The Justice Department asked a federal judge today to toss a long-running violation of privacy lawsuit from a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who contends the department leaked information about an internal ethics investigation.
Attorneys for the department filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, contending that former Michigan Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino had failed to “show that he has suffered ‘actual damages.’”
Back in 2003, Convertino won convictions against two suspected terrorists, but the convictions were tossed out over allegations that he did not disclose favorable evidence to the defense. As a result, the Office of Professional Responsibility opened an investigation into the prosecutor’s conduct.
A year later, a Detroit Free Press reporter wrote a story, which cited unnamed sources, about the department’s investigation and Convertino filed suit, contending DOJ personnel had intentionally leaked the information.
The investigation concluded with no formal findings, but the department brought criminal charges of obstruction of justice against Convertino for allegedly hiding photos from defense attorneys, which could have overturned his 2003 prosecutions. That case was dismissed in 2007.
In 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted the department’s motion for summary judgment and tossed out Convertino’s lawsuit.
But in July 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit remanded the case back to the lower court to allow Convertino more time to look for the person(s) who leaked the information.