April 5, 2007, - 11:31 am
By Debbie Schlussel
You already know about Michael Chertoff crony, Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess,” the unqualified, incompetent Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
And you know about her crony, Wayne L. Baker . . . sort of. As you’ll recall, last year, I wrote and asked about Baker, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for whom Myers created a taxpayer-funded position as her personal attorney inside ICE. She created this position, despite the fact that ICE already spends millions of dollars on an army of lawyers–the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)–who are at her beckon call.
Many ICE agents complained about Baker, who was making their job difficult and getting in the way. As one agent told me then:
I’m not sure exactly what he is doing, but he is supposedly pissing off a lot of people. I’ve heard him referred to as a “f—ing idiot.”
What a waste of money! I guess she’s [The ICE Princess] not getting the service she wants from the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).
We didn’t know why he was there–other than to provide employment for a Julie Myers friend and crony at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to U.S. taxpayers–money that should have been spent on immigration enforcement.
We wondered what Baker’s experience–in the area of Indian casinoes and Indian tribe sovereignty–would bring to ICE and why a special position was created for him. The only thing “special” he brought was an embarrassing story in the New York Observer’s Love Beat about how his bizarre fiancee snagged him. “A Lincoln fetish”? Attention ICE lawyers, this is how you, too, can get a promotion. That . . . and being chummy with the boss-atrix.
However we learned in late February that, less than a year on the job, Baker abruptly left ICE. And quietly the ICE organizational chart was “amended” on January 29, 2007 (reportedly, the day after Baker exited) to delete his newly-created, wasteful crony position. Here’s the Spanish version of the chart that they forgot to “amend” (with Baker’s name still on it). (“ICE: Se Habla Espanol.”) I’m sure it will soon be taken down (as soon as The ICE Princess reads this).
Here’s what ICE sources tell me:
Allegedly, Baker’s relative (supposedly, his brother-in-law) was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for a federal drug offense. Allegedly, Baker tried to interfere in the case and “call in a favor” on behalf of his relative. If true, this is obstruction of justice–as Baker, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney should know. (He, himself, participated in the indictment of leaders of the Norte Valle Columbian Drug Cartel.) Allegedly, the proper authorities at ICE and Homeland Security were contacted and Baker was forced to resign.
I’ve contacted ICE spokesman Marc Raimondi with the following questions, but he hasn’t responded–not even with a denial or vague plausible deniability statement:
From: Debbie Schlussel email@example.com
Date: Mar 27, 2007 6:29 PM
Subject: Press Inquiry . . .
Please respond to the following questions:
1) Why did Wayne Baker suddenly leave ICE and his position as Julie Myers’ personal counsel in January?
2) Is it true that he was forced to resign because he tried to get a DEA/USDOJ criminal case against a relative dropped? Was the relative his brother-in-law? If not, who was it?
3) Why did Julie Myers hire Wayne Baker in the first place? Why could she not rely on ICE’s army of lawyers for that purpose? Does she feel they are not competent enough for her?
4) On what issues did he provide legal advice? How much was his annual salary at ICE?
5) Please provide current contact information for Wayne Baker.
I look forward to your response.
Again, no response from Raimondi or anyone else at ICE. No denials. Nothing. Why did Julie Myers create a special position for this man, Wayne L. Baker, working for her personally? And why hasn’t she fallen on the sword for going out of her way for a man who allegedly goes out of his way for family members involved in federal crimes?
Of note, I learned the other day that a Miami ICE official about whom I’ve written–who vouched for an drug dealer to get a job as a border inspector–has been served with a target letter for his involvement in that matter. (Tastelessly, the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, allegedly served with the man with the letter in front of everyone at an ICE official’s retirement party.)
It would seem to me that if that ICE official has to face the music for vouching for someone who is no good, certainly the rotten fish at the top of ICE–Julie Myers–should face the music for doing the same, especially since she created a wasteful special position for that man.
So, again, why did Julie L. Myers create a special personal legal counsel position for Wayne L. Baker? And then, why did he leave? And if the allegations about his interfering in a federal drug case on behalf of a relative are true, why was he merely fired?
Frankly, that’s obstruction of justice. But apparently you only get charged with that if you’re not a well-connected crony, but instead do your job and go after terrorists.
But if you’re a crony of Julie Myers, well then, it’s a completely different story . . . .
If you know more about this story and the name of the alleged relative, please contact me.
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