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Feds roll FBI fender bender back to DC court

By   /   August 27, 2014  /   No Comments

Photo by Associated Press

REVERSE ORDER: An FBI worker’s case involving a District of Columbia traffic accident flirted with federal court before heading back through usual channels.

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three days after Watchdog.org reported an FBI employee’s traffic ticket was headed to federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice made a legal U-turn.

At the request of federal attorneys, the case of Benjamin Huff has been “removed” from the District of Columbia, where the $100 ticket was issued by local police.

Government lawyers argued, without elaboration, that federal regulations enabled such transfers “in the interest of the United States.”

Huff’s car collided with a vehicle driven by Mark Andrew McCoy of Alexandria, Va., during morning rush hour last May. The minor fender bender turned into a federal case when Huff disputed the citation and claimed he was on the job at the time of the accident.

Federal officials would not confirm Huff’s assertion to Watchdog, which logged a Freedom of Information Act inquiry into the case.

Then the feds reversed course.

“They changed their tune after receiving assurances from District of Columbia officials that, should Huff lose his appeal, he or the U.S. government could appeal again, to the D.C. Superior Court,” the Washington Post reported.

While making a legal mountain out of a run-of-the-mill molehill, Huff is still being represented by well-paid DOJ lawyers. That irks libertarians and fiscal conservatives who call it a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

“They’re no longer part of the citizenry — they’ve become their own class of rulers,” groused John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, Va.

A hearing date is pending with the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Kenric Ward is a national correspondent for Watchdog.org and chief of its Virginia Bureau. Contact him at (571) 319-9824 or a kenric@watchdogvirginia.org. @Kenricward

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Kenric Ward is a veteran journalist who has worked on three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. A California native, he received a BA from UCLA (Political Science/Phi Beta Kappa) and holds an MBA. He reported and edited at the San Jose Mercury News and the Las Vegas Sun before joining Watchdog.org in 2012 as Virginia Bureau Chief.

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