William J. Hochul Jr. was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York Saturday, the Buffalo News reported.
Hochul, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district, replaced Terrance P. Flynn, who resigned in January 2009 to join Harris Beach PLLC. The Buffalo-based district’s most recent acting U.S. Attorney was Kathleen M. Mehltretter.
U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny administered the oath.
During the ceremony Hochul pledged to “stick up for the underdogs and protect the most vulnerable in society.” He said that as U.S. Attorney he will continue to prosecute international terrorists and work with state and local officials in dealing with street violence and corporate and labor union corruption.
Hochul also issued a warning to corrupt government officials: “We will find you and we will prosecute you.”
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who was born in Buffalo, said he could not think of “a more qualified candidate” for the federal prosecutor job than Hochul.
Posted in News | Comments Off
The Senate Judiciary Committee has released questionnaires for an additional five U.S. Attorney nominees. Information from their Office of Government Ethics disclosures will be added as it becomes available.
Posted in News | Comments Off
William J. Hochul Jr. (University of Notre Dame, State University of New York at Buffalo) is nominated to replace Terrance P. Flynn as the Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York. Flynn resigned in January 2009 to join the private sector.
- Born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1959.
- Has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of New York since 1991. He’s served stints as chief of the anti-terrorism unit, anti-terrorism advisory council coordinator, chief of the national security division and confidential human source coordinator.
- Has been an adjunct professor at Hilbert College in Hamburg, N.Y., Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.
- Was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., from 1985 to 1987.
- Worked as an associate at Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley & Casey in Washington, D.C., from 1984 to 1985.
- Clerked for Judge James F. Couch, Jr. in the Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis, Md., from 1982 to 1984. Also clerked in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of New York during the summer of 1983 and for Judge William Ostrowski in the New York Supreme Court in Buffalo during the summer of 1982.
- Was a summer associate at Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel in Buffalo from February 1983 to May 1983.
- Worked as a legislative assistant to Democrat Dennis Gorski in the New York State Assembly.
Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.
On his Office of Government Ethics disclosure form, Hochul reports earning $2,306 from his job at Hilbert College. His filing does not report any liabilities.
UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure, Hochul reports assets of $3.4 million mostly from $1.8 million cash on hand and in banks and his personal and vacation residences valued at a combined $885,000. He reports no liabilities.
Posted in News | Comments Off
President Barack Obama on Wednesday sent seven U.S. Attorneys nominations to the Senate.
The year-end cluster of nominations brings the number of U.S. Attorney nominations Obama has made this year to 42.
In comparison, President George W. Bush had nominated more than 60 U.S. Attorneys and President Bill Clinton more than 70 U.S. Attorneys by this time in their first terms.
Here are the nominations, from the White House news release:
André Birotte Jr.: Nominee for the Central District of California
Birotte works for the Los Angeles Police Commission, where he has been Inspector General since 2003 and served as an Assistant Inspector General from 2001 to 2003. From 1995 to 1999, Birotte served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. He started his legal career as a Deputy Public Defender in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, serving from 1991 to 1995. Birotte graduated from Tufts University in 1987 and Pepperdine University School of Law 1991.
David A. Capp: Nominee for the Northern District of Indiana
Capp has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana for 24 years and has served as Interim United States Attorney since 2007. He previously served as interim United States Attorney in 1993 and from 1999 to 2001. Prior to his federal service, he worked as an associate at Cohen and Thiros from 1977 to 1985, becoming a partner in 1984. Capp graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1972 and the Valparaiso University School of Law in 1977.
Richard S. Hartunian: Nominee for the Northern District of New York
Hartunian has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York since 1997. From 1990 to 1997, Hartunian worked both as an Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the District Attorney in Albany County, N.Y., and as a partner at Hartunian and Clark. Prior to that, he was an associate attorney at Devine, Piedmont and Rutnik. Hartunian graduated from Georgetown University in 1983 and the Albany Law School of Union University in 1986.
William J. Hochul Jr.: Nominee for the Western District of New York
Hochul has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of New York for 18 years, serving as Chief of the National Security Division since 2007 and Chief of the Anti-Terrorism Unit from 2002 to 2007. From 1981 to 1991, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Prior to that, Hochul was an associate at Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley & Casey from 1985 to 1987. Following law school, he was a law clerk for Judge James F. Couch Jr., of the Maryland Court of Appeals from 1984 to 1985. Hochul graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 and the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1984.
