Hundreds of exuberant Justice Department employees on Wednesday flocked to DAR Constitution Hall in Washington to pick up the DOJ’s highest honors. But members of some DOJ branches had little to celebrate at the department’s premier awards ceremony.
Members of five DOJ components that won awards at the Attorney General Awards Ceremony last year did not receive honors at Wednesday’s event. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, one of the DOJ’s most well-known components, was one of the branches snubbed this week, after receiving four awards last year.
The DOJ’s other law enforcement agencies picked up several awards this year and last. The FBI raked in the most honors in both 2009 and 2010, going home with about 55 awards each of the last two years.
Michael Bouchard, president of the ATF Association, which includes former and current ATF agents, told Main Justice that it was “odd” that the agency did not receive any awards this year.
“People in the ATF do some of the finest work in law enforcement and always have,” said Bouchard, former ATF Assistant Director for Field Operations.
A DOJ spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
The ATF and Drug Enforcement Administration, which received 14 awards this year, have complained that they often play second fiddle to the FBI.
DEA agents expressed annoyance earlier this month when President Barack Obama only mentioned the FBI when he spoke at an MTV town hall about federal efforts to fight the drug war. The DEA leads federal government work to stop illegal drugs.
The DOJ took efforts earlier this year to decrease some of the tension between the ATF and FBI. Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler drew the jurisdictional boundaries between the agencies on explosives cases after a battle over who gets to do what in the investigations.
But irritation at the ATF persists over immense pressure from the gun lobby and members of Congress that has limited its growth and authority.
“We were always given just enough food and water to survive,” Bouchard told The Washington Post. “We could barely just keep going. The ATF could never get that strong, because the gun lobby would get too concerned.”
Charts ranking the DOJ components and U.S. Attorney’s office by the number of awards they won in 2010 and 2009 are below.
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Federal prosecutors, law enforcement officers and other government employees on Wednesday took center stage at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington as the Justice Department honored some of its own and the work of others.
Attorney General Eric Holder paid tribute to about 350 government workers at the 58th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony for their contributions to the DOJ. Grinning honorees floated across the stage for about 90 minutes to receive more than 25 different awards and share the spotlight and a picture with Holder and about 40 top DOJ officials, while hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues looked on.
“Although the Department of Justice includes some of our nation’s most talented and most effective public servants, each of today’s awardees has stood out,” Holder said. “Not only is their service to our nation inspiring, it is strengthening the work of the Justice Department at every level and making a powerful difference for people across our country, and far beyond.”
The DOJ’s top honor, the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, went to the more than a dozen DOJ and other federal employees, who worked on the Pfizer Inc. off-label promotion and kickbacks case, which led to the biggest health care settlement in DOJ history. The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service also went to about 60 federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials, who handled the 2009 New York subway bombing plot case against Najibullah Zazi, among other suspects.
The department also paid tribute to Drug Enforcement Administration agents who died in Afghanistan in October 2009. Special agents Forrest N. Leamon, Chad L. Michael and Michael E. Weston were killed when their helicopter was shot down following a raid on poppy fields in western Afghanistan. The DEA has been working to stop the nation’s opium trade, which helps fund the Taliban.
Members of their families accepted the awards on their behalf as audience members gave them a standing ovation.
Holder, who keeps photos of the men on his desk, saw the agents’ remains arrive at Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base. The Attorney General told Newsweek last December that seeing the caskets was “the most difficult evening” so far in his tenure. He said on Wednesday that the men were “true American heroes.”
The Attorney General also bestowed honors to four of his colleagues, who have worked at the DOJ for decades.
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John “Jack” Keeney was honored with the new Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility for his 59 years of service at the DOJ. (He actually received the award during a farewell ceremony last month.)
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Hertz of the Commercial Litigation Branch, a 33-year veteran of the DOJ, was the recipient of the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity for his work on False Claims Act cases and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on the $1.4 billion Cobell settlement in 2009, which involves American Indian trust assets. He was the only honoree to receive two awards this year.
William L. Taylor, Judicial Security Inspector for the Southern District of Ohio of the U.S. Marshals Service, received the Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award for responding to major challenges — including the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina — over his past 20 years at the DOJ.
Kevin Ohlson, Holder’s chief of staff and 20-year DOJ veteran, was the recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his role in advancing DOJ programs.
Read about all of the award winners here.
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Attorney General Eric Holder honored almost 300 individuals Wednesday at the 58th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. Here’s the rundown from the Justice Department on the awards:
Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service
- Award description: The Justice Department’s highest award.
- Recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, recipients include: Sara Miron Bloom, Chief of Affirmative Litigation; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Susan M. Poswistilo and Zachary A. Cunha; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Deputy Chief for Affirmative Matters Marilyn May, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlene Keller Fullmer; from the Eastern District of Kentucky, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robin Gwinn and Cheryl D. Morgan; from the Department of Justice Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch, Patricia L. Hanower and Sanjay M. Bhambhani, Senior Trial Counsels; and Colin M. Huntley, Trial Attorney; from the Civil Division’s Office of Consumer Litigation, Jill P. Furman, Assistant Branch Director and Mark L. Josephs, Trial Attorney; from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administrative and Civil Remedies Branch, Senior Counsels Mary Riordan and Nicole Hall; and from the HHS Food & Drug Administration, Anne K. Walsh, Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for its exceptional determination and coordination in the investigation and prosecution of off-label promotion and kickbacks by Pfizer Inc. and its employees. The $2.3 billion civil and criminal resolution was the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, and the $1.3 billion criminal fine is the single largest ever paid.
- Other recipients: From the Department of Justice National Security Division (NSD) Office of Intelligence, Operations Section, recipients include Gabriel R. Sanz-Rexach, Section Chief; Stuart J. Evans, Deputy Section Chief; Alexandra Doumas, Counterterrorism Unit Chief; and Caren E. Somerwitz, Kimberly M. Schmid and Stephen C. Eglin, Attorney-Advisors; from the NSD’s Office of Intelligence, Litigation Section, Nancy J. Newcomb, Section Chief; from the NSD’s Counterterrorism Section, Sharon E. Lever, Deputy Chief; and William M. Narus, Trial Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York Violent Crimes and Terrorism Section, John Ross, Investigator; Berit W. Berger and James P. Loonam, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Jeffrey H. Knox, Chief; and David M. Bitkower, Deputy Chief; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Timothy R. Neff, Greg Holloway and David Gaouette, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from the FBI’s Denver Field Office, Steve W. Olson, Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Special Agents Eric C. Jergenson, J. Alexander Ferguson, A. Za Smith-Berthe, F. Rhion Hiller and Garrett V. Anderson; and Intelligence Analyst Collin Husic; from the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, Special Agent Micheal J.L. Copeland; from the FBI’s New York Field Office, Donald F. Borelli, Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Special Agents Farbod Azad, John W. Tinning, Garrett M. Zito and Stephanie M. Buhl; Geralyn Custode, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst; and James B. Dowling, Intelligence Analyst; from the FBI’s Newark, N.J., Field Office, Unit Chief Jay S. Tabb Jr. and Assistant Section Chief William F. Sweeney Jr.; from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate and Supervisory Special Agent Tyrone Power; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, C. Bryan Paarmann, Assistant Section Chief; Tara A. Bloesch, Supervisory Special Agent; and Special Agent Henry C. Heim; from the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Supervisory Special Agent Matthew L. Goard; and Intelligence Analysts Elizabeth Nagel, David Ring, Sandra Wenglikowski and Frederick Marcks; from the FBI’s National Security Branch, Intelligence Analyst Natalie Pathwick-Paszyc; from the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence, Section Chief Jennifer E. Ley and Lauren B. O’Brien, Intelligence Analyst; from the FBI Office of General Counsel, Assistant General Counsels Christopher N. Hamilton and Kathleen Adams Veneri; and Alan Ciammaichella, Task Force Officer; from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Special Agent Robert Norman Marten and Task Force Officers Jason Cassidy and Travis F. McFarren; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Safety Administration, Michael C. Neener, Federal Air Marshal; and from the New York Police Department, Task Force Officers Michael Carney, Angel Luis Maysonet and Jody Allan Almodovar
- Honorees’ background: The members of the team dedicated themselves to preserving the safety of the United States and its citizens by preventing an al-Qaeda plot to attack the New York City subway system.
Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism
- Award description: Recognizes an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties.
- Recipients: Group Supervisor Patrick J. McDarby, and Special Agents Forrest N. Leamon (posthumous), Chad L. Michael (posthumous), Michael E. Weston (posthumous), Andrew P. Harris, David L. Claassen and David L. King. During the mission, one of the military helicopters crashed, claiming the lives of Special Agents Leamon, Michael and Weston and seven U.S. military personnel. In disregard to their own safety, Group Supervisor McDarby and Special Agents Harris, King and Claassen displayed extraordinary heroism at the crash site by evacuating, providing aid, protecting their injured colleagues and recovering the remains of their fallen comrades.
- Honoree’s background: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team agents, along with their Afghan National Police counterparts, participated in a joint operation with American and coalition forces in Badghis Province, Afghanistan, to execute an Afghan search warrant at Darreh-ye Bazaar
- Other recipient: James N. Chios
- Honoree’s background: While in Afghanistan, Chios saved the life of two wounded soldiers by providing urgent medical care when the military unit in which he was embedded was ambushed by a superior enemy force attacking from multiple elevated positions. He then risked his life by leaving the protection of cover and engaging the enemy.
Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity
- Award description: Pays tribute to the memory and achievements of former Attorney General Edward H. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor and dean, and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the department.
- Recipient: Michael F. Hertz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Commercial Litigation Branch for the Civil Division.
- Honoree’s background: Hertz has shaped the way the False Claims Act and qui tam provisions are interpreted and used, and has been instrumental in defending the constitutionality of the provisions themselves. He is a relentless advocate of the government’s interest, and exhibits uncompromising professionalism, integrity, and judgment in a manner that serves as an example to attorneys and support staff. His distinguished career has exemplified the ideals of public service for more than 33 years.
Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award
- Award description: Recognizes employees who have served at least 20 years in the department and have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers.
- Recipient: William L. Taylor, Judicial Security Inspector for the Southern District of Ohio of the U.S. Marshals Service
- Honoree’s background: Taylor is honored for his exceptional leadership and sustained role on the U.S. Marshals Service Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). During his involvement with CIRT for the past two decades, Taylor has provided outstanding aid to his fellow employees during times of national disasters and personal crisis.
William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement
- Award description: Granted to recognize state and local law enforcement officials who have made significant contributions to cooperative law enforcement endeavors.
- Recipients: Jeff Rich, Detective for the Plano, Texas, Police Department for his exceptional work to combat sexual exploitation crimes against children
- Honorees’ background: His work includes sustained and significant contributions to promote cooperation and coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as his training initiatives which have reached a national audience.
- Other recipients: Partners of the U.S. Marshals Service of the Northern District of Ohio. Michael McGrath, Chief of the Cleveland Police Department; Bob Reid, Sheriff of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office; James Repicky, Chief of the Euclid Police Department; Timothy Malley, Chief of the Lakewood Police Department; Andres Gonzalez, Chief of the Cuyahoga Municipal Housing Authority Police Department; Richard Walling, Chief of the Westlake Police Department; James Brosius, Chief of the Chagrin Falls Police Department; Sara Andrews, Deputy Director of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority; Augustus Hall, Chief of the Akron Police Department; Patrick Berarducci, Chief of the Medina Police Department; Drew Alexander, Sheriff of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office; Duane Whitely, Chief of the Elyria Police Department; Cel Rivera, Chief of the Lorain Police Department; Philip Messer, Chief of the Mansfield Police Department; J. Steve Sheldon, Sheriff of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office; Charles Roub, Chief of the Shelby Police Department; Peter Tobin, Superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; Bruce Birr, Deputy Sheriff of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office; Michael Navarre, Chief of the Toledo Police Department; Jack Nichols, Chief of the Boardman Township Police Department; Timothy Bowers, Chief of the Warren Police Department; and Jimmy Hughes, Chief of the Youngstown Police Department.
