By Allan Lengel
An assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston is battling for his career.
The state Office of Bar Counsel in Massachusetts urged a three judge panel on Thursday to suspend Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Auerhahn’s license for at least two years, claiming he deliberately withheld evidence in a high-profile Mafia case in the early 1990s, the Boston Globe reported.
But a lawyer for Auerhahn, Michael D. Ricciuti, a former federal prosecutor himself, argued that the suspension would be career ending and that it was an unintentional mistake made long ago, the Globe reported.
`There’s no one in this court who says that Auerhahn was the win-at-all costs, cut-the-corners kind of prosecutor,” Ricciuti said, according to the Globe. `There was no intentional violation of any rule.”
Ricciuti urged the federal judges to find that no professional misconduct occurred.
Auerhahn is assigned to the antiterrorism and national security squad.
US District Judges Rya W. Zobel, William G. Young, and George A. O’Toole Jr. said they will review voluminous records in the case, the Globe reported.
The Globe reported that “in 2005, US District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf released Mafia capo Vincent Ferrara from prison after finding that Auerhahn had improperly and possibly illegally failed to tell defense lawyers in the early 1990s that a key witness had tried to recant his assertion that Ferrara ordered the 1985 slaying of Vincent “Jimmy” Limoli in the North End.”
The Justice Department concluded that Auerhahn “engaged in professional misconduct and exercised poor judgment” and gave him a letter of reprimand.
Judge Wolf called referred the matter to the Board of Bar Overseers three years ago because he thought a letter of reprimand was inadequate, the Globe reported.