- - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

FDA’s criminal probe chief out

The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s criminal investigation unit is stepping down, months after the latest round of criticism directed at his department by congressional investigators.

An agency spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that Terry Vermillion told FDA staff this week that he would step down.


Mr. Vermillion, who spent 20 years in the Secret Service before joining the FDA in 1992, is among the highest-paid officials at the agency at roughly $200,000 per year.

His department has been the subject of several investigations requested by federal lawmakers. In 2008, House and Senate Republicans questioned the priorities of the criminal investigations unit, specifically its focus on drug-abuse cases instead of broader misconduct by large companies.

COLORADO

Two men taken off plane after search

DENVER | Passengers on a US Airways flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Denver were briefly held on the plane when it arrived while the aircraft was searched. Two male passengers were taken off the plane by uniformed officers.

An Associated Press reporter who was on Flight 1525 says officers brought a dog onto the plane, and it searched a bathroom at the rear of the jet. Passengers were allowed to disembark normally after the men were taken away. The men weren’t handcuffed and left calmly.

Denver police and officials from the airport say they don’t have any information about the incident.

A US Airways spokeswoman referred questions to the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA did not return a phone call.

The flight originated early Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

MASSACHUSETTS

Man charged in 4 killings held without bail

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