- Honorees’ background: As partners of the U.S. Marshals Service-led Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF), the recipients have served as an inspiration to other federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. Under the team’s leadership, NOVFTF closed more than 6,300 felony warrants and apprehended more than 4,600 felony fugitives in the Northern District of Ohio.
Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service
- Award description: The top public service award granted by the department, designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the Department of Justice in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives.
- Recipient: Kevin Brown, Executive Director of the Trinity Christian Community in New Orleans
- Honorees’ background: Brown receives the award for his work in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans where, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he incorporated efforts to rebuild the city into his organization’s mission.
Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service
- Award description: The Justice Department’s second highest award for employee performance. The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the department’s mission. Fifteen awards are presented this year to individuals and teams.
- Recipients: Robert L. Wilson, Supervisory Correctional Officer of the Federal Correctional Institution of Cumberland, Md
- Honorees’ background: Wilson displayed the highest level of bravery and dedication to duty during an institutional disturbance on Sept. 5, 2009, at the Cumberland facility. Wilson’s bravery, compassion, and commitment are a reflection of dedication and professional correctional excellence.
- Other recipients: Members of the Department of Justice Civil Division Corporate/Financial Litigation Section: Michael F. Hertz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; J. Christopher Kohn, Director; Robert Kirschman, Deputy Branch Director; John T. Stemplewicz, Special Litigation Counsel; and Michael J. Quinn, Trial Attorney.
- Honorees’ background: A team recognized for its extraordinary work in achieving a resolution of the Cobell v. Salazar litigation that is fair to the plaintiffs, and encourages a better relationship between the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans with whom it has a trust relationship
- Other recipients: From the department Criminal Division Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, members include: Howard Cox, Assistant Deputy Chief; Kimberly Kiefer Peretti, former Senior Counsel; and Trial Attorneys Evan C. Williams and Jenny C. Ellickson; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts Stephen P. Heymann, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, William Campos, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section, Erez Liebermann, Chief, and Seth B. Kosto, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, Timothy C. Rank, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, Orlando Gutierrez, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and from the U.S. Secret Service, Special Agents Peter Gannon, Andrew J. Bonillo Jr., Jeremy J. Ehrhardt, Stuart K. Van Buren and Richard K. LaTulip.
- Honoree’s background: A team directing the largest and most successful identity theft and hacking investigation and prosecution ever conducted in the United States. The team’s work resulted in the identification of an international hacking and credit card theft ring; their apprehension in the United States, Middle East, and Asia; and their conviction before American and foreign courts.
- Other recipients: Criminal Division’s Appellate Section John-Alex Romano, Trial Attorney; formerly of the Criminal Division’s former Domestic Security Section Christopher Graveline, Trial Attorney; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Caroline Heck Miller and Karen Rochlin, Assistant U.S. Attorneys
- Honorees’ background: A team recognized for exemplary and highly effective work in U.S. v. Roy Belfast Jr., aka “Chuckie Taylor.” This groundbreaking case - the first use of a 1994 federal statute making torture under color of law by a U.S. citizen a crime - brought justice to civilian victims who suffered horrific abuse during Liberia’s recent civil war.
- Other recipients: Members from the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) Environmental Enforcement Section, Robert E. Maher Jr., Assistant Chief; David L. Dain, Senior Attorney; Eric D. Albert, Trial Attorney; and National Bankruptcy Coordinator Alan S. Tenenbaum.
- Honorees’ background: This team led the government effort in the Asarco bankruptcy case to recover more than $1.7 billion to fund environmental cleanup and natural resource restoration under a reorganization plan in the largest environmental bankruptcy case in U.S. history. The team organized and directed the work of more than 50 ENRD lawyers and paralegals, who collectively labored more than 50,000 hours on the case.
- Other recipients: ENRD Environmental Defense Section Senior Attorney David J. Kaplan and Assistant Chief Russell M. Young
- Honorees background: The team is honored for their outstanding and historic achievement in successfully negotiating a resolution in State of Washington v. Steven Chu and the U.S. Dept. of Energy. In that lawsuit, the states of Washington and Oregon alleged that the Department of Energy (DOE) had failed to meet deadlines for cleaning up radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. As a result of the team’s work, DOE and the states reached a settlement that addressed the complex technical challenges involved, while requiring DOE to clean up the waste as quickly as possible to prevent further harm to the environment.
- Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee, Stephen C. Parker, Assistant U.S Attorney; from the department Civil Rights Division Criminal Section Jonathan Skrmetti, Trial Attorney; from the FBI Memphis Field Office, Tracey L. Harris, Special Agent; and ICE Special Agent Greg Swearngin.
- Honorees’ background: A team honored for its exceptional work in United States v. Mendez, and its underlying investigation, Operation Latina Libre.
- Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Jeannette A. Vargas, Chief of the Tax and Bankruptcy Unit; and Sean H. Lane, Tara M. LaMorte and Li Yu, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from OSG, Malcolm L. Stewart, Deputy Solicitor General; and Trial Attorney William M. Jay
- Honorees’ background: Members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) are honored for their extraordinary work in the Chrysler LLC bankruptcy proceedings. The recipients successfully litigated the motion to approve the government-financed sale of Chrysler LLC assets to a new company owned in part by Fiat, the United States and Canada.
- Other recipients: Award recipients from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Supervisory Special Agents Jason N. Smolanoff, Cameron Malin and Ramyar Tabatabaian; Special Agents Todd Munoz and Timothy L. Swec; and Dana J. Lind, Intelligence Analyst; from the FBI’s Bedford, N.H., Resident Agency Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Kieran L. Ramsey; from the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, Special Agent John T. Bestor; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Ammar Y. Barghouty, Assistant Legal Attaché; and Kiffa Shirley, Special Agent; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Ronald L. Cheng and Mark C. Krause, Assistant U. S. Attorneys; formerly of the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations Elisa Castrolugo, Trial Attorney; from the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, then-Department of Justice Attaché, Jeffrey Cole; and from the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Sally L. Meloch.
- Honorees’ background: The team is recognized for its exemplary performance in Operation Phish Phry, a complex and sophisticated international computer intrusion, identity theft, and money laundering investigation. Operation Phish Phry signified the first successful joint cyber crime investigation conducted with law enforcement officials outside of the United States. Nearly 100 multi-national cyber criminals were charged in this landmark case.
- Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks; Nathan Garrett, Former Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Sherien Fatkin and Ofelia C. Perez, Paralegal Specialists; from the NSD Counterterrorism Section, Barry Jonas, Trial Attorney; and Laura B. Shuey, Paralegal Specialist; from the NSD Office of Intelligence, Julie L. Hamilton, Former Attorney-Advisor; and Heidi P. Bauer, Attorney-Advisor; from the Civil Division Federal Programs Branch, Elizabeth J. Shapiro, Deputy Branch Director; from the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, James S. Lewis, Supervisory Special Agent; Special Agents Lara L. Burns, Robert Miranda, Carrie C. Ward and David Kamel; Atef A. Shafik, Language Specialist; from the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Anne E. Armstrong, Financial Analyst; and from the Department of Defense (DOD) Department of the Army, Task Force Officer Eric Michael Wood.
- Honorees’ background: The team is involved with the relentless efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. While billed as the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation was actually the U.S.-based fundraising arm of the terrorist group Hamas. The team demonstrated unparalleled dedication and teamwork for more than eight years, despite being uprooted from their families and the disappointment of an initial mistrial. The team’s ability resulted in the unraveling of an international conspiracy and one of the most successful terrorism financing cases in the department’s history.
- Other recipient: Attorney General’s Chief of Staff and Counselor, Kevin A. Ohlson
- Honorees’ background: For more than 20 years, Ohlson has provided exemplary leadership and service to the Department of Justice and the nation. As Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General, he has played a central role in and greatly advanced the programs of the department. As an adjudicator and prosecutor, Ohlson consistently performs in an outstanding fashion in his service to the nation.
- Other recipient: Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott N. Schools
- Honoree’s background: Schools is honored for his exemplary performance in senior positions through the department over the course of more than 17 years. In his distinguished career, Schools has performed his duties in each position of increased responsibility in such an admirable manner that it serves as a model for excellence within the department. His tenure as Associate Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Attorney, General Counsel and First Assistant U.S. Attorney has been characterized by extraordinary skill and judgment, outstanding professionalism, unyielding devotion to duty and inspired leadership.
- Other recipients: From the Guantanamo Review Task Force, Matthew G. Olsen, Executive Director; from the NSD Litigation Section, Jay I. Bratt, Former Chief; from the NSD Foreign Investment Review Staff, Tyrone A. Brown, Attorney-Advisor; from the NSD Office of Intelligence, Operations Section, Robert J. Lloyd, Deputy Unit Chief; John T. Gibbs, Trial Attorney; Tracy P. Heckler, Program Specialist; NSD Former Chief of Staff Charles M. Steele; NSD Former Counsels to the Assistant Attorney General Andrew H. Tannenbaum and Kimberley E. Raleigh; and NSD Former Counsel for Law and Policy, Bradley T. Smith; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Rachel C. Lieber, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, William E. Fitzpatrick, Deputy U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Serrin A. Turner, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Stephen M. Campbell, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the department’s Justice Management Division (JMD) Office of the Controller Jolene A. Lauria Sullens, Deputy Assistant Attorney General/Controller; and Maureen E. Lyons, Confidential Assistant; and from the Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Dean Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist.
- Honorees’ background:The team is honored for their significant contribution to the review of Guantanamo detainees conducted last year by the Guantanamo Review Task Force. In various leadership roles, the recipients were responsible for directing, guiding, and supporting the review effort to ensure that the task force collected and analyzed all relevant information, and provided informed and reasoned recommendations to senior officials.
- Other recipients: Members of the OIG. M. Sean O’Neill and Jonathan A. Marks, Investigative Counsels; Daniel C. Beckhard, Deputy Assistant Inspector General; Kevin F. Becks, Senior Program Analyst; and Paralegal Specialist Dominic N. Russoli.
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for their outstanding work in conducting a review of the department’s involvement in the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP). The data collection exercise pursued under the PSP, and under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments of 2008, involved unprecedented intelligence collection activities. The team’s 407-page report describes the department’s role in analyzing and certifying the legality of the PSP and the FBI’s use of the PSP for derived intelligence in its counterterrorism efforts
- Other recipients: Members of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). From the Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management’s Grants Management Division, Maureen A. Henneberg, Director; and Amy E. Callaghan, Deputy Director; from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Pamela J. Cammarata, Associate Deputy Director; and Carol C. Poole, Acting Deputy Director; from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Katherine Darke Schmitt and Maria Swineford, Deputy Associate Administrators; from the Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Beth McGarry, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; and Brecht C. Donoghue, Policy Advisor; from the Office of Communications, Summer Duncan, Deputy Director; and Angella C. LaTour, Congressional Affairs Specialist; from the Office for Victims of Crime, DeLano A. Foster, Lead Victim Justice Program Specialist; and Richard T. Greenough, Victim Justice Program Specialist; from the Management, Planning, and Performance Branch, Sean A. Lovitt, Chief; from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Larry Hailes, Associate Chief Financial Officer; from the Office of the General Counsel, Charles T. Moses III, Deputy General Counsel; and Ingrid R. Sausjord, Attorney-Advisor; from the Systems Engineering & Operations Branch, Victor T. Pham, Chief; and from the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s Enterprise Application Development Division, Director Bruce W. Whitlock.
