The Buzz: Did carelessness lead to leak of FBI document?

jortiz@sacbee.comNovember 4, 2013 

Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, right, greets Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, at the Capitol in Sacramento last June.

MANNY CRISOSTOMO — mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

  • Water Watch

    Policymakers continue to hammer the point that Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed water transfer plan could disrupt the Delta’s tenuous ecological balance. In Granite Bay, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, and other officials today will kick off a celebration of Folsom Lake – but not without some pointed words questioning whether the Delta plan would protect the lake from being drained dry. In Stockton, the Delta Coalition will bring together area lawmakers and experts for an event trumpeting “The Real Delta Story.”

    – Jeremy B. White

Among the questions in the developing Ron Calderon corruption investigation: Just how did the media get hold of an FBI affidavit that lays out the details of the case?

The agency is investigating, but James J. Wedick, a former FBI special agent who led another Capitol undercover sting in the 1990s, attributed it to carelessness.

“I guess you could say it’s possible the document was leaked,” he said. “but I would doubt that somebody would purposely take that document and release it.”

Wedick headed up the “shrimpgate” undercover sting in the late 1980s that snagged 12 public officials, using a phony shrimp business to expose corruption. He recalls that he carefully guarded his investigative documents. He routinely summarized reports and parceled out pages, he said, with only information his agents needed for their particular part of the probe.

“I never thought that anyone would leak the documents,” Wedick said, “but I worried they might accidentally leave them somewhere,”

Nancy Savage, executive director of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, noted that leaking an FBI affidavit is a felony.

– Jon Ortiz

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