Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes 270 Justice Department employees for their distinguished public service today as part of the 61st Annual Attorney General Awards program. In addition, 53 other individuals, including federal employees and civilians, are also honored for their work. These annual awards recognize department employees and other individuals for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission.
“Despite significant challenges, evolving threats, and unprecedented budgetary difficulties, these dedicated employees have exemplified the very best of what it means to serve the American people,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Over the past year, each of them has gone above and beyond the call of duty to carry out the Justice Department’s critical mission and protect our fellow citizens. Some of these remarkable men and women have placed their own lives at great risk in order to save others. All of these employees and their families have made tremendous sacrifices in the name of public service. I am proud, and humbled, to count them as colleagues. And I congratulate them on this prestigious and well-deserved recognition.”
Attorney General Holder bestows the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service – the department’s highest award – to two teams this year. The awards are given to teams involved in the defense of the Affordable Care Act and the prosecution of companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service is presented to the following team for its successful defense of the Affordable Care Act, a landmark piece of legislation. With high stakes and a staggering volume of work to be done, this team withstood intense pressure and showcased superb litigation skills in drafting the law’s defense to constitutional challenges and lawsuits.
From the Civil Division Federal Programs Branch recipients include: Jennifer D. Ricketts, Director; Sheila M. Lieber, Deputy Director; Brian G. Kennedy and Joel McElvain, Senior Trial Counsels; and Eric Beckenhauer, Michelle R. Bennett, Ethan P. Davis, Kimberly Herb, Tamra T. Moore, Scott A. Risner, Justin M. Sandberg, Eric Richardson Womack and Kathryn L. Wyer, Trial Attorneys. From the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division, recipients include: Mark B. Stern and Michael S. Raab, Appellate Litigation Counsels; Alisa B. Klein, Appeals Counsel; and Samantha L. Chaifetz, Anisha Dasgupta and Dana Kaersvang, Trial Attorneys. From the Office of the Solicitor General, recipients include: Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General, and Joseph R. Palmore, Trial Attorney. From the Office of Legal Counsel, recipients include: Leondra R. Kruger, Deputy Assistant Attorney General. From the Appellate Staff of the Tax Division, recipients include: Gilbert S. Rothenberg, Section Chief; Francesca Ugolini, Attorney; and Teresa E. McLaughlin, Reviewer.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service is also presented to the following team that dedicated itself to the historic prosecution of BP in connection with the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster and its aftermath. From the Deepwater Horizon Task Force, recipients include: John D. Buretta, Director and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (former); Avi Gesser, Deputy Director and Counsel to the Chief of the Fraud Section (former); and Derek A. Cohen, Deputy Director and Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section (former. From the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Rohan A. Virginkar, Trial Attorney, and Katelynn Loughnane, Paralegal. From the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, recipients include: Colin L. Black, Trial Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, recipients include Scott M. Cullen, Assistant U.S. Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, recipients include: Richard R. Pickens II, Assistant U.S. Attorney. From the New Orleans Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Sandra M. Zulli, Supervisory Special Agent; Kelly C. Bryson, Michael R. Forrester, J.R. Smith, and Jeffrey T. Wright, Special Agents; Barbara G. O’Donnell, Special Agent (retired); and Darrell W. Hill, Intelligence Analyst.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism recognizes an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties. One award is presented this year.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism goes to a team of federal, state and local law enforcement officers involved in the apprehension of a dangerous fugitive on Feb. 29, 2012 in Cambridge, Md. The 30-minute gun battle that ensued with the fugitive injured a member of the team, who ultimately was saved by the courageous efforts of his colleagues. After the team member was injured, his colleagues urged him to jump out of a window, where he was quickly rescued and taken to a police vehicle. During the firefight, the injured detective also managed to protect the fugitive’s girlfriend from the ensuing gunfire. From the Investigative Operations Division of the U.S. Marshals Service, recipients include: Barry S. Boright, Supervisory Inspector, and Brian P. Sheppard, Inspector. From the Maryland State Police, recipients include: Christopher Snyder, Senior Trooper. From the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, recipients include: Thomas Funk, Detective. From the Salisbury Police Department, recipients include: Milton Rodriguez, Detective. From the Cambridge Police Department, recipients include: Christopher Flynn and Antoine Patton, Detectives; Justin Todd, Sergeant; and Joseph Jones, Private First Class.
The Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity pays tribute to the memory and achievements of former Attorney General Edward H. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor, dean and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the department. This year, the award is presented to Ronald A. Cimino, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division.
Cimino, through his nearly 40-year career, has enabled the government to achieve successful results in many important criminal tax cases, each time demonstrating himself to be a primer criminal litigator and senior manager. Over the course of his service to the department, Cimino has mentored and inspired countless attorneys, and is held in the highest regard within the tax community.