- Honoree’s background: The members quickly and effectively implemented provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act signed by President Obama. The act provided $2.7 billion of additional grant funding to OJP to support a broad range of crime prevention, law enforcement, and victim assistance activities throughout the nation. Under the team’s leadership, 99.5 percent of the funding was obligated by the end of the fiscal year, the highest rate among all of the federal cabinet agencies.
Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement
- Award description: Recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice.
- Recipients: From the DEA’s New England Field Division, Jeffrey Larocque, Group Supervisor; and Special Agents Dennis Barton, John Grella and Brian Tomasetta; from the DEA’s Bogotá Country Office, John S. Gazzara, Assistant Regional Director; Sean A. McDonough, Group Supervisor; and John P. Hegarty, Special Agent; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Zachary R. Hafer, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Ryan Talbot, Special Agent; and from the Waltham, Massachusetts Police Department, Detective Lucas Hernandez.
- Honorees’ background: The team conducted a four year Attorney General’s Exempted Operation, known as Operation Beanpot, targeting five high-level drug trafficking and money laundering groups in the United States and Colombia. This operation led to a total of 78 arrests, the seizure of $9.65 million in U.S. currency, the seizure of 4,837 kilograms of cocaine and the seizure of 7.2 kilograms of heroin
- Other recipient: U.S. Marshals Service Mexico City Foreign Field Office’s Jose Chavarria, Chief Inspector
- Honoree’s background: He is honored for his outstanding work, dedication, and exceptional service in the apprehension of more than 500 international fugitives during fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and the extradition and deportation of more than 660 international fugitives. These accomplishments represent record highs for the U.S. Marshals Service. Since Chavarria’s assignment to Mexico City, he has managed the investigations and directed the arrests of 43 high profile felons.
Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service in Indian Country
- Award description: Recognizes extraordinary efforts by department employees that demonstrate the department’s commitment to fight crime in Indian Country.
- Recipient: Executive Office for U.S. Attorney’s (EOUSA) Leslie A. Hagen, National Indian Country Training Coordinator
- Honoree’s background: She is honored for her sustained commitment to improving the public safety of Native Americans. Hagen has developed training for federal, state, and tribal criminal justice and social service personnel on issues related to federal prosecution of violent crime in Indian Country. Most recently, she was involved in the development of the Attorney General’s Tribal Nations Listening Conference and Indian Country Initiative.
Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management
- Award description: Recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements that have significantly improved operations and productivity, or reduced costs.
- Recipient: Cherie L. Rogers, ENRD’s Assistant Chief of the Environmental Defense Section
- Honoree’s background: Rogers works closely with various trial teams, masterfully handling all of the trial support logistics and financial planning for the attorneys, support staff, contractors, and experts.
- Other recipients: Robin C. Ashton, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney for Management from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia
- Honorees’ background: Her oversight and direction have guided successful efforts to improve compliance and efficiency in the administrative processes throughout the office, which has affected employees of both District Court and Superior Court.
Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology
- Recipient: From the EOUSA, Andrew D. Goldsmith, National Criminal Discovery Coordinator; from the ENRD Law and Policy Section, James O. Payne Jr., Senior Counsel; ENRD Senior Attorney Sarah D. Himmelhoch; ENRD Trial Attorney Daniel S. Smith; from the ENRD Environmental Enforcement Section, Bethanne Walinskas, Program Specialist; and from the ENRD Office of Litigation Support, Director Richard D. Sutton.
- Honoree’s background: The team leads ENRD’s E-discovery Workgroup and advises ENRD attorneys on E-discovery matters in civil and criminal cases. They also lead civil and criminal E-discovery initiatives across the department and other federal agencies, and develop and conduct numerous training programs for various federal attorneys.
- Other recipients: From the NSD Executive Office, recipients include: David E. Borcherding, Supervisory Information Technology Specialist; and Information Technology Matthew P. Harvey and Robert L. Marshall; from the NSD Counterterrorism Section, Michael J. Keegan, Principal Deputy Chief; and Gregory A. Miller, Counterterrorism Specialist; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, Tucker Greer, Litigation Support Specialist; from the Information Systems Security Staff, Edward L. Shelkey, Chief Information Security Officer; and Daniel D. Hurd, Information Technology Specialist; from the EOUSA Office Automation Staff, Rick W. Sumrall, Information System Security Officer; and David N. Atkins Sr. and Glenn K. Shrieves, Information Technology Specialists; and from the JMD Office of the Chief Information Officer Enterprise Solutions Staff, Jeffrey L. Cotter, Director; and Dale Long and Peter D. Omberg, Deputy Directors.
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for its outstanding achievement in collaboratively developing and implementing an information technology (IT) solution that greatly improves the department=s national security classified information processing capabilities to support terrorism prosecutions and related national security classified matters. The team’s dedicated work under tight deadlines provided the department with a high speed IT classified litigation support solution that meets the needs of complex national security prosecutions.
Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security
- Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions towards protecting U.S. national security.
- Recipients: From the Civil Division Appellate Staff, team members include: Thomas M. Bondy, Assistant Branch Director; Douglas N. Letter, Appellate Litigation Counsel; Robert M. Loeb, Appellate Counsel; and Trial Attorneys Matthew M. Collette, Sharon M. Swingle, August E. Flentje, Anne M. Murphy, Sydney A. Foster, Henry C. Whitaker, Catherine Y. Hancock, and Michael P. Abate; from the Civil Division Federal Programs Branch, Terry M. Henry; James J. Gilligan, Assistant Branch Directors; Andrew I. Warden, Trial Attorney; from the Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch, Phyllis Jo Baunach, Senior Trial Counsel; and from NSD Attorney Paul Ahern.
- Honorees’ background: The team that handled more than 240 appeals involving the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. In handling the lead cases, the team members worked closely with the senior leadership of the department, as well as with the Departments of Defense and State, and the CIA. Working under enormous pressure, they produced key briefs and memoranda, briefed high-level department officials, made critical strategic decisions, and produced tremendous results.
- Other recipients: For the Southern District of Florida, Melissa Damian Visconti, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Angel Martinez, Senior Intelligence Specialist; from the NSD Counterespionage Section, Steven W. Pelak, Deputy Chief; and Ryan P. Fayhee, Trial Attorney; from the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, Michael Johnson, Special Agent in Charge; and Special Agents Michael Bollinger, Lauren Nieland and John Johnson; from DHS Senior Special Agents Dean Lang and Eric Caron; and from the DOD Defense Criminal Investigative Service Special Agent Blake Schnitker.
- Honorees’ background: The team that spearheaded Operation Render Safe, an investigation that led to the indictment, arrest, and conviction of more than 35 individuals and entities implicated in the provision of sensitive, military and dual use goods to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The team’s work has improved our national security, and serves as a model for related investigative and prosecutorial strategies.
Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity
- Award description: The department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity program.
- Recipient: FBI’s Deirdre Mignon Emmes, Supervisory Special Agent for the Criminal Investigative Division
- Honoree’s background: For her outstanding leadership and exemplary performance as the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Special Emphasis Program Coordinator for the Los Angeles Field Office. In an effort to embrace the ideals that the FBI represents, she resolved to create one of the most ground-breaking and proactive programs in the nation.
Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support
- Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of legal support to attorneys by paralegal specialists and other legal assistants.
- Recipients (Paralegal Category): Julia P. Wilson, Supervisory Paralegal Specialist for the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division.
- Honoree’s background: Wilson receives the award for her outstanding leadership in providing litigation support for the past two years to a team of 50 attorneys litigating more than 200 habeas cases brought by detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
- Recipient (Legal Support Category): Rita L. Mierzwa, Legal Clerk for the U.S. Trustee Program of the Office of the U.S. Trustee in the Chicago Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST)
- Honoree’s background: Mierzwa has demonstrated exceptional professionalism since joining the Region 11 staff in the immediate aftermath of the enactment of bankruptcy reform legislation. Her efforts led to sanctions against attorneys, debtors and others who abuse the bankruptcy system.
Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support
Award description: Recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary. Recipients: Margaret A. Fenlon-Gore, Case Management Specialist for the Environmental Enforcement Section of ENRD; Deborah M. Chase, Administrative Officer for the U.S. Trustee Program in EOUST’s New Orleans Office; Laurene Aragon MacDonald, Support Staff Supervisor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California; and Karen Hamilton, Data Management Specialist for the Tax Division Civil Trial Section in the Northern Region.
Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility
- Award description: Recognizes a Department of Justice attorney who has made significant contributions in the area of professional responsibility by successfully handling a sensitive and challenging professional responsibility issue in an exemplary fashion and/or leading efforts to ensure that department attorneys carry out their duties in accordance with the rules of professional conduct.
- Recipient: John C. (Jack) Keeney, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
- Honorees’ background: Mr. Keeney was a key leader of the department for nearly 60 years. He was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service, and is recognized for the exemplary professionalism and integrity with which he managed the department’s public corruption and electronic surveillance efforts.
Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration
- Award description: Recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.
- Recipient: Unit Chief for the Records Management Division of the FBI, Julia E. Eichhorst.
- Honoree’s background: Under Eichhorst’s leadership, the FBI Service Request Unit has successfully negotiated with requesters, ensuring that they receive the specific information they request while reducing the number of processed pages so that resources are not misused.
Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention
- Award description: Recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud, white-collar crimes and official corruption.
- Recipients: Antitrust Division members John F. Terzaken III, Assistant Chief for the National Criminal Enforcement Section and E. Kate Patchen, Trial Attorney for the San Francisco Field Office
- Honorees’ background: The team who spearheaded the Antitrust Division’s work to help protect Recovery Act funds from procurement fraud by assisting federal, state, and local agencies in ensuring that measures are in place to insulate procurement and program funding processes from bid rigging and other procurement fraud. Patchen and Terzaken served as the co-chairs of the Antitrust Division’s Recovery Act Initiative aimed at training government officials to prevent, detect, and report efforts by individuals to unlawfully profit from the stimulus awards. As a result of the team’s resourcefulness and planning, the division was able to offer training to procurement officials, auditors, and investigators within weeks of the passage of the Recovery Act.
- Other recipients: From the Criminal Division Fraud Section, Mark F. Mendelsohn, Deputy Chief; and Nathaniel B. Edmonds, Senior Litigation Counsel; from the FBI’s Northern Virginia Resident Agency Travis G. Wiehn, Special Agent; from the NSD Counterespionage Section, Patrick T. Murphy, Trial Attorney; from the General Services Administration Office of the Inspector General Nacieve Owens, Special Agent; from ICE, Theodore Schmitz, Special Agent; and from the DOD Defense Criminal Investigative Service James Hitchcock, Special Agent.
- Honorees’ background: The team who led the prosecution of United States v. BAE Systems (BAES). Years of detailed investigation and intense negotiations resulted in BAES’s guilty plea. The successful conclusion of this matter exemplifies the United States’ continued leadership in combating international corruption, and affirms the department’s willingness to investigate and appropriately resolve the most challenging of criminal cases.
Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety
- Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community.
- Recipients: Tyrone Parker, Executive Director for the Alliance of Concerned Men
- Honorees’ background: Parker receives the award for his dedication to deterring gang violence and empowering young men to reach their potential.
Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Wage Grade System Employee
- Award description: Recognizes extraordinary performance and contributions by wage grade system employees, including laborers, mechanics, and skilled craft workers.
