More than 30 letters containing a suspicious powder were mailed to Chase bank branches and federal banking regulators’ offices in nine cities, authorities said Tuesday in what was being investigated as a first, if extreme, public backlash over the nation’s financial crisis.
Initial tests on the powder proved negative for poisonous or otherwise dangerous toxins, the FBI said. An FBI spokesman in Oklahoma, where eight letters turned up, said local preliminary assessments showed the powder was harmless calcium.
Additional tests were being run on the letters Tuesday as officials zeroed in on possible suspects near Amarillo, Texas, where the letters were postmarked.
A law enforcement official said the letters were mailed to Chase bank branches in or near Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Denver, Newark, N.J., New York City, Oklahoma City and Washington.
Judge resigning under investigation
The federal judge who oversaw the insider trading trial of former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio is resigning as complaints of judicial misconduct are investigated.
Edward W. Nottingham, the chief federal district judge in Colorado, ceased his judicial duties immediately and his resignation will be effective Oct. 29, according to a statement posted on the Web site of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The statement said multiple complaints of misconduct were being investigated by the circuit’s judicial council.
Sean Harrington, who heads a legal technology firm, had filed a complaint in January citing news reports that Nottingham allegedly viewed adult Web sites on his government computer in his chambers.