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 presented to Daniel L. Koffsky, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Koffsky is honored for his exceptional contributions to OLC, the department, and the rest of the Executive Branch, including especially the sharing of his expertise across an extremely wide range of legal topics. A living repository of OLC’s precedents and practice, Koffsky has brilliantly served the department and his colleagues. He is a lawyer with the utmost integrity and judgment.
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’s award is presented to Timothy J. Johnstone, Executive Director of the Sacramento Regional Threat Assessment Center of the Central California Intelligence Center, for his development of the office’s “Fusion Center” model in the Eastern District of California. With his leadership, more than 250 law enforcement agencies over 88,000 square miles and 34 counties have been able to communicate effectively with one another on key law enforcement planning matters.
The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service is the top public service award granted by the Department of Justice, and is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the department in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives. This year’s award is presented to Ernie Allen, President and Chief Executive Office (former) of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Allen, who served from 1984 until 2012 at the Center, is awarded for his leadership in circulating millions of photos of missing children and increasing the organization’s recovery rate from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Justice Department’s second-highest award for employee performance. The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the department’s mission. Ten awards are presented this year to individuals and teams.
One award is presented to Richard Zayas, Special Agent in the Special Operations Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Special Agent Zayas displayed exemplary performance in the creation of Operation Gideon, an undercover operation designed to use ATF agents to reduce violent crime and target firearms. Special Agent Zayas directed numerous undercover operations that resulted in 200 defendants being referred for federal prosecution and more than 100 firearms being seized.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also presented to a team for its extraordinary work in implementing the President’s conclusion that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and warrants heightened scrutiny. This dedicated team of litigators and staff showed a deep understanding of the law and sound strategic vision in litigating matters ranging from bankruptcy to federal benefits and immigration.
From the Civil Division Office of Immigration Litigation, recipients include: Jeffrey S. Robins, Assistant Director; Aaron S. Goldsmith, Senior Litigation Counsel; and Timothy M. Belsan and Jesi J. Carlson, Trial Attorneys. From the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division, recipients include: Robert E. Kopp, Director (retired); Michael Jay Singer, Assistant Director; and August E. Flentje, Helen L. Gilbert, Adam C. Jed, and Benjamin S. Kingsley (former), Trial Attorneys. From the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division, recipients include: Arthur R. Goldberg, Assistant Director; Christopher R. Hall and Jean Lin, Senior Counsels; Steven Y. Bressler and W. Scott Simpson, Senior Trial Counsels; and Judson O. Littleton, Trial Attorney. From the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, recipients include: Matthew S. Nosanchuk, Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General (former). From the Appellate Staff of the Civil Rights Division, recipients include: Holly Thomas, Trial Attorney, and Sharon M. McGowan, Trial Attorney (former). From the Office of the Attorney General, recipients include Jenny R. Mosier, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General. From the Office of Legal Policy, recipients include: Lamar W. Baker, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (former), and Steven B. Siger, Chief of Staff. From the Office of the Solicitor General, recipients include Pratik A. Shah and Eric J. Feigin, Trial Attorneys. From the Office of the General Counsel for the Executive Office for the U.S. Trustees, recipients include: Lisa A. Tracy, Deputy General Counsel.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service also is presented to a team of attorneys for their outstanding investigation and litigation in United States v. Wells Fargo Bank. Their efforts led to a settlement of $234 million, including compensation for more than 38,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers nationwide who were systemically steered into subprime mortgage products or charged higher prices because of their race or national origin. From the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, recipients include Eric I. Halperin, Special Counsel for Fair Lending. From the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division, recipients include Steven H. Rosenbaum, Chief; Jon M. Seward, Deputy Chief; and Elizabeth Parr Hecker, Holly C. Lincoln and Coty R. Montag, Trial Attorneys.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service also goes to a team recognized for their successful investigation and prosecution of Colonial Bank/Taylor, Bean and Whitaker. Within weeks of the cooperation of an insider familiar with the conspirators’ actions during the financial crisis, this dedicated team of prosecutors and federal agents executed search warrants that ultimately led to an indictment returning only 11 months later for wire and securities fraud. From the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Patrick F. Stokes, Deputy Chief, Robert A. Zink, Trial Attorney, Brigham Q. Cannon and Charles D. Reed, Trial Attorneys (former), and Jennifer Z. Gindin, Paralegal Specialist (former); From the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Jeannette M. Gunderson, Acting Assistant Deputy Chief. From the Appellate Staff of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Kirby A. Heller, Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, recipients include: Charles F. Connolly, Chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit (former); Paul J. Nathanson, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Lisa K. Porter, Paralegal Specialist. From the Operational Technology Division of the FBI, recipients include: W.L. Scott Bean III, Section Chief. From the Washington Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: John M. Gardner, Special Agent, and Scott J. Turner, Special Agent (retired). From the Office of Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, recipients include: Peter C. Emerzian, Deputy Inspector General of Investigations; Paul G. Conlon, Supervisory Special Agent; Timothy A. Mowery, Senior Special Agent; and Kari E. Meyer and David A. Mosakowski, Special Agents. From the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, recipients include: C. Ed Slage, Special Agent in Charge. From the Office of Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, recipients include: John T. Crawford, Senior Special Agent.