- Recipient: Henry R. Mills, Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanical Supervisor for the Federal Correctional Institution Williamsburg in Salters, S.C., of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
- Honorees’ background: Mills’ initiative and diligence in investigating more efficient means of cooling 18 ice machines in use at the Federal Corrections Institution Williamsburg was exemplary. Through his efforts, the institution was able to reduce its environmental impact via a reduction of more than 2.5 million gallons of water annually, resulting in a savings to the institution of more than $100,000.
Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee
- Award description: Recognizes exceptional performance and notable accomplishments towards the department’s mission by an employee with fewer than five years of federal career service.
- Recipients: Magdeline Amaro, Secretary for the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami of the BOP; Eric Fleisig-Greene, Trial Attorney for the Civil Division Appellate Staff; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, Joseph M. Tripi, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
John Marshall Awards
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys for contributions and excellence in specialized areas of legal performance. Fourteen awards in nine categories are presented this year.
John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation:
- Recipients: Laura R. Bach, John G. Giovannelli and Sean P. Tonolli, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Columbia.
- Honorees’ background: They are honored for their involvement with the investigation and prosecution of a violent Washington, D.C., gang known as “22nd Street.” The trial lasted more than nine months and included more than 75 motions, 70 witnesses, and introduced approximately 500 exhibits into evidence.
- Other recipients: Attorneys from the Department of Justice Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch: Patricia M. McCarthy, Assistant Branch Director; Senior Trial Counsels Claudia Burke and Gregg M. Schwind; and Trial Attorneys, Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, Antonia R. Soares and Stephen C. Tosini .
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for its exceptional representation of the United States in three hearings before an international tribunal, regarding state-to-state disputes between the United States and Canada. The team’s ability to absorb a new set of litigation skills and use them to great effect against Canada’s very capable private counsel reflects well upon the department.
John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation
- Recipients: Members of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. Timothy J. Moran, Deputy Chief; and Trial Attorneys Christopher J. Fregiato, Andrea K. Steinacker, Julie J. Allen, R. Tamar Hagler, Lucy G. Carlson and Jennifer L. Maranzano.
- Honorees’ background: This team is honored for its exceptional work in litigating United States v. Sterling, a major Fair Housing Act case alleging that the defendants unlawfully discriminated against African Americans, Hispanics and families with children at apartment buildings they owned and managed in Los Angeles County. The result required the defendants to pay a record $2.7 million in damages and civil penalties, the largest monetary payment ever obtained in the settlement of a case alleging housing discrimination.
- Other recipient: Grover Hartt III, Senior Level Trial Attorney for the Civil Trial Section of the Southwestern Region.
- Honorees’ background: He is honored for his outstanding work as lead counsel for the government in AT&T Inc. v. United States. He assembled and guided the government’s excellent trial team, developed its litigating strategy, oversaw an exceptionally complex and demanding discovery process – conducting crucial portions of it himself – and authored the briefs that resolved the case in the government’s favor.
John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation
- Recipients: Criminal Division Office of International Affairs’ Randy Toledo, Deputy Director, and Kenneth J. Harris, Associate Director.
- Honorees’ background: This team is recognized for its outstanding contributions in the conception, negotiation, ratification, and implementation of the historic Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with the European Union (EU). This effort, led at its inception by the late Mark Richard, the department’s Counselor to the European Union in Brussels, spanned eight years and also involved the negotiation of 54 separate and complex implementing agreements with the individual EU member states. The treaties were the first law enforcement treaties entered into by the United States with the EU.
John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals
- Recipients: Charles W. Scarborough, Trial Attorney for the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division, and Judith A. Hagley, Attorney for the Appellate Section of the Tax Division.
- Honorees’ background: Scarborough secured major victories under the False Claims Act that have enhanced the government’s ability to ensure integrity in areas such as Medicare and student loan programs. He successfully defended a variety of statutes and regulations against constitutional challenges, and his perseverance in his defense of the Child On-Line Protection Act over his decade in the department. Hagley is honored for her exceptional skill and success in briefing and arguing the most influential and high-profile tax shelter cases to reach the Appellate Section. Her personal accomplishments in handling this sensitive, difficult, and complex litigation have laid the groundwork for success in the Tax Division and the IRS.
John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice
- Recipient: Jonathan J. Wroblewski, Director for the Criminal Division’s Office of Policy and Legislation.
- Honorees’ background: For his exemplary and sustained role in leading the development of crime policy for the department. Wroblewski has also been an effective advocate on sentencing and criminal discovery issues, and has represented the department with the Judiciary, the White House, Congress and the public.
- Other recipients: From the ENRD Appellate Section, Lisa E. Jones, Assistant Chief; and David C. Shilton, Trial Attorney; from the ENRD Environmental Defense Section, Christopher S. Vaden, Deputy Chief; Thomas A. Lorenzen, Assistant Chief; and Jon M. Lipshultz, Senior Counsel for Appellate Matters; from the Civil Division Appellate Staff, Henry Thomas Byron III, Trial Attorney; and Mark B. Stern, Appellate Litigation Counsel; and from the Office of the Associate Attorney General, Deputy Associate Attorney General A. Marisa Chun.
- Honorees’ background: The team provided invaluable counsel to the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Departments of Transportation and Justice in the formulation of the groundbreaking joint rulemaking by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles.
John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation
- Recipients: From the Office of Legal Policy, Rajesh De, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; and Paul R. Almanza, Chief of Staff; from the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section, Mark J. Kappelhoff, Chief; Barbara K. Bosserman, Senior Legal Counsel; from the Civil Rights Division Policy and Strategy Section, Acting Chief Karen L. Stevens; and from the Office of Legislative Affairs Deputy Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Appelbaum.
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for their outstanding performance in developing and advocating the department’s position on critical hate crimes legislation, entitled the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. This landmark legislation strengthened and expanded federal laws prohibiting hate crimes by allowing prosecution of violence motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation, gender or disability.
John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture
- Recipients: Members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Sharon Cohen Levin, Chief for the Asset Forfeiture Unit; and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Alberts, Anna E. Arreola, Matthew L. Schwartz, Amy Lester and Jonathan R. Streeter.
- Honorees’ background: The team is honored for their extraordinary work in forfeiting assets on behalf of victims of the massive securities fraud executed by Marc Dreier. In addition to securing a preliminary forfeiture order that imposed a $746.7 million judgment against Dreier and ordered the forfeiture of Dreier’s interest in 177 properties worth more than $80 million, the team helped pioneer a model for handling simultaneous collateral litigation of forfeiture, bankruptcy and securities enforcement actions.
John Marshall Award for Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Recipients: Members of the Department of Justice Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch.Shalom Brilliant, Senior Trial Counsel, and Kenneth S. Kessler, Trial Attorney
- Honorees’ background: They are honored for their achievements in utilizing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle more than 260 breach of contract lawsuits brought by owners of more than 780 federally-subsidized low-income rental apartment projects throughout the country. They utilized ADR to creatively reach a solution that avoided risks, and potentially saved the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Other Recipients: David W. Harder, Trial Attorney for the Indian Resources Section; Stephen M. Macfarlane, Attorney for the Natural Resources Section; and Stacy R. Stoller, Attorney for the Law and Policy Section,
- Honoree’s background: They are honored for their analysis, incisive legal advice, and tireless negotiations in connection with the global settlement regarding the fish, water, and hydropower resources of the Klamath River Basin in Oregon and California. The team’s work with clients such as the Departments of Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture led to two historic agreements, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement.
John Marshall Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation Award
- Recipients: From ENRD Wildlife and Marine Resources Section, recipients include:Seth M. Barsky, Acting Chief; and Trial Attorneys Carter H. (Coby) Howell andBridget K. McNeil; from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office of Counsel of the Northwest Division, Gayle Lear, Assistant Division Counsel; from the Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Office of the Northwest Regional Counsel, Mark Eames, Attorney-Advisor; from the DOI Office of the Regional Solicitor Pacific Northwest Region,Duane Mecham, Attorney-Advisor; and from the Bonneville Power Administration, Deputy General Counsel for the Office of General Counsel Paul Majkut.
- Honorees’ background: The team for their extraordinary efforts in defending the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2008 biological opinion, and in working with the administration to develop and defend its new Adaptive Management Implementation Plan for the 2008 biological opinion.
Attorney General Eric Holder will be on hand for the awarding of the Medal Valor to three Massachusetts firefighters on Wednesday, the White House announced.
The Medal of Valor is the highest national honor for heroism by a public safety officer. The award is given out annually.
This year recipients went into a burning house in Brookline, Mass., in 2008 to help firefighters and residents trapped inside. No one died in the three-alarm fire.
A former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois will receive an American Inns of Court’s 2010 Professionalism Award for the 7th Circuit, the group announced Monday.
The legal mentoring organization will honor Dan K. Webb, who led the Chicago-based U.S. Attorney’s office from 1981 to 1984, at a ceremony next week for his “unquestioned integrity and a remarkable dedication to our profession and the rule of law.” The American Inns of Court noted Webb’s leadership as U.S. Attorney in the “Operation Greylord” judicial corruption probes that led to prison sentences for 76 judges, police officials and lawyers in Cook County, Ill.
Webb is currently the chairman of Winston & Strawn LLP. He is one of the country’s most prominent white-collar defense attorneys and has represented public figures in corruption probes, from former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) to former Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R). Read more about Webb here.
This story was updated with additional biographical information.
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The U.S. Attorneys for Seattle and Nashville were inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers last weekend — an honor bestowed on less than 1 percent of a state’s total lawyer population.
Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and Middle District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough became fellows of the leading U.S. professional trial organization at a March 6 induction ceremony in Palm Desert, Calif. There are more than 5,700 fellows in the college, which selects new members by invitation only.
Yarbrough told Main Justice that he is honored by the fellowship. He said most fellows are civil trial lawyers and few have served as U.S. Attorneys.
“It is a little unusual for people like me and Jenny to be inducted,” said Yarbrough, who has been U.S. Attorney since October 2007.
Durkan, who has been U.S. Attorney since October, said she also greatly appreciated the accolade.
“It was a great honor to be asked to join ACTL, which has so many great lawyers and leaders in its ranks,” Durkan said in a statement to Main Justice.
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The Justice Department bestowed honors on several of its own last Thursday at the Civil Division Awards Ceremony. Here’s the rundown from DOJ on the awards and the honorees, as quoted from the announcer’s script:
-Stanley D. Rose Memorial Award
Award description: It is the Civil Division’s highest award.
Robert Kopp, Director of the Appellate Staff: He joined the Civil Division in 1967 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. He progressed through increasingly responsible positions as a Supervisory Attorney and Appellate Litigation Counsel. In 1981, Kopp was named director of the newly-created Appellate Staff. He has held that position for 28 years. During that time, he has proven himself to be not only a brilliant appellate attorney, but also a compassionate and effective leader. He received a Presidential Rank Award in 2005 and SES performance awards virtually every year that he was eligible.
-Dedicated Service Award
Award description: It is given to employees with at least 15 years of service to the Division who have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers.
Matthew Collette: He has briefed and argued over 100 federal appeals and appeared for the government in every federal circuit. Notwithstanding the pressure and difficulty of his cases, Collette unfailingly maintains his professional poise, his sound judgment, and his personable demeanor and attitude, and has found time to co-manage the Appellate Staff’s successful summer intern program.
Glenn Gillett: His service in the Civil Division spans more than 19 years. Throughout, he has displayed great skill, perseverance, initiative and plain hard work. He is an expert in the field of bankruptcy, with particular proficiency in the reorganizations of hospitals and other health care facilities. Because of his expertise in computer technology, he also became a valued member and served as a lead counsel of the Cobell Trial Team in a 59-day trial concerning information technology security at the Department of Interior.
