Posts Tagged ‘Carmen M. Ortiz’
Friday, February 5th, 2010

Carmen Ortiz (DOJ)

Terrorism and national security are the priorities of Carmen Ortiz, the new Massachusetts U.S. Attorney said in a recent interview with The Patriot Ledger.

In addition, Ortiz, who took office last Nov. 9 (her formal swearing-in ceremony was Jan. 11), said her office will “continue to build on what we’ve done in the past.” The office also will make financial fraud, political corruption and gun and gang violence priorities, Ortiz told the newspaper.

Since Ortiz took office, she has made some staff changes and has shifted some of the office’s priorities. Even though she’s taking charge and making the office her own, she says she is still overwhelmed by the “tremendous amount of pride and accomplishment” that comes along with being the state’s first Hispanic and female U.S. Attorney.

“I think it’s really important for the leaders in government or private industry to truly represent the different nationalities and groups that form a community and a state. I felt very humbled to be selected. It meant a lot to my family.”

Ortiz found out about her nomination from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). Learning of her impending nomination was “very exciting,” Ortiz told The Patriot Ledger, adding that it was “very touching” to hear the news from Kennedy. “That meant a lot to me.”

A sense of pride has long been important to Ortiz who “knew all along [she] wanted to be a lawyer.”

“I never thought about doing anything else. Maybe it was watching trials on TV, and thinking it was exciting to be in front of a jury arguing a case. That fascinated me. (At George Washington University Law School) I realized it wasn’t just presenting the case. It was – and this is why I wanted to primarily be a prosecutor – that sense of being able to do justice, of being able to work with victims and then help make people whole, people who had suffered a great tragedy. But also, being a prosecutor was a way of ensuring that the law was abided by, not just by citizens you would investigate and prosecute, but (also) by law enforcement that you would work with as well.”

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz, the new U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, on Wednesday said she will step up efforts to prosecute financial fraud, the Associated Press reports.

The 53-year-old Ortiz was confirmed by the Senate Nov. 5 and sworn in three weeks ago. She replaced Michael J. Sullivan, who resigned April 19 to join the Ashcroft Group after eight years in the U.S. Attorney’s post.

Ortiz  had worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston for the last 12 years, mainly prosecuting economic crimes, including embezzlement, tax evasion, investment fraud and telemarketing schemes.

During a meeting with reporters, Ortiz said her efforts to root out financial fraud — in part by reaching out to government agencies and business — will help prevent another financial situation like the one caused by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, according to the AP. “What happened with Bernie Madoff, we should make every single effort to prevent that from happening again,” Ortiz told reporters, adding, “Victims should know that we’re open for business.”

She said another priority will be catching long-sought fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, who is the alleged leader of the Winter Hill Gang, a crime family in Boston, The AP reports. He has been charged in connection with 19 murders and is on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list.

Ortiz said she plans to meet with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and hopes to come up with “creative ways” to generate publicity and aid the search for Bulger, now 80.

“If he is present in people’s minds, then perhaps it could be that one tip that … could lead to his capture,” she said.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports that Ortiz also told reporters she plans to expand the U.S. Attorney’s office’s presence in Worcester, increasing the number of assistant U.S. Attorneys in the office from two to four. “There is a lot of business” in Central Massachusetts, Ortiz told reporters

The Worcester newspaper also reported that Ortiz did not back off the office’s commitment to continue prosecuting gun and gang violence cases even though they could also be prosecuted in state courts, where sentences are usually less severe. “Not all of those cases belong in federal court,” but “we do have an impact on the communities that are suffering due to gun and gang violence,” she said.  “We make a real effort to select the cases that belong in federal court,” she said. However, with some people disagreeing, she said, the policy will be reviewed.

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

The Senate confirmed four Justice Department officials by unanimous consent tonight.

They are:

Laurie O. Robinson (DOJ)

Laurie O. Robinson (DOJ)

-Laurie O. Robinson (Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General): The OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and former office chief will succeed Bush OJP head Jeffrey Sedgwick, who resigned in January. She was nominated Sept. 14. Read our previous report on Robinson here.