Also being awarded with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their outstanding and historic achievement in successful investigation and prosecuting GlaxoSmithKline is a team of attorneys nominated for their exceptional creativity, determination and perseverance in resolving the largest health care fraud settlement in department history. The $3 billion civil and criminal resolution will significantly deter future pricing misconduct and future fraud by pharmaceutical companies who withhold important safety information about their products and seek to manipulate the marketplace. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, recipients include: Sara Miron Bloom, Brian Pérez-Daple, Amanda Strachan, Susan G. Winkler and Edwin G. Winstead, Assistant U.S. Attorneys. From the Consumer Protection Branch of the Civil Division, recipients include: David A. Frank and Patrick Jasperse, Trial Attorneys. From the Civil Fraud Section of the Civil Division, recipients include: Andy J. Mao and Jamie Ann Yavelberg, Assistant Directors; and Charles J. Biro, Natalie A. Priddy, Douglas J. Rosenthal, Lisa Katz Samuels and Jeffrey A. Toll, Trial Attorneys.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service also is presented to a team responsible for the successful investigation and conviction of Jared Lee Loughner, an Arizona man who attempted to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others at a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. In the wake of this tragedy, the team demonstrated skill, professionalism and compassion in dutifully carrying out their responsibilities. Due to the team’s efforts, Loughner was sentenced to serve seven consecutive life terms and an additional 140 consecutive years in prison. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, recipients include: Wallace H. Kleindienst, Senior Litigation Counsel; Mary Sue Feldmeier, Beverly K. Anderson, Christina M. Cabanillas and Bruce M. Ferg, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Shawn M. Cox, Victim Witness Coordinator; Delores J. Arter and Mary-Anne Estrada, Victim Witness Specialists; Thomas J. Jefferson, Victim Witness Specialist (former); Wendy A. Dolph, Supervisory Legal Assistant; Celeste Maniscalco, Legal Assistant; and Sylvia Romero, Appellate Paralegal Specialist. From the Tucson Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Tony M. Taylor Jr. and Alan P. Misiaszek, Special Agents.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service also goes to a team involved in the successful investigation and prosecution of public officials in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, effectively ending the reign of a corrupt regime in the state’s largest county. This team proved at several trials that a County Commissioner orchestrated a decade-long racketeering conspiracy that involved almost 20 separate schemes and more than 100 bribes. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, recipients include: Antoinette T. Bacon, Henry DeBaggis, Nancy L. Kelley, Sharon L. Long, Robert J. Patton, Justin J. Roberts, Ann C. Rowland and Bernard A. Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorneys. From the Cleveland Division of the FBI, recipients include: Gregory D.L. Curtis, Melissa L. Fortunato, Raymond Michael Massie, Kirk P. Spielmaker and William M. Werner, Special Agents. From the Wilmington Resident Agency of the FBI, recipients include: Christine C. Oliver, Special Agent. From the Internal Revenue Service of the U.S. Department of Treasury, recipients include: Kelly D. Fatula, Special Agent.
