LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – WASHINGTON – Today 191 Justice Department employees – along with 26 other individuals, many of whom are federal employees and law enforcement officers – are being honored at the Department’s 55th Annual Awards Ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The Attorney General’s Annual Awards Ceremony provides an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of a number of U.S. Department of Justice employees as well as individuals from outside the Department.
Acting Deputy Attorney General Craig S. Morford joined Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler in presenting the Department’s highest award, the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, to the members of the hate crimes prosecution team responsible for the groundbreaking prosecution of United States v. Saldana. The prosecution resulted in the conviction of four Latino gang members who participated in a six-year racially-motivated campaign of violence against African-Americans who lived in the neighborhood claimed by the defendants’ gang. The innovative and aggressive approach pursued in this case marked the first and, currently, the only time the federal hate crime statutes have been used to prosecute racial violence carried out by members of a street gang. The convictions and multiple life sentences achieved in this case were the result of the extreme dedication of the members of the trial team, who put together a seamless cooperative effort.
“Today’s award recipients are extraordinarily dedicated and talented men and women,” said Peter Keisler, acting Attorney General. “They’ve made incredible sacrifices, and achieved great successes, working on the front lines of the Justice Department on behalf of the American people. I’m proud to have them as my colleagues as we work to advance the Department’s mission.”
The recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service from this team include:
From the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Bobbi S. Bernstein, Deputy Chief, and Martha Lovejoy, former Paralegal Specialist; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Alexander A. Bustamante, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Thomas P. O’Brien, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Jerry E. Fradella, Special Agent.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism is given to recognize an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties.
Russell D. Tithof, Deputy U.S. Marshal from the Eastern District of Michigan of the U.S. Marshals Service, is honored for his courageous actions on March 31, 2006, when he and fellow officers apprehended a fugitive. The fugitive was wanted for violations of supervised release, carrying a concealed weapon, assault and battery, assault with intent to commit murder, homicide felony murder, and first degree murder.
Mr. Tithof and fellow officers found the fugitive in a residence occupied by a woman and her children. Despite receiving two gunshots in the chest of his ballistic vest, Mr. Tithof managed to alert his fellow officers that the fugitive was armed and emerging from the residence. Mr. Tithof’s warning and engagement of the fugitive allowed his fellow officers to remove the mother and her children to safety while the fugitive was apprehended.
The Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity is presented to pay 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. This year’s award is given to John S. Pistole, Deputy Director of the FBI. John S. Pistole began his career in 1983 as a Special Agent with the FBI in the Minneapolis and New York Divisions, investigating organized crime and La Cosa Nostra. In 1999, he helped lead the investigative and recovery efforts for the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash off the coast of Rhode Island. Following the espionage arrest of Robert Hanssen, he led efforts to address security and vulnerability issues. After September 11th, FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed Mr. Pistole to various leadership positions in counterterrorism and counterintelligence. In October of 2004, Mr. Pistole was promoted to Deputy Director, the number two position in the Bureau. His professionalism, integrity, and commitment to law enforcement are exemplary.
The Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity is also presented to John C. Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. Mr. Keeney has been a leader and mainstay of the Department for more than 50 years. He is recognized for his legal expertise, resourcefulness, and decisive measures on organized crime and racketeering, public corruption, and the federal government’s use of electronic surveillance and witness security protection programs, among other matters.
The Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award recognizes employees who have served at least 20 years in the Department and have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers. This year’s Award is given to Larry Lee Gregg, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. Gregg is possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide variety of legal concepts required in the civil realm. He has developed a particular expertise in immigration law as the nation’s and the district’s caseload has changed due to increased enforcement efforts since September 11th. Mr. Gregg demonstrates the legal expertise, professional standards, devotion to justice, and dedication to service for which this award was founded.
The William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement is an honorary award granted to recognize state and local law enforcement officials who have made significant contributions to cooperative law enforcement endeavors. This year the award honors a team for their superior professionalism during the investigation of stolen Department of Veterans Affairs data. Their relentless efforts and ability to seamlessly coordinate with federal law enforcement agencies toward a common goal in the midst of a crisis are recognized as outstanding contributions to cooperative law enforcement.
