Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’
Friday, April 29th, 2011

The city of Portland, Ore., will contribute to an anti-terrorism partnership with federal and state authorities on an “as-needed basis,” following a six year absence from the venture, The Oregonian reported Thursday.

The Portland City Council unanimously endorsed the “as-needed” participation with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, allowing the police chief to put officers on cases after consulting with the police commissioner. But Portland will not sign an official memorandum of understanding with the FBI.

The city pulled out of the task force in 2005 over worries about insufficient supervision and civil liberties protections. But the arrest of Somali-born U.S. citizen Mohamed Osman Mohamud on charges that he tried to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland restarted a debate in the city over the task force, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Oregon U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton welcomed the city council’s decision to participate in the task force.

“Everywhere I went early on in this process, cynics and skeptics said to me, ‘Council will never do anything serious. It’s just not that kind of place. It won’t get done. It will get lost in the weeds.’” Holton said, according to The Oregonian. “And you’ve proved them wrong, and I’m deeply, deeply grateful for that.”

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Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

President Barack Obama has renominated two of his U.S. Attorney picks whom the Senate returned to him last year.

The nominees are S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Senate sent their nominations back to the president in December when the body failed to vote on the nominees before it adjourned, and Obama resubmitted their names Wednesday.

Here are more details on the nominees:

- Obama first tapped Marshall for Oregon U.S. Attorney on Nov. 17. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on her nomination.

S. Amanda Marshall (facebook)

She is the top lawyer in the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Marshall would replace Interim U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. President George W. Bush’s U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut resigned in July 2009 and later became a state judge.

Read more about Marshall here.

- Obama first nominated Walker on Nov. 30, 2009, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

He is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. Walker would replace U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, whom Bush appointed in 2006.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) held up Walker’s nomination over concerns about his connections to former Gov. Mike Easley (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D).

The U.S. Attorney’s office investigated Easley for allegedly filing a false campaign financial disclosure. The office terminated its investigation last month after he reached a plea deal.

Edwards is reportedly under investigation by the office for allegedly paying his mistress with campaign money.

Burr said he planned to lift his hold on Walker upon completion of both investigations. Read more about Walker here.

The nominations of Marshall and Walker, along with that of Felicia Adams for Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney, are Obama’s first U.S. Attorney nominations for the year. The Senate has confirmed 76 of his U.S. Attorneys thus far. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts across the nation.

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Defense lawyers on Wednesday asked a judge to throw out the conviction of an Islamic charity leader because federal prosecutors in Oregon failed to disclose that the husband of a key witness was paid $14,500 for working with the FBI agents investigating the defendant and other local Muslims after the Sept. 11 attacks, an Oregon newspaper reported.

Chris Cardani (University of Oregon School of Law)

Pete Seda, founder of Al-Haramain USA, was convicted by an Oregon federal jury last September of conspiring with a Saudi associate to smuggle $130,000 out of the United States with the intent of funneling it to Muslim fighters battling Russian troops in Chechnya and falsifying tax returns.

Seda’s attorneys argued that Barbara Cabral, a witness for the prosecution, considered FBI Agent David Carroll, the lead investigator in the case, a personal friend, according to the newspaper. In addition, the two  discussed the FBI’s paying Cabral $7,500 after the trial. However, Cabral did not receive any cash from agents after the trial, according to court filings.

Cabral’s now-deceased former husband, Richard Abdullah Cabral, was paid $14,500 by the FBI from July 2004 to December 2006, according to court filings.

The new evidence, according to defense attorney Steven Wax , is “relevant to the defense efforts throughout the trial to demonstrate to the jury that the government investigation was biased.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cardani handled the case. He is the prosecutor in charge of the office’s Eugene branch.

U.S. District Court Judge  Michael Hogan has scheduled a Jan. 25 hearing on the defense’s motion for a new trial.

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed by unanimous consent only one of five U.S. Attorney nominees waiting for consideration by the body in this Congress, returning the rest to the White House.