Also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service are members of a team that demonstrated exemplary performance in Operation Red Coalition, an investigation into Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran who attempted to hire a Mexican drug dealer to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The team’s dedicated service helped to foil the elaborate plan coordinated in part by members of the highest levels of the Iranian government. From the Houston Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Christopher G. Raia and O. Robert Woloszyn, Special Agents; Kenneth S. Smith, Intelligence Analyst; and Patricia Swagerty, Forensic Accountant. From the Detroit Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Matthew Aken, Special Agent. From the Washington Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Thatcher P. Mohajerin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge. From the Security Division of the FBI, recipients include: Luis G. Ortiz, Supervisory Special Agent. From the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, recipients include: April Yufeng Qian and Liane K. Roach, Intelligence Analysts. From the Baghdad Attaché for the International Operations Division of the FBI, recipients include: James F. Walsh Jr., Supervisory Special Agent. From the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI, recipients include: John B. O’Keefe, General Attorney. From the Houston Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), recipients include: James R. Thornton and Nathaniel C. Fountain, Special Agents. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, recipients include: Edward Y. Kim and Glen A. Kopp, Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is Dean C. Sovolos, Special Agent in the New York
Field Office of the FBI. Special Agent Sovolos is nominated for his role as a program manager on the New York Field Office Counterterrorism squad for the United Kingdom (UK) portfolio. The UK is widely deemed to be one of the most important international partners in fighting terrorism, and the United States’ relationship with the UK serves as a model for other European nations. Moreover, Special Agent Sovolos has worked to disrupt terrorist cells and enhance the FBI’s relationship with the UK. He manages a caseload of more than 15 investigations and has advanced matters of significance to the United States.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service also goes to the team responsible for ensuring that the department sustained its clean financial audit opinion. This opinion matters as it demonstrates to the American taxpayers that the department’s finances associated with a $28 billion budget are sound. In the face of shrinking resources and avenues to conduct audit reviews and evaluate internal controls, the team was able to design and deploy many cost saving initiatives that did not jeopardize the outcome of the audit. From the Quality Control and Compliance Group of the Financial Staff in the Justice Management Division, recipients include: Stephanie A. Irby, Assistant Director; Yolanda Little, Deputy Assistant Director; Vu C. Truong, Supervisory Computer Specialist; and Lauren M. Webster, Accountant. From the Financial Statements Group of the Finance Staff of the Justice Management Division, recipients include: Valerie D. Grant, Assistant Director; David M. Bethea, Deputy Assistant Director; and Jerri N. Jones, Accountant.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice. Two awards are presented this year.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented to the team that investigated organized drug crime in Florida and had a far reaching impact, from Miami Dade and Broward Counties to Colombia, Mexico, Amsterdam, Spain and Greece. Due to the highly competent nature of their undercover investigations, several drug “kingpins,” operating abroad to complicate prosecutorial efforts, were foiled and their operations crippled, preventing thousands of kilograms of cocaine and other drugs from becoming available. From the Miami Field Division of the DEA, recipients include: Daniel G. Escobar, Group Supervisor; and Scott G. Meisel, Christopher C. Goumenis, Victoria J. Metker, Kirk L. Johnson, and Kristine E. Kibble, Special Agents. From the North Miami Beach Police Department, recipients include: William Beauparlant, Sergeant, and Sergio Diaz, Task Force Agent. From the North Bay Village Police Department, recipients include: John Costa, Task Force Agent. From the Coconut Creek Police Department, recipients include: Kevin Vernetti, Sergeant.
Another Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented to John Jaehnig, Senior Inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Investigative Operations Division, for going above and beyond the call of duty to bring justice to those wanted for the kidnapping and murder of two witnesses in a shooting trial. After leads began to diminish, Senior Inspector Jaehnig’s investigative efforts narrowed down the search for the two kidnapped women and he ultimately developed information which led authorities to a Detroit city park on March 28, 2012, where the young ladies’ remains were recovered. His investigative measures also led to an additional suspect who had been hired to commit these crimes. His efforts resulted in the conviction of all five defendants involved.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service in Indian Country recognizes extraordinary efforts by department employees who demonstrate the department’s commitment to fighting crime in Indian Country. This award is being presented to a team of dedicated department attorneys and staff who fought to combat violence against Native American women. Due to their exceptional work, tribes will be able to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence in Indian Country for the first time in decades. This system-wide change in Indian Country will hold accountable all perpetrators of domestic and dating violence against women regardless of race or tribal affiliation.
From the Office of the Associate Attorney General, recipients include: Samuel Hirsch, Deputy Associate Attorney General. From the Office of Violence Against Women, recipients include: Virginia S. Davis, Deputy Director for Policy Development and Communication; Lorraine P. Edmo, Deputy Director for Tribal Affairs; and Jennifer E. Kaplan, Supervisory Attorney-Advisor. From the Appellate Staff of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Richard A. Friedman, Appellate Attorney. From the Office of Legal Education in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, recipients include: Leslie A. Hagen, National Indian Country Training Coordinator. From the Office of the Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Justice Programs, recipients include: Eugenia Tyner-Dawson, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs. From the Office of Public Affairs, recipients include: Wyn Hornbuckle, Public Affairs Specialist. From the Office of Tribal Justice, recipients include: Tracy S. Toulou, Director, and Gaye L. Tenoso, Deputy Director. From the Office of Legislative Affairs, recipients include: Rita Aguilar, Attorney-Advisor (former). From the Office of Legal Counsel, recipients include: Zachary Price, Attorney-Advisor (former).
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements that have significantly improved operations and productivity, or reduced costs.
John Ely, a Management and Program Analyst in the Office of Security and Technology of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is awarded the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Management for his outstanding work and research into new security technologies, as applied in the correctional environment. His dedication in researching and implementing these new technologies has led to increased safety and protection of staff, inmates and the public. Ely's skill in fostering partnerships with law enforcement experts, technologists, and equipment manufacturers has benefitted the department and federal prisons, ensuring that they remain on the forefront of any developments and advancements in correctional security and employee safety.
