The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively weighing a field of more than a half dozen candidates, including two women, to head its New York office, one of the bureau’s largest and busiest, with priorities that range from terrorism cases such as the attempted Times Square bombing to fraud on Wall Street.
The assistant director in New York, as the top agent there is known, is also an influential figure in the bureau’s senior managerial ranks by virtue of the position. Some of the agents who previously held the job, like James Kallstrom and Pasquale D’Amuro, have achieved near celebrity status in New York. In recent years, the top agent in New York has shared, and sometimes vied for, the limelight with Raymond Kelly, the aggressive New York Police Department commissioner.
With the reassignment in March of Joseph Demarest as head of the office, after an internal inquiry into answers he gave about an alleged affair with a subordinate, FBI officials have been considering several candidates, including some who have asked to be considered for the job, according to bureau officials briefed on the deliberations.
Among those in contention include George Venizelos, who was temporarily promoted from an administrative job to take over from Demarest. Venizelos is said to be one of several senior agents in the office under consideration. Three others are special agents in charge in other cities: Andrew Arena in Detroit, Janice Fedarcyk in Philadelphia and James Davis in Denver. Another contender is Amy Jo Lyons, an assistant director of the Inspection Division, a Washington, D.C., headquarters unit which carries out internal audits and sensitive investigations.
It is not known when Mueller will announce his choice. But with the heavy workload bureau of terrorism cases, along with financial fraud, organized crime, public corruption and espionage, bureau officials expect he will not take long to make a decision.