January 13, 2009, - 11:39 am

Driving Miss Aikman: Your Tax Dollars @ Work

By Debbie Schlussel
Did you hear that multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch is hard up for money?
Well, he must be . . . since U.S. taxpayers–not Murdoch–paid the tab for U.S. Marshals and their cars to ferry around a FOX Sports statistician and his former jock broadcasting talking head buds. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s second-in-command, Theresa Bertucci, used the Federal Protective Service police to “guard” the federal monument known as her brother’s casket, when she ordered them to abandon protecting federal buildings to accompany her at her bro’s funeral and make her look important. And then there’s her boss, acting ICE chief John P. Torres, who uses ICE as his own personal Walter Mitty baseball and harem fantasy.
Just more of the same, with the perpetrator getting to retire in style with full pension benefits, courtesy of you. All the world’s a hip-hop video starring them, and you’re their bitches:
The U.S. Marshals Service . . .

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Instead of Arresting Them . . .
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They’re Driving Them . . .
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U.S. Marshals Service: Fed Jock-Sniffers Chauffeuring Jock Fed-Sniffers

A lawyer for the United States Marshals Service improperly used federal vehicles and on-duty deputies to escort him to World Series games, the Super Bowl and other major sporting events where he worked as a part-time statistician for Fox Sports, according to a report made public Monday by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice.
Investigators found that the lawyer, Joseph Band, also arranged for deputy marshals to provide vehicle escorts to Fox Sports announcers at two World Series games in 2007, and an N.F.L. playoff game and the Super Bowl in 2008. The report identified the broadcasters as Tim McCarver, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.
The report found that Band, whose job at the Marshals Service’s Office of General Counsel included advising employees on “matters of ethics and integrity,” repeatedly committed “ethical violations” in using federal resources for personal business and that he “lacked candor” when questioned by investigators.
Band’s lawyer, Jacob A. Stein, declined to comment Monday. He said that Band retired at the end of 2008 from the Office of General Counsel, where he had worked since 1992. . .
Investigators referred the matter to the United States attorneys offices in Boston and in the Eastern District of Virginia, which each declined to prosecute the case. . . .
Dan Bell, the vice president for communications at Fox Sports, said Band had worked as a statistician for Fox and other networks.
“At select events, he did offer transportation to some Fox Sports personnel,” Bell said in a statement. “We were unaware, however, that those arrangements were in any way inappropriate, and regret to learn now that they apparently were.”

You need to be a rocket scientist to know that it’s not the job of the U.S. Marshals Service to be Joe Buck’s personal driver?! Hello . . .? Clearly not brainiacs or men of integrity at FOX Sports (with the exception of the brilliant Scott Ackerson, who produces FOX NFL Sunday).
The rules for use of federal agents’ vehicles are very strict. I’ve been out to lunch and coffee with ICE, FBI, and other federal agents. And they were strictly prohibited from using their government vehicles to drop me off somewhere or give me a ride. Agents have gotten suspended for 30 days for this kind of improper use of their “G-Rides.” Everyone involved here knew better.

The Office of the Inspector General initiated the investigation after receiving a complaint that Band had used public resources to transport himself and the Fox Sports broadcasters McCarver and Buck at two World Series games in Boston in 2007.
Investigators found that in at least three cities (Boston; Tampa, Fla.; and Phoenix), United States Marshals granted Band’s request for vehicles and drivers, even though it should have been clear that he was not at the games on official business, the report said. An exception was in San Francisco; the report said that Federico Rocha, a marshal from the Northern District of California, advised Band to take a trolley or cab to the 2007 baseball All-Star Game.
According to the report, Band also arranged for an escort for the limousines of Buck and Aikman at an N.F.L. playoff game in Tampa in 2008. A month later, at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., Band arranged for himself, Aikman and Buck to arrive at the game in a vehicle driven by a deputy marshal.
In written statements included in the report, the Marshals Service mostly denied any claims that they had misused federal resources. David Gonzales, the marshal for Arizona, argued that the transport of Aikman and Buck could be considered “dignitary protection.

Gimme a break. By that logic, the transports of Diddy, Paris Hilton, Sean Penn, and Weird Al Yankovic could be considered “dignitary protection.” But you don’t see the feds using tax-paid employees and cars to ferret them around America. Like Buck and Aikman, they can well afford to pay for their own custom transportation.
The U.S. Marshals Service, doing “the work that some Americans just won’t do”–ie., serving as Troy Aikman’s personal chauffeur.

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2 Responses

John McCain didn’t ask for bodyguards yet no one attacked him, which -until this moment- puzzles me… um, that no one attacked him.
The “U.S. Marshals” Service should limit their appearance to movies where they are doing a better job escorting high profile actors instead of not-so-famous sportscasters.
Has anyone ask if the Marshals get free season tickets and hot dogs?
I think I know the answer.

Independent Conservative on January 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm

You don’t know the facts, the media got it wrong. The investigation was closed internally with no one found guilty of any wrong doing. Mind your business.

Mike on December 20, 2009 at 12:38 am

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