Janice Fedarcyk has been named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Division, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced Friday. Fedarcyk is the first woman to head the high-profile New York office.
She replaces Joseph Demarest, who in May was named Assistant Director of the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters. Demarest was placed on temporary assignment to FBI headquarters while the Office of Professional Responsibility conducted an investigation into statements he made about a relationship he allegedly had with a subordinate in the New York office.
Since 2007, Fedarcyk has headed the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, which was recently involved with the indictment against American-born alleged extremist “Jihad Jane.”
Mueller said in a statement that Fedarcyk is well-prepared to lead the FBI’s largest office.
“Jan Fedarcyk brings both a strong national security and criminal investigative background from her current assignment as head of the Philadelphia Division and from her work at FBI Headquarters, where she managed terrorist financing investigations, served at the National Counterterrorism Center, and oversaw investigations of online exploitation of children,” Mueller said.
Fedarcyk has been with the FBI since 1987. She started in the Los Angeles Division and has served at FBI headquarters, the Baltimore Division and most recently in Philadelphia. Her experience in counterterrorism includes her work as the FBI’s representative to the National Counterterrorism Center, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning and as special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the Los Angeles Division.
Demarest had been brought in by Mueller in late 2008 to improve the relationship between the New York City Police Department and the FBI.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Fedarcyk’s appointment.
Kelly told reporters at a news conference in early May that the work between the FBI and NYPD had been “seamless” and that the two organizations were “working extremely well together.”
Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the FBI’s New York Division, said Fedarcyk would take over in early August and was notified of her appointment late yesterday.
“Although she has not yet had the time to reach out to NYPD, she very much looks forward to continuing to build on the extremely strong relationship the FBI has with NYPD,” Kolko said.
The FBI’s full release on Fedarcyk’s appointment is below.
Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Janice Fedarcyk as assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Division. Ms. Fedarcyk is currently serving as special agent in charge (SAC) of the Philadelphia Division.
“Jan Fedarcyk brings both a strong national security and criminal investigative background from her current assignment as head of the Philadelphia Division and from her work at FBI Headquarters, where she managed terrorist financing investigations, served at the National Counterterrorism Center, and oversaw investigations of online exploitation of children,” said Director Mueller. “She is well prepared to lead our largest office.”
Ms. Fedarcyk entered on duty as a special agent of the FBI in 1987. Upon completion of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, she was assigned to the Los Angeles Division, where she investigated organized crime, drugs, money laundering, and gang matters. In November 1996, Ms. Fedarcyk was promoted to FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ), where she coordinated FBI response to domestic and international crises and special events. In 1998, Ms. Fedarcyk was selected as the first FBI liaison assigned to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She transferred to the Baltimore Division in 1999, where she supervised an Innocent Images National Initiative squad investigating the online exploitation of children.
In 2001, Ms. Fedarcyk returned to FBIHQ as an assistant inspector team leader in the Inspection Division. In 2003, she was selected as the assistant section chief of the Terrorist Financing Operations Section within the Counterterrorism Division. Her subsequent promotion to assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) in the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, included oversight of FBI components that furnished behavioral analysis and consultation on a variety of investigative matters.
Ms. Fedarcyk was promoted to serve as the FBI’s representative to the National Counterterrorism Center, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning in March 2005. She was instrumental in leading the development of a classified national strategic operational plan in the war on terrorism. In September 2006, she was a group recipient of a Meritorious Unit Citation presented by the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center for contributions to the Interagency Counterterrorism Strategic Planning Community. In January 2006, Ms. Fedarcyk was promoted to the position of inspector at FBIHQ.
Shortly after, in February 2007, she was named SAC of the Counterterrorism Division of the Los Angeles Division. In this division, she oversaw executive management, supervisory and investigative personnel, and the associated investigative programs to which they were assigned.
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The head of the FBI’s New York office has been permanently reassigned to FBI headquarters in Washington, an FBI spokesman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
Joseph Demarest, who had been reassigned to headquarters on a temporary basis while the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigated a relationship he allegedly had with a subordinate in his office, has been named Assistant Director of the International Operations Division, FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said.
The FBI’s New York Office will be headed by George Venizelos, who will serve as acting assistant director in charge until a permanent chief is found, Kolko told Main Justice. Venizelos, a senior special agent in charge at the New York office, has been leading the office while Demarest was on temporary reassignment.
The news was first reported Wednesday by the website Tickle The Wire, which covers news on federal law enforcement.