The recipients of the William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement from this team include members of the Montgomery County Department of Police, Maryland: Christopher B. Homrock, Sergeant; Monique M. Tompkins, Corporal; Mary Beth Corsiatto, Bruce E. Cole, Mark R. Hayden, and Sheila C. Sugrue, Detectives; Bonnie L. McMahon, Principal Administrative Aide; Deirdre I. Walker, Assistant Chief; Russell E. Hamill, Captain; John S. Dassoulas, Crime Analyst; and Salvatore M. Mancuso, Lieutenant.
The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service recognizes the most significant contributions of citizens who have assisted the Department in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives. Gary L. Bell, Forensic Odontologist and Director of the FBI in Seattle and Darrell L. Lindsey, Chairperson on the Community Relations Board for the Federal Correctional in Complex, Florence, are honored today for their heroic and selfless efforts.
Gary L. Bell has voluntarily served the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Systems Division, the Washington State Patrol, and law enforcement nationwide for many years. He is a tireless professional and a true advocate for missing and unidentified persons and their families. Dr. Bell has served on the Bureau’s Dental Task Force, where he played a major part in the development and implementation of the current National Crime Information Center dental coding system. Dr. Bell is a well known professional, who has chosen to volunteer his services to the Bureau and other law enforcement agencies.
Darrell L. Lindsey has been associated with the FBI since late 1989, when he became aware of the need for a possible location of a correctional complex somewhere in the western part of the United States. Mr. Lindsey brought the community together and was able to raise the funds needed to purchase 600 acres of land to donate to the Bureau for the construction of a federal correctional complex. In 1996, Mr. Lindsey became the founding member and Chairperson of the complex’s Community Relations Board. Through the Community Relations Board, Mr. Lindsey does an excellent job informing board members and the community of correctional activities and programs.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Department’s second highest award for employee performance. The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the Department’s mission.
Recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Mark R. Aveis, Joey L. Blanch, James M. Childs, Terri K. Flynn, and Stephen G. Wolfe; from the Los Angeles Field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Special Agent, Michael T. Halualani. The team is nominated for their outstanding performance in the investigation and prosecution of leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also presented to a team in Colorado, nominated for their distinguished service in their relentless efforts during the prosecution of former Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio on charges of insider trading. The team exhibited the highest levels of professionalism, dedication, and cooperation as they efficiently prepared for and tried this important case, which led to the largest insider trading verdict ever returned.
Recipients include, from the fraud section of the Criminal Division, Jessica L. Bachman, Paralegal Specialist; Colleen A. Conry, Senior Litigation Counsel; Leo J. Wise, Trial Attorney; Special Agents from the Denver Division of the FBI, J. Miles Gooderham and Susan K. Montoya; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Colorado, Cliff Stricklin, First Assistant U.S. Attorney; James Owen Hearty and Kevin T. Traskos, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Victoria K. Soltis, Legal Assistant/Grand Jury Coordinator; Dana Chamberlin, Financial Analyst; and from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at the U.S. Postal Service, JoJan Henderson, Postal Inspector.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is presented to Samuel B. Cole and Michele M. Fox, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of Illinois, for obtaining the largest jury verdict in the nation’s long history of the False Claims Act in United States ex rel. Tyson v. Amerigroup Illinois and Amerigroup Corporation. In achieving their record-setting result, the nominees worked under trying conditions against a large, well-represented major insurance company. Moreover, their outstanding efforts are having an ongoing beneficial effect on False Claims Act negotiations throughout the country.
An additional Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is given to members of the Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation Team, honoring them for their exceptional work defending the interests of the United States in habeas corpus litigation brought on behalf of aliens, who have been designated as enemy combatants, captured on foreign soil in the War on Terror. The team’s work is particularly noteworthy given the significance of this litigation to the national security interests of the United States.
Recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, Vincent M. Garvey, Deputy Director; Terry M. Henry, Lisa A. Olson, and Judry L. Subar, Senior Trial Counsel; Joseph H. Hunt, Director; Janine M. Johansen, Paralegal Specialist; Robert J. Katerberg, Jean Lin, James C. Luh, Nicholas A. Oldham, Nicholas J. Patterson, James J. Schwartz, Andrew I. Warden, and Edward H. White, Trial Attorneys in the Federal Programs Branch of the Department’s Civil Division; Marc A. Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi; Preeya M. Noronha, Deputy General Counsel for Department of Health and Human Services.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is awarded to Andrew D. Hilt, Keltar Mui, and Thomas J. Shelton, Special Agents from the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Thomas P. Kelly, Group Supervisor also from the ATF’s New York Field Division; Jon W. Ellwanger, Special Agent from the ATF’s New Jersey Field Division; Morris J. Fodeman, Colleen E. Kavanagh, and Jack L. Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of New York; and Glen G. McGorty, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. These recipients are responsible for the investigation of the murder of New York City Police Department detectives, which took place on March 10, 2003. Their investigation led to the prosecution of the case. Four defendants pleaded guilty and are now serving federal prison terms from 12 to 27 years. On January 30, 2007, the jury sentenced Ronell Wilson, the fifth defendant to death for this heinous crime.
The Overseas Shipholding Group Team is also presented with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for its outstanding achievement in obtaining the largest-ever criminal penalty in a case involving deliberate pollution from ships and the intentional falsification of ship records. Members of the team include, from the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Gregory F. Linsin, Special Litigation Counsel; Richard A. Udell, Senior Trial Attorney; Malinda R. Lawrence, Joseph A. Poux, and Lana N. Pettus, Trial Attorneys; Lois M. Tuttle, Paralegal Specialist; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Jonathan F. Mitchell, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Dorothy C. Kim, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Banumathi Rangarajan, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, Joseph R. Batte and John M. Bales, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine, Richard W. Murphy, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, Stacey P. Geis, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Vincent J. Matanoski, Assistant Director for the Office of Vaccine Litigation Torts Branch in the Department’s Civil Division, receives the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his exemplary and sustained role as lead counsel representing the Department of Health and Human Services in nearly 5,000 cases alleging vaccine-caused autism. Through his outstanding efforts, he has contributed to the success of the Vaccine Compensation Program, through which the supply of vaccines in the United States has been stabilized, and the development of new, safer vaccines has markedly increased.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service recognizes a team for their outstanding efforts in the comprehensive review of the FBI’s National Security Letter procedures and procedures to obtain business records. The work of this team lead to strengthened controls and improvements to these key processes. Members of the team include: from the Oversight and Review Division of the Department’s Office of the Inspector General Roslyn A. Mazer, Investigative Counsel; Kevin F. Becks, Program Analyst; Brandy F. Hamilton, Paralegal Specialist; from the Evaluation and Inspections Division of the Department’s Office of the Inspector General, Michael D. Gulledge and Carol Fortine Ochoa, Deputy Assistant Inspector Generals; Peter M. Martz, Program Analyst; Adrienne M. Flave, Gina J. Wong, and Marilyn C. Lang, Program Analysts; and from the criminal section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division, Patricia A. Sumner, Trial Attorney;
For their efforts during the FY 2007 appropriations process, Karin O’Leary, Director of the Justice Management Division’s Budget Staff, Wyevetra G. Jordan, Congressional Liaison for the Justice Management Division, and Mark D. Epley, Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, are receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. The Fiscal Year 2007 appropriations process was unique for the Department. Not since 1987 has the Department operated under a full year Joint Resolution. The tireless efforts and cooperation of the recipients helped to secure the necessary resources the Department required in a year where most other agencies were provided funding levels below their base operations needs.
Francis D. Schmitz, National Crisis Management Coordinator for the Counterterrorism Section of the Department’s National Security Division, is awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Francis D. Schmitz has provided leadership, direction, and guidance to the Department’s crisis response initiatives, including the Department’s and the nation’s overall preparedness to respond to terrorist acts and other critical events. In this capacity during the past year, he has represented the Department in more than 10 national and international terrorism preparedness exercises and participated in the planning process for several exercises conducted for national leadership officials. His tireless efforts in this area have furthered the accomplishment of the Department’s number one goal: to prevent terrorist acts and protect national security.
The Extradition Team of the U.S. Marshals Service is also honored with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their outstanding efforts and exceptional service in the coordination of a record-breaking 685 international extraditions and expulsions during Fiscal Year 2006. This five-person team’s unparalleled dedication and teamwork facilitated the successful removal of terrorists, major drug cartel leaders, and violent criminals from 66 different countries around the world. Members of this team include: from the Investigative Services Division of the U.S. Marshals Service, Julie A. Shealey, Sean P. Fahey, Irving W. Brandt, and Mark A. Shealey, Senior Inspectors; and Dale V. Price, Extradition Coordinator.