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

-Carmen M. Ortiz (Massachusetts U.S. Attorney): The Massachusetts Assistant U.S. Attorney will replace Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down in April to join a law firm headed by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Read more about Ortiz here.

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

-Ed Tarver (Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney): The Georgia state senator and partner at Augusta, Ga., law firm Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley will succeed Edmund A. Booth Jr., who resigned earlier this month. Read more about Tarver here.

-Benjamin Wagner (Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney): The Assistant U.S. Attorney will succeed McGregor Scott, who resigned in January. Wagner was nominated Aug. 6. Read more about Wagner here.

The Senate has now confirmed 21 U.S. Attorneys. The chamber must still consider three more U.S. Attorney nominees that were reported out of committee today.

Robinson is the second Assistant Attorney General to be confirmed today. The Senate confirmed Ignacia Moreno as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division earlier this evening. There are three more Assistant Attorney General nominees waiting for confirmation in the Senate, including long-stalled Dawn Johnsen for the Office of Legal Counsel.

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed two U.S. Attorney nominees at its business meeting this morning by unanimous consent.

They are:

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

-Carmen M. Ortiz (Massachusetts): The Massachusetts Assistant U.S. Attorney would replace Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down in April to join a law firm headed by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Read more about the nominee here.

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

-Ed Tarver (Southern District of Georgia): The Georgia state senator and partner at Augusta, Ga., law firm Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley would succeed Edmund A. Booth Jr., who resigned earlier this month. Read more about Tarver here.

The panel has now approved 21 U.S. Attorneys, including the 18 U.S. Attorneys who have been confirmed by the Senate. There are another eight U.S. Attorney nominees who have not been considered by the committee yet. There are 93 U.S. Attorney positions nationwide.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to consider two U.S. Attorney nominees next Thursday, the panel announced today.

They are:

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

-Carmen M. Ortiz (Massachusetts): The Massachusetts Assistant U.S. Attorney would replace Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down in April to join a law firm headed by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Read more about the nominee here.

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

-Ed Tarver (Southern District of Georgia): The Georgia state senator and partner at Augusta, Ga. law firm Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley would succeed Edmund A. Booth Jr., who resigned earlier this month. Read more about Tarver here.

Another nine U.S. Attorney candidates have been nominated so far, but they haven’t come before the committee yet.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

President Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees are turning out to be a diverse bunch in terms of race, gender — and net worth.

Of the 29 U.S. Attorney candidates who have been confirmed or nominated so far, reported net worth ranges from nearly $6 million to less than $10,000, according to an analysis of financial disclosure data filed with the Senate Judiciary Committtee.

Jenny Durkan is the wealthiest of President Obama's U.S. Attorney picks announced so far.

Jenny Durkan is the wealthiest of President Obama's U.S. Attorney picks announced so far.

The wealthiest include recently confirmed U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of the Western District of Washington ($5.9 million) and Paul Fishman of New Jersey ($5.1 million).

Four nominees reported net worth of less than $200,000. They are Stephanie Rose, nominated to lead Iowa’s Northern District; Richard Callahan, nominated for Missouri’s Eastern District; Carter Stewart of Ohio’s Southern District; and Nick Klinefeldt, of Iowa’s Northern District.

Both Rose and Klinefeldt are under 40. Moreover, Rose has spent most of her career in government, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Iowa. Klinefeldt, meanwhile, reported little equity in his personal residence and student loan debt for both himself and his wife.

Before taking on the Western Washington job, Durkan ran her own law firm in Seattle and worked at a number of other law firms, including Williams & Connolly. She donated $288,205 to Democratic candidates, causes and organizations on the state and federal levels from 1998 to 2008, election records show.

Fishman was a partner at Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman in New York, specializing in white-collar defense, corporate investigations and complex civil litigation.

Below is a ranking of the U.S. Attorney picks by net worth. We’ll update the table as more nominees for the 93 federal prosecuting jobs are announced.

net-worth

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee today released its questionnaire on Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi University, George Washington University Law School), nominated to replace Michael J. Sullivan as U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts. Sullivan resigned April 19 to join The Ashcroft Group.

