Press Release - U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William W. Wilkins, Jr. Presented the Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Today
October 28, 2002
U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William W. Wilkins, Jr. presented the Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement today to Investigator Paul A. Silvaggio of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office, Secret Service Special Agent Donald E. White and Retired Clemson Police Chief Johnson W. Link, Jr.
The Award began in 1984 in honor of former Solicitor Billy Wilkins and is made to individual law enforcement officers who have exhibited outstanding attributes in performance of his or her duties in both the field and in the courtroom.
Investigator Paul Silvaggio joined the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in 1987 after service in the U.S. Army Military Police. Since joining the Sheriff's Office, Paul has been Rookie of the Year and Officer of the Year by both Rotary International and the Wade Hampton Jaycees. In addition, he has earned two Distinguished Service medals and numerous letters of recommendation. Since 1998, Paul has worked in the Violent Crime Unit working primarily on homicides.
Don White has been with the Secret Service for over 17 years. He has served on the Presidential Protection Division for Presidents George W. Bush, Sr. and Bill Clinton. He was also a member of the elite Counter Assault Team (CAT) that provide tactical support for the President. Presently, he is the Resident in Charge of the Greenville South Carolina District with overall responsibility of sixteen counties in the Upstate.
Johnson W. Link, Jr. began his law enforcement career as a cadet with the Pickens County Sheriff's Office. He began working for Clemson City Police Department in 1978 rising to rank of Police Chief in 1985. During his tenure as Chief, Clemson Police Department has increased in size by 25 percent. He also guided the agency through the State Accreditation Program, established the first full-time Law Enforcement Victim Advocate in the upstate and modernized his agency through computerization. Link retired August 1, 2002 and has become a criminal justice instructor at Tri County Technical College.
The awards were presented at separate ceremonies today in Greenville and Pickens.
Obama inauguration: Bush prepares for life as an ex-president• Moving vans set to roll away and take furniture to Dallas
• Obamas to arrive as new first family
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 January 2009 13.12 EST
At 12.01pm tomorrow, special agent Donald White will take a few small steps that will mark a giant leap for his country. The US secret service officer will move away from George Bush, whom he has been shadowing, and stand behind President Obama, marking the transition of his protection to a new presidency.
E-Mail Shows Racial Jokes by Secret Service Supervisors
By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: May 10, 2008
WASHINGTON — Secret Service supervisors shared crude sexual jokes and engaged in racially derogatory banter about blacks, and passed around an anecdote about a possible assassination of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to internal e-mail disclosed in a federal court filing on Friday by lawyers for black Secret Service agents.
The filing includes 10 e-mail messages that were among documents the agency recently turned over to lawyers for the black agents as part of an increasingly bitter discrimination lawsuit. The messages were written mainly from 2003 through 2005, and were sent to and from e-mail accounts of at least 20 Secret Service supervisors.
The messages offer a glimpse into the darker recesses of an agency known for protecting presidents and other dignitaries but whose culture is regarded as one of the most insular in federal law enforcement.
The disclosure of the messages follows an incident last month in which a noose was found in a room used by a black instructor at a Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Md. Agency officials said that episode was under internal investigation.
Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said he would not comment directly on the e-mail but said the agency deplored racially insensitive jokes.
“We are deeply disappointed by any communication or action on the part of our employees that exhibits racial or other insensitivity,” Mr. Zahren said.
Mr. Zahren said the messages were the result of a search of 20 million electronic documents over 16 years. He said that an internal inquiry had been opened and that the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, had been alerted.
In some of the court documents, the senders of the e-mail messages are identified only by the jobs they currently occupy and the rank they held when the messages were sent. For example, an Oct. 9, 2003, message referring to a “Harlem Spelling Bee,” ridiculing black slang, was sent by Thomas Grupski, then assistant director for protective operations, who, according to the filing, now heads the Office of Government Liaison and Public Affairs.
A March 3, 2003, message describing Mr. Jackson as the “Righteous Reverend” was passed among several Secret Service supervisors. The message, about a missile striking an airplane in which Mr. Jackson and his wife were traveling, concludes, it “certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
Another message contains what one Secret Service official said was a joke referring to interracial sex. The joke circulated in February and March 2003. It was sent, according to the lawsuit, by Donald White, who heads the Presidential Protective Detail, to Kurt Douglass, an agent in charge of the Secret Service office in Cincinnati.
The legal skirmishing in the discrimination suit has heated up in recent months, with Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson rebuking the Secret Service for failing to produce documents and for destroying relevant records and e-mail.
Judge Robinson had ordered the agency to turn over the documents by late March, but the e-mail disclosed in the court filing on Friday was not turned over to lawyers for the agents until late April.
E. Desmond Hogan, a lawyer for the black agents, said the agents were “shocked but not surprised by the late production of significant evidence of racism at high levels in the Secret Service.”
“The government’s delay,” Mr. Hogan said, “follows a pattern of the Secret Service stonewalling plaintiffs and ignoring court orders, depriving African-American agents of the fundamental evidence of race discrimination that is key to their claims.”
The lawsuit, which has dragged on through years of litigation, was filed in 2000 by 10 black agents who charged that they were unfairly denied promotions. The agency employs about 3,200 agents, about 10 percent of whom are black.
Obama and the Secret Service
by benjaminsp , Sat May 10, 2008 at 07:47:59 AM EDT
According to an article today in the New York Times, Secret Service senior staff may be bigots. If this is true, do they really care about protecting a future black president. Will the "higher ups give the brave and patriotic field agents the information they need to protect Obama.
The New York Times article allegedly exposes deep racial bigotry in the US Secret Service. This includes a noose being put into the room of a black secret service trainer. Donald White, who heads the Presidential Protective Detail, sent e-mail "jokes" about interracial mariages to Kurt Douglass, an agent in charge of the Secret Service office in Cincinnati. Also,a March 3, 2003, message describing Jesse Jackson as the "Righteous Reverend" was passed among several Secret Service supervisors. The message, about a missile striking an airplane in which Mr. Jackson and his wife were traveling, concludes, it "certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."
As the acts of bigotry are being investigated, perhaps the secret service supervisors may "overlook" and not communicate to their field agents on the ground, serious threats against the democratic party's apparent nominee who has a good chance of being the next president of the United States.
Perhaps the bigots in the secret service, wanting to keep the status quo and not let "darky" into the hallowed halls of the White House may sleep at the job, and the candidate of change may be "assasinated" like so many other agents of change have; JFK, RFK, Ghandi, Lincoln, Martin Luther King.
This crime must be averted. I have no doubt that the secret service "agents" who are now guarding Senator Obama are loyal to him and of the highest character. However, their bosses may not be communicating leads and substantial threats. The secret service higher ups may actually be putting their own agents lives at risk as well as the Senator's life.
Please, Please, I urge Senator Obama to hire independant agents loyal only to him, for his protection detail. He cannot rely on an organization steeped in bigotry. Again, I admire the actual agents who guard Obama, but their bosses may not communicate to them the information they need to investigate every possible threat to the Senator.
Just one more thing before I link to the actual article from the New York Times.
During the Texas primary, I remember a shocking incident when either the Dallas Police or the Secret Service stopped checking people entering an Obama rally for concealed weapons. In that rally Obama was a sitting duck and anyone could have shot him down. How far was the rally site from the Texas Book Depository, I don't know. Maybe this was an effort of the bigots in the highest chambers of the secret service to do away with Obama before he became popular.
My paranoia tells me to say that if I do not post again in a few days, please look for me in a concrete slab somewhere under the new Yankee Stadium.