Additional Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service are presented to Frank J. Vondrak, Assistant Chief of the Chicago Field Office for the Department’s Antitrust Division, Jonathan A. Epstein, Trial Attorney in the Chicago Field Office, and Steven L. Schlobohm, Special Agent in the Indianapolis Office of the FBI. These recipients through their leadership, dedication, and exceptional efforts, are responsible for the largest fine in a domestic cartel in Antitrust Division history and for cleaning up the entire ready-mixed concrete industry in southern Indiana. Four companies and eight individuals pleaded guilty to two separate price-fixing conspiracies, and one company and two individuals were convicted at trial. These successful prosecutions in the ready-mixed concrete industry have ensured that consumers will obtain the benefits of vigorous competition in that industry in the future.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department. Four Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards were awarded this year. W. Dennis Aiken, Special Agent for the Providence Resident Agency of the Boston Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, received this award in recognition of distinguished career efforts in the fight against political corruption. Mr. Aiken has been a leader in the field for more than thirty years.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is also presented to David M. Dimmitt, Chief Inspector for the Northeast Region; Karen E. Simons, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Illinois, and David L. Harlow, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Northern District of Ohio. The nominees provided unparalleled leadership to a massive law enforcement effort involving agents, investigators, detectives, officers, troopers, and deputies from local, state, and federal agencies representing the total law enforcement spectrum. These initiatives, Operations Falcon II and III took place in April and October 2006, and resulted in the successful arrest of 19,770 fugitives, including 2,761 fugitive sex offenders. The innovative leadership and sacrifices by the nominees allowed these outstanding and successful law enforcement actions.
Another distinguished group received the Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for their investigation of Puerto Rican police involved in drug trafficking. The recipients investigated a group of Puerto Rico Police Department police officers who were accepting payment from illegal narcotics traffickers for protecting their illicit drug shipments. Over the course of eight undercover meetings, the police officers received, transported, and protected five drug loads totaling 390 kilos of sham narcotics for which they were paid nearly $50,000. In November 2006, five Puerto Rico Police Department officers and one civilian were convicted of armed drug trafficking and conspiracy and corruption charges with sentences up to 65 years in federal prison.
Recipients include from the Puerto Rico Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Jose L. Oquendo, Resident Agent in Charge; Carlos A. Canino, David W. Riddleberger, and Ari C. Shapira, Special Agents; Courtney T. Scharn, Special Agent for the Phoenix Division of the FBI; Paduil Torres and Carlos R. Vazquez, Task Force Officers for the Police of Puerto Rico; Andres M. Rodríguez, Task Force Officer for the Bayamon Municipal Police in Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Erick Negron, Cristobal Irizarry, Anthony Toro, and Rafael Fax, Task Force Officers for the Special Investigations Bureau of the Puerto Rico Department of Justice; and Edwin G. Santos, Task Force Officer for the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections.
Another distinguished group is awarded with the Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, for their investigation of the Gambino La Cosa Nostra crime family. Honorees include, from the White Plains Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agents Natale Parisi, Michael Pollice, and William P. Ready. Also part of the group, from the New York Office of the Department of Labor, is Special Agent Joseph A. Della Penna. The combined efforts and skill of these agents led to the deepest recent penetration of the La Cosa Nostra by a law enforcement agency. Thirty-two members and associates of the Gambino, Luchese, and Genovese crime families, including Gambino acting boss Arnold Squitieri, underboss Anthony Megale, and capo Gregory DePalma, were arrested and convicted. The influence and impact of the criminal enterprises, which were successfully targeted in this investigation, was wide-ranging in the New York Metropolitan Area and suburban counties.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements which have significantly improved operations, productivity, or reduced costs. This year’s recipient is Wendy L. Frederick, Chief of the Learning Technologies Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Wendy L. Frederick is honored for outstanding dedication and leadership in the implementation of the e-learning initiatives for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Ms. Frederick’s vision, expertise, and exemplary efforts have brought recognition to the Bureau as a model agency in the implementation of e-learning and learning management system applications.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Excellence in Management is also awarded to Kathleen M. Kenney, Assistant Director for the Office of General Counsel at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Kathleen M. Kenney is honored for her achievements as an exceptional manager and leader in the Bureau. Ms. Kenney has provided an important vision for the agency by effectively coordinating legal services and encouraging forward thinking within the discipline. This has led to initiatives which have promoted staff efficiency, allowed for staff developmental opportunities, encouraged the use of available technology, and provided better customer service.