Gordon Jones: He joined the Civil Division in 1980, and has since displayed superior skills and dedication in supporting the division’s mission. Due in large part to Jones’s encyclopedic knowledge of qui tam history and procedure, the division has been largely successful in defeating these challenges, and protecting Congress’ ability to utilize this important tool for combating fraud against the American taxpayers.
Jeffrey Kennison: He has provided unparalleled and selfless service to the Civil Division for more than 20 years. He stands as the unsung technical hero who is often the first to enter the building in the morning and the last to leave in the evening; enabling and ensuring that two thousand users can confidently and capably carry out their duties every single day. He has thanklessly sacrificed hundreds of evenings, weekends, and holidays faithfully tending to logistical and technical challenges.
Donald Kinner: He has provided 22 years of outstanding legal work in the Civil Division as both an attorney and a supervisor. As an Assistant Director, he leads other National Courts attorneys handling a broad range of subject matters. With a particular expertise regarding the Contract Disputes Act, he ensures consistency in government positions across many different fora, and helps ensure that contracting agencies remain able to continue the government’s business.
Henry LaHaie: has honorably served the Civil Division for more than 30 years, more than 20 of them devoted to making the Office of Consumer Litigation increasingly efficient and effective. LaHaie is responsible for developing OCL’s paralegal support system that rivals any private firm’s litigation support. He has eagerly assisted other offices in the division by sharing his concepts of office automation and making paralegals effective partners in active litigation. LaHaie does all of this in addition to supervising and reviewing a busy civil and criminal litigation caseload.
-Award for Excellence in Paralegal Support
Award description: It recognizes outstanding achievements in the performance of paralegal duties.
Amy Kokot: She supervises a team of seven paralegals providing litigation support for the defense of cases filed under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Kokot is a superb leader, who thinks ahead to ensure every task is completed in a timely manner and without complications. She consistently demonstrates an impressive level of responsibility and attention to detail that is unsurpassed.
Katrina Nieves: She has served the International Trade Field Office, National Courts Section, for more than 20 years. She is the supervisor of a litigation support team that directly assists 10 attorneys in the field office, and frequently aids visiting Department attorneys as well. She consistently presents a positive image of the office by greeting and working with visitors, including court personnel, in her singularly friendly way. She is always forward thinking, and easily resolves or prevents operational problems.
Craig Radoci: has provided exceptional assistance in preparing for various trials and hearings. His adeptness in electronic discovery and Trial Director software has led to rich and easily navigable trial presentations. Radoci has provided extremely effective factual and legal research assistance to the office’s attorneys. He is highly praised for his support in preparing for trials and hearings, and his efforts have contributed to successful outcomes.
Brian Ruberti: He maintains QTrack+, the database he helped design to track the Fraud Section’s cases. His ability to marry the technical capabilities of the system with an understanding of what section attorneys need as lawyers and how the information may be understood by the public provides an indispensable tool.
Nicole Dammeyer, Janine Johansen, Melissa Kohilakis, Michelle Phillips, Maria Swails-Brown and Adriana Vecchio: The Guantanamo Habeas Corpus Team is recognized for the superb litigation support provided over the past year to a team of 50 attorneys litigating more than 200 cases. The team has labored under extraordinarily difficult circumstances: very tight time constraints, large volumes of classified information, and many, many late nights and weekends. Throughout it all, this team has been thoroughly professional and has met every odd challenge with enthusiasm.
-Award for Excellence in Administrative Support
Award Description: It recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of legal and general administrative support.
Juanita Love Davis: She is invariably positive, decisive, energetic and effective, whether preparing time and attendance records, counseling a staff member, or parachuting in to organize emergency assistance for an attorney going out the door to trial. She has demonstrated that she can be counted on to ensure the engines run smoothly and silently. Her calm and courteous professionalism set the tone for the office, and a very good tone it is.
Patrice Johnson: She is well-known within OIL for her positive attitude and demeanor, and she performs her job every day with energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to OIL and its many attorneys. She has outstanding skills as a secretary and enjoys the well-deserved reputation as someone who will perform every task efficiently, swiftly, and with a minimum of errors.
Natalie Palmer: She directly assists the director, deputy directors, and others in the National Courts Section officials, in the execution of important administrative tasks to support the management of the section. She demonstrates considerable initiative and creativity to solve problems, is absolutely reliable, diligent and hardworking, and completes all tasks in a timely manner. She is a consummate professional, a model public servant, and a credit to the Division.
-Rookie of the Year Award
Award Description: It is presented to newcomers to the division who have demonstrated exceptional performance.
Katharine Clark: She joined OIL in July 2007 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. She has already filed more than 70 briefs in the various federal circuit courts and has appeared in over 20 oral arguments on behalf of the government. As a result of her skill in research and writing, Clark has been given highly-complex cases to handle despite her relative inexperience, and she nevertheless continues to produce outstanding work at a level expected of far more experienced attorneys.
Adam Dinnell: He entered government service in October 2006 through the Attorney General’s Honor Program and quickly established himself as one of the brightest, most productive attorneys in the Environmental Torts section of the Torts Branch. His hard work and attention to detail, as well as his excellent oral presentations, have already resulted in significant successes. In addition to discharging his litigation responsibilities, Dinnell is a member of the Division and Environmental Torts hiring committees and has ably served as recruiter and mentor for his section’s summer interns.
Award description: It recognizes employees who have displayed unwavering resolve, vision, and dedication to their duties in spite of daunting adversity or seemingly overwhelming odds.
Brian Bowcut, Chelsea Conanan, Geoffrey Cook, Dawn Dollar, Christina Falk, J. Patrick Glynn, Wagner Jackson, Jr., Cynthia “CJ” Johnson, Helena Johnson, Gay Kang, Alexander Kreko, Margaret Jane Mahoney, Jason Patil, William Powers, Julia Ruckman, Barbara Stanard, Ina Strichartz, Sarah Williams and Tracy Wingfield: The Adams Trial Team reviewed over 700 gigabytes of documents and took 136 fact witness depositions during the first eight months of 2008. Over the last two years, the Adams team turned around an otherwise hopeless case, and significantly reduced the United States’ overall exposure and placed the government in a particularly strong position for appeal on jurisdictional issues. The team did so by sacrificing extended periods of time away from their families, not only during the four-month trial, but also during the long hours of work required by the arduous pretrial schedule.
Lawrence Eiser and Bridget Lipscomb: The Boston FBI-Informant Litigation Team is recognized for their work with the highly controversial litigation that arose out of the alleged misconduct of certain FBI agents who handled two notorious informants who committed multiple crimes, including dozens of murders. The trial team studied the massive discovery record, prepared trial briefs and motions, and outlined the direct and cross-examinations. They tried these four cases within four months, sought no extensions of time, worked late nights and every weekend, and met all deadlines imposed by the court.
David Long, J. Chris Larson, Robert McAuliffe, Renee Orleans, Michal Tingle, George Vitelli, Christopher Bozada, Thomas Jenkins, Timothy “Mick” Mikulewicz, Steven Portner, Steven Abelson, Phyllis Jo Baunach, Deborah Bynum and Martin Hockey Jr.: The HBT and TSSAM Litigation Teams successfully reached a joint resolution of two major cases in the Civil Division involving highly classified programs. The team aggressively and thoroughly investigated complex allegations, requiring them to develop an understanding of sophisticated engineering issues, interview various agency experts and other witnesses, and collect and digest millions of technical engineering documents. The team’s creativity and perseverance resulted in this matter being resolved as part of a global settlement for a fraction of its original claims.
- Special Commendation Awards
Award description: These awards recognize particularly outstanding acts or services that have materially contributed to the successful accomplishment of Division objectives.
Theresa Carr: She plays an important role in the lives of many division employees. Like the performances of rock stars, her retirement seminars sell out within a few hours of their announcement and are invariably followed by rave reviews. The extraordinary compassion she displays at the tragic deaths of our colleagues is unsurpassed.
Keith McManus: He is commended for his work on a high-profile asylum case decided by the Supreme Court. The case involved eligibility for asylum of persons who participate in the persecution of others. McManus conducted extensive research, and helped prepare the then-Assistant Attorney General for his oral argument before the Supreme Court. On the day of oral argument McManus was admitted to the Supreme Court, and he sat at counsel table with the AAG.
Jonathan Rolbin: He is recognized for his exemplary role in defending the Department of State in the Castelano v. Clinton class action. Rolbin’s ability to articulate the government’s case and to coordinate responses to significant congressional and media interest were major factors in bringing all parties to agreement on a settlement that did not adversely impact on the government’s ability to investigate passport fraud but provided for a more effective and consistent balance in adjudicating passport applications.
Jane Vanneman: She has served as Senior Trial Counsel for many years, and for more than 13 years, she managed complex civil litigation in two major cases involving long-term timber contracts. In addition to her litigation expertise,Vanneman was instrumental in developing a program to supervise and train law students who clerked with the National Courts section. She continues to advise new attorneys on procedural and substantive issues before the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Franklin White Jr.: He brings a vast wealth of experience, derived from over 18 years in the Civil Division, to counseling line attorneys in all aspects of litigation. White provides vital support and leadership in the overall management of National Courts, especially in the area of training and law student internships.
August Flentje and Alexander Haas: The AAG Counsel Team is recognized for invaluable assistance during the transition between Administrations. The team members helped newly-arriving Civil Division officials navigate the intricacies of litigation involving national security issues and Guantanamo habeas cases.
Mark Freeman, Alisa Klein, Melissa Patterson and Mark Stern: The Appellate Tobacco Team is recognized for their victory in United States v. Philip Morris in which a unanimous panel sustained a landmark decision holding that cigarette manufacturers had deceived consumers as to health risks and nicotine addiction over a period of nearly five decades. Because of the complexity of the case, the government’s appellate briefs were approximately three times the customary length, and the litigation entailed more advanced use of technology than is common in appellate litigation. The tasks of coherently explicating the facts and law relevant to the multi-year district court proceedings posed enormous challenges which were mastered by extraordinary appellate advocacy.
Arlene Pianko Groner, Tara Kilfoyle, Christopher Krafchek, Steven Mager, Kirk Manhardt, Douglas Mickle, Scott Palmer and William Rayel: The Bid Protest Team is recognized for handling some of the most time-consuming and difficult procurement cases in the National Courts Section, all of which seek injunctive relief to disrupt the government’s acquisition of needed goods and services. This dedicated team has developed a web-based library of bid protest resource materials for use by all division attorneys, assisted other attorneys handling bid protest cases, and established a well-received client outreach program that counsels agencies conducting procurements.
Stuart Licht, Brian Kennedy and Lisa Zeidner Marcus: The Breen Case is a nationwide class action suit brought by 900 plaintiffs alleging that the RIF of flight service specialists was a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by the FAA. Defending the case entailed scores of procedural motions, briefs of over 100 pages, and mediation that lasted three months. Throughout, the team distinguished itself by high quality work and cohesive effort.
Clarisse Abramidis, Eric Donovan, James Stanko and Joshua Wood: The E-Discovery Task Force Team provided invaluable advice, expertise and practical management approaches in the rapidly emerging litigation practice area of electronic discovery. The Deputy Attorney General’s report reflects key technology procurement approaches advanced by the team.
Ross Goldstein, Regina Hosey, Jeffrey Steger, Patricia Davis, Patricia Hanower, Marilyn May, J. Alvin Stout III, Joseph Trautwein and Cathy Votaw: The Eli Lilly Prosecution Team is recognized for handling the largest pharmaceutical fraud case in the history of the Department of Justice. The team negotiated a plea agreement that charged Eli Lilly and Company for its off-label marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. The charge was part of a global $1.415 billion settlement with the pharmaceutical company that included a criminal fine of $515 million, the largest criminal fine imposed against an individual defendant in the history of the United States.