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 award is presented to one team this year.
The team awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology led the adoption of a next generation case management system for the FBI. In late 2010, when the Information Technology Branch Sentinel Agile Team assumed responsibility for the new system, it had minimal workflow capability. Upon their successful efforts, the system was fully implemented in July of 2012 and became the FBI’s case management system of record. Due to their dedicated service to the FBI, the system reduces the time it takes to serialize a case and dramatically shortens the time necessary to share information between field offices, agents and intelligence analysts. With the critical nature and complexity of today’s threats, this new management system enables the FBI to coordinate case information across the globe and is one of the most sweeping technological contributions to its mission in the agency’s history.
From the Denver Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Nathan Burrows and Dorian Deligeorges, Special Agents. From the Las Vegas Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Scott M. Baugher, Special Agent. From the Charlotte Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Ronald L. Godfrey, Special Agent. From the Los Angeles Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Nathaniel Le, Supervisory Special Agent. From the Sacramento Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Tiffany Kelley Martin, Special Agent. From the Directorate of Intelligence, recipients include: Debra McDougall, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst. From the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, recipients include: Timothy P. Bell, Supervisory Special Agent. From the Information Technology Services Division of the FBI, recipients include: Michael J. Malinowski, Assistant Section Chief. From the Information Technology Management Division of the FBI, recipients include: Caryl T. Tallon, Unit Chief, and Robert T. Blake, Special Assistant. From the Information Technology Engineering Division of the FBI, recipients include: Erich Wiederhold, Supervisory Special Agent; Kevin Matthew Tunks, Supervisory Information Technology Specialist; and Susan Dawn High and Michael R. Kenney, Information Technology Specialists.
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. Two awards are presented this year.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security is presented to the team that successfully convicted Mahamud Said Omar, after a nearly five-year investigation into men traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia to join the foreign terrorist organization al-Shabaab. This dedicated team of attorneys and agents crippled this recruitment program and convicted eight defendants responsible for its administration. Their efforts also resulted in cooperation from several witnesses, which provided the United States with a significant window into the activities of al-Shabaab’s leadership and the foreign fighters under their direction.
From the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division (NSD), recipients include: William M. Narus, Trial Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, recipients include: LeeAnn K. Bell, Charles J. Kovats, Jr. and John F. Docherty, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; and W. Anders Folk, Assistant U.S. Attorney (retired). From the Minneapolis Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Earl Kent Wilson, Supervisory Special Agent; and Michael N. Cannizzaro Jr., Karie A. Gibson, Jeffrey T. Moniz, Patrick M. Rielly, Harry M. Samit, Kiann Vandenover and Scott L. Zimmerman, Special Agents. From the U.S. Department of the Army, recipients include: Corrine M. Tullos, Special Agent. From the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, recipients include: Bradley A. Otremba, Task Force Officer and Investigator.
Another team receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security is a team that investigated and prosecuted Khalid Ali Aldawsari, who attempted to construct a powerful improvised explosive device to target high profile locations, including the residence of a former President of the United States. With extensive coordination and technical expertise, Aldawsari was convicted after a jury trial and sentenced to life in prison for his actions.
From the Counterterrorism Section of the NSD, recipients include: David P. Cora, Trial Attorney, and Pamela J. Hall, Legal Administrative Specialist. From the Office of Intelligence of the NSD, recipients include: Robert J. Lloyd, Supervisory Attorney-Advisor, and Charles E. Luftig, Attorney-Advisor. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, recipients include: Linda C. Groves and Denise Williams, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Jeffrey R. Haag and Matthew Kacsmaryk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; and Clyde Richard Baker, Assistant U.S. Attorney (retired). From the Dallas Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Kevin L. Gentry, Kathryn A. Hughes, Michael N. Orndorff and Loretta Smitherman, Special Agents. From the Laboratory Division of the FBI, recipients include: W. Mark Whitworth, Supervisory Special Agent, and Robert F. Mothershead II, Supervisory Chemist. From the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, recipients include: R. David Collins, Unit Chief, and Michael Bonsiewich, Intelligence Analyst. From the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI, recipients include: Sunjeet Singh Randhawa, General Attorney.