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology recognizes outstanding achievements in applying information technology to improve operations and productivity, reduce or avoid costs, and solve problems. This year’s recipients from the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives include: Charles J. Houser, Chief; Debbie D. Bullock, Deputy Chief; Toni L. Sigler, Program Analyst. Also awarded, from the Law Enforcement Support Branch, are Benjamin R. Hayes, Chief and Edward E. Stely, Program Analyst. The team is recognized for the development of eTrace. This system leverages existing information technology to better assist the law enforcement community in the investigation of the sources, provision, and use of firearms by and to violent gangs, juveniles, youth offenders, and other prohibited persons. Because of the eTrace team’s thorough research, information technology expertise, and concern for the needs of law enforcement officials, authorized users can now submit firearm trace requests, monitor the progress of traces, retrieve completed trace results, and query firearm trace-related data in a real-time environment.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions towards protecting U.S. national security. From the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Caroline D. Krass, Senior Counsel, and John A. Eisenberg, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, are honored for their indispensable roles in helping to maintain our national security and promote the effectiveness of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Ms. Krass and Mr. Eisenberg have worked tirelessly, providing counsel and advice related to electronic surveillance occurring as part of the President’s Terrorist Surveillance Program and related to the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In doing so, they both applied their unparalleled knowledge of intelligence law, the law of war and related public international law, national security law, and various aspects of the constitutional law of foreign relations.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security is also awarded to a team dedicated to standing up the new National Security Division at the Department of Justice. Members of this team include: Charles M. Steele, Chief of Staff; Sheryl L. Walter, Executive Officer; and Gregory A. Miller, Counterterrorism Support Specialist, of the Department’s National Security Division. Also part of the team is Paul R. Johnson, former acting Executive Officer for the Criminal Division, and Mikki B. Atsatt, Senior Budget Policy Advisor for the Department’s Justice Management Division. This outstanding team has provided exemplary leadership and service in establishing the structure of this new organization that seamlessly melded the cultures of different parts of the Department’s national security components: the Counterterrorism and Counterespionage Sections of the Department’s Criminal Division and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.
The Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity is the Department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity program. This year’s recipient is Kenneth R. Atkinson, Deputy Regional Director. This award recognizes Mr. Atkinson for his tireless efforts in promoting cultural diversity in the workplace at while he served as Associate Warden at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner. Through his professionalism, interpersonal skills, and ingenuity, Mr. Atkinson created an atmosphere where cultural differences are understood and celebrated, making the complex and agency stronger.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of legal support to attorneys by paralegal specialists and other legal assistants. This year’s paralegal recipients include Jennifer A. Blackwell, Paralegal Specialist for the Commercial Litigation Branch in the Department’s Civil Division, and Yvonne M. Marsh, Paralegal Specialist for the Indian Resources Section of the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. The following individuals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also receive an award for their outstanding legal support: Victim Witness Specialist Eugenia I. McNeill and former Victim Witness Specialist Jeannette Santos, and Paralegal Specialist Elda Gedeon.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary. The recipients include Administrative Officer Gloria D. Almanza of the U.S. Marshals Service Witness Security and Prisoner Operations Division; and Office Assistant Jean L. O’Briant of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Kabul, Afghanistan; Secretary Julia A. Russell of Chicago’s Office of the U.S. Trustee.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. This year’s recipients are Kenneth A. Hendricks and Thomas E. Hitter, Attorney-Advisors for the Office of Information and Privacy. The recipients are being honored for their tremendous efforts related to the FOIA Executive Order.
The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigation, and prosecute fraud and white collar crimes. This year’s award goes to a team responsible for the Tenet Healthcare False Claims Act Settlement. The members are honored for their contributions to the Department’s $920 million settlement with Tenet Healthcare Corporation, which is one of the largest settlements in the history of the False Claims Act.