Daniel Baeza, Jeffrey Ehrlich, Taheerah El-Amin, Michele Greif, Conor Kells, Paul Levine, James McConnon Jr., Kara Miller, Rupert Mitsch, Peter Myer, Robin Smith, Richard Stone Sr., James Touhey Jr. and John Woodcock: The Hurricane Katrina Litigation Team has managed hundreds of lawsuits that were filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and more than 500,000 administrative tort claims seeking many hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. During the discovery phase of the litigation, members of the team handled the production of more than 3.4 million pages of records, and 17.7 terabytes (equivalent to more than a billion pages of documents) of electronically stored information from the Corps of Engineers and numerous other Federal agencies. In addition, team members took or defended the depositions of more than a hundred witnesses, including scores of experts. Trial in a test case, Robinson v. United States, lasted for several weeks and involved 36 witnesses, including 17 experts. More than 3,000 trial exhibits were introduced into evidence.
Tracy Hilmer and Domenique Kirchner: The Morse Diesel International Team is recognized for their unflagging pursuit of substantial fraud and contract remedies in Morse Diesel International, Inc. v. United States which involved 15 consolidated cases, was litigated for ten years, settled this year, and was subsequently dismissed after the government received payment as provided under the settlement. Over the course of the litigation, the team has been incredibly persistent. The court forfeited Morse Diesel International’s entire claim of more than $50 million and awarded over $7 million in treble damages and penalties to the United States.
Rebecca Ford, Sara McLean, Laurie Weinstein, Virginia Grebasch, Paul Malatino and Edward McCawley: The Network Appliance Team conducted an extensive review of Network Appliance, Inc’s cost and pricing data to establish that the organization knew that it had overcharged the government. This past May, Network Appliance, Inc. paid the government $128.7 million to settle a qui tam action. The effective development of evidence during the government’s investigation and a skillful negotiation strategy yielded the largest GSA procurement fraud recovery ever.
Sanjay Bhambhani, Patricia Davis, Patricia Hanower, Colin Huntley, Jamie Yavelberg, Jill Furman, Robin Gwinn, Cheryl Morgan, Sara Bloom, Jennifer Boal, Zachary Cunha, Susan Poswistilo, Susan Winkler, Charlene Keller Fullmer and Marilyn May: The Pfizer Prosecution Team spent four years investigating the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world for its off-label marketing of the pain medication Bextra. Reviewing millions of pages of documents and dealing with hundreds of witnesses, the team developed a compelling prosecution of the firm. In January, 2009, the government reached a global agreement in principle with Pfizer to settle the Bextra criminal and civil investigations, as well as an investigation into three other drugs which Pfizer promoted off-label. The resolution calls for Pfizer to pay a total of $2.3 billion.
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Attorney General Eric Holder bestowed honors on almost 300 people today during the 57th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. Here’s the rundown from the Justice Department on the awards:
-Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service
Award description: The Justice Department’s highest award.
Recipients: From the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Jeffrey S. Blumberg, special litigation counsel; Joshua D. Mahan, trial attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Douglas McKinley Miller, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and from the FBI Los Angeles division, special agent Philip J. Carson.
Honorees’ background: The team’s investigation and prosecution ended a three-year crime spree, headed by former Los Angeles Police Department officer Ruben Palomares. The six-year investigation and prosecution that broke this conspiracy resulted in 15 individuals pleading guilty and the conviction at trial of two others. Through their tireless dedication, teamwork, creativity and legal skill, they helped restore a sense of justice to victims and communities who had been preyed upon by the very people who had sworn to serve and protect them.
-Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism
Award description: Recognizes an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties.
Recipient: Anthony J. Layfield, senior officer specialist of the Bureau of Prisons U.S. penitentiary in Atlanta.
Honoree’s background: On June 2, 2008, a fellow officer was violently attacked by a highly aggressive inmate. As a result of Layfield’s quick, decisive actions, and his continued attentiveness and dedication to duty, the life of a staff member was saved. This heroic act spared a family the loss of a husband and a father.
-Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity
Award description: Pays tribute to the memory and achievements of former Attorney General Edward H. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor and dean, and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the department.
Recipient: Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General
Honoree’s background: Kneedler played an indispensable role in complex and time-consuming intra-governmental deliberations on diverse matters of great sensitivity and importance, including the handling of congressional subpoenas of former presidential advisors and presidential records, the proper treatment of Guantanamo detainees, the release of Office of Legal Counsel opinions, and the appropriate role and uses of presidential signing statements.
-Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award
Award Description: Recognizes employees who have served at least 20 years in the department and have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers.
Recipient: William J. Edwards, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Honoree’s background: Edwards is recognized for his outstanding legal expertise, managerial and supervisory skills, and his active leadership role as the interim U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. For more than 40 years, Edwards has fostered strong relationships throughout his federal career with the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and other heads of federal, local and state agencies in support of the law enforcement efforts of this District. Edwards is an exceptional individual and role model who epitomizes professionalism and dedication as an outstanding federal employee.
-William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement
Award Description: Granted to recognize state and local law enforcement officials who have made significant contributions to cooperative law enforcement endeavors.
Recipients: Detective Deborah K. Scates of the Hartford, Conn., Police Department and sergeant Christopher McKee of the Windsor, Conn., Police Department.
Honorees’ background: They investigated and prosecuted United States v. Paris, et al., a high-profile sex trafficking case that resulted in the conviction of 10 individuals and the rescue of multiple women and juvenile girls that the individuals exploited.
-Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service
Award description: The top public service award granted by the department, and is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the Department of Justice in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives.
Recipients: From the federal correctional institution in Miami, Fla., Selma DeJesus, chief psychologist; Sherri Skibinski, drug abuse program coordinator; Nestor Chavez, supervisor of education; Lori Bearden, case manager; Giovanni Gras, teacher; Mark Jones, correctional counselor; and Paola Londono, unit secretary.
Honorees’ background: They developed the Inmate Change and Alternative Network. ICAN is part of a re-entry program that focuses on networking with Federal, State, and local agencies to create a partnership and/or referral network that provides services to equip inmates for release.
-Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service
Award Description: The Justice Department’s second highest award for employee performance.
Recipients: National criminal enforcement section of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division including Mark R. Rosman, assistant chief; and trial attorneys Brent C. Snyder, Kathryn M. Hellings, Mark C. Grundvig and Elizabeth A. Aloi.
Honorees’ background: Through the team’s leadership, dedication, and exceptional investigative and litigation efforts, multiple worldwide conspiracies to fix and raise prices, rates and fees for airline passenger travel and for airline cargo shipments of goods were broken up, and competition was restored to a globally vital industry.
Other recipients: For wildlife and marine resources section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Seth M. Barsky, assistant section chief; Kristen L. Gustafson and S. Jay Govindan, senior trial attorneys; Kevin W. McArdle and Michael R. Eitel, trial attorneys; from the natural resources section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Charles W. Findlay III, assistant section chief; Charles R. Shockey, Luther L. Hajek and Guillermo A. Montero, trial attorneys; from the appellate section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Andrew C. Mergen, assistant section chief; Allen M. Brabender, Michael T. Gray and Charles R. Scott, trial attorneys; from the Office of the Solicitor General, Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General and Anthony A. Yang, assistant to the Solicitor General.
Honorees’ background: They defended the Navy’s ability to conduct mission critical training using active SONAR prior to deployment to hot spots around the world, while at the same time working with the Navy to ensure compliance with the nation’s environmental laws.
Other recipients: Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Lynch from the Western District of Washington.
Honoree’s background: For 14 years, he successfully defended the United States as a civil Assistant U.S. Attorney handling numerous, complex medical malpractice actions for the Western District of Washington. From 2005-2006, he served at the Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Baghdad, where he assisted Iraqi attorneys prosecuting crimes by the regime of Saddam Hussein. In January 2008, Mr. Lynch once again agreed to leave family and home to serve a one-year term as the Rule of Law Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which made him the most senior Department of Justice official in Iraq.
Other recipients: Larry W. Krisl, special agent, Denver field division, and Christopher J. Trainor, special agent, Baltimore field division, both from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Honorees’ background: They were assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from October 2007 to September 2008. They were involved in day-to-day embassy law enforcement operations and the initiation and oversight of several high-profile investigations. Despite great personal risk they performed their duties to ensure the safety and security of others.
Other recipients: Senior officers Andrew Cruickshank and Jose Gonzalez from the federal correctional complex, Lompoc, Calif.
Honorees’ background: Cruickshank and Gonzalez performed CPR on an inmate for more than 15 minutes while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Their efforts saved an individual’s life and inspired other staff to become certified in CPR.
Other recipients: From the Civil Rights Division include Eric L. Gibson, trial attorney; Daniel K. Rosenholtz, former paralegal specialist; individuals from the FBI include, Arch G. Gothard IV, special agent in the Kansas City Division; Heith R. Janke, special agent in the San Antonio Division; members from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Missouri include, Assistant U.S. Attorneys D. Michael Green and David M. Ketchmark; and financial analyst Elsie Robinson.
Honorees background: In United States v. Eye and Sandstrom, the team obtained convictions against two violent, racially motivated offenders. Due to this team’s hard work and excellent litigation skills, two killers were brought to justice and an entire community’s civil rights were vindicated.
Other recipients: From the Criminal Division include assistant deputy chief and assistant to the chief for the child exploitation and obscenity section Steven J. Grocki and James M. Fottrell; from the FBI’s innocent images unit investigative operations analyst Linda S. Ellerby; investigative support specialists Julie Ann Harper and Maria E. Jackson; industrial security specialist Crystal J. Tennessee; information technology specialist Robert J. Williams and supervisory special agent Mark E. Zimmerman; from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, postal inspectors Clayton E. Gerber and J. Todd Bame; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement senior special agent Theodore Siggins.
Honorees’ background: The team is responsible for “Operation Joint Hammer,” a transnational enforcement operation, which led to the identification and prosecution of scores of dangerous child sex offenders throughout the world.
Other recipients: From the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix field division, group supervisor Mark J. Benek and special agents Stephanie J. Barta, Joshua F. Cluff, Karl W. Hedrick, Daniel Mehdi, Brandon Moore, Daniel E. Moritz and Robert L. Wardle; and from the Phoenix Police Department task force officer Danny Valadez.
Honorees’ background: The Phoenix Strike Force Group 1 receives this award for their outstanding Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations aimed at dismantling a significant drug trafficking and money laundering organization. Because of the team’s talent, dedication, and hard work, the Verdugo-Calderon Organization suffered significant damage, including the loss of its primary leadership and significant disruption to its drug trafficking activities that reached from Mexico and throughout the United States.
Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Cheryl O’Connor Murphy, Curtis A. Kin, Anthony J. Lewis, and Sarah J. Heidel, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and paralegal specialist Rochelle Wong; from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s criminal section, special litigation counsel Andrew J. Kline, Trial Attorney Cyra O’Daniel, and paralegal specialist Connie Lee; from the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, special agents Tricia Whitehill and Valerie Venegas; from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, special agent Miguel Palomino; and from the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, special agent Jesus Quezada Jr.
Honorees’ background: The team successfully investigated and prosecuted the Vasquez-Valenzuela family, which committed acts of forced prostitution by young women and minors they smuggled into the country from Guatemala.
Other recipients: From the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, Peter B. Axelrod, Patricia J. Kenney, Stephanie Hinds and Hartley M.K. West, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Jonathan R. Howden and Martha A. Boersch, former Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Christine Y. Tian, paralegal specialist; from the Criminal Division’s organized crime and racketeering section, Hallie A. Mitchell, former trial attorney; Amelia Lucero-Cordes, paralegal specialist; from the FBI Moscow office, Bryan Earl, legal attaché; from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, San Francisco district office, supervisory special agent Bennett Hong; and Charles A. Tonna, Internal Revenue agent.
