Philly FBI chief headed to NYC

George Venizelos , 51, who background is in accounting, runs the FBI office in Philadelphia, overseeing a staff of about 700.
George Venizelos , 51, who background is in accounting, runs the FBI office in Philadelphia, overseeing a staff of about 700. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 24, 2012

The special agent who runs the FBI's Philadelphia division will be named assistant director in charge of the bureau's New York City office, possibly as soon as Wednesday, according to a knowledgeable source.

The agent, George C. Venizelos, had been considered the front-runner for the New York post, one of the most prominent within the bureau. Spokesmen at the FBI's Washington headquarters and its New York and Philadelphia offices declined to comment late Tuesday.

But agents within both field offices were notified of the decision, said the source, who was not authorized to publicly discuss it.

For Venizelos, 52, the promotion is a homecoming of sorts. A North Jersey native - and a New York Giants season-ticket holder - Venizelos worked in New York for five years, and served as interim assistant director in charge for several months in 2010.

That summer, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III named Janice Fedarcyk, then the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia division, to the job. And he sent Venizelos to take her place overseeing the Philadelphia division.

Fedarcyk left the FBI this summer to work in the private sector.

The New York field office is the bureau's largest, with more than 2,000 agents, staff, and task force members. By contrast, about 350 agents are assigned to the Philadelphia division and its satellite offices.

In an interview last week, Venizelos acknowledged he was the favorite for the assistant director's job. But he said he had enjoyed his tenure here and wasn't looking past the current assignment.

"I want to make this city a better city," he said. "I believe in the mayor here, I believe in the police commissioner here. I have a lot of respect for both."


Contact John P. Martin at 215-341-2597, at jmartin@phillynews.com or follow @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

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