WASHINGTON – Attorney General John Ashcroft, following up on promises of change after the FBI evidence problem in the Timothy McVeigh case, has given a Justice Department office responsibility for investigating problems in the bureau.
In a statement Wednesday, Ashcroft said responsibility for investigating problems at both the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration will be handled by Justice's inspector general.
The change givese FBI's and DEA's offices of professional responsibility had primary jurisdiction over allegations of misconduct against FBI and DEA employees.
Under that system, the inspector general could exercise jurisdiction over such allegations only if the attorney general or deputy attorney general issued such an order in individual cases.
The FBI failed to produce to lawyers for McVeigh some 4,000 pages of documents in connection with the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
The explosion killed 168, including 19 children. McVeigh was convicted of the crime and was executed June 11 at a federal prison facility in Terre Haute, Ind.
McVeigh initially had been scheduled to die by injection on May 16, but Ashcroft postponed the execution at the time to allow McVeigh's attorneys time to examine the previously withheld evidence.