Honorees’ background: The team prosecuted United States v. Pavel Lazarenk, which was the first prosecution of a foreign political leader for laundering the proceeds of foreign crimes involving political corruption, fraud and extortion through financial institutions in the United States.
Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia A. Donahue, John J. Lulejian and Elizabeth R. Yang; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, special agents Gary J. Phillips, Eddy Wang and Paul Carbone; and foreign service national Vansak Sous.
Honorees’ background: They worked on the prosecution of Michael Joseph Pepe, a U.S. citizen who traveled to Cambodia to purchase young girls from their parents. As a result of the prosecution team’s commitment, dedication and exemplary efforts, a Los Angeles jury convicted Pepe of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.
Other recipients: Frank H. Anderson III, special assistant to the chief information officer in the Justice Management Division’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Honoree’s background: His oversight and direction have guided the complex and successful efforts of the Office of the Chief Information Officer while simultaneously providing services across the department components and to their executive officers.
Other recipients: From the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, counterterrorism section Sharon Lever, deputy chief; Joanna Baltes, trial attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, David E. Risley, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Jaci L. Carrell, paralegal specialist; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Marla Tusk, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the FBI Aman, Jordan office, Timothy P. Kirkham, legal attaché; from the FBI Springfield, Ill., division, John H. Stafford, assistant special agent in charge; Matthew J. Iskrzycki, supervisory special agent; Scott B. Easton, special agent; Thomas Michael Shanahan, Mary Kay Eades and Rebecca L. Miller, intelligence analysts; from the FBI counterterrorism division, Jacqueline Maguire, supervisory special agent, and Hillary Brie Sommer, intelligence analyst.; and from the FBI critical incident response group Nicholas Zambeck, special agent.
Honorees’ background: This team received the award for their relentless and innovative efforts in the investigation and prosecution of Ali Saleh Kaleh Al-Marri. The trial team unraveled an international conspiracy and successfully completed one of the most high-profile terrorism cases in the department’s history.
Other recipients: From the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General oversight and review division, Carol F. Ochoa, assistant inspector general for oversight and review; Nina S. Pelletier and Mark S. Masling, investigative counsels; Joseph Symcak, senior special agent; Judy A. Sutrich, senior program analyst; Jason R. Higley, special agent; Dominic N. Russoli, paralegal specialist; from DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General evaluations and inspections division, Gina J. Wong, senior program analyst; Cheron D. Cooper and Katherine A. Zownir, program analysts; Cynthia A. Schnedar, counselor to the Inspector General, William M. Blier, senior counsel to the Inspector General; from the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility, William J. Birney, James D. Duncan and Tamara Jaycox Kessler, associate counsels; Raymond C. Hurley, senior assistant counsel; Margaret S. McCarty, assistant counsel; from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, asset forfeiture and money laundering section, deputy chief of policy, James A. Meade.
Honorees’ background: They produced four reports of investigation relating to allegations of politicized hiring within the Department of Justice, which resulted in the removal of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006.
Other recipients: Glenn E. Belgard, deputy U.S. Marshal of the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force.
Honoree’s background: Belgard receives the award for his outstanding leadership and investigative skill in coordinating a U.S. Marshals Service led fugitive task force in central Louisiana. Belgard has been recognized by community leaders, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for arrests of some of the nation’s most dangerous felons.
Other recipients: Phyllis J. Pyles, director of the Civil Division torts branch
Honoree’s background: Pyles receives the award for her tenacious and intelligent defense of the United States for more than three decades in tort litigation. She has had a critical role in the development of laws protecting the United States from lawsuits.
Other recipients: John D. Griffith, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, fraud section, Mark F. Mendelsohn, deputy chief; Lori A. Weinstein, trial attorney; Pamela Johnson, paralegal specialist; from the FBI Washington field office, Brian J. Smith and Paula L. Ebersole, special agents; and Troy Burrus and Howard Smith, from U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS.
Honorees’ background: They received the award for their outstanding performance in the investigation and prosecution of Siemens AG, a German engineering company. The department’s investigation uncovered evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars of corrupt payments in dozens of countries spanning several decades, and in virtually every Siemens operating group and region.
-Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement
Award description: Recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice.
Recipients: From the Southeast regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Keith Booker; from the Pacific Southwest regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Thomas Hession; from the New York/New Jersey regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Lenny DePaul; from the Gulf Coast regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Michael Richards; from the capital area regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Rob Fernandez; and from the Great Lakes regional fugitive task force, chief inspector Geoff Shank.
Honorees’ background: The team is honored for their outstanding efforts and exceptional service in the reduction of violent crime and gang activity, and the apprehension of more than 33,000 fugitive felons, more than 1,200 of whom were wanted for murder, during the past fiscal year.
Other recipient: John “Mickey” Welch, special agent, ATF Nashville field division.
Honoree’s background: Welch prosecuted the violent street gang MS-13 in Nashville, Tenn.
Other recipients: Special agents Richard Bachour, Christopher Goumenis and Sharon Lindskoog, from the DEA Miami field division; group supervisor Brian McKnight; from the DEA Bogota Country office group supervisor John Gazzara; and special agent Adam Allen.
Honorees’ background: They participated in Operation Titan, a multi-jurisdictional consolidated and regional priority organization Target DEA investigation of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Coordinated efforts under the auspices of the Operation Titan team have resulted in the arrest of more than 107 domestic and international targets, seizure of more than $40 million, more than $2 million in other related assets (to include three aircraft), 26 international bank accounts, more than 3,700 kilograms of cocaine and 10 kilograms of heroin.
Other recipients: From the FBI Salt Lake division, special agents Michael J. Gnecknow and Gail L. Gnecknow; supervisory special agent Donald E. Robinson, Jr.; investigative operations analyst Dorothy A. Broyles; evidence technician Esther Tamez; financial analyst Michele E. Lewis; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wendy Olson and Traci Whelan; paralegal specialist Denise Price; automated litigation support specialist Pamela J. Rocca; and victims witness specialist Kristi Johnson.
Honorees’ background: This team receives the award for their exemplary efforts during a three-year long investigation of a brutal triple homicide and the abduction of two children in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in May 2005. As a result of their efforts, a violent serial sexual predator was arrested, and one of the abducted children was recovered.
-Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management
Award description: Recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements that have significantly improved operations and productivity, or reduced costs.
Recipient: Paul J. Copenhaver, warden at the federal correctional institution in Dublin, Calif.
Honoree’s background: He is directly responsible for the planning and oversight of security enhancements and procedures at the FCI in Dublin. Through constant oversight, he engineered a 32 percent reduction in overtime expenditures.
Other recipients: From the FBI’s operational technology division, Jesse H. Taylor, senior cryptologic mathematician; Vivian K. Clifton, electronics engineer; Paul S. Driscoll, supervisory information technology specialist; An Q. Nguyen and Chad Richard Loewenstine, mathematicians.
Honorees’ background: The grid computing initiative implementation team received the award for their creative insight and dedication in the implementation of a virtual supercomputer across the FBI trilogy network.
Other recipients: Maggie K. Hansen, supervisory librarian, Robert F. Kennedy Building main library, in the department’s Justice Management Division.
Honorees’ background: Hansen is recognized for assisting litigation efforts by all department components through her legislative history research, Hansen foresaw the importance of developing a historical archive of departmental documents, speeches, and memorabilia by and about the department. This collection has been instrumental in providing necessary primary sources to Department of Justice components.
-Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology
Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievements in applying information technology to improve operations and productivity reduce or avoid costs and solve problems.
Recipient: James Mark Fleshman, chief information officer for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
Honoree’s background: For the past decade, he has served as a highly effective change agent and as a member of the management team, has planned and implemented creative approaches resulting in improved U.S. Attorneys Offices’ operational effectiveness and efficiency at reduced costs.
Other recipients: From the FBI’s criminal investigation division crimes against children unit, Jamie L. Konstas, intelligence analyst; from the FBI’s Washington field office, Heather L. Gordon, intelligence analyst; and from the FBI information technology operations division, office of the chief technology officer, Christopher N. Carrino, computer scientist.
Honorees’ background: The team developed and deployed the Innocence Lost Database to assist local, state and federal law enforcement officers working child prostitution matters.
-Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security
Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions towards protecting U.S. national security.
Recipients: From the FBI, New York City division, Zachary J. Miller, assistant special agent in charge; John F. Karst Jr. and Elisabete Santos, supervisory special agents; Lionel A. DeSilva, James E. Dennehy, Stephen Fullington, William G. Smith, John J. Hartnett, Robert Kravec, Sara Poole, Michael R. Bickings, Robert B. Booth, Carol A. Motyka, Peter G. Diaz and Daniel S. Kim, special agents.
Honorees’ background: This group is recognized for their exemplary, tireless performance in connection with a multi-faceted, long-term investigation, which utilized numerous resources and sophisticated techniques. These agents displayed exceptional leadership, managerial and investigative skills throughout this complex investigation. The extraordinary efforts resulted in the production of vital intelligence that enabled policy makers to further shape U.S. foreign policy and protect U.S. national security interests.
-Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity
Award description: The department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity program.
Recipient: Suzanne L. Bell, deputy director for legal recruitment and outreach, office of attorney recruitment and management.
Honoree’s background: Bell is honored for her superior management of the department’s legal hiring programs. In addition to her exemplary accomplishments in recruitment and outreach, she has been instrumental in creating and implementing several new training initiatives, and offering critical support for new attorneys and current supervisors.
-Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support
Award Description: Recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of legal support to attorneys by paralegal specialists and other legal assistants.
Recipients: From the Environment and Natural Resources Division, environmental crimes section, supervisory paralegal specialist William N. Taylor; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, paralegal specialist Marti P. Goldring. Also, from the Environment and Natural Resources Division, natural resources section, Diana “Deedee” Sparks; and from the Executive Office of U.S. Trustees – Dallas, Texas, legal clerk Christi C. Flanagan.
-Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support
Award Description: Recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary.
Recipients: Misti L. Kloubec, administrative officer budget analyst, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa; and Peggy C. Taylor, administrative officer, Region 7, U.S. Trustees Program and Rosa F. Rach, administrative assistant, Drug Enforcement Administration operations division.
-Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration
Award Description: Recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Recipient: William Edward Bordley, U.S. Marshals Service associate general counsel
Honoree’s background: By implementing new initiatives such as the FOIA/Privacy Act Web site and electronic reading room, Bordley greatly enhanced accessibility of information to U.S Marshals Service employees and the public.
-Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention
Award Description: Recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud, white-collar crimes and official corruption.
Recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Catherine L. Votaw, Joseph A. Trautwein, Denise S. Wolf, Marilyn May, Alvin Stout, Nancy Rue, and Margaret Hutchinson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Denis Cooke and Alison Barnes, auditors; from the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, consumer litigation branch, Jeffrey Steger and Ross Goldstein, trial attorneys; Regina Hosey, paralegal; from the Civil Division, frauds section, Patricia R. Davis, assistant director; Patricia Hanower, trial attorney.
Honorees’ background: The team responsible prosecuted the largest pharmaceutical fraud case in the history of the Department of Justice.
Other recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, George S. Cardona, Acting U.S. Attorney: Richard E. Robinson, and Douglas A. Axel and George S. Cardona, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, James Harbin, Catherine Budig and Loretta Cummings, postal inspectors; Daniel Ryan and Humberto DaFonte, consumer fraud analysts; and from the U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS, criminal investigation division, special agent Gary Tang.
