Posts Tagged ‘Delaware’
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office is looking into allegations that Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell has used funds from her failed Senate campaigns to pay personal expenses, the Associated Press reported.

The AP reported that the office confirmed it is reviewing a complaint about O’Donnell’s campaign spending made this year by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. However, officials in the office headed by U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly have declined to say whether a criminal investigation is taking place.

CREW has claimed she improperly used more than $20,000 in campaign funds to pay her rent and other personal expenses, the AP reported.

O’Donnell has denied the misuse of campaign funds and has said her campaign staff and lawyer have not been informed of a federal investigation.

She said the accusations are politically motivated and driven by Vice President Joe Biden, who was a senator from Delaware for more than 30 years. Biden in 2008 ran simultaneously for re-election to the Senate and for vice president; he faced O’Donnell in the Senate race and defeated her with 65 percent of the vote. He later resigned the seat to become vice president.

Friday, December 10th, 2010
Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

The Senate on Friday confirmed three U.S. Attorney nominees by unanimous consent.

They are:

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): Of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Oberly was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

- Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

- William Conner Eldridge Jr. (Western District of Arkansas): The special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark., and former chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas was nominated on Sept. 29 to succeed Robert Balfe, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in January 2009. Read more about Eldridge here.

The Senate has now confirmed 75 U.S. Attorneys. The chamber has yet to consider another four would-be U.S. Attorneys, who are still waiting for consideration by the full Senate. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts located throughout the nation.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved three U.S. Attorney nominees by voice vote at its meeting Thursday.

They are:

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): The of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

- Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

- William Conner Eldridge Jr. (Western District of Arkansas): The special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark., and former chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas was nominated on Sept. 29 to succeed Robert Balfe, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in January 2009. Read more about Eldridge here.

The committee has now endorsed 75 of Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, 72 of whom have won Senate confirmation. The panel has yet to consider another two would-be U.S. Attorneys. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a pair of U.S. Attorney nominees at its meeting Thursday.

They are:

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): The of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

- Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

The panel will also consider Western District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney nominee William Conner Eldridge Jr. at its meeting.

The committee has yet to schedule votes for another two would-be U.S. Attorneys. The committee has approved 72 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, all of whom have won Senate confirmation.

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles Oberly (The Pennsylvania State University, University of Virginia School of Law) was nominated on Sept. 16 to be the U.S. Attorney for Delaware. He would succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007.

His vitals:

  • Born in Wilmington, Del., in 1946.
  • Has been of counsel at Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP in Wilmington since 2009.
  • Served as an instructor, teaching courses on  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Evidence, in the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at the University of Delaware from 1980 until June 2010.
  • Was an income partner at WolfBlock LLP (now dissolved) in Wilmington from 2008 to 2009.
  • Served as partner at Oberly, Jennings & Rhodunda PA (firm later merged with WolfBlock LLP) in Wilmington from 1995 to 2008.
  • Served as attorney general of Delaware from 1983 to 1995.
  • Lost an election for the U.S. Senate in 1994 against U.S. Sen. William Roth (R).
  • Served as Delaware deputy attorney general from 1979 to 1983 and from 1975 to 1976.
  • Served as a state prosecutor for the Delaware Department of Justice from 1976 to 1979.
  • Was an associate at Morris James Hitchens & Williams LLP (now Morris James LLP) in Wilmington from 1972 to 1975.
  • Clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James L. Latchum in Wilmington from 1971 to 1972.
  • Attended Wesley Junior College from 1964 to 1966.
  • Has tried about 75 cases to verdict, serving as chief counsel in about 10 to 15 cases and as associate counsel in less than 10.
  • Served as a court-appointed arbitrator in about five cases.

Click here for his Senate Judiciary questionnaire.

On his Office of Government Ethics financial disclosure, Oberly reported making $216,087.36 as of counsel at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and $285,541 as a partner at WolfBlock LLP in 2009. He also made $14,750 as an instructor at the University of Delaware from 2009 to 2010.

UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure, Oberly reported assets valued at $4.2 million, mostly from real estate, and $234,500 in liabilities, mostly from mortgages, for a net worth of $4 million.

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Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Charles Oberly (Drinker Biddle)

President Barack Obama on Thursday tapped a Wilmington, Del., lawyer to be the state’s next U.S. Attorney.

Charles Oberly, of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, would succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Obama has now nominated 76 U.S. Attorneys, 66 of whom have won Senate confirmation and one of whom has said he would withdraw. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts located throughout the nation.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Leonard Stark (University of Delaware)

The Senate confirmed by voice vote Thursday night a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Leonard Stark served as a prosecutor at the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office for five years before he became a U.S. magistrate judge in the state in 2007.

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Monday, March 8th, 2010

For the past three years, the U.S. District Court in Delaware has been down one judge out of four and the court will lose another judge in July, The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., reported Sunday.

The judicial vacancy was created in December 2006 when Judge Kent Jordan left to take a position on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. The impending vacancy is due to Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr.’s decision, announced earlier this year, that he will step down this summer.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) submitted three candidates to fill the judicial vacancy almost a year ago, along with three names for the U.S. Attorney slot for Delaware, but the Obama administration has not yet announced a nominee for either position, according to The News Journal.

“Justice is not being done,” Wilmington attorney Thomas S. Neuberger told the newspaper. “Justice delayed is justice denied. Despite the heroic efforts of the remaining judges, plaintiffs and defendants are left languishing. It is a disaster here.”

According to the newspaper, Chief District Judge Gregory M. Sleet reached out to federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania more than a year and a half ago seeking help for his court to deal with its case load.

Former U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly had been the Bush administration’s pick to fill Jordan’s vacancy, but his nomination stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee and died when President Obama was elected in November 2008.

“The process is broken,” Connolly said. “It is one more example of how out of touch our elected officials are in Washington.”

Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) said the wait is “too long, and with Judge Farnan’s retirement, this court will face further unnecessary burden.” Castle added that the previous nominees have been well qualified “and there is no good reason for this process to continue to experience such lengthy delay.”

President Obama “has moved swiftly to fill vacancies considered to be judicial emergencies, and the pace of nominations overall has significantly increased in the new year,” White House spokeswoman Moira Mack stated in an e-mailed response to the newspaper.

A spokeswoman for Vice President Joseph Biden, who is from Delaware, also said the Justice Department is currently vetting candidates for the judgeship.

Connolly’s former first assistant, David Weiss, continues to run the U.S. Attorney’s office as it awaits a nominee from the White House.

If there has been no action on filling the court vacancy by July, Weiss said, ”there is no doubt that would be devastating.”

“However,” he added, “I’m very hopeful that will not be the case.”

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Justice Department operations in Washington, D.C., remained limited and U.S. Attorney’s offices in a half-dozen districts in the Northeast still were unable to open Thursday, according to DOJ officials, after another major snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow throughout much of the East Coast on Wednesday.

DOJ headquarters building in Washington was open, but only for essential personnel, according to DOJ spokeswoman Gina Talamona. Many DOJ employees in Washington and at the six shuttered U.S. Attorney’s offices are working from their homes on BlackBerries, cell phones and laptops, officials said.

U.S. Attorney’s offices in 11 districts were closed yesterday.

According to DOJ spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz, the U.S. Attorney’s offices closed on Thursday are in:

  • Maryland. The offices in the district also were closed yesterday and on Monday.
  • The District of Columbia. The district’s office has been closed since Monday.
  • Delaware. The district’s office also was closed yesterday.
  • Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria office). The office has been closed since Monday.
  • New Jersey. (Camden and Trenton offices). The two offices also were closed yesterday.
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The district’s offices were closed yesterday.

The Harrisburg U.S. Attorney’s office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania opened late today, Schwartz said.

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein told Main Justice that about 10 staffers reported to work on Monday, one employee staffed the office on Wednesday and there are Assistant U.S. Attorneys working at the office today despite the closures. He said his staffers are able to do most of their work remotely. But they are having some difficulties, he said.

“The greatest challenge is for the AUSAs who have an ongoing trial or who were scheduled to start trials this week,” Rosenstein said. “They need to stay in touch with witnesses.”

The branches of the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow with unscheduled leave, the U.S. Attorney said. But the U.S. District Court in Maryland will remain closed, he said.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

A crippling blizzard pounding the East Coast has forced nearly a dozen U.S. Attorney’s offices to close and has curtailed Justice Department operations in Washington today, according to DOJ officials.

A weekend snowstorm shut down the Justice Department on Monday. (photo by Ryan J. Reilly).

Many DOJ employees who work at DOJ headquarters in Washington and at U.S. Attorney’s offices stretching from Virginia to Rhode Island are working from home on BlackBerries, cell phone and laptops, the officials said.

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, the DOJ’s main building, is open for essential personnel who are able to make it through the heavy snow and 40 mile per hour winds. There are about 25,300 people who work for DOJ agencies in the Washington area, according to CNN.

Several U.S. Attorney’s offices and DOJ headquarters have been closed or have had limited operations since Monday because of a storm that brought more than a foot of snow to most of the East Coast last weekend, according to reports here and here.

Today’s storm hit while authorities were still struggling to clean up from the last one.

The U.S. Attorney’s offices that are closed today are in:

  • Maryland. The office was also closed on Monday.
  • The District of Columbia. The office has been closed since Monday.
  • The Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria office). The office has been closed since Monday.
  • The Western District of Virginia (Charlottesville and Harrisonburg offices).
  • The Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • The Middle District of Pennsylvania.
  • The Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh and Johnstown offices).
  • The Eastern District of New York.
  • New Jersey.
  • Rhode Island.
  • Delaware.

U.S. Attorney’s offices in the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, Northern District of Oklahoma, Western District of Tennessee and Kansas were shuttered on Monday because of the weather, according to CNN. The Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s Office was also closed on Tuesday, CNN said.

DOJ spokesperson Gina Talamona told Main Justice that DOJ public safety and national security functions are “operational.” She added that the DOJ has made special arrangements for its legal division attorneys to work during the storms and keep up with court deadlines.

This report has been corrected from an earlier version.