FBI headquarters did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
UPDATE 4:13 p.m. The FBI National Press Office gave Main Justice this release:
Joseph M. Demarest, Jr. Named Assistant Director of International Operations Division
Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Joseph M. Demarest, Jr. assistant director of the FBI’s International Operations Division (IOD). Most recently, Mr. Demarest served as assistant director in charge (ADIC) of the FBI’s New York Division. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the FBI’s international and overseas law enforcement and liaison efforts.
“In his new role, Joe will be responsible for more than 600 FBI employees here at FBI Headquarters and across the globe in our Legal Attaché offices. IOD plays an integral role in our national security mission by building trusted relationships with our foreign law enforcement and intelligence partners,” said Director Mueller.
Mr. Demarest began his career at the FBI in 1988 as a special agent. He was initially assigned to the Anchorage Division, where he investigated white collar crime, drug, violent crime, and foreign counterintelligence cases. In 1990, he was transferred to the New York Division, where he was assigned to a Colombian drug squad. He was promoted to squad supervisor in 1999, and was selected as SWAT team leader. In 2000, he was selected to serve as the drug branch’s acting assistant special agent in charge.
After 9/11, Mr. Demarest was selected as one of two shift commanders for the PENTTBOM investigation. In that position, he led an ad hoc task force of over 400 federal, state, and local investigators from over 40 agencies to address the more than 5,500 PENTTBOM-related leads daily.
Mr. Demarest was promoted to unit chief at FBI Headquarters in 2002, where he served in the International Terrorism Operations Section (ITOS) within the Counterterrorism Division. In 2003, he was promoted to assistant section chief of ITOS. He later served as an acting section chief in ITOS until he was promoted to management positions in the International Terrorism Branch for the New York Division, ultimately becoming special agent in charge for Counterterrorism. He served in that role until early 2008.
In January 2009, Mr. Demarest began serving as the ADIC of the New York Division, where he oversaw several major investigations, including the terrorism investigation OPERATION HIGHRISE; the Bernard Madoff case; and the piracy investigation of MV Maersk Alabama.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department have a long history of clashes with overlap in counterterrorism work becoming a source of tension.
But at a press conference Tuesday announcing the arrest of a man who allegedly tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the FBI and NYPD had been working closely.
“It’s been seamless. People ask that question a lot, and the answer is the same and it’s true, we’re working extremely well together,” Kelly said.
In his comments, Kelly said the investigation was done in “record time.”
“We know that Jack Bauer can do it in 24″ hours, Kelly said. “but in the real word, 53 is a pretty good number.”
A potentially awkward moment at the news conference came when Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about the possibility of holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City.
Kelly, who initially supported the trial being held in New York, allegedly said that providing security for that trial would “suck the oxygen” from the NYPD and leave it little flexibility to pursue new initiatives, as reported by The New York Times in January.
“We are considering a number of options…where that trial will be held, and I will leave it at that,” Holder said, acknowledging that New York City was still on the table.
A transcript of Kelly’s initial remarks are available below.
New York can breathe a little easier today.
That’s due in large measure to the investigative muscle and alacrity of NYPD detectives and FBI agents, not to mention the eagle-eyed customs personnel on duty last night at JFK.
I also want to commend United States Attorney Preet Bharara and his able assistants, they worked closely with the NYPD, not only in this case, but in prosecuting many others to make certain that criminals in the Southern District of New York face justice.
The Pathfinder in Times Square had a license plate belonging to another car. The dashboard vehicle identification number had been removed.
The big break in this case came when a detective climbed underneath the pathfinder and lifted the vehicle identification number from the bottom of its engine block.
That led to the registered owner of the vehicle, and soon thereafter to the suspect who purchased the vehicle and who drove it bomb-laden into the heart of times square.It was deja vu.
After the first attack on the World Trade Center, a detective lifted the vehicle identification number off the engine block of the Ryder truck that exploded there.
That led to the arrest of the bombers when they tried to get their deposit back from the truck rental agent.
We couldn’t have gotten to the Pathfinder’s engine block in the first place, however, were it not for the heroic actions of the NYPD’s bomb squad.
The bomb squad suited up in hot weather in oppressive protective gear and worked painstakingly from 7:00 p.m. on Saturday to three the following morning to dismantle all of the dangerous parts of the car bomb: The timers, the wires, the m-88s, the propane tanks, the gasoline containers and the gun locker filled with fertilizer.