Honorees’ background: The team is recognized for their demonstrated excellence and perseverance in the successful investigation and prosecutions of Milberg Weiss and its senior partners.
-Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Public Safety
Award description: Recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community.
Recipients: From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, John A. Wortmann Jr. and Glenn A. MacKinlay, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Martha Wyatt, program specialist; from ATF, Thomas F. Crowley, special agent; from Harvard University, senior research associate Kennedy School of Government, Anthony Braga; from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Daniel Mulhern, assistant district attorney; executive director, Boston Ten Point Coalition, Reverend Jeffrey L. Brown; from the Boston Police Department, sergeant detective John Ford and deputy superintendent Gary French; executive director, Stop Handgun Violence, Laura Hyer; director, Boston Re-entry Initiative, True-See Allah; and re-entry manager, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Christian J. Mitchell.
Honorees’ background: This diverse group’s efforts serve as a model for community partnering. Faced with an alarming increase in gang-related violent crime that threatened the viability of several Boston neighborhoods, the team launched a collaborative two-year effort aimed at improving the quality of life for area residents.
-Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Wage Grade System Employee
Recipient: Scott Taylor, HVAC Foreman, U.S. penitentiary, Lee, Va.
Honoree’s background: Taylor completes his assignments with a high level of energy and displays the “team player” attitude necessary in a correctional environment. Taylor is a highly motivated and dedicated individual to the mechanical services discipline and the Bureau of Prisons.
-Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee
Award description: Recognizes exceptional performance and notable accomplishments towards the department’s mission by an employee with fewer than five years of federal career service.
Recipients: Kenneth Moore, senior correctional officer, federal correctional complex, Coleman, Fla.; Aaron J. Mango, Assistant U.S. Attorney, white collar and general crimes division, Western District of New York; Catherine Anne Chess Chen, general attorney, Office of the FBI General Counsel; Trisha B. Anderson, attorney adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel; Zana M. Scarlett, trial attorney, Miami office, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees.
-John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation
Award Description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipients: From the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, narcotic and dangerous drug section, deputy section chief Julius Rothstein and trial attorney Matthew R. Stiglitz; and deputy chief for policy and appeals, Teresa Wallbaum.
Honorees’ background: The team is recognized for exceptional service to the department and nation for their relentless efforts in the investigation and conviction of Taliban cell leader Khan Mohammed.
Other recipients: From the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, civil trial section, Southern region assistant chief Angelo A. Frattarelli; from the Northern region, trial attorneys Robert Kovacev, Matthew Von Schuch and Karen Smith.
Honorees’ background: The team litigated AWG Leasing Trust v. United States, the first case to go to trial involving the abusive sale in/lease out tax shelter.
Award: John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipients: From the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, litigation I section, trial attorney Steven B. Kramer; from the networks and technology enforcement section, trial attorney Travis R. Chapman; from the Antitrust Division, litigation III section, assistant section chief David C. Kully; and trial attorneys, Craig W. Conrath, Timothy T. Finley, Lisa A. Scanlon, William H. Jones II, Owen M. Kendler and Mary Beth McGee.
Honorees’ background: The National Association of Realtors trial team earned an important victory for competition and consumers when NAR reversed its position and agreed to a comprehensive settlement shortly before trial.
Other recipients: From the Department of Justice Tax Division, office of the Assistant Attorney General Kevin M. Downing, senior level trial attorney; Michael P. Ben’Ary, trial attorney, Northern criminal enforcement section; Frank P. Cihlar, trial attorney, criminal appeals and tax enforcement policy section; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Jeffrey A. Neiman, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Honorees’ background: This team is recognized for their outstanding work in negotiating the deferred prosecution agreement with UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland and one of the largest worldwide.
-John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipients: From the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division natural resources section, assistant section chief Edward J. Passarelli; trial attorneys, Kristine S. Tardiff and Devon L. McCune; from the appellate section, assistant section chief William B. Lazarus and trial attorney Elizabeth Ann Peterson.
Honorees’ background: The Navajo Trust Litigation Team members received the award for their extraordinary efforts in multiple trial, appellate and Supreme Court proceedings over nearly a decade to defend the United States from a nearly $600 million damages claim.
-John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipient: Elizabeth D. Collery, trial attorney in the appellate section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Honoree’s background: With intelligence and integrity, Collery has presented prosecutions time and time again. She has compiled a list of victories in some of the department’s most difficult criminal cases.
-John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipient: Paul Michael Brown, senior counsel for instructional activities, from the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, tort branch, constitutional and specialized tort litigation.
Honoree’s background: During 21 years with the department, he has worked tirelessly to share his expertise with Assistant U.S. Attorneys and agency counsel nationwide in a variety of creative and cost effective ways.
-Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipients: From the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the law and policy section, assistant section chief Karen M. Wardzinski and attorney advisor, Thomas W. Swegle; and from the environmental crimes section, senior trial attorney Elinor Colbourn and assistant section chief John T. Webb.
Honorees’ background: This team led the administration’s efforts, in close coordination with several client agencies, to obtain amendments to the Lacey Act, a 100-year-old statute that has served as the principal anti-trafficking authority in the United States to protect a broad range of fish and wildlife.
-John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipient: Lucille C. Roberts, deputy general counsel from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Honoree’s background: Roberts receives the award for her distinguished service as the primary point of contact for the U.S. Marshals Service on matters related to asset seizure and forfeiture.
-John Marshall Award for Dispute Resolution
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipient: David W. Gehlert, trial attorney from the natural resources section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Honoree’s background: He received the award for his outstanding achievements in using alternative dispute resolution to settle a long¬standing and high profile dispute over water rights for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.
-John Marshall Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation Award
Award description: John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys.
Recipients: From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs professional staff group II: Richard J. Hipolit, assistant general counsel; David J. Barrans, David R. McLenachen and Michael J. Timinski, deputy assistant general counsels; Ethan G. Kalett, supervisory general attorney; and Martie S. Adelman, Y. Keun Lee, Jamie L. Mueller and Martin J. Sendek, general attorneys.
Honorees’ background: This team is honored for their thorough understanding of veterans’ compensation and pension law. Their efforts have enabled the department to take consistent and sound positions regarding veterans’ compensation and pension law before the federal courts.
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The Justice Department’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony, drew about a dozen U.S. attorneys, virtually all the top brass at Main Justice, and hundreds of Justice Department employees and their families.
An enormous American flag waved from the rafters at DAR Constitution Hall on Wednesday, as Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and Mari Barr Santiaglo, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Management Division, read the names of the honorees.
Nearly 300 lawyers, paralegals, agents, and various other law enforcement officials and staff swept across the stage to receive their awards and pose for a picture with Attorney General Eric Holder, whose grin held up well during the two-hour event.
“I’ve been looking forward to this ceremony for quite some time,” Holder said in his opening remarks. “Ever since the initial recommendations for award recipients came across my desk, I’ve been excited to meet the men and women whose accomplishments are so richly deserving of this recognition.”
The Justice Department’s top prize, the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, went to a group of DOJ employees whose six-year investigation and prosecution of former Los Angeles Police Department officer Ruben Palomares ended a three-year crime spree. Their work resulted in 15 people pleading guilty and the conviction at trial of two others.
The exceptional service award winners are:
- Jeffrey S. Blumberg and Joshua D. Mahan, Civil Rights Division prosecutors.
- Douglas McKinley Miller, Central District of California Assistant U.S. Attorney.
- Philip J. Carson, FBI Los Angeles division special agent.
One lawyer left with awards in both hands and was called out by Holder for the feat.
Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler won the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity for his input on intra-governmental deliberations related to congressional subpoenas of ex-presidential advisers, the release of Office of Legal Counsel opinions and presidential signing statements. He was also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his efforts to defend the Navy’s SONAR training while honoring environmental laws.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service went to several Office of Inspector General employees who investigated the allegations of politicized hiring within the Justice Department, which ended in the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge.
The honorees are: Carol F. Ochoa, Nina S. Pelletier, Mark S. Masling, Joseph Symcak, Judy A. Sutrich, Jason R. Higley, Dominic N. Russoli, Gina J. Wong, Cheron D. Cooper, Katherine A. Zownir, Cynthia A. Schnedar, William M. Blier, William J. Birney, James D. Duncan, Tamara Jaycox Kessler, Raymond C. Hurley, Margaret S. McCarty and James A. Meade.
A team of DOJ employees also received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their investigation and prosecution of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, an alleged al-Qaeda sleeper agent who was held as an “enemy combatant” on a Navy brig in South Carolina after 9/11.
The honorees are:
- Sharon Lever and Joanna Baltes, National Security Division counterterrorism section prosecutors.
- David E. Risley and Jaci L. Carrell, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois employees.
- Marla Tusk, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia prosecutor.
- Timothy P. Kirkham, FBI Aman, Jordan office legal attaché.
- John H. Stafford, Matthew J. Iskrzycki, Scott B. Easton, Thomas Michael Shanahan, Mary Kay Eades and Rebecca L. Miller, FBI Springfield, Ill., division agents.
- Jacqueline Maguire and Hillary Brie Sommer, FBI counterterrorism division agents.
- Nicholas Zambeck, FBI critical incident response group agent.
We particularly enjoyed the presentation of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security. In furthering the interests of national security, we were not privy to the work for which a group of FBI agents was honored, but we know it involved ”a multi-faceted, long-term investigation, which utilized numerous resources and sophisticated techniques,” according to the Justice Department.
The FBI winners are:
- Zachary J. Miller, assistant special agent in charge, New York.
- John F. Karst Jr. and Elisabete Santos, supervisory special agents.
- Lionel A. DeSilva, James E. Dennehy, Stephen Fullington, William G. Smith, John J. Hartnett, Robert Kravec, Sara Poole, Michael R. Bickings, Robert B. Booth, Carol A. Motyka, Peter G. Diaz and Daniel S. Kim, special agents.
There were more than 25 different types of awards handed out during the ceremony. The list of honors will grow a little longer next year when the Attorney General presents the Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility for the first time. Flynn, the first director of the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office, died of colon cancer in 2006.
The office provides advice on professional responsibility and choice-of-law issues, as opposed to the Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates complaints against department lawyers.
Read about all of the award winners here.
Joe Palazzolo contributed to this report.
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The Attorney General can add another honor to his growing list.
Fresh off of his nomination as finalist for Mustached American of the Year, GQ magazine has named Eric Holder the 13th most powerful man in DC.
Sadly, Holder is only the third most powerful mustachioed politico, behind Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who shares the 11th spot with bearded Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), and President Obama’s adviser David Axelrod at the 6th spot on the list.
GQ credited Holder for his independence from the president, noting:
Holder has pushed back against the wishes of his own team, fighting CIA director Leon Panetta’s attempts to quash the release of the interrogation records and going forward with an investigation, against Obama’s wishes, into the alleged torture that took place during the Bush years. While critics on the left say he’s not going far enough, it’s nice to have a DOJ paying attention to the rule of law again.
The men’s magazine compiled the list to commemorate just how different things in Washington appear to be nine months into the Obama administration. “A whole new power structure has emerged,” the magazine says.
Holder comes in behind super-lobbyists Karen Ignagni (America’s Health Insurance Plans) and Billy Tauzin, (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), who jointly occupy the 12th spot, and ahead of House Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), at the 14th spot.
Holder was not the only Justice Department luminary on the list. FBI Director Robert Mueller took the 19th spot, for his efforts to “build a more nimble intelligence division.”
Robert Barnett, attorney at Williams and Connolly LLP, took the 44th spot. Barnett has represented a veritable who’s-who of DC luminaries as they leave office to write their book, earning seven-figure advances for Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Who’s at the top of the heap? The cleanshaven Rahm Emanuel, of course.
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