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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Joseph H. Widmar, Director of Operations for the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, was named the Division's Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Litigation.

Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said Widmar, 59, will oversee the Division's litigation efforts concerning criminal antitrust matters such as bid rigging and price fixing.

"Mr. Widmar's vast knowledge and expertise in dealing with criminal price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies will enable him to oversee the Division's important initiative to crack down on illegal nationwide price fixing conspiracies," said Bingaman.

Widmar has served as Director of Operations since 1979, supervising 300 lawyers in Washington, D.C, and seven field offices.

Under Widmar's supervision, the Division has initiated more than one thousand criminal prosecutions against corporations and individuals nationwide for conspiring to rig bids and fix prices on school milk contracts, soft drinks, highway paving and other major industries.

Widmar has worked in the Antitrust Division for 32 years as a trial attorney, senior litigator, chief of the Trial Section and Director of Operations.

Before becoming an attorney, Widmar worked for two years as an electrical engineer for IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York.

In 1985, Widmar received a Presidential Rank Award for sustained superior accomplishment in the management of programs of the U.S. government and for noteworthy achievement of quality and efficiency in the public service. In 1988, he received the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, the second highest award in the Department of Justice.

Widmar received electrical engineering and law degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956 and 1961 respectively.

"The Division has been fortunate to have Joe Widmar--a dedicated and outstanding career government employee--serve in the Antitrust Division for 32 years. His knowledge in dealing with criminal matters and keen judgment regarding all antitrust matters continues to be invaluable to the Division. Indeed, it is an astonishing and absolutely correct fact that Joe Widmar has supervised the filing of 1,127 of the 2,288 criminal cases filed by the Antitrust Division since the Sherman Act was enacted in 1890," said Bingaman.

Widmar, a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and his wife, Sandy, live in Beltsville, Maryland. He is the father of three children.