- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2003

A former FBI agent has pleaded guilty in a Texas federal court to making false statements to investigators for the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General when he denied secretly taping conversations involving his FBI supervisors.
Tonie D. Jones, 34, a former agent with the FBI's San Antonio Field Office, told U.S. District Judge Edward C. Prado in San Antonio last week that on three separate occasions between April and August 2001, he lied to investigators about his role in the recording of a conversation with FBI management.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 19. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Jones, who served with the bureau from 1996 to 2002, was the focus of an investigation of the Inspector General's Office into accusations that some FBI agents had surreptitiously audiotaped FBI supervisors, in violation of bureau protocols.
He also admitted that when he interviewed for a position at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations in January 2002 he falsely stated he had never been the subject of an internal investigation. The Inspector General's Office said Jones knew at the time he had been the subject of an internal investigation by federal investigators.
The guilty plea resulted from an investigation by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine in accordance with a July 2001 order by Attorney General John Ashcroft enlarging the jurisdiction of the Inspector General's Office to for the first time include FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration personnel.
Mr. Ashcroft gave Mr. Fine's office primary jurisdiction over accusations of misconduct involving FBI and DEA employees, an order that surprised many, although Mr. Ashcroft said at the time the shift was made to promote "consistency."
Previously, the Offices of Professional Responsibility at FBI and DEA, respectively, had primary jurisdiction to investigate accusations of misconduct against FBI and DEA employees. Before the order, the Inspector General's Office could take jurisdiction over a case only if the attorney general or the deputy attorney general specifically ordered it.
Misconduct accusations in other Justice Department agencies, such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Marshals Service, already were under the control of the Inspector General's Office.
The Ashcroft order came in the wake of a series of congressional hearings aimed at determining whether the Justice Department was sufficiently policing the FBI. It followed acknowledgment by the FBI that it failed to provide government and defense attorneys all of the documents from the Oklahoma City bombing investigation prior to the trial of Timothy McVeigh.



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