF on August 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

If Suzy “Stripper Pole” Barr is indeed attending I wonder what lucky colleague will have to stick his you-know-what in back of her nasty throat? (So many good talk shows referenced DS’ great breaking story on Napolitano being sued…and they sourced her too like “Quinn & Rose”.)

The moron was born in Ireland? Well…that made me think of that funny thing my brother told me about that website called “beautiful people”.com. He told me that they came right out and said “No Irish Men Allowed”. THAT cracked me up!!!!

Skunky on August 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Both HSI & ATF need to be abolished. Transfer the “working” agents to FBI, Secret Service and DEA. Retire or fire the GS 15’s and above! We don’t need 5 different bloated federal agencies fighting over the same crooks. Waste fraud and mismanagement in the federal government is the most under reported misconduct and waste of taxpayer money in the country.

Bonzer Wolf on August 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    yo- USCS was around for 200 years prior to the DEA. How about DEA and ATF get merged back into a what the Founders truly envisioned. And the Feebs can stick it.

    di nada on August 15, 2012 at 3:52 am

      “yo- USCS was around for 200 years prior to the DEA. How about DEA and ATF get merged back into a what the Founders truly envisioned. And the Feebs can stick it.”

      di nada on August 15, 2012 at 3:52 am

      Yeah, and 200 years ago they were busy collecting tariffs and customs (basically tax collectors). So why was DEA created if USCS was the end all/be all of drug enforcement? I’ve got news for you, USCS never has, and as ICE never has or will, successfully investigate and prosecute a cartel. It’s easy to get calls from CBP all day and do one-off controlled deliveries and bust a hand-full of small time dealers. When’s the last time USCS or ICE took down a major cartel? Oh, wait a minute, ICE doesn’t investigate dope cases. Those are “financial” investigations. Riiight. And immigration enforcement? Please. Why do you think the name was changes to “Homeland Security Investigations”? Can’t use that dirty word “immigration”. A lot of lip service is paid to immigration enforcement from the higher-ups when in reality there are very few resources applied to the actual enforcement of immigration laws. Yeah, I’ve heard all the back and forth that legacy agents gripe about (You know, INS agents aren’t real agents, they just go to the county lock-up and pick up illegals-Or legacy Customs guys do nothing more than head to the POE when CBP nabs a load- News Flash: Both agencies were a sorry excuse for “investigative” agencies, and it has carried over to ICE). That’s not to say there aren’t good agents out there within ICE. But to be able to initiate and carry out a complex investigation? Can’t do it because of the agency’s priorities. They can’t because leadership would rather have agents out at the swap meet confiscating fake Coach bags or at the Super Bowl wrapping up those filthy bastards selling imitation NFL swag. Give me a break.

      Govie on August 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

        Hey Govie,

        Why don’t you ask THE U.S. Atttorney for the Southern District of Texas, what HE thinks of U.S. Customs agents and their work, jerk. Go bust YOUR big-time pharmacists.

        WilliamMunny on August 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        Govie, you a chump! How can you make such an ignorunt statement like you did? Google Eddie Kacerosky and BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) to name a few of many international criminal investigations that Customs took down. Cases such as these took man years to complete, you was probably still probably breastfeeding on your momma’s titties while all this was happening. m Since the merger the level of experience and professionalism has been declining since IN&S came to the house, ICE was formed and the biggest thing they do is take down chicken factories and kitchen qworkers. They not doing that now either, just sitting around the office like you is all ignorunt and shit, dont know shit, never done shit, aint gonna do shit neither, chump jive ass mo-fo’s all that be like you, punk mo-fo, you diss all these agents that risked they lives while you was jacking off somewhere, punk ass chump.

        MF Jones on August 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

I live in Houston and this is my town. Anyone who schedules a “conference” in Houston during mid-August is stupid.

Keith on August 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Big Al is right on target! Soon as this broke, leave submissions started pouring in and official travel requests were rescinded!

Bag of ICE on August 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm

And all this is news, just like the ongoing sexual harassment suit happening in NYC? This crap has been going on for years but never got investigated because it was, and still is, status quo. OIG won’t look into it because they’re told what to investigate and what not….personal gestapo of the same ass clowns who perpetrate this shit. Look for them to punking whoever dropped the dime on this fiasco.

Reminds me of the old SAC conferences when they’d show up at Hilton Head with their golf clubs……

IceNoMore on August 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm

What cheap bastards! They must not think much of this guy if they are having this grand event at a small micro brewery in da hood in Houston’s East End. Of course it’s open bar, it’s free beer there everyday. They make it there and it’s illegal to sell it directly to consumers, so they give it away.
Except for the travel and per diem, I don’t see a story here.
Maybe some GS-15 will get car-jacked by a crackhead.

Houston Homie on August 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Hey, Just Grow Up …

And THIS is why people’s attention is definitely NOT on this job – what foolishness.

Here’s a follow-up on Fox News – Barr has placed herself on “voluntary leave” … The end of this administration is here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/14/more-dhs-employees-come-forward-with-accounts-lewd-conduct-in-wake-suit/

StillShakingMyHead on August 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I wonder if any new sexual harassment activities will take place at this party.

Your tax dollars at work.

Little Al on August 15, 2012 at 6:00 am

If this event is about $100k for 30 folks, that’s about $3,300 per person. I have traveled TDY for conferences and my final bill (airfare, per diem, lodging, etc) was about $1,000 less. This is certainly an overpriced event.

Russ on August 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

If these allegations are true it really makes me sick when you still have Field Agents paying for their own Permanent Change of Stations(PCS) when Management spends millions of non-productive wasteful travel.

Debbie if you can send me the info I’ll forward it to the DHS Joint Intake Center(JIC) for an official inquiry regarding the alleged fraud, waste and abuse.

Mr. WonderingifanyonecalledtheJIC on September 4, 2012 at 2:05 am

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