Gary M. Bald, a 25-year FBI veteran who oversaw the investigation of a rogue Boston agent who protected gangster informants from prosecution, has been tapped to head the FBI's Maryland-Delaware office, the bureau said yesterday.
Bald, 48, is a Maryland native but has never worked from the FBI's Baltimore office. As special agent in charge, he will oversee more than 300 employees, including 200 special agents.
He is expected to begin work in Baltimore next week.
Bald was not available to comment yesterday. In a statement, he said he looked forward to the Baltimore assignment and "will continue the division's commitment to cooperative efforts with other law enforcement agencies."
Bald comes to Baltimore from the high-profile assignment of helping lead a Justice Department task force that was dispatched in early 1999 to investigate FBI mishandling of mob informants in the Boston area.
The investigation led to the conviction last spring of former FBI agent John Connolly and to new Justice Department guidelines for handling criminal informants. Connolly, 62, was sentenced this month to 10 years in federal prison for racketeering and obstruction of justice for tipping off two leaders of a Boston Irish mob gang in 1995 about criminal investigations and a pending indictment.
In Baltimore, Bald will replace Special Agent Lynne A. Hunt, who last month was named assistant director of the bureau's inspection division in Washington. Hunt had served as special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office since May 2000, the first time a woman had held that post.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina and George Washington University, Bald joined the bureau in 1977 to work in the laboratory division at headquarters. He later trained at the FBI Academy, and his first assignment as an agent was in Albany, N.Y., where he investigated violent crime and drug cases.
Bald's other field office work includes assignments in Philadelphia in the mid-1980s and in Newark, N.J., in the early 1990s. In 1996, he was named assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta office, where he helped oversee the continuing investigation of the bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics - a case that tainted the FBI after security guard Richard Jewell was publicly identified as a suspect.
The man authorities now say is responsible, Eric Robert Rudolph, remains a fugitive. Rudolph also is a suspect in the double bombings of a women's clinic and a gay nightclub in Atlanta in 1997, also investigated while Bald helped lead the Atlanta office.
Bald's career has included several assignments at FBI headquarters in Washington. He has worked in the inspections division, helping direct on-site evaluations of field offices across the country. As chief of the Policy, Planning and Analysis Unit in 1996, Bald managed the FBI's role in drug task forces and coordinated a review of the bureau's investigative policies.