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 a team of department staff who provided an exceptional Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program in the Richmond Field Office of the FBI that worked towards achieving diversity and inclusion in the FBI. Each member of this program team volunteered and commendably balanced their full-time jobs with the additional EEO program duties. In 2012, the EEO committee acknowledged every federally recognized observance with educational events meant to inspire communication and raise awareness of cultural differences amongst employees. This feat is remarkable considering the field office operates without a budget for EEO programming and all costs for the events were borne through the generosity of employees and committee members. From the Richmond Field Office of the FBI, recipients include: Antoinette L. Allen, Administrative Officer; Christopher A. Thurston, Operational Support Technician; Hannah Bradley Gray, Intelligence Analyst; Freddie Hornedo, Information Technology Specialist; and Tijwana L. Simmons, Secretary.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support in the Paralegal Category goes to the Land Acquisition Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s (ENRD) Betty R. Wilson, Supervisory Paralegal Specialist. For almost 40 years, Wilson has been an integral part of every federal eminent domain case brought on behalf of the United States. Without her tireless work and dedication, the ENRD Land Acquisition Section would not have been as successful in accomplishing critical land acquisitions, such as the Border Fence Initiative, vital military training, environmental preservation and development of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary. This year, the award goes to four recipients, two in the Administrative category and two in the Secretarial category. The Administrative category awardees include, Mary Sipe, Security Specialist for the Security and Emergency Planning Staff of the Justice Management Division; and Donna Gale Wright, Administrative Officer in the Memphis Regional Office of the U.S. Trustee Program. The Secretarial category awardees include: Estelle Brown, Secretary in the National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Section of the Civil Division; and Shanedda L. Bogan, Staff Assistant in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the ENRD.
The Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility recognizes a Department of Justice attorney who has made significant contributions in the area of professional responsibility by successfully handling a sensitive and challenging professional responsibility issue in an exemplary fashion and/or leading efforts to ensure that department attorneys carry out their duties in accordance with the rules of professional conduct. This year, the award goes to Robin C. Ashton, Counsel in the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Ashton is awarded for her tireless and dedicated efforts to ensure that department attorneys and agents maintain and are held accountable to the highest standards of professional responsibility. Through skillful and creative management, she has enabled OPR to reduce its backlogged investigations and inquiries while producing thorough, well-reasoned reports of its investigations.
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 recipient is Varudhini Chilakamarri, Trial Attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division. In less than one year, Chilakmarri has provided exceptional dedication to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and has effected significant institutional changes that have fostered more coordinated, timely, and accurate responses to FOIA requesters. The policies she has enacted have ensured that department leadership offices are well-informed about the department’s FOIA requests and has improved the Office of Information Policy’s ability to facilitate coordination between components where needed.
The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigate, and prosecute fraud, white-collar crimes, and official corruption. Awards are presented to two teams this year.
An award is presented to the team that spearheaded an investigation into a local law enforcement entity that was engaging in a high volume of anti-money laundering operations without required federal oversight. As a result, this team facilitated the department’s recovery of approximately $1.2 million in Equitable Sharing Program funds from that law enforcement entity. From the Investigations Division of the Miami Field Office of the Office of the Inspector General, recipients include Matthew L. McCloskey, Special Agent. From the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Gene Patton, Assistant Deputy Chief.
Also receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention is the team leading efforts to prosecute tax refund fraud committed through identity theft, which victimizes unsuspecting, law-abiding citizens and steals billions of dollars from the government. This team brought great expertise and energy to the prosecution of individuals and groups who commit these crimes by pushing for long prison sentences that serve as a strong deterrent for would-be future offenders. From the Southern Region of the Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division, recipients include: Larry J. Wszalek, Assistant Chief; and Michael C. Boteler, Charles M. Edgar Jr., Justin K. Gelfand, and Jason H. Poole, Trial Attorneys. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, recipients include: Todd A. Brown, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community. The award recognizes the significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the department in the accomplishment of these programs. This year’s award is to a team of individuals responsible for a collaborative effort to reduce youth violence in New York City. This team founded the Saturday Night Lights program led by the Juvenile Justice and Reentry Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The partnership of this program with local law enforcement and social service agencies helps reduce youth violence and increase high school graduation rates of students in Manhattan, N.Y.
From the New York Field Division of the DEA, recipients include: Wilbert L. Plummer, Associate Special Agent in Charge, and Michael Abraham Jr., Special Agent. From the New York County District Attorney’s Office, recipients include: Cyrus R. Vance Jr., District Attorney; Chauncey Parker, Executive Assistant District Attorney for Crime Prevention Strategies; Estelle Strykers, Director; and Joselinne Minaya, Supervisor. From the Community Affairs Bureau of the New York City Police Department, recipients include: Philip Banks, Chief, and Kevin O’Connor, Assistant Commissioner for Juvenile Justice. From the New York City Housing Authority, recipients include: John Rhea, Commissioner. From Pro Hoops Inc., recipients include: Ross Burns, Director. From AllStarr Volleyball, recipients include: Reilly Starr, Managing Director. From the Police Athletic League, recipients include: Alana Sweeny, Executive Director. From the Henry Street Settlement, recipients include: Greg Rideout, Deputy Program Officer for Youth Services and Workforce Development. From the Supportive Children Advocacy Network, recipients include: Lew Zuchman, Executive Director. From Children’s Village, recipients include: Tonyna McGhee, Assistant Vice President and Director.
