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Busy Detroit U.S. Attorney Lost Sleep, Weight in 2010
By Andrew Ramonas | December 20, 2021 1:09 pm

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan lost sleep, shed pounds and missed some of her children’s events while dealing with cases that brought her office national attention over the last year, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Barbara McQuade (DOJ)

McQuade hit the ground running after the Senate her confirmed on Dec. 24, 2009. The U.S. Attorney received a message on her BlackBerry on Dec. 25 about suspected terrorist activity on a Detroit-bound airplane while celebrating Christmas with her family at home. On Dec. 26, authorities charged Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with attempting to blow up the airliner with a bomb in his underpants.

“I felt like I was really in the right place at the right time, because of my background in national security,” said McQuade, a former national security unit prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to the newspaper. But, she added: “We certainly had never dealt with anything that significant.”

McQuade’s office also found itself in the headlines for the corruption cases involving ex-Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, who is married to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

In March, Monica Conyers received a sentence of three years and one month in federal prison and two years of supervised probation for her part in a bribery scandal. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy for accepting at least $6,000 in exchange for her support of a $1.2 billion waste disposal contract.

Conyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn to allow her to rescind her guilty plea, but the judge denied her request. She is appealing the judge’s ruling.

Then, on Wednesday, McQuade announced that Kilpatrick faces corruption charges for allegedly taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from city contractors.

McQuade said her later father, who worked for General Motors, would have been proud of her work.

“I was born here. I love this city. And I want to do everything I can to improve the quality of life here,” McQuade said, according to the Free Press. “And ridding the city of public corruption is a very important part of that.


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