Ronald C. Machen, Jr.: Nominee for the District of Columbia
Machen, whose nomination we reported yesterday, is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he has worked since 2001. From 1997 to 2001, Machen served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Prior to that, Machen was a law clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals, for the Sixth Circuit, from 1995 to 1996. Immediately following law school, he was an associate at Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering from 1994 to 1995. Machen graduated from Stanford University in 1991 and Harvard Law School in 1994.
Anne M. Tompkins: Nominee for the Western District of North Carolina
Tompkins is a partner at Alston & Bird, LLP, where she has worked since 2005. From 2000 to 2005, she was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, serving as Deputy Criminal Chief from 2002 to 2004 and on detail in the Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2004 to 2005. Tompkins graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1984, the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina in 1989 and the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1992.
Sally Quillian Yates: Nominee for the Northern District of Georgia
Yates is the Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, where she has worked since 1989. She served in that office as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1989 to 1994, Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Unit from 1994 to 2002, and First Assistant United States Attorney from 2002 to 2009. She had a previous stint as Acting United States Attorney in 2004. From 1986 to 1989, she was an associate at King & Spalding. Yates graduated from the University of Georgia in 1982 and the University of Georgia School of Law in 1986.
Posted in News | Comments Off
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has formally recommended his aide Preet Bharara to head the most prestigious U.S. Attorney’s office outside of Washington, the Southern District of New York. (Yes, we know, the offices is LA and Miami might disagree with that assessment).
Schumer also recommeded the White House nominate Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. in Buffalo to lead the Western District of
New York. The Hochul recommendation is something of a slap at the Bush White House; a 2008 Department of Justice Inspector General report found the Bush administration declined to promote the experienced counter-terrorism prosecutor because of his wife’s affiliation with the Democratic Party. Under the direction of then-DOJ White House liaison Monica Goodling, a less experienced Republican was promoted over Hochul, who prosecuted the “Lackawanna Six” on charges of providing material support to al-Qaeda. The IG report didn’t name Hochul directly but called his case “the most troubling example” of politics-based hiring decision that the office had reviewed.
For the Eastern District of New York, Schumer recommended Loretta E. Lynch, who previously served as the U.S. Attorney there from 1999 to 2001. His proposed Northern District nominee is Richard Hartunian, a former Albany County assistant district attorney.
Lynch, who started at the Eastern District in 1990, is a partner at New York offices of Hogan & Hartson, where she focuses on white collar crime. If nominated and confirmed, she would replace interim U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell.
“Loretta’s tremendous experience and steadfast commitment to justice make her the ideal candidate to lead U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York,” Schumer said in a statement to The New York Times. “She is brilliant, dedicated, and fair, and her commitment to, and experience in, the Eastern District is simply without parallel.”
We previously reported in our U.S. Attorneys chart that Bharara has been Schumer’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2005, where he helped lead the panel’s investigation into the firings of U.S. Attorneys by the Bush administration. Bharara also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he was known for his prosecutions of mobsters and gang members. If nominated and confirmed, Bharara will succeed Michael J. Garcia as the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District and oversee an expected large case load of new Wall Street financial investigations.
Hartunian began at the Western District office in 1995 and received acclaim for sucessfuly prosecuting the Jungle Junkies gang as chief of the Organized Crime Drug Task Force. If nominated and confirmed, Hartunian would replace acting U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Baxter, who has been on the job since September 2008 when Glenn T. Suddaby resigned to become a U.S. district judge.
“Mr. Hartunian’s commitment to justice and the safety of the people of New York state is evident in his lifetime in public service,” Schumer said in a statement to the Times Union. “His brilliance, dedication and experience in the Northern District make him an unparalleled choice.”
Hochul has served in the Western District for almost 20 years, and is known for his sucessful prosecution of the LA Boys street gang as well as the “Lackawanna Six” who trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. If nominated and confirmed, Hochul would replace former U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn, who left for the private sector position in January.
“Mr. Hochul has had a long and distinguished career in public service,” Schumer told The Buffalo News. “His exceptional, innovative legal mind, his commitment to justice, and his extensive experience will make him an outstanding U.S. attorney for the Western District.”
Posted in News | Comments Off