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. One award is presented this year to Anthony Thomas Naumoff, Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor, in the Facilities and Logistics Services Division of the FBI. Naumoff is awarded for his responsibility to all around-the-clock mission critical facility operations at the FBI’s headquarters building. When a potentially devastating leak threatened the operations of critical infrastructure, Naumoff quickly solved the issue and prevented a major failure of communications that would have threatened the FBI’s day-to-day mission.
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. Recipients include: Colleen Melody, Trial Attorney for the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division; James M. Crotty, Intelligence Research Specialist in the Intelligence Division of the DEA; Timothy C. Perry, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California; and Ashley Lauren Hall, Victim Specialist in the New Haven Field Office of the FBI.
The John Marshall Awards are the Department of Justice’s highest awards offered to attorneys, for contributions and excellence in specialized areas of legal performance. Thirteen awards in nine categories are presented this year.
The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is presented to attorneys from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for their extraordinary work to secure justice in United States v. Cates, a matter involving the sexual assault of a victim by an individual using his enforcement authority as a Milwaukee police officer. Seizing on the defendant’s inconsistent statements, the team of attorneys established that the victim had been truthful about the event. After a hotly contested trial, the jury convicted the defendant for raping the victim, and sentenced him to serve 24 years in prison. From the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, recipients include: Saeed Mody, Trial Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, recipients include: Mel S. Johnson, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is also presented to a team of attorneys from the Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Texas and the District of Columbia for the successful prosecution of Allen Stanford, a perpetrator of one of the largest white collar crimes in history. The tenacity and skill of this team of attorneys directly led to a 110-year prison conviction for devastating the lives of over 30,000 victims in a fraudulent scheme that cost the perpetrator’s investors more than $7 billion in losses. Over the course of two hard-fought jury trials, this team’s work ethic and meticulous attention to detail proved successful in finding justice for these victims. From the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, recipients include: Jeffrey A. Goldberg and William J. Stellmach, Deputy Chiefs, and Andrew H. Warren, Trial Attorney. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, recipients include: Jason S. Varnado, Senior Litigation Counsel; Kristine E. Rollinson, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Gregg J. Costa, Assistant U.S. Attorney (former). From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, recipients include: Kondi Kleinman, Assistant U.S. Attorney and former Trial Attorney for the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.
The John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation was awarded to members of the team that successfully negotiated the consent decree that will lead to the reform of the New Orleans Police Department after months of intense negotiation and a long history of civil rights violations within the NOPD. The team worked for nearly three years to address the problems within the NOPD, resulting in a consent decree that was the broadest ever entered by the department to correct a police pattern or practice authority. These efforts worked to ensure that law enforcement agencies respect the civil rights of all individuals. From the Office of the Assistant Attorney General, recipients include: Roy L. Austin, Deputy Assistant Attorney General. From the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, recipients include: Christy E. Lopez and Shaheena A. Simons, Deputy Chiefs; and Emily A. Gunston, Corey M. Sanders and Jude J. Volek, Trial Attorneys. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee, recipients include: Stephen C. Parker, Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Another John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is awarded to an attorney from the department’s Office of International Affairs, Mary D. Rodriguez. In little more than a decade, Rodriguez has transformed the United States? extradition relationship with Mexico from a hit-or-miss effort in which a mere dozen fugitives were extradited in 2000, to a record 115 fugitives in 2012 returned to the United States to face trial in federal and state courts. In those years, which ultimately saw the extradition of nearly 800 defendants to the United States, Ms. Rodriguez, tackled every challenge, secured landmark decisions in the Mexican Supreme Court, and met every setback with greater determination to succeed. In each case she used her experience as a federal prosecutor, as well as her deep knowledge of Mexican law and political structures, to solve legal problems and overcome bureaucratic inertia to capitalize on the law enforcement cooperation that emerged in Mexico.
The John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is presented to the Deputy Chief of the Capital Case Section of the Criminal Division, Gwynn “Charlie” Kinsey, for his exceptional contributions to pursuing capital punishment in the most significant violent crime cases handled by department prosecutors. With more than 22 years of experience in capital matters, his holistic approach to providing guidance to federal prosecutors requires extraordinary commitment and persistence. While being asked over the past two years to significantly increase the amount of litigation-related guidance he provides to federal prosecutors, Kinsey also continues to shoulder his policy and protocol review responsibilities on behalf of the department. His work has substantially contributed to the strong partnership between the Criminal Division and the United States Attorney’s Offices, and the result of this collaboration has been the successful prosecution of numerous significant violent crime cases.
