Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday tapped Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, to be the new chair of the panel that serves as the “voice” of U.S. Attorneys.
Holder also appointed Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as vice chair of the group, the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys.
Fishman replaces B. Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, who has been appointed acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“U.S. Attorneys Fishman and Lynch have the expertise and dedication to lead this distinguished group as we continue to work together to enhance the department’s commitment to keeping America safe,” Holder said, in a statement. “I will be working closely with the United States Attorneys to further our law enforcement efforts to protect the people of this nation.”
Fishman, who was appointed to the advisory committee in October 2009, had been the group’s vice chair. Lynch has served as a member of the AGAC since May 2010 and chairs the Advisory Committee’s Office, Management and Budget Subcommittee.
Before taking office as U.S. Attorney, Fishman was a white-collar criminal attorney at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP in New York. He previously served in the District of New Jersey from 1983 to 1994 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and First Assistant to the U.S. Attorney. He also was a senior adviser to then-Attorney General Janet Reno from 1994 to 1997.
Fishman heads a particularly high profile office. His predecessor, acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra Jr. was investigated by DOJ officials after Democrats claimed that he and the former head of the FBI’s Newark Division unfairly politicized a huge corruption sting in the Garden State to help the political career of Marra’s predecessor and now Gov. Chris Christie. Fishman also defended New Jersey from comments made by Marra, who complained that the state had a “culture of corruption.”
Fishman has been considered one of the wealthiest U.S. Attorneys in the Barack Obama administration, having reported his worth at $5.1 million. He also reported that he was a member of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center’s board of trustees.
Before taking office, Lynch was a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP, which became Hogan Lovells LLP after a merger in 2009. She worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York from 1990-2001.
The AGAC was created in 1973 to serve as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys and to advise the attorney general on policy, management and operational issues impacting the offices of the U.S. Attorneys.