ATF Shakes Up Leadership Of Phoenix Office

Allen Lengel at Tickle the Wire is reporting that Thomas Brandon, the head of the Detroit ATF, office will temporarily fill in as head of the Phoenix Field Division.

Brandon will fill in for the Phoenix special agent in charge, William D. Newell, who has been sent to Washington to help prepare and answer questions about Operation Fast and Furious for Congress and the Office of Inspector General, the sources said.

Newell joins Jim Needles, an assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix Division, who has been temporarily assigned to Washington to also help prepare answers for the various inquiries, sources said. Another assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix office has taken a sick leave. It is unclear where all the agents involved in the moves will wind up, and whether they’ll return to their old posts.

“Another assistant special agent” would be George Gillett who has requested whistleblower status from Senator Chuck Grassley’s office.It was only yesterday that a leaked memo on CleanUpATF reported the Gillett was acting head of the Phoenix office from Monday through Friday. Things must change fast in Arizona!

To: Phoe-CE Supervisors; Phoe-940Staff; Phoe-IO Supervisors
Sent: Mon Apr 11 13:13:42 2011
Subject: Designation
In accordance with ATF O 1100.168, ASAC George Gillett is designated as the acting SAC for the period of 4/11/11 – 4/15/11. He can be reached at (602) 776-XXXX, or on his cell phone (602) 653-XXXX.

Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars takes up the story on the field reaction to Newell and Needles being temporarily reassigned to Washington and on Gillett going on “sick leave”.  Follow the link to his page to read more.

As many have noticed, little has been heard or seen of Andrew Traver throughout this whole scandal. David Codrea’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request did uncover a couple of emails which pointed to Traver. Those give an indication that he may not be so out of the loop on the Headquarters’ reaction as he and the Obama Administration would have us believe.

Along those lines, Michael Bane warns that we need to be watchful that Traver isn’t being repositioned as the clean white knight sent in to clean up the Operation Gunwalker mess.

One thing to watch for is the White House using the current ATF scandal to create the next ATF scandal by shoving Chicago thug Andrew Traver down Congress’ throat as the new head of ATF. Traver’s career is rife with conflict of interests — working with International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Joyce Foundation promoting antigun causes — and overtly lying to the media on the difference between a “semiauto” and a “machinegun.”

His most recent weekly podcast, Downrange Radio, also discussed Operation Fast and Furious as well as Traver.