FOIA Update
June 10, 2024

WASHINGTON – Empower Oversight is pressing for records that could expose the lack of disciplinary measures taken against Supervisory Special Agent John Morris related to his role in the scandal over the FBI’s mishandling of mob boss/informant Whitey Bulger.

Bulger was a Boston crime mob boss who served as an FBI confidential informant for 15 years. During this time the FBI turned a blind eye to Bulger’s crimes in exchange for information concerning various underworld figures.

Morris, and Special Agent John Connolly, protected Bulger for years out of the Boston Field Office. Thanks in large part to Morris and Connolly, the mob boss was practically untouchable, saying that Bulger could, “do anything (you) want as long as (you) don’t ‘clip’ anyone.”

In a May 1, 2024, FOIA request to the FBI, Empower Oversight wrote, “Based on information provided by other informant and statements made by Messrs. Bulger and Flemmi were continuously involved in a range of criminal activity, including, but not limited to illegal gambling, loansharking, and extortion.”

The FBI recently denied Empower Oversight’s FOIA request for basic records of how the agency handled Morris after determining the large amount of misconduct that took place. While Connelly was prosecuted along with Bulger, Morris was granted immunity for his star witness testimony.

Empower Oversight is now appealing the FBI’s denial of their original request. Morris’s story, along with Connelly and Bulger’s, was prominently on display in the 2015 film Black Mass, which was based on a book detailing the dealings of the three, making the story and the serious government misconduct that occurred, decidedly public. Empower Oversight argues that the information requested by the organization is very much in the public interest and needed to shed light on the FBI’s handling of severe wrongdoing within its ranks.

For a copy of Empower Oversight’s original request, click here.

For a copy of Empower Oversight’s appeal, click here.