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Tag: U.S. Attorney

Baltimore U.S. Atty. Loses Top Staff to Main Justice

U.S. Atty. Rod Rosenstein/gov photo

U.S. Atty. Rod Rosenstein

A game of musical chairs has left the Baltimore U.S. Attorneys office with a void or “brain drain”. Such moves may help main Justice, but may not be so good for the Baltimore U.S. Attorney’s office. Then again, it’s not clear if Rosenstein will get to stick around himself as Pres. Obama begins replacing some Bush appointees.

By Henri Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Write
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Maryland’s U.S. attorney, Rod J. Rosenstein, has lost three of his top prosecutors to high-profile jobs at Justice Department headquarters in Washington.

Jason M. Weinstein, who was the chief of violent crimes for the federal prosecutor’s Baltimore office, started this week as a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division at what’s often called Main Justice.

Mythili Raman, who was the U.S. attorney’s appellate chief, has been serving as acting chief of staff in the criminal division at Main Justice since summer and is expected to be kept in the job by the new criminal chief, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.

James M. Trusty, who was deputy chief of the U.S. attorney’s Greenbelt office and who oversaw the Maryland federal prosecution of the MS-13 gang, became deputy chief of the national gang unit at Main Justice in March.

Breuer said in a statement that the new leaders from Maryland are a testament to the Justice Department’s ability to recognize talent and Rosenstein’s ability to develop it.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Interim Philly U.S. Attorney Abruptly Replaced

U.S. Atty. Laurie Magid

U.S. Atty. Laurie Magid

Interim U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid did some things that bothered people enough that they didn’t want to wait for her replacement.  One thing involved a fundraiser. Another involved her attempt to merge the Organized Crime Strike Force into a larger unit. The result: Good bye Laurie Magid as U.S. Attorney.

By Emilie Lounsberry and Robert Moran
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA — In an abrupt move, interim U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid was replaced yesterday with another interim chief prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Magid, a Republican appointee of the second Bush administration, has been overseeing the office since the departure of U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan last summer.

Magid, her spokeswoman, and a Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington all declined to discuss the switch beyond what was stated in a news release issued late yesterday.

Magid will, however, remain in the office, in the appeals division.

Her replacement is Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy, who previously served as an interim U.S. attorney between April and September 2001, the early months of the Bush administration. He was most recently chief of the unit that prosecutes computer and intellectual-property crimes and child exploitation.

For Full Story

Carmen Ortiz Poised to Become Massachusett’s First Hispanic and Woman U.S. Attorney

boston

The country has already broken the racial barrier by electing an African American president. It’s interesting that it has taken this long to get a Hispanic or a woman as a U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts.

By Jonathan Saltzman
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON — Carmen M. Ortiz, who grew up poor in New York City’s Spanish Harlem neighborhood and became a state and then a federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, is poised to become the first woman and the first Hispanic US attorney in the state.

US Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry recommended yesterday that President Obama nominate Ortiz, the daughter of Puerto Rico natives, to the highest federal law enforcement position in the state.

“It’s a tremendous challenge, but I think one that I’m prepared to take and I’m prepared to meet,” the 53-year-old Milton woman said in a brief telephone interview. “I feel very grateful, and I’m humbled by the senators’ confidence in me.”

Ortiz has worked in the US attorney’s office in Massachusetts for the past 12 years and did two stints for about 10 years as a prosecutor in the Middlesex district attorney’s office. She has had a variety of other professional experience, including helping the National Football League in 1990 to investigate allegations by a Boston Herald reporter of sexual harassment against members of the New England Patriots.

The senators, who picked Ortiz from among three finalists recommended by a committee that vetted candidates, said she was a “standout throughout this process.”

For Full Story

Sen. Kennedy Recommends Candidates for New Boston U.S. Attorney

Michael Keating/law firm photo

Michael Keating/law firm photo

The administration has a lot of work ahead when it comes to appointing new U.S. Attorneys around the country. Lately, influential politicians have been  putting in their recommendations. Here’s the latest from one of the heavy hitters in the Senate.

By Jonathan Saltzman
Boston Globe
BOSTON — A federal prosecutor and two prominent partners at a Boston law firm have been recommended to Senator Edward M. Kennedy as potential successors to former US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, according to several current and former prosecutors.

Assistant US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Michael B. Keating and Martin F. Murphy, partners at Foley Hoag, were recommended this week as finalists by a screening committee picked by Kennedy, said the current and former prosecutors, who requested anonymity but said the recommendations are common knowledge at the US Attorney’s Office.

Foley Hoag also employs Nick Littlefield, another partner, who served from 1989 through 1997 as Kennedy’s chief of staff and chief counsel for Kennedy on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He declined to comment on their selection as finalists.

