Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey’
Friday, March 12th, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

A former New Jersey lawmaker on Monday will release information about alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of a public corruption case, The Hudson Reporter of New Jersey reported Friday.

In July 2009, 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — were arrested on charges of of public corruption and money laundering. The Associated Press reported last year that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had opened an internal investigation into comments made by then acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra at a news conference announcing the sting case.

Former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo, who was among those arrested, said that on Monday he will hold a press conference at which he will present “evidence documenting issues of prosecution misconduct in the Bid Rig III investigation and prosecution,” according to a news release from Manzo.

Last week, Manzo told the newspaper that his evidence relates to campaign donations to then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie from attorneys working on the sting. Christie was waging what turned out to be a successful campaign for governor. According to the newspaper, the case ultimately benefited Christie’s campaign.

This post has been updated since it was first posted.

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Marc Larkins speaks after Gov. Chris Christie announces his nomination. (gov)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has named Marc Larkins to be the executive director of the New Jersey School Development Authority Board, according to a news release.

Larkins is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey who has held a number of positions in the office since he joined in 2003. He has served as Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Acting First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Acting Executive U.S. Attorney and council. In addition, he has been the chief of the government fraud unit.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, Larkins was a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Division from 1999 to March 2003. Simultaneously, from February 2000 to March 2002, Larkins was Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Christie, who was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey from 2002-2008, had already named eight of his former colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s office to serve in his administration. They are:

  • Robert Hanna to be the director of the Division of Law in the Attorney General’s office.
  • Stephen Taylor to be the director of Criminal Justice in the AG’s office.
  • Deborah Gramiccioni to be director of the Authorities Unit in the AG’s office.
  • Jeffrey S. Chiesa to be Christie’s chief counsel.
  • Kevin M. O’Dowd to be deputy chief counsel.
  • Charles McKenna to be head of the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
  • Michele Brown to be appointments counsel.
  • Lee Solomon to be the president of the board of public utilities.
Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Gov. Chris Christie (gov)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has named Lee Solomon to be the president of the board of public utilities, The Star-Ledger of New Jersey reports.

Solomon, who currently is a state Superior Court judge in Camden County, was a Deputy U.S. Attorney under Christie, running the prosecutor’s offices in Camden and Trenton. He previously was a Camden County Freeholder, a state assemblyman, 1992 GOP congressional candidate and Camden County prosecutor. Christie was the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2002-2008.

During the news conference at which Christie announced Solomon’s new post, the governor praised Solomon’s judgment and people skills, adding that he had sought proven managers for his cabinet because “a lot of state government has been dysfunctional,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Christie has already named seven of his former colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s office to serve in his administration. They are:

  • Robert Hanna to be the director of the Division of Law in the Attorney General’s office.
  • Stephen Taylor to be the director of Criminal Justice in the AG’s office.
  • Deborah Gramiccioni to be director of the Authorities Unit in the AG’s office.
  • Jeffrey S. Chiesa to be Christie’s chief counsel.
  • Kevin M. O’Dowd to be deputy chief counsel.
  • Charles McKenna to be head of the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
  • Michele Brown to be appointments counsel.
Friday, January 15th, 2010

Michele Brown (McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter)

New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie on Friday said he will name former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown to be appointments counsel in his administration, The Associated Press reported. Brown, who was one of Christie’s assistants when he ran the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office, resigned from her job as acting First Assistant U.S. Attorney in August amid several campaign-related controversies.

When he was U.S. Attorney, Christie took out a second mortgage on his home to loan Brown $46,000, but failed the report the information on his financial disclosures and tax returns. Brown also came under fire by the campaign of Christie’s opponent, Gov. Jon Corzine (D), for working to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act request that concerned her and Christie’s travel records.

The FOIA records revealed that Christie exceeded his government lodging allowance when traveling as U.S. Attorney, often staying in luxury hotels, and that he approved Brown’s requests to stay in some of the same five-star hotels as he.

In addition, the New York Times reported that Brown assisted the Christie campaign by delaying the U.S. Attorney office’s response to the Corzine campaign’s FOIA requests. As a result, then-interim U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra came under pressure from unnamed Justice Department officials to remove Brown from collecting records for the campaign’s request, the Times reported.

Brown resigned shortly thereafter to take a job at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.

Christie has already named six of his former colleagues from his U.S. Attorney’s office to serve in his administration. They are:

  • Robert Hanna to be the director of the Division of Law in the Attorney General’s office,
  • Stephen Taylor to be the director of Criminal Justice in the AG’s office,
  • Deborah Gramiccioni to be director of the Authorities Unit in the AG’s office,
  • Jeffrey S. Chiesa to be Christie’s chief counsel,
  • Kevin M. O’Dowd to be deputy chief counsel and
  • Charles McKenna, to be head of the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

A Deputy United States Marshal was convicted yesterday in federal court of providing a firearm and ammunition to someone convicted of, and under indictment for, a felony, and one count of perjury for lying about the matter before a federal grand jury, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Ralph J. Marra announced in a news release, reproduced below:

Antoine Dobson, 29, of Irvington, a Deputy U.S. Marshal assigned to the Southern District of New York, provided his semi-automatic handgun, fully loaded with hollow-point bullets, to Larry Langforddavis, 33, of Hillside, who is a previously convicted felon and who, at the time, was under indictment for multiple additional felonies, including gun and drug charges. Dobson purchased the semi-automatic handgun by certifying on United States Marshals Service letterhead that it was to be used for “official use” only and that he would not transfer it to anyone else.

The trial began with testimony on June 29 before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan. The jury returned its verdict following deliberations yesterday and today. Judge Sheridan scheduled sentencing for Nov. 2.

In January of last year, Langforddavis, a close friend of Dobson, was arrested in the parking lot of an Elizabeth adult entertainment club for the possession of Dobson’s handgun after police officers with the Elizabeth Police Department recognized him as an individual who had days earlier misrepresented himself as a law enforcement officer to the police officers by showing them a handgun strapped to his ankle. Langforddavis is charged in a separate indictment with the unlawful possession of the weapon. That indictment alleges Langforddavis is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to his past criminal convictions on charges that include aggravated assault, robbery, and unlawful possession of a handgun. His trial is currently scheduled for Nov. 9.

Dobson faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the firearms charge; the maximum statutory penalty for perjury is five years and a $250,000 fine. Under the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which a sentencing judge must consult in determining a sentence, Dobson faces a potential prison sentence of between 27 and 33 months. The Sentencing Guidelines, however, are advisory only, and Judge Sheridan will have discretion in imposing a sentence within or outside of that range.

Marra credited Special Agents of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, N.Y. Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Tomlinson, the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun, in Newark, and the U.S. Marshals Service for the Southern District of N.Y., under the direction of Marshal Joseph R. Guccione, and the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of N.J., under the direction of Marshal James T. Plousis, with investigation of the case.

Marra also credited the Elizabeth and Fanwood Police Departments for their assistance.

The case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas R. Calcagni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division, and Zahid N. Quraishi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Government Fraud Unit.