The whole lethal assembly turned the Pathfinder into one big hurt locker.
Only after all the bomb parts were rendered safe and removed from the vehicle, could it be towed to our forensic garage for an exhaustive examination that included the engine block.
Fifty-three hours and 20 minutes elapsed from the time Faisal Shahzad crossed Broadway in his Pathfinder to the time he was apprehended at Kennedy airport.
Jack Bower may have caught him in “24.” But in the real world, 53’s not bad.
Congratulations to all who played a part in bringing this suspect to justice in record time. True, we can all breathe a little easier. But we have to stay vigilant, nonetheless.
That’s because in the eyes of terrorists, New York is America, and they keep coming back to kill us.
In late 2008, a turf battle between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department was brewing. Overlap in counterterrorism work had always been a source of tension between the local cops and the feds. But the situation reached a boiling point when the contents of tense letters between then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on warrants for domestic electronic monitoring of terrorism suspects were published in The New York Times.
To improve that relationship, FBI Director Robert Mueller brought former FBI agent Joe Demarest back to the bureau from his brief stint in the private sector to head the FBI’s New York Division. Just five months later, in May 2009, both federal and New York officials said the relationship had improved.
Now the man who brought about that change has been reassigned to FBI headquarters in Washington, awaiting the results of an investigation into statements he made about his relationship with a colleague. Several outlets have reported that relationship was with Teresa Carlson, an FBI intelligence official who previously headed the white collar section of the New York office’s Criminal Division and was recently promoted to a position in Washington.
The FBI is publicly saying that Demarest is working on a project in D.C., former Newsday reporter Len Levitt wrote in the Huffington Post. FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said that Demarest was helping to develop a computerized crime strategy program, something called Strategy Performance Sessions, or ‘COMPSTAT LITE,’ reported Levitt.
The investigation by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility into Demarest’s statements about the relationship has been going on for months, according to those familiar with the situation.
The investigation is focused on Demarest’s statements about the relationship, rather than the relationship itself. Internal FBI guidelines do not ban personal relationships, but do require recusal in career decision such as bonuses, which are usually decided by a board, according to a former federal official. Levitt reported that it was not clear how much influence Demarest had over Carlson’s career, but there was always at least a level of management between the two.
Mueller’s choice of Demarest to head the New York office upset many rank-and-file FBI agents, who felt that Mueller had gone outside the chain of command by bringing on a former agent who left for a lucrative position in the private sector.
In early 2008, Demarest had been seen as the odds-on favorite to take over the New York office, even working with Mueller on a top-secret project. But Demarest reportedly did not want to be assigned to FBI headquarters in D.C. — considered a must in order to climb the ladder — and announced his retirement to become the head of international security for Goldman Sachs.
The move was especially surprising because Demarest left at age 48, only months shy of 50 when he would have been eligible for a full pension for life.
After less than a year at Goldman, Mueller lured Demarest back to the FBI, believing he could improve the bureau’s relationship with what some FBI agents called the “renegades” in the NYPD counter-terrorism unit.
Within the FBI, “there was a lot of concern over the fact that he had left and then came back,” one former federal official said. “There were a lot of people who wanted the job, and bringing back someone who had quit certainly ruffled a lot of feathers.”
Several former federal law enforcement officials said the complaint that sparked the investigation into Demarest could have originated with someone who felt passed over for the position as New York City’s top G-Man.
“It very well could be sour grapes, that somebody had a beef,” one official said.
Others pointed out that many in the FBI disliked Demarest’s management style.
“The New York office is celebrating Demarest’s demise because he bullied subordinates but let the New York Police Department bully the bureau,” a retired senior FBI official told The New York Daily News.
Demarest and Kelly share a lot in common. They’re both fitness enthusiasts, sharp dressers and have a military bearing, according to a NPR profile when Demarest was tapped in 2008. Under Demarest’s leadership, the relationship between the FBI and NYPD has reportedly improved.
Seeking peace, FBI officials downplayed NYPD’s mistake of contacting an informant who tipped off now admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi about the FBI’s ongoing investigation, nearly derailing it altogether.
NYPD officials reassigned personnel because of the mistake — an unusual admission of the error — and the controversy over the lapse flared up for only a couple of days.
One federal law enforcement official said that Demarest had made “significant inroads” in improving the FBI’s rapport with the NYPD, an impressive achievement, as changing the dynamic between the two agencies was like trying to “turn an aircraft carrier around,” he said.
Joe Palazzolo contributed to this article.