Posts Tagged ‘Michael Levy’
Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Zane D. Memeger (Morgan Lewis)

Zane D. Memeger, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, is expected to be nominated for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, while Charles M. Oberly III, a former state attorney general, is expected to be nominated for Delaware’s U.S. Attorney, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The newspaper reports that Memeger was recommended by Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, both Democrats, according to the sources with knowledge of the selection process. He will have to pass his FBI background check before President Obama sends his nomination to the Senate.

Memeger was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district for 11 years before leaving in 2006 to join Philadelphia-headquartered Morgan Lewis, where he is now a partner, The Inquirer reports. His practice focuses on corporate and white collar crime. While in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Memeger served on the organized crime strike force. He was on the team that successfully prosecuted mobster Joey Merlino and  Imam Shamsud-din Ali on racketeering charges, according to the Inquirer.

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

The Eastern District office has been vacant since Pat Meehan resigned in July 2008 to explore a bid for the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania. But he’s now running for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Sestak (D), who is challenging party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary next year. The district’s current interim U.S. Attorney is Michael L. Levy.

Meanwhile, Oberly, who is now of counsel with the Wilmington office of the firm Drinker Biddle, is expected to be nominated within a month, according to the Inquirer’s sources. Oberly was the Delaware attorney general from 1983 to 1985. He had a failed bid for U.S. Senate in 1994.

Colm F. Connolly was the district’s last Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney. He served from 2006 to early 2007. David C. Weiss currently heads the office.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Michael Levy (DOJ)

Michael Levy (DOJ)

The interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Michael Levy, has launched a regional working group aimed at combating fraud related to the federal economic stimulus package approved earlier this year, The Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

The group, which will hold its first meeting Friday, was spawned at the encouragement of the Justice Department, which asked U.S. Attorneys offices nationwide to begin hosting such working groups in an effort to create an open dialogue among government agencies. DOJ hopes such efforts will aid in the development of a plan to reduce fraud related to the billions of dollars made available through the stimulus package and other federal programs.

More than 80 prosecutors, agents, auditors and other personnel from more than 20 federal, state and local government agencies in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey will participate in the meeting, which will be the first in a series, according to the newspaper.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Former Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said he is “seriously considering” a run for Congress, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.

Patrick Meehan (DOJ)

Patrick Meehan (DOJ)

Meehan, a Republican, is eying the House seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who is mounting a Democratic primary challenge against party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter next year. The Bush-appointed former prosecutor was previously considering a run for Pennsylvania governor in 2010.

Meehan served as the Philadelphia-based Eastern District’s top prosecutor from September 2001 until July 2008, when he resigned to explore a bid for governor. His deputy, Laurie Magid picked up the reins as interim U.S. Attorney. But Magid abruptly resigned in May, a month before her 120-day interim appointment was about to expire.

Laurie Magid (DOJ)

Laurie Magid (DOJ)

Magid reportedly wasn’t going to be reappointed by a district court amid controversy over a Justice Department Office of Inspector General investigation into her fund raising activities for Meehan and a negative DOJ review of her management. She held a $250-a-person fund-raiser earlier this year in her home for Meehan, who was eying the governorship at the time.  Jeff Miller, her husband, technically hosted the event and it was cleared by the Office of Special Counsel in Washington. But 20 prosecutors that Magid supervises were “invited.” Read our previous report here.

Interim U.S. Attorney Michael Levy replaced Magid and made several changes to his office’s leadership in June. Read our previous post here.

A Pennsylvania nominating commission has reached agreement on several U.S. Attorney candidates for Specter and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to recommend to the White House. But the panel hasn’t divulged names yet. Read our previous report here.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A Pennsylvania nominating commission has reached an agreement on several candidates to replace the state’s U.S. Attorneys but a panel co-chair refused to divulge any names, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today.

Tom Kline (Kline & Specter)

Tom Kline (Kline & Specter)

Committee chair Tom Kline told the newspaper that his committee settled on  a number of “qualified candidates” to succeed Eastern District Interim U.S. Attorney Michael Levy, Middle District U.S. Attorney Martin C. Carlson and Western District U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.

Kline, a lawyer with Philadelphia personal injury law firm Kline & Specter, co-chairs the 16-member panel with colleague Shanin Specter, the son of Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.). Last week, the committee interviewed more than 40 candidates for the different posts. Read our previous post here.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Arlen Specter will submit U.S. Attorney recommendations to the White House once they receive the panel’s finalists.

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Interviews for candidates hoping to snag one of the three U.S. Attorney positions in Pennsylvania will begin this Friday, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Senator Specter and Casey Discuss US Airways proposed cuts in Pittsburgh (senate.gov)

Senator Specter and Casey Discuss US Airways proposed cuts in Pittsburgh (senate.gov)

While the U.S. Attorney selection process in Pennsylvanie is very secretive, the Post-Gazette does know that there are over 40 candidates applying for the Western, Middle, and Eastern District positions.  Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senators, Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, have selected 16 members to serve on the panel conducting the interviews.

The Post-Gazette also reported the names of some of the candidates believed to be applying to replace U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan in the Western District:

  • Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Bruce Beemer
  • Attorney Efrem M. Grail with Reed Smith LLP
  • Attorney David Hickton of Burns, White & Hickton
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Tina O. Miller

Responding to the controversy surrounding Buchanan, Paul Titus, an attorney who has served on state committees to name both judges and federal prosecutors, assured the Post-Gazette that ”I did not detect that politics played any role” in the selection of U.S. Attorneys; ”We tried to purposely stay away from that. We wanted to come up with the best names for the position.”  Titus also indicated that federal prosecutors who had been in private practice make “good candidate[s],” as opposed to career prosecutors.