Her vitals:

  • Born in New York City in 1956.
  • Has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts since 1997.
  • Was a senior trial attorney at the Quincy, Mass., law firm Morisi & Associates, P.C. from 1994 to 1997.
  • Taught at the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Mass. in 1995.
  • Was on the board of directors of Cambridge-based Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services from 1993 to 1996.
  • Was a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys from 1992 to 1994.
  • Worked on Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1992 .
  • Worked in the Middlesex County, Mass. district attorney’’s office as an Assitant District Attorney from 1983 to 1988 and again from 1991 – 1994. She also was the director of district courts from 1992 to 1994 and the director of training from 1991 to 1992.
  • Was a program coordinator at Harvard Law School’s Center for Criminal Justice from 1988 to 1991.
  • Worked at the now-defunct Braintree, Mass., law office Marinelli & Morisi from 1988 to 1989.
  • Worked in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division as a trial attorney 1981 to 1983.
  • Was a summer intern in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section in 1980.
  • Has tried an estimated 150 cases to verdict, 36 percent of which were jury trials.
  • Worked for the National Football League as an investigator in 1990.
  • Was a hostess at Quincy’s Restaurant in Arlington, Va., from 1981 to 1982.
  • Worked at the Ortiz gift shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1974 to 1978.

Click here for her full questionnaire.

UPDATE: According to her Office of Government Ethics disclosure, Ortiz has numerous funds and stock holdings valued at between $379,025 and $1.52 million. She does not report owning any property or having any debt. On her Senate Judiciary Committee financial disclosure, Ortiz lists assets valued at $2,308,700 and liabilities of $55,100, for a net worth of $2,253,600. She reports $1,117,400 in real estate and has $452,200 in securities.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

President Obama tapped a former state senator, a state lawmaker and a federal prosecutor for U.S. Attorney posts in Georgia and Massachusetts today.

They are:

-Michael Moore (Middle District of Georgia): The former Georgia state senator and lawyer in Houston County, Ga., would replace Frank Maxwell Wood, who resigned in July. Read our previous report on Moore here.

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

Ed Tarver (Tarverforgeorgiasenate.com)

-Ed Tarver (Southern District of Georgia): The Georgia state senator and partner at Augusta, Ga. law firm Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley would succeed Edmund A. Booth Jr., who resigned earlier this month. Read more about Tarver here.

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

-Carmen M. Ortiz (Massachusetts): The Massachusetts Assistant U.S. Attorney would replace Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down in April to join a law firm headed by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Read our previous report on the nominee here.

Obama has now made 21 U.S. Attorney nominations. The Senate has confirmed 11 U.S. Attorneys. The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to consider the 10 remaining nominees.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Democratic Massachusetts Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry recommended that President Obama nominate Carmen M. Ortiz to be the next Massachusetts U.S. Attorney, the senators said in a statement released yesterday.

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi Univ.)

 

 

Ortiz, who has spent a dozen years in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office, would be the first Hispanic and woman U.S. Attorney for the state. She would succeed Michael J. Sullivan, who stepped down last month.

“It’s a tremendous challenge, but I think one that I’m prepared to take and I’m prepared to meet,” Ortiz told The Boston Globe. “I feel very grateful, and I’m humbled by the senators’ confidence in me.”

A committee went through more than a dozen candidates for the post, but the senators said Ortiz was a “standout throughout this process.”

” We believe that her prosecutorial experience, commitment to public service, and insight into criminal justice issues will make her an exceptional United States Attorney,” the senators said in the statement. “She has lived the American dream, worked hard for every accomplishment she’s achieved, and will ensure that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts is a leader in our community and around the country.”

Ortiz is not free from controversy, however. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit had a man resentenced for defrauding 38,000 people in a telemarketing scheme because Ortiz did not follow through on her promise to propose a lighter sentence, The Globe reported.

The senators’ recommendation also comes as a bit of a surprise, with better known lawyers Michael B. Keating and Martin F. Murphy, both from the Foley Hoag law firm, among the finalists for the position, The Globe said.