Thursday, November 06, 2003

Patriot Act Used to Bust Tittie Bars

The investigation of strip club owner Michael Galardi and numerous politicians appears to be the first time federal authorities have used the Patriot Act in a public corruption probe. Government officials said Tuesday they knew of no other instances in which federal agents investigating allegations such as racketeering and bribery of politicians have employed the act.

'I don't know that it's been used in a public corruption case before this,' said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the Justice Department.
An attorney for one of the defendants in the Galardi case said he researched the matter for hours Tuesday and came to the same conclusion. 'I have discussed this with lawyers all over the country, and if the government has done this before, then this is definitely the first time it has come to light,' said Las Vegas attorney Dominic Gentile, who represents former Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone, Galardi's lobbyist.

Two of Nevada's lawmakers blasted the FBI for employing the act in the Galardi probe, saying the agency overstepped its bounds.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Congress intended the Patriot Act to help federal authorities root out threats from terrorists and spies after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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