Laurie Magid (usdoj)

Laurie Magid (usdoj)

We previously reported that rumored candidates to take over the Eastern District include: Lynne Abraham, James G. Colins, Ken Trujillo, Amy Kurland, Walter M. Phillips Jr., James Eisenhower, Jack Stollsteimer, Geoff Moulton, Huntley J. Palmer Jr., Michael Levy, Elizabeth Ainslie, Jane Cutler Greenspan, A. Roy DeCaro, and L.C. Wright.  The interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District is Michael Levy, who took over after interim U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid resigned amid controversy over a DOJ IG investigation into her fund raising activities for her predecessor U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, and a negative DOJ review of her management.  Magid had only been holding the post since February, when she was appointed to succeed Meehan, who resigned last July.  Meehan is currently eyeing the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania, returning some suspect campaign contibutions last week.

The committee will be reviewing 30-question applications, with resumes, and attached legal briefs and opinions.  In past years, interviews have taken place over two rounds, and each applicant has gotten 20-40 minutes of face-time with the panel.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Interim U.S. Attorney Michael Levy made several changes to his office’s leadership yesterday, less than a month after he replaced Laurie Magid, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today.

Michael Levy (DOJ)

Michael Levy (DOJ)

Magid abruptly resigned a month before her 120-day interim appointment was about to expire. She was reportedly not going to be reappointed by a district court amid controversy over a Justice Department Inspector General investigation into her fund raising activities for former Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, and a negative DOJ review of her management. Levy was promoted from his post as Computer-Crimes Unit Chief after her resignation.

The Inquirer reported that Levy promoted the following six Assistant U.S. Attorneys:

-Virginia Gibson

New Post: First Assistant

Old Post: Civil Division Chief

Joined Office: 1986

-Peter F. Schenck

New Post: Criminal Division Chief

Old Post: Commercial and Consumer Fraud Section Head

Joined Office: 1979

-Richard Zack

New Post: Commercial and Consumer Fraud Section Head

-Taylor Aspinwall

New Post: Criminal Division Deputy Chief for White-Collar Crime

Old Post: Violent-Crime and Counterterrorism Section Deputy Chief

-Stephen A. Miller

New Post: Violent-Crime and Counterterrorism Section Deputy Chief

-Albert S. Glenn

New Post: Computer-Crimes Unit Chief

Levy also said Linda Dale Hoffa, who led the criminal division, will work on Senate Judiciary crime and drugs subcommittee for Chair Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), The Inquirer reported.

Friday, May 29th, 2009

The abrupt exit of interim U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia Laurie Magid, which we reported on last week, has added new fire to the search for a replacement.

Here are some of the names currently being floated around for the positions:

Philadelphia’s new interim U.S. attorney, Michael L. Levy, who has spent most of his legal career in the federal office, is said to be interested in the nomination, as are several former prosecutors from the office, including Elizabeth K. Ainslie, James J. Eisenhower, J. Huntley Palmer, and Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland.

Other Democrats seeking the nomination include state Supreme Court Justice Jane Cutler Greenspan, [District Attorney Lynne M.] Abraham, and A. Roy DeCaro, a former federal prosecutor and assistant district attorney. Assistant U.S. Attorney L.C. Wright, a longtime prosecutor still in the office, also is said to be interested.

Other names that have been mentioned in the past include: James G. Colins, Ken Trujillo, Walter M. Phillips Jr., Jack Stollsteimer, and Geoff Moulton.

It will be interesting to see how much influence Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) will have over nominations for the three available U.S. Attorney posts in Pennsylvania.  Specter will be working with his colleague Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to come up with recommendations for President Obama.

A June 5 deadline was set by Casey for applicants seeking the U.S. Attorney positions.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Laurie Magid unexpectedly stepped down as interim U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia on Friday amid fallout from a Justice Department Inspector General probe of fundraising events she hosted for Republican office-seekers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Laurie Magid (usdoj)

Laurie Magid (usdoj)

Magid, 48, was appointed interim U.S. Attorney in Februrary to succeed Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, a potential GOP candidate for governor who’d resigned last year. Although Magid is a Republican who once served under then-Gov. Tom Ridge (R) on a state sentencing commission, she had expressed interest in remaining the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor under President Obama.

Her aspirations seemed wildly unlikely, given the following:

  • She is a partisan Republican.
  • A Justice Department evaluation gave her low marks as a manager.
  • Main Justice last year overruled her attempt to merge the Organized Crime Strike Force, which brought cases against the mafia, into a more general unit focusing on gang and drug violence.
  • She held a $250-a-person fund-raiser earlier this year in her home for gubernatorial hopeful Meehan. The event was technically hosted by Magid’s husband, Jeff Miller, a catererer, and Magid had “ethics guidance” from the Office of Special Counsel in Washington saying it was all cool.  But 20 prosecutors that Magid supervises were “invited.” (Okay, that’s not fair, maybe Magid’s underlines wanted to come. But it still raises an obvious Hatch Act question).
  • The DOJ IG was also reportedly looking at another fundraising event Magid arranged for then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, who– doh! — is now a Democrat.

According to Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer, Magid’s 120-day interim appointment by Attorney General Eric Holder was set to exprie next month, but a majority of judges in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania weren’t prepared to approve an extension, given the controversies.

 Magid “is remaining with the office in the appeals division,” a DOJ statement said, as Duffy reported.

Career DOJ lawyer Michael Levy, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, was hastily appointed as the new interim U.S. Attorney, pending confirmation of President Obama’s choice. Levy also held down the fort at the end of the Clinton administration, after Clinton-appointed Michael Stiles stepped down and before Bush-appointed Meehan took over.

If you can help us fill in the blanks in this story, please email us at tips@mainjustice.com.