Members of this team include: from the Commercial litigation branch of the Department’s Civil Division, David T. Cohen, Rachel B. Irish, David B. Wiseman and Diana J. Younts, Trial Attorneys; Anthony D. Gould, Investigative Analyst; Daniel A. Spiro and George C. Vitelli, Senior Trial Counsel; Eileen Zimmer, Financial Analyst; Michael D. Granston, Assistant Director; from the European Office of the Department’s Civil Division, Donna C. Maizel, Attorney in Charge; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Gary Plessman, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney; David K. Barrett and Cathy J. Ostiller, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; and Jeffrey A. McVicker, Auditor; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Patrice H. Sullivan and Sharon D. Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; and Paul S. Weidenfeld, former Assistant U.S. Attorney.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Public Safety recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community. This year’s award honored Eric W. Treene, Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination for the Office of the Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. Eric W. Treene led the development of a bimonthly interagency meeting with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South-Asian Communities and has been in charge of managing the process since its inception.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Public Safety is also awarded to Phelan A. Wyrick, Senior Juvenile Justice Program Coordinator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the Office of Justice Programs. Dr. Wyrick is honored for his outstanding contributions in assisting communities to combat gang violence, one of the Department’s top priorities.
The Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Wage Grade System Employee recognizes extraordinary performance and contributions by wage grade system employees, including laborers, mechanics, and skilled craft workers. This year’s recipient is Mark Finley, Automotive Worker Foreman for the Federal Correctional Institution of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Manchester, in Eastern Kentucky.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee recognizes exceptional performance and notable accomplishments towards the Department’s mission by an employee with fewer than five years of federal career service. This year’s award is presented to five employees, including: Mark W. Pletcher Trial Attorney for the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the Department’s Antitrust Division; Joanne She, Coordinator for Legislative History Digitization for the Library Staff of the Justice Management Division; Stephen M. Tokarz, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California; Nasson Walker, Special Agent for the Sacramento Division of the FBI; and Yselda T. Yañez, Staff Psychologist for the Federal Transfer Center of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Oklahoma.
The John Marshall Awards are the Department’s highest awards offered to attorneys, for contributions and excellence in specialized areas of legal performance. Thirteen awards in eight categories are recommended this year
The John Marshall Award for Trial in Litigation is presented to the A-12 litigation team, which has displayed exceptional skill and resolve in the defense of the Government’s decision to terminate for default a highly-classified $5 billion contract awarded to McDonnell Douglas Corporation and General Dynamics Corporation to develop a “stealth” naval attack jet. The A-12 litigation team has displayed steadfast resolve and tenacious advocacy in the pursuit of the Government’s interests, and as a result the Government is positioned to recover $2.6 billion in payments previously made and in interest from the contractors.
Members of the team include: from the Corporate/Financial Section for the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department’s Civil Division, Phyllis Jo Baunach and Leslie Ohta, Trial Attorneys; C. Coleman Bird, Reginald T. Blades, Jr., John Warshawsky and Alan J. Lo Re Senior Trial Counsel; Kathryn A. Bleecker, Patricia M. McCarthy, and Brian M. Simkin, Assistant Directors; Bryant G. Snee and Robert E. Kirschman, Deputy Directors; from the Office of Immigration Litigation of the Department’s Civil Division, Virginia M. Lum, Trial Attorney, and William C. Peachey, Senior Litigation Counsel; From the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Navy, Mark A. Romano, Senior Trial Attorney, and Wendell A. Kjos, Supervisory Trial Attorney.
The John Marshall Award for Trial in Litigation is also presented to a team honored for their outstanding achievement in the presentation of the trial in the case, United States v. Jose Miguel Battle, Sr., et al. The trial lasted more than six months and included use of 500 boxes of evidence and involved 28 wiretaps. The evidence tracked a conspiracy which began in 1964 and continued through the arrest of the defendants in 2004. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury specifically found the defendants guilty of, among other things, eight murders and seven arsons resulting in deaths. As a result of this prosecution, one of the nation’s longest running criminal syndicates was completely incapacitated and dismantled. Members of this team include: Juan A. Gonzalez, Jr., David A. Haimes, and Alicia Schick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of Florida.
The John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is presented to Angelo A. Frattarelli, Trial Attorney for the Civil Trial Section of the Department’s Tax Division. Mr. Frattarelli is honored for his outstanding participation in litigation as lead counsel in BB&T Corporation v. United States, a case of first impression involving the abusive lease in/lease out tax shelter. Mr. Frattarelli’s work led to a significant win as part of the Division’s strategic goal of combating abusive tax shelters.
The John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation was also presented to a team from the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, honoring them for their outstanding achievements in high-priority national defense litigation. The Stryker team has successfully defended litigation challenging a key aspect of the U.S. Army’s 30-year modernization plan, which is designed to ensure that Army units can employ the most effective military weapons systems available for ensuring success in the new urban combat setting confronting our soldiers around the world. Members of the team include: James D. Gette and Barry A. Weiner, Trial Attorneys for the Natural Resources Section; and Michael T. Gray, Trial Attorney for the Appellate Section.
The John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is presented to Brian G. Donohue, Senior Attorney, and Peter K. Kautsky, Trial Attorney from the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Mr. Donohue and Mr. Kautsky are recognized for their outstanding achievement in bringing litigation against the General Electric Company to a successful conclusion and obtaining its agreement to clean up the most contaminated portion of the 200 mile Hudson River PCB Superfund Site, a 40-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River. The settlements culminate a 20 year effort by the United States to remove polychlorinated biphenyls from the Hudson River and will provide a direct benefit to the many people who live along the river as well as the many who enjoy it for its recreational and scenic beauty.
John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation was also presented to John H. Roberson, Trial Attorney for the National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch in the Department’s Civil Division. Mr. Roberson is honored for his support of litigation in the Winstar-related cases, claims by lending institutions arising out of the savings and loan crises in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Virtually all the cases that Mr. Roberson leads or supports are high dollar value, last for many years and involve complex issues of economics, accounting, and bank regulation.
H. Thomas Byron III, Attorney for the Appellate Staff of the Department’s Civil Division, is receiving the John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals for the successful handling of a series of landmark cases involving the designation of foreign terrorist organizations. In a Department that boasts many outstanding appellate attorneys, Mr. Byron is a consistently reliable advocate of great excellence and persuasion.
Thomas G. Hungar, Deputy Solicitor General, is also receiving the John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals for his vital role in representing the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court on matters of critical importance to the development of intellectual property, antitrust, and environmental law.
M. Faith Burton, Special Counsel for the Office of Legislative Affairs, and Paul P. Colborn, Special Counsel for the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel are receiving the John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice for their continued tireless efforts in responding to ever increasing Congressional oversight requests, particularly Congressional inquiries into sensitive or classified matters.
Receiving the John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice, From the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Department’s Justice Management Division, is Catherine V. Emerson, Assistant Director; Eric S. Daniels, Melanie J. Russell, Matthew E. Hirt, and Melanie F. Jones, Senior Attorneys. This team is honored for its outstanding leadership role in providing legal advice and guidance to Department components in the area of labor and employment law.
The John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation is awarded to Todd M. Hughes, Assistant Director for the National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch in the Department’s Civil Division. Mr. Hughes is honored for his outstanding service to the Department regarding the Whistleblower Protection Act. Mr. Hughes has ably led the Department’s efforts in evaluating the Act, preparing effective written and oral testimony for presentation to Congress, and coordinating well-reasoned responses to Congressional inquiries.
The John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture is given to a team in recognition of its extraordinary work in forfeiting more than $1.2 billion in three massive corporate fraud cases and ensuring that the funds will be used to compensate thousands of defrauded investors. The team crafted innovative settlements and procedures designed to streamline the process of identifying victims, verifying their losses, and formulating a distribution plan. The team’s novel application of these statutes, regulations, and Department procedures to exceedingly complex fraud cases involving tens of thousands of victims now serves as the model for prosecutors nationwide. Members of this team include: from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Neil M. Barofsky, David C. Esseks, Sharon Cohen Levin, Perry A. Carbone, Margery B. Feinzig, Lisa P. Korologos, and Barbara A. Ward, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Department’s Criminal Division Nancy L. Rider, Trial Attorney, and Richard M. Weber, Chief.
The John Marshall Award for Dispute Resolution is given to Deborah A. Bynum, Assistant Director for the National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch in the Department’s Civil Division. Deborah A. Bynum is honored for her outstanding guidance in assessing whether it is in the best interest of the United States to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Ms. Bynum’s knowledge has been invaluable in developing ADR processes that are workable and fair to both claimants and the Government.