Related topics

Sources: Accused Agent a Alcoholic

December 18, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ A federal drug agent accused of killing a colleague while in a drunken stupor had a long history of alcohol abuse, agency sources told a newspaper.

Drug Enforcement Administration agent Richard A. Fekete, 55, underwent psychological and alcohol abuse counseling three times in his 33-year career, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The latest counseling came in January 1995, just weeks after Fekete’s wife accused him of abuse that included drinking binges, violence, threats and holding his weapon to her head and the head of the family dog.

Fekete was treated for eight weeks under the DEA’s employee assistance program.

He is jailed without bond on a first-degree murder count, charged with shooting agent Shaun Curl six times. Curl was shot Friday night as he was driving Fekete home from a holiday party because Fekete was too drunk to drive.

According to DEA sources, internal charges brought against Fekete in 1995 could have meant losing his job, but his wife refused to pursue the matter.

The DEA plans an internal inquiry of both Fekete and his supervisors once the criminal investigation is completed.

Fekete was demoted over a brawl in 1979 with Camden, N.J., police officers but was reinstated two years later when an administrative hearing officer decided the incident was fabricated by a corrupt cop.

In another incident, Fekete fatally shot a cook wielding two knives during an argument with another employee at an outdoor cafe near Philadelphia in 1987. Fekete consumed 11 beers as a patron before the shooting. His action was ruled justifiable.

``The job was his passion,″ his estranged wife, Leigh Ann Fekete, 36, told the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale for Wednesday’s editions. The couple separated last summer and filed for divorce on Nov. 25.

Update hourly