The John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is also presented to Michael K. Baker, Georgia Garthwaite, Michael J. Krainak and Erika B. Kranz, Trial Attorneys in the Land Acquisition Section of the ENRD. This team of attorneys is awarded for their devotion to acquiring land for critical military training, including of approximately 2,560 acres within the El Centro Naval Air Facility for training use. After months of extensive discovery, motion practice, and expert witness preparation, the landowners agreed to an almost unprecedented settlement whereby they accepted only $300,000 more than the United States? initial deposit, and nearly 85 percent less than their own final valuation. The landowners originally valued the property and mining interests at several hundred million dollars and then settled at $1.5 million based on the hard work, dedication and successful investigation and negotiation by these award recipients. During these times of significant financial concerns, the nominees played a vital role in ensuring the Navy obtained property needed for military training, while also saving the government millions of dollars.
The John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals is presented to Alexander P. Robbins, a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section of the Tax Division. Robbins is awarded for his extraordinary service to the department for representing the government on tax matters before the Supreme Court and other appellate and district courts. He has handled the most difficult tax matters for the department, including successfully advancing the application of the required records doctrine to grand jury subpoenas issued in international tax cases.
This year’s John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice is presented to a team of attorneys for their outstanding work in developing the department’s tribal eagle feathers enforcement policy. This team created the first-ever formal department policy statement addressing the ability of members of federally-recognized Indian tribes to possess or use eagle feathers. The awardees coordinated and worked closely with tribal groups to balance the interest of tribes with the enforcement interests of the department and wildlife laws. From the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the ENRD, recipients include: Ethan G. Shenkman, Deputy Assistant Attorney General. From the Indian Resource Section of the ENRD, recipients include: S. Craig Alexander, Chief. From the Law and Policy Section of ENRD, recipients include: Karen M. Wardzinksi, Chief; Amber Blaha, Assistant Chief; and Stacy R. Stoller, Trial Attorney. From the Environmental Crimes Section of the ENRD, recipients include: Stacy H. Mitchell, Chief, and Elinor Colbourn, Assistant Chief. From the Office of Tribal Justice, recipients include: Christopher Brent Chaney, Deputy Director (former).
The John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation is awarded to Nathan A. Forrester, an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel. In his role as editor of published Office of Legal Counsel opinions, he is clearing away the publication backlog. In addition, his self-initiated work in compiling, analyzing, and producing a volume of OLC opinions from 1934-1977 is making an important historic contribution. Forrester deftly and fairly supervises the other Attorney-Advisers in the Office who look to his example and wisdom for guidance in their own work. Despite a massive workload, his work is always of the highest quality and his love of the Constitution and its history makes him a model of government lawyering.
The John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture is presented to Daniel H. Claman, Assistant Deputy Chief for the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Criminal Division. Claman is nominated for his exemplary work in implementing the Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative and using civil forfeiture actions to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption. He is a leader in the forfeiture of foreign corruption, and in the return of those ill-gotten gains to the victims of these crimes.
The John Marshall Award for Alternative Dispute Resolution recipient is L. Misha Preheim, Senior Trial Counsel in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division, for his work in resolving the disputes of military personnel who were challenging the Department of Defense’s decision to award only one-half separation pay upon their discharge from the military pursuant to the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Preheim spearheaded the drive to resolve this case and brokered a framework that provided for payment to a large number of former service members who, without Preheim’s efforts, were likely to wait a substantial period of time for relief through the courts or military review boards.
The John Marshall Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation Award goes to Luke B. Marsh, Chief Trial Attorney for the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for his work in addressing schemes to manipulate LIBOR interest rates. Marsh is nominated for his exceptional assistance to the department in the high-profile investigations and prosecutions of individuals, multi-national banks and other financial institutions engaged in wide-ranging and complex schemes to manipulate LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates affecting trillions of dollars of loans, mortgages and complex financial products worldwide. He has been one of the lead prosecutors on this matter from the inception of the investigations, and was responsible for investigating more than 20 banks and hundreds of individuals involved in the scheme.
Also awarded the John Marshall Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation Award is a team of attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico for their exemplary partnership in supporting the district’s violent crime reduction initiative. This team is responsible for prosecuting more than 500 individuals as part of an effort to target violent criminals and halt the surging murder rate in Puerto Rico. From November 2011 until December 2012, the team achieved an almost perfect conviction rate, and the targeted areas of San Juan, Bayamon, Caguas, Carolina and Ponce have seen a combined decrease in the number of homicides of 25 percent, amounting to 150 fewer murders when compared to the murder rate in 2011. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, recipients include: Victor O. Acevedo, Max Perez-Bouret, Amanda C. Soto, Maria L. Montanez and Kelly Zenón, Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys.