A three-judge panel on Thursday heard arguments about whether an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston should be penalized over accusations that he withheld exculpatory evidence, The Blog of Legal Times reported.
U.S. District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf ordered the release of two Mafia members in 2003 and 2005 after finding that Jeffrey Auerhahn had improperly, and possibly illegally, failed to disclose key information to defense lawyers.
An internal Justice Department investigation determined that Auerhahn “engaged in professional misconduct and exercised poor judgment’’ and issued a letter of reprimand.
The state Office of Bar Counsel, represented by First Assistant Bar Counsel Nancy E. Kaufman, asked the panel on Thursday to suspend Auerhahn’s law license for at least two years. The panels’ members are U.S. District Judges Rya W. Zobel, William G. Young and George A. O’Toole Jr.
During the hearing, Ricciuti said that Auerhahn has been “a model of integrity’’ in his 25 years with the Justice Department and that it would be “a career-ending’’ move if he were suspended, the Boston 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. “There was no intentional violation of any rule.’’