Christopher Thyer received the Senate’s approval to be the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Arkansas. But the Senate sent back to President Barack Obama U.S. Attorney nominees S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon, M. Scott Bowen of the Western District of Michigan, John B. Stevens Jr. of the Eastern District of Texas and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Obama must re-nominate the four if he wants the Senate to consider them in the next Congress, which convenes in January.

The Senate has now confirmed 76 U.S. Attorneys.

Here are more details on Thyer and the returned nominees:

- Obama nominated Thyer on Dec. 1 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The Senate Judiciary Committee never held a vote on his nomination.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

He is a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in Jonesboro and a former Arkansas state representative. Read more about him here.

The Eastern District has not had a presidential appointee at the helm since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of President George W. Bush’s adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since Griffin’s departure.

- Obama tapped Marshall for Oregon U.S. Attorney on Nov. 17. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on her nomination.

S. Amanda Marshall (facebook)

She is the top lawyer in the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Marshall was slated to replace Interim U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. Bush U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut resigned in July 2009 and later became a state judge.

Read more about Marshall here.

Scott Bowen (Gov)

- Obama nominated Bowen on July 28 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

He is the commissioner of the Michigan State Lottery Bureau. Bowen was slated to replace Donald A. Davis, who became Interim U.S. Attorney in 2008.

A Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney hasn’t led the office since Margaret Chiara resigned on March 16, 2007, after being fired in the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge by the Bush administration.Read more about Bowen here.

- Obama tapped Stevens on Feb. 24 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. But he withdrew from consideration a few months later, and the Senate Judiciary Committee never voted on his nomination.

Stevens told KFDM News in April that he withdrew because “what was in the best interests of me and my family 18 months ago has changed.”

John B. Stevens Jr. (Lamar University)

Stevens, a state judge in Texas, had the support of Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, in addition to the Texas House Democrats, who are led by Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

The members of Congress are engaged in a fierce battle over the state’s four U.S. Attorney nominations. Doggett and the Republican senators submitted separate lists of their picks to the White House.

Stevens and Michael McCrum were the only U.S. Attorney candidates who appeared on both lists. McCrum was recommended for the Western District of Texas U.S. Attorney nomination.

Obama never nominated him, and McCrum removed his name from consideration in October.

- Obama nominated Walker on Nov. 30, 2009, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

He is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. Walker was slated to replace U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, whom Bush appointed in 2006.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) held up his nomination over concerns about Walker’s connections to former Gov. Mike Easley (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D).

The U.S. Attorney’s office investigated Easley for allegedly filing a false campaign financial disclosure. The office terminated its investigation last month after he reached a plea deal.

Edwards is reportedly under investigation by the office for allegedly paying his mistress with campaign money.

Burr said he planned to lift his hold on Walker upon completion of both the probes. Read more about Walker here.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Amanda Marshall (University  of Oregon, Willamette  University  College  of Law) is nominated to be the Oregon U.S. Attorney. She would replace Karin Immergut, who served as the district’s U.S. Attorney from October 2003 to July 2009, when she was appointed to be a a circuit court judge for Multnomah County, Ore. Dwight C. Holton currently heads the district.

Her vitals:

  • Born in Washington, D.C., in 1969.
  • Earned a certificate  in alternative dispute resolution from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., in May 1995.
  • Attended East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai for a month-long summer  program in July 2003.
  • Spent the spring of 1989 at Le Petite Adret  University in  Villard De Lans, France.
  • Attended Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore. during the 1988-1989 school year.
  • Attended the College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif.,during the 1987-1988 school year.
  • Has worked for the Oregon Department of Justice since 2001. Has been the attorney in charge of the child advocacy section since June 2010. Was the assistant attorney in charge of the child advocacy section from July 2008-June 2010. Was the assistant attorney general of the family law section from October 2001-July  2008.
  • Worked as an assistant instructor at Southwestern  Oregon  Community  College in Coos Bay, Ore., from 1998-1999.
  • Was the Coos County deputy district attorney from 1996-2001.
  • Worked for the Confederated  Tribes  of Grand Ronde from 1994-1996 as a tribal court clerk from 1994-1995 and assisting the gaming commission in 1996.
  • Has tried more than 100 cases to a jury verdict as sole counsel, another 20 to the court and served as co-counsel in at least five jury  trials  that went to verdict.

Click here for her full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On her Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Marshall reported $860,000 in assets, mostly from real estate, and liabilities of $358,000, for a net worth of $502,000. Her real estate holdings include a personal residence, vacation home and trailer house. On her Office of Government Ethics disclosure Marshall reported her income from her Oregon Justice Department job for 2009 and half of 2010 as $165,300.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Dwight Holton (DOJ)

Dwight C. Holton is putting a new spin on a law intended to eliminate crack houses.

Holton, the interim U.S. Attorney for Oregon, last week summoned the president of Reed College to the federal courthouse and told him to rein in drug use on campus or face potential charges under a federal intended to close crack houses, the New York Times reported. The meeting came one month after a Reed College student died of a heroin overdose, the second student drug-related death in two years.

Under federal law, anyone who knowingly operates premises where drugs are used can be subjected to criminal and civil penalties. According to Inside Higher Ed, the college also could lose its federal funding, including student loans if prosecutors determine the school has not taken adequate steps to combat illegal drug activity on campus. (The president of Reed later clarified that the U.S. Attorney never specifically mentioned the loss of student loans.)

Holton along with the the county district attorney and the county’s deputy D.A. told Reed College president Colin Diver that undercover agents will attend the college spring festival this weekend that is known for the availability of illegal drugs.

“It’s a complicated issue, but two drug deaths in two years on a campus of 1,300 students, something has to change,” Holton told the New York Times.

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Joshua Marquis (gov)

Josh Marquis, the Clatsop County district attorney and one of two people under consideration to be the next U.S. Attorney for Oregon, has warned his fellow district attorneys that if they voice opinions about key measures before the state legislature, lawmakers may further cut the salaries of the DAs, The Bend Bulletin reports.

The issue of pay for the 36 DAs in Oregon became an issue after state lawmakers last year passed a bill that cut about $5,000 from the DAs’ annual salaries, or almost a month’s pay for some, the newspaper reports. The DAs hope that keeping quiet about a criminal sentencing bill that was considered earlier this month might convince the state legislature to restore their pay cut. How well this tactic has worked will be evident when lawmakers vote on the issue as part of a budget bill expected to be voted on today, according to the Bulletin. The sentencing bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law last week.

Marquis — who along with Amanda Marshall, a child advocacy attorney at the Oregon Department of Justice — is under consideration to be the next Oregon U.S Attorney — encouraged his fellow DAs to consider their financial situations before coming out against the “fix-it” bill which would modify “earned time” sentencing provisions that allow some inmates to be released early, the newspaper reports.

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Kent Robinson, the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in Oregon, also was recommended for the post by a 13-member ad hoc selection committee last summer. But in February withdrew his application for unknown reasons. He served as the district’s acting U.S. attorney from July 2009 until earlier this month.

The Bulletin reports that some DAs argue that lawmakers used the pay cut to pressure them to keep quiet about their objections to the “fix-it” bill. However, several key Democratic lawmakers said they do not believe that the pay cuts were linked to positions that the DAs may have taken on legislation, according to the newspaper.

In a Feb. 10 email to fellow DAs, Marquis warned his colleagues not to voice criticisms of the bill, the newspaper reports. “There are many problems with this ‘fix,’ but if any of us say a word they’ll cut off our salaries. … so I hope everyone has equity for a loan, savings or has been setting aside money. This WILL pass. There is nothing we can do about it.”  Marquis told the newspaper that based on his inquiries, he firmly believes that “legislators who had the power to do this” made the threat.

Kent Robinson (gov)

However, he was unwilling to name any specific lawmakers. Marquis, who has lobbied on criminal justice bills for nearly 30 years, said, “I think I’m able to distinguish between truth and rumor.” He added, “I’ve never seen anything like this, and it’s very concerning.”

It’s unknown what effect e-mails by Marquis and other DAs had on the decision by the attorneys to keep quiet, but the lawmakers got their bill and the DAs hope that means their get their pay cuts reversed today.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Joshua Marquis (gov)

Joshua Marquis (gov)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday announced his recommendations for Oregon’s U.S. Attorney.  Read the news release here.

The finalists are Josh Marquis, Amanda Marshall and Kent Robinson.

Kent Robinson (gov)

Kent Robinson (gov)

Marquis has served as the district attorney for Clatsop County since 1994. He previously was the chief deputy district attorney for Deschutes and Lincoln counties. Marquis also worked as a deputy district attorney for Lincoln and Lane counties.

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Marshall is a child advocacy lawyer for the Oregon Department of Justice. She has a Facebook page promoting her candidacy here.

Robinson is the district’s acting U.S. Attorney. From 2007 until earlier this year, he was the district’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney. From 2001 through 2007, he served as the chief of the criminal division in the district.

The omission of Oregon Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton from the list came as a surprise, according to Willamette Week in Portland.

The newspaper said:

Going into the weekend, many insiders speculated that Dwight Holton, an assistant U.S. Attorney was likely to be one of three finalists. The son of a former Virginia governor and the brother-in-law of current Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee boss Tim Kaine, Holton is connected, as well as being a well-regarded prosecutor.

Wyden appointed a 13-member selection committee to make recommendations for the senators to consider. The panel also considered Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote and Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson, but their names also weren’t on the final list sent to the White House. President Barack Obama ultimately will select and nominate the U.S. Attorney.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) recently announced that a selection committee has selected six candidates to interview to become Oregon’s next U.S. Attorney. The interviews will take place Oct. 24-25, after which the committee will recommend three finalists for Wyden to forward to President Obama. The last Senate-confirmed person in the position was Bush-appointee Karin J. Immergut, who resigned in July to accept an appointment as a state judge.

The six people who will be interviewed are

  • John Foote, the district attorney for Clackamas County
  • John Haroldson, the district attorney for Benton County
  • Dwight Holton, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district
  • Joshua Marquis, the district attorney for Clatsop County
  • Amanda Marshall, Oregon Department of Justice child advocacy section lawyer
  • Kent Robinson, the acting U.S. Attorney for the district

Others who previously were said to be under consideration included Rob Bovett (Lincoln County district attorney), Ken Perry (Portland lawyer), Robert Hutchings (Lane County public defender) and John Hummel (Portland lawyer and professor at a university in Liberia).

John Foote (Gov)

John Foote (Gov)

John Haroldson (Gov)

John Haroldson (Gov)

Josh Marquis (Gov)

Josh Marquis (Gov)

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Kent Robinson (gov)

Kent Robinson (gov)

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he selected members for a screening committee that will recommend a candidate for Oregon U.S. Attorney, according to a news release from his office last week.

The panel includes:

-Todd Anderson, Tillamook County sheriff

-Mike Dugan, Deschutes County district attorney

-Meg Garvin, attorney and National Crime Victim Law Institute executive director

-Gene Hallman, Pendleton attorney

-Bob Hermann, Washington County district attorney

-Andy Jackson, Coos County sheriff

-Kellie Johnson, Multnomah County deputy district attorney

-Jennifer Kimble, Jefferson County attorney

-Angel Lopez, Multnomah County Circuit Court judge

-Donna Maddux, Oregon Department of Justice organized crime section attorney in charge

-Barry Sheldahl, former Assistant U.S Attorney

-Diana Simpson, Benton County sheriff

-Jay Waterbury, The Dalles police chief

The committee will review candidates to replace U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut, a Bush holdover, after the Aug. 15 deadline for Oregon U.S. Attorney applications passes. After screening the candidates, the panel will submit a finalist for Wyden to recommend to President Obama. The Senate must confirm any U.S. Attorney nominee from the White House before the appointee can officially take office.