For Full Story

Sen. Specter’s Switch May Not Impact Appointments of Judges and U.S. Attorneys

When it comes to appointments of judges and U.S. Attorneys, not all that much may change simply because Sen. Arlen Specter has changed parties.  He often exercised independence and is likely to continue on that path.specter-front-page

David Ingram
Legal Times
WASHINGTON — Sen. Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party brings his new colleagues a little closer to controlling 60 seats in the Senate, but it’s not clear that the switch will have much of an effect on the fate of nominees for the federal bench and the Justice Department.

Lawyers and lobbyists who follow the Senate Judiciary Committee have long said that it’s difficult to predict how Specter will vote on nominees — even when he asks critical questions of them in confirmation hearings. On Tuesday the Pennsylvanian vowed not to change his approach.

“I will not be changing my own personal independence or my own approach to individual issues. I will not be an automatic 60th vote,” Specter told reporters, referring to the votes needed to invoke cloture and cut off Senate debate. He added later, “I have always agreed with John Kennedy that sometimes parties ask too much. And if the Democratic Party asks too much, I will not hesitate to disagree and vote my independent thinking.”

In fact, Specter provided a fresh example of that independence Tuesday, saying for the first time that he is “opposed” to the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to be assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel.

Her confirmation is a priority for the Democratic Party’s base, in part because the office has been at the center of the battle over interrogation policies.

For Full Story

Alabama U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes Latest to Step Down

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
U.S. Attorney Deborah Rhodes of Alabama’s Southern District in Mobile becomes the latest U.S. Attorney to step down.

The Press-Register in Alabama reported that the prosecutor will step down April 17.

Rhodes assumed the position initially on an interim basis in 2005 after U.S. Attorney David York resigned “amid allegations of an improper relationship with an assistant prosecutor”, the paper said.

She became the permanent U.S. Attorney in 2006.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and a panel has recommended that federal prosecutor Vicki Davis get the post. A rival panel has recommended former District Attorney Barrown Lankster, the Press-Register reported.

“She’s been a terrific leader for this office…,” Maria Murphy, criminal division chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the paper. “I think we will all be sorry to see her go.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

An Ex-Lobbyist and the Virginia Gov’s Brother-in-Law are Among Candidates for U.S. Atty. in Va.

It’s an interesting mix of candidates for the U.S. Atty. post  in Virginia. The question is whether President Obama wants to deal with the possible backlash of appointing an ex-lobbyist or the Virginia governor’s brother-in-law.  The latter might look just a little too much like political cronyism even if he is well qualified.  Va. Gov. Tim Kane’s name surfaced during the campaign as a possible vice presidential candidate and was a big booster of Obama and helped Virginia turn into a blue state, the first time since Lyndon Johnson.

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former corporate lobbyist and the brother-in-law of Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine are among four candidates recommended by Virginia’s U.S. senators for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, one of the nation’s most prominent law-enforcement posts, officials said yesterday.

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

Neil MacBride, a former prosecutor and chief counsel to Vice President Biden who lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007, and Dwight C. Holton, a federal prosecutor in Oregon and the brother of Kaine’s wife, are on the list of names sent to the White House by Sens. James Webb (D) and Mark Warner (D). The list also includes Erik R. Barnett, a federal prosecutor in Alexandria who heads the narcotics unit, and Robert P. Crouch Jr., a former U.S. attorney in Roanoke.

The Alexandria job has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases. Recommendations from home-state senators are traditionally key to the appointment.

For Full Story

Ex-Lobbyist Prime Candidate For Va. U.S. Atty

Neil MacBride/linkedin photo

Neil MacBride/ linkedin photo

President Obama rode into town on an anti-lobby crusade. Will he now appoint a lobbyist for the U.S. Attorney job in Virginia and risk creating controversy?  Then again, the guy is currently employed by the  Justice Department. So how big of a risk is it?

By Jerry Markon and Meg Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
ALEXANDRIA, Va — A former corporate lobbyist has emerged as a top candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, raising questions about how his appointment would square with the Obama administration’s efforts to change the culture of Washington, according to legal and political sources.

Neil MacBride, 43, lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007 on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and a host of other leading computer companies, U.S. Senate records show. MacBride, a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, was appointed in January as an associate deputy attorney general.

Justice Department officials and former colleagues described MacBride, who spent four years as a prosecutor, as savvy and highly ethical and said lobbying was a small part of his career. But MacBride would probably have to recuse himself from some cases involving former clients, because the Alexandria prosecutor’s office is one of the nation’s most aggressive in targeting copyright enforcement and cyber security — areas in which he lobbied.

The $149,000-a-year job is among the nation’s most prominent law enforcement posts and has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases.

For Full Story