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September 2021


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Tag: Public Integrity Unit

Head of Rocky Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section Takes New Post

The unsettled Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section continues to go through some unsettling times. Here’s the latest, but not likely, the last of the unsettling news. Welch is moving. He and five other members of his unit are still under criminal and internal investigation. In other words, it’s kind of a mess.


By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — William M. Welch II, head of the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, will step aside and return to Massachusetts, where he spent the bulk of his career exposing corruption in state government, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Welch reached the decision after consulting with authorities about his family responsibilities and professional opportunities in his home state, the sources added. Welch notified subordinates in the public integrity unit late Monday. He will remain an employee of the department’s criminal division.

The unit, which leads some of the Justice Department’s most explosive investigations of political figures, came under fire earlier this year when Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. abandoned the conviction against former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), citing multiple lapses by the prosecution team in evidence-sharing.

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Justice Dept. Quietly Transfers Two Integrity Section Prosecutors Tied to Tainted Case Involving Alaska Lawmakers

The Justice Department should be applauded for such action. No action would send a signal that this isn’t a big deal — and it is.


By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Justice Department leaders quietly transferred two career prosecutors under fire for their work in Alaska corruption cases out of the department’s public integrity section this week as scrutiny of the troubled unit intensifies, according to two sources.

Prosecutors Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan received notice of their reassignment Thursday, the same day that department officials petitioned an appeals court to release from prison two Alaska legislators convicted of bribery and extortion offenses, said the sources, who requested anonymity to speak about the personnel issue.

The criminal convictions of Peter Kott, former speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, and longtime legislator Victor Kohring will be sent back to a lower court for review. Justice Department officials disclosed late Thursday that they had uncovered evidence-sharing lapses in the cases similar to those that demolished their case against long-serving Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in April.

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Justice Dept. Public Integrity Unit Needs New Shot of Integrity and Rehab

A.G. Eric Holder

A.G. Eric Holder

It might be just a little ironic that the integrity of the Public Integrity Unit is on shaky ground these days.  This once elite unit has taken a beating of late and the Atty. General knows he’s got a lot of work to do to turn things around.

New York Times
WASHINGTON – A week after shutting down the criminal case against former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska because it had been botched by prosecutors, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. delivered a pep talk to Justice Department lawyers.

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“I’m here to tell you personally that I’ve got your back,” Mr. Holder told prosecutors in the department’s Public Integrity Section, an elite unit charged with pursuing corruption charges against public officials. He called them “among the finest lawyers in the entire government,” promised them more resources and vowed not to back off from “prosecuting the tough cases when warranted because of the criticism we’re getting right now.”

Despite Mr. Holder’s gesture of reassurance last month, recalled by someone present, the public integrity unit, once the pride of the Justice Department, is badly in need of rehabilitation, according to current and former officials.

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