Rita Glavin, former acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, has left the Justice Department to build Vinson & Elkins‘ white-collar defense practice in New York City.
Glavin, who led the Criminal Division after the presidential transition, started at the Houston-based firm on Monday as a partner. Vinson’s white-collar practice is based in Washington, D.C., and Glavin will work closely with the group as she expands the firm’s presence in New York, she told Main Justice. She is also a member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice.
Glavin, a prosecutor in New York’s Southern District, moved to Washington in 2008, as the top deputy to Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich, now a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Washington. Glavin ran the Criminal Division from January 2009 until last April, when Lanny Breuer was confirmed to succeed her.
Glavin remained as Breuer’s acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General until last September, when she returned to SDNY to help new Assistant U.S. Attorneys with trials.
Glavin joined the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section in 1998, via the department’s Honors Program. She joined SDNY in 2003 as a line prosecutor and retained her career status when she arrived in Washington on a detail.
Glavin said she also expects to advise clients on civil enforcement, in light of recent amendments to the False Claims Act, a new group at the SEC specializing in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the establishment of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
“There are going to be many more questions that companies are going to have to be prepared to ask,” Glavin said. “There is much more room for the government to step in and regulate.”
Glavin should know: In the aftermath of the financial crisis, she represented the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in support of anti-fraud legislation that strengthened the federal government’s hand in civil and criminal enforcement.
The Criminal Division bade farewell on Tuesday to veteran prosecutor Rita Glavin, who had been acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General since 2008, a Justice Department official told us. Glavin intends to return to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as a line prosecutor, ending a 15-month detail in Washington.
Mythili Raman, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s chief of staff, has taken over Glavin’s duties as principal deputy, according to the Justice official. Raman joined the division last summer, leaving her post as appellate chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. The front office is rounded out by Steve Fagell, the division’s deputy chief of staff and counselor to Breuer, and five deputies: John Keeney, Kenneth Blanco, Gary Grindler, Bruce Swartz and Jason Weinstein.
As the division’s No. 2, Glavin oversaw a range of high-profile matters, from the successful prosecution of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) to the department’s bungled case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Her tenure was also framed by the financial crisis, which prompted swift action from the department and from Congress. Glavin, who briefly served as acting Assistant Attorney General between Matthew Friedrich and Breuer, helped shepherd through anti-fraud legislation that strengthened the department’s hand in combating financial crime.
After five years as a trial lawyer in the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, Glavin joined the Southern District’s office in 2003. She’s prosecuted a wide range of criminal matters, including public corruption, financial crime, federal campaign finance law violations and civil rights violations.
She is married to Matthew Amatruda, a prosecutor in New York’s Eastern District.
This post has been updated.
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The public flogging of the Ted Stevens prosecution team has reached such a frenzy that you have to wonder what else is driving it now.
Without a doubt, “mistakes were made,” as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in his interview with CBS’s Katie Couric. Indeed.
The Senate’s longest serving Republican narrowly lost his re-election after his (now overturned) conviction last October, ending his career and putting Democrats within spitting distance of a filibuster-proof majority. The failure to turn over exculpatory evidence was inexcusable, and put the 84-year-old Stevens through a horrible and costly ordeal.
But here are five other factors to consider:
1) Emmet Sullivan’s ego. The mercurial federal judge has seemed to enjoy the spotlight. “I have not by any means pre-judged these attorneys for their culpability,” he said at last Tuesday’s hearing, in which he granted the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the indictment. But his repeated public scoldings of the prosecutors suggest otherwise. Marc Ambinder agrees.
2) Distrust of the Bush administration. The politicization of the Justice Department has cast a shadow over all its work.
3) Politics. Republicans can deflect attention from the abuses of the Bush administration by portraying the career prosecutors as Democrats out to get a Republican. Even though the Alaska Republican was indicted during a Republican administration, people are now primed to suspect a widespread lack of integrity in the justice system.
4) Race. Why was lead prosecutor Brenda Morris brought in only two months before trial? Thrown in at the last minute as the government rushed to prepare for a quicker-than-expected trial, it’s entirely plausible that she didn’t have a good handle on the material. Was a well respected prosecutor like Morris put in this position because she is black? Did her supervisors (Matt Friedrich and Rita Glavin) want an African-American face before a District of Columbia jury? If so, isn’t it perhaps time to get beyond such blunt racial considerations, especially given that the judge who was so critical of the government’s case is also African-American, as is the Attorney General who ultimately asked for its dismissal?
5) It’s great PR for the defense lawyers. No longer a potted plant, lead defense attorney Brendan Sullivan had a field day at last Tuesday’s court hearing, filleting the government in a 45-minute speech in which he denounced the prosecutors as “corrupt” and “devious.”