Apr 30, 2015 12:14 PM
Ex-FBI agent charged with lying during 'Whitey' Bulger trial
The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) A former FBI agent who was once second in command of the agency's Boston office lied on the stand during gangster James "Whitey" Bulger's trial and overstated his professional accomplishments, federal officials said Thursday in announcing a perjury case against him.
Robert Fitzpatrick, 75, surrendered to U.S. marshals after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.
Fitzpatrick, the first defense witness called by Bulger's attorneys during his 2013 trial, testified he tried to persuade the FBI to terminate Bulger as an informant because Bulger didn't appear to be helping its mission to gather information on the Mafia. Fitzpatrick said his bosses didn't agree with him.
Prosecutors suggested he exaggerated that claim to sell copies of a book he wrote about Bulger.
Fitzpatrick was due to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon on six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice. His lawyer, Robert Goldstein, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the accusations.
Fitzpatrick told Bulger jurors that in 1981, about six years after Bulger began working an informant, he was given the task of assessing whether the mobster was providing the FBI with useful information.
Fitzpatrick insisted that he repeatedly sought to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger, particularly after Bulger was considered a suspect in two 1982 killings.
During the trial, prosecutors suggested that Fitzpatrick exaggerated his claim.
"Weren't you more concerned with your own career rather than rocking the boat?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly asked Fitzpatrick on the stand.
The 85-year-old Bulger is serving two life sentences after his 2013 racketeering conviction tying him to 11 murders and other gangland crimes in the 1970s and '80s.
The indictment against Fitzpatrick alleges that from 1998 until the present, Fitzpatrick "has falsely held himself out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger."
He was accused of making false statements "designed to aid Bulger's defense." The indictment also alleges that he made false statements to enhance his own credibility as a former FBI official by making false claims about his professional accomplishments.
Bulger's lawyers argued during his trial that he was not an informant, and Fitzpatrick testified that Bulger denied being an FBI informant to him.
The indictment says Bulger never made that denial.
Fitzpatrick, of Charlestown, Rhode Island, worked for the FBI from 1965 to 1986. In 1980, he was assigned as an assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Boston division. In that position, he supervised the division's organized crime squad.
Prosecutors say Bulger was an informant for the squad from approximately 1975 through 1990.
The indictment says that in May 1986, Fitzpatrick was demoted and reassigned to the Providence, Rhode Island, field office. He left the FBI shortly after that, in December 1986.