Diane Lassack (July 22, 1946 – November 19, 2012)
Diane Lassack joined OIG in the early 1980's, hired by Regional Inspector General Jeff Rush, at a time when Agents had neither firearms nor arrest authority. She worked in our East Lansing Suboffice under Supervisory Special Agent Connie Chevalier, and in the company of co-conspirators George Hane, John Helgeson, and Bruce Erlandson. Bruce threw her into the vagaries of undercover work on food stamp cases, and George used her as his batman on a never-ending group of FmHA Rural Rental Housing cases. Diane wisely learned to prefer the RRH work, but continued to do whatever was thrown at her. Her demeanor was cheerful, with a bit of mischief (the East Lansing hallmark), and with good reason, suspicious of the pranksters that surrounded her. It was a great suboffice, made up of Agents and Connie, who truly looked out for each other.
By 1984, with firearm and arrest authority, she was working in Detroit on a Task Force of senior FBI and Secret Service Agents targeting well armed and behaviorally unpleasant Middle Eastern shopkeepers. We recall that hot summer dealing with the violent abduction of a confidential informant, and arresting another target with a .44 magnum, with which he had already killed an armed robber. It was the early, and wild woolly days of USDA's OIG, in which there was dancing, partying, and occasional overindulgence. Diane participated cautiously, had fun; and SSA Chevalier whole-heartily supported his Agents during the day, and wisely avoided the rowdiest evenings. As Connie moved to Washington, SSA Bob Thomas became Diane's Supervisor, and promptly nicknamed her Annie, based on her exploits on the firearms range. The other Agents also earned interesting and charming baptisms under Bob.
Armed with her knowledge of FmHA programs, particularly in RRH, Diane was promoted to the Program Division in Washington. This further inspired Diane to write the occasional short story, join an author's workshop, and tackle the ominous big novel. She enjoyed her many friends within OIG, and made many valuable contacts in Washington's FmHA as well as in other programs. As Agents from the field visited for training, Diane kept up a lively social calendar. She enjoyed her job, fellow workers, and her boss. She made presentations to the Inspectors General, who respected her opinion.
In December of 1990, Diane was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent of the Indianapolis, IN sub-office, succeeding Jack Herndon, who left for the Regional Office in Chicago. Diane was once again working for her old boss, Connie Chevalier, who was in charge of the MWR. Diane remained in Indianapolis until her retirement in March 2001.
Diane will be missed by those who had the privledge of working with her.
(Contributed by Christopher Golightly, MWR)