Oakland Investigates How FBI Agent Involved In Boston Marathon Shooting Reportedly Collected Over $500,000 For Medical Disability

136px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal_svg115px-CA_-_Oakland_PoliceWhen FBI Special Agent Aaron McFarlane, 41, shot and killed an individual of interest in the Boston Marathon bombing operation, a few police officials were reportedly confused. McFarlane allegedly was collecting $52,488 a year in medical disability benefits under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System after an injury with the Oakland police. Yet, he appeared to be working as a FBI special agent. Oakland officials are reportedly investigating how such double dipping is possible for an officer who was relieved of duty “due to an illness or injury that is expected to be permanent or of an undetermined duration.” Not only have many asked how the FBI could hire an officer with a medial disability pension and a checkered past, but criticize the FBI over what was viewed as obstructive conduct during an investigation of the shooting.

McFarlane took medical disability in 2004 — only four years after he joined the force as a patrol officer. McFarlane lifetime payments reportedly include a 2 percent cost-of-living allowance for each of the past 10 years.

McFarlane fatally shot Ibragim Todashev, 27, in his Orlando apartment on May 22, 2013. He said that Todashev flung a table at him and brandished a metal pole at a Massachusetts state trooper before he killed him. Some raises concerns over the shooting because it followed more than four hours of questioning by McFarlane and two state troopers about Todashev’s connection to one of the two men accused of planting the bombs. Given the number of officers and the lack of a firearm, there were questions raises about the necessity of using lethal force. Notably, when the incident was being investigated, the FBI refused to allow McFarlane to be interviewed on tape by the government’s investigator and would only allow him to review a written statement from McFarlane.

It is unclear how McFarlane could make the FBI given his claim of medical disability as well as a rather checkered past. Before taking medical leave, McFarlane was connected to “the Riders” scandal where four other Oakland officers were accused of beating and planting drugs on suspects. McFarlane testified for the defense and took the Fifth Amendment when a prosecutor suggested that he had lied on a police report. The officers were not convicted. However, city settled a related federal lawsuit for $10.9 million and the department remains under court oversight after the Riders scandal. McFarlane himself was sued by a man who accused him of beating him. Recent stories report an array of other lawsuits involving McFarlane.

What is most disturbing about the articles linked above is the lack of transparency and cooperation of the FBI during the shooting investigation and the current controversy. This may have to be a matter for congressional oversight. At the moment (as is often the case) it is the media that has driven most of the disclosures in this scandal.

24 thoughts on “Oakland Investigates How FBI Agent Involved In Boston Marathon Shooting Reportedly Collected Over $500,000 For Medical Disability”

  1. Nick Spinelli, above, is 100% correct; it’s an epidemic in California.

  2. It doesn’t seem the FBI did a proper pre-hire background on this guy. If he took the 5th for a question of perjury that should be a red flag for a Brady Cop. Essentially during his interview the pre-hire investigator should have asked him about it and then polygraphed him. If it was determined he did in fact commit perjury in my view he should have been dropped as a candidate.

    Sometimes police or firefighter disability means essentially “unable to perform the duties of their employment” as opposed to what social security or others consider disabled.

    Or maybe Oakland just wanted him out and cut him a deal on the disability. I don’t know if that is the case though.

  3. Steve Fleischer

    Rightly or wrongly, there is a deepening sense that many in our government and law enforcement are both corrupt and have a low regard for the Bill of Rights.

    It is up to them to earn our trust.

    Or they can just shoot you a dozen times in the back and claim self defense. They seem to be doing that a lot these days.

  4. Boston Marathon Bom Bing was an inside job.

    “Crisis actors, smoke bombs, fake blood and literal “smoke and mirrors” were all part of what was the false flag terrorist attack called the Boston Marathon Bombing. To anyone who saw the pictures and footage of fake blood, make- up artists and smiling “victims”. It was obvious that something was not right. For those involved in filmmaking and in the know the discrepancies were obvious.”

  5. One would think that politicians and police officers would be the first to oppose ubiquitous electronic surveillance – being the most likely to be caught at fraud, scams, bribery, adultery, and terrorism.

  6. Do you have to be in excellent health to develop fake terrorists and plan fake bombings? The FBI is good at that.

  7. “He’s a very good police officer. People understand the environment in Oakland is particularly toxic and very tough,” said Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association. “A lot of the officers are going elsewhere because the experience they gain here is unmatched.”

    “Howard Jordan, a former Oakland police chief who said he helped train the young McFarlane, said it was well known in Oakland that McFarlane had gone to the FBI. He described McFarlane as a “solid officer,” smart, quiet, and confident, with many friends in the department.”

    From The Boston Globe 5-14-14

  8. Ive always wondered how Sen McCain has full disability retirement from his Vietnam experiences yet still seams to work 60+ hrs a week

  9. “What is most disturbing about the articles linked above is the lack of transparency and cooperation of the FBI…” What, this from the most transparent administration in history? Tell me it isn’t so.

  10. Rightly or wrongly, there is a deepening sense that many in our government and law enforcement are both corrupt and have a low regard for the Bill of Rights.

    It is up to them to earn our trust.

  11. And we are supposed to subjugate to a National Security System that works as a secret police…? There are people that can’t be trusted in this power system behind closed doors let alone with total secrecy and immunity from scrutiny. Power abuse is a constant, not an exception.

  12. I can tell you one thing: The FBI has a storied history here in Boston.

    John J. Connolly Jr.

    Connolly retired from the FBI in 1990 after 22 years, accepting a highly paid job with Boston Edison. With Connolly out of the picture, the FBI dropped Bulger and Flemmi as informants and began targeting them, eventually handing down federal racketeering and extortion charges against the pair in 1995.

    The dark details of the FBI’s secret pact with the Mob emerged in 1998, during a year-long series of federal court hearings into Flemmi’s request to dismiss racketeering charges against him. The following year, Connolly was indicted on federal charges. In 2002, a jury convicted him of federal racketeering, obstruction of justice and lying to an FBI agent. Jurors found that he tipped Bulger and Flemmi to investigations, alerted them to flee just before their 1995 racketeering indictment, and lied to an FBI agent about his efforts to help Flemmi beat the charges against him. However, the jury found prosecutors failed to prove the most serious charges against Connolly: that he leaked information to Bulger and Flemmi that prompted them to kill three men. Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    In May 2005, Connolly was indicted on state murder charges in Florida, which carry a life prison term. He was accused of leaking information to Bulger and Flemmi in 1982 that prompted them to kill a Boston business consultant, John B. Callahan, who was a potential witness against them. He proclaims his innocence. Connolly is serving 40 years after being convicted in 2008 of second-degree murder. In March 2011, Connolly lost his appeal to have that conviction overturned.

  13. Of course nothing like this ever happened under Hoover. His PR team and relationships with friendly media prevented the public from learning about the Bureau’s shenanigans and abuses of power until well after the fact.

  14. I’ve said here previously, having investigated fraudulent disability, personal injury claims for 3 decades, there is NO professions who abuse a VERY generous disability program, like cops and firefighters. I have videotapes of cops and firefighter doing very hard physical labor, athletics, etc. and they are allegedly permanently and totally disabled. The approval process for their disability is a virtual rubber stamp. This problem is rampant.

  15. Some people know how to work the system and don’t have a problem doing it. What is sad is not being shocked much anymore to learn about it.

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