WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes 247 department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 57th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony. Thirty-nine other individuals outside of the department are also honored for their work. Held at DAR Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission.
“It is my privilege to honor these recipients for their outstanding service and commitment to our country,” Attorney General Holder said. “Each of these dedicated servants has carried out the important mission of the Department of Justice and has done so with excellence and distinction. Their varied accomplishments have advanced the interests of justice on behalf of the American people, and I’m proud to call them my colleagues.”
Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden presented the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service – the department’s highest award – to the team responsible for the prosecution of United States v. Ferguson.The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service is the department’s highest award.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service is presented to the team whose investigation and prosecution ended a three-year crime spree, headed by former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Ruben Palomares. The six-year investigation and prosecution that broke this conspiracy resulted in 15 individuals pleading guilty and the conviction at trial of two others. Through their tireless dedication, teamwork, creativity and legal skill, they helped restore a sense of justice to victims and communities who had been preyed upon by the very people who had sworn to serve and protect them.
The recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service include, from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Jeffrey S. Blumberg, Special Litigation Counsel; Joshua D. Mahan, Trial Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Douglas McKinley Miller, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Los Angeles Division, Special Agent Philip J. Carson.
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. This year, the award was presented to Anthony J. Layfield, Senior Officer Specialist of the Federal Bureau of Prisons U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta.
Anthony J. Layfield is honored for his commendable act of heroism. On June 2, 2008, a fellow officer was violently attacked by a highly aggressive inmate. As a result of Officer Layfield’s quick, decisive actions, and his continued attentiveness and dedication to duty, the life of a staff member was saved. This heroic act spared a family the loss of a husband and a father.
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. Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General for the Office of the Solicitor General, is presented the award this year.
Mr. Kneedler played an indispensable role in complex and time-consuming intra-governmental deliberations on diverse matters of great sensitivity and importance, including the handling of congressional subpoenas of former presidential advisors and presidential records, the proper treatment of Guantanamo detainees, the release of Office of Legal Counsel opinions, and the appropriate role and uses of presidential signing statements.
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 William J. Edwards, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Mr. Edwards is recognized for his outstanding legal expertise, managerial and supervisory skills, and his active leadership role as the interim U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. For more than 40 years, Mr. Edwards has fostered strong relationships throughout his federal career with the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) and other heads of federal, local and state agencies in support of the law enforcement efforts of this District. Mr. Edwards is an exceptional individual and role model who epitomizes professionalism and dedication as an outstanding federal employee.
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 Detective Deborah K. Scates oftheHartford, Conn., Police Department and Sergeant Christopher McKee of the Windsor, Conn., Police Department for their the investigation and prosecution of United States v. Paris, et al., a high-profile sex trafficking case that resulted in the conviction of 10 individuals and the rescue of multiple women and juvenile girls that the individuals exploited.
The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service is the top public service award granted by the department, and is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the Department of Justice in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives. This year’s award is presented to a team from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Miami, Fla. Recipients include Dr. Selma DeJesus, Chief Psychologist; Dr. Sherri Skibinski, Drug Abuse Program Coordinator Nestor Chavez, Supervisor of Education; Lori Bearden, Case Manager; Giovanni Gras, Teacher; Mark Jones, Correctional Counselor; and Paola Londono, Unit Secretary. These award recipients developed the Inmate Change and Alternative Network (ICAN). ICAN is part of a re-entry program that focuses on networking with Federal, State, and local agencies to create a partnership and/or referral network that provides services to equip inmates for release.
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. Seventeen Distinguished Service Awards were presented this year to individuals or teams of people.
One award is presented to members of a team from the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division including Mark R. Rosman, Assistant Chief, and Trial Attorneys Brent C. Snyder, Kathryn M. Hellings, Mark C. Grundvig and Elizabeth A. Aloi. Through the team’s leadership, dedication, and exceptional investigative and litigation efforts, multiple worldwide conspiracies to fix and raise prices, rates and fees for airline passenger travel and for airline cargo shipments of goods were broken up, and competition was restored to a globally vital industry.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also presented to a team honored for their extraordinary efforts throughout the fast-moving and intense trial and appellate proceedings to defend the Navy’s ability to conduct mission critical training using active SONAR prior to deployment to hot spots around the world, while at the same time working with the Navy to ensure compliance with the nation’s environmental laws. Recipients were from the Wildlife and Marine Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Seth M. Barsky, Assistant Section Chief; Kristen L. Gustafson and S. Jay Govindan, Senior Trial Attorneys; Kevin W. McArdle and Michael R. Eitel, Trial Attorneys; from the Natural Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Charles W. Findlay III, Assistant Section Chief; Charles R. Shockey, Luther L. Hajek and Guillermo A. Montero, Trial Attorneys;from the Appellate Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Andrew C. Mergen, Assistant Section Chief; Allen M. Brabender, Michael T. Gray and Charles R. Scott, Trial Attorneys;from the Office of the Solicitor General, Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General and Anthony A. Yang, Assistant to the Solicitor General.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is presented to Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Lynch from the Western District of Washington. Phil Lynch is recognized for his outstanding commitment to justice on both United States and international soil. For 14 years, he successfully defended the United States as a civil Assistant U.S. Attorney handling numerous, complex medical malpractice actions for the Western District of Washington. From 2005-2006, he served at the Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Baghdad, where he assisted Iraqi attorneys prosecuting crimes by the regime of Saddam Hussein. In January 2008, Mr. Lynch once again agreed to leave family and home to serve a one-year term as the Rule of Law Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which made him the most senior Department of Justice official in Iraq.
Larry W. Krisl, Special Agent, Denver Field Division, and Christopher J. Trainor, Special Agent, Baltimore Field Division, both from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Special Agents Krisl and Trainor were assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from October 2007 to September 2008. They were involved in day-to-day embassy law enforcement operations and the initiation and oversight of several high-profile investigations. Despite great personal risk they performed their duties to ensure the safety and security of others.
Seven individuals are awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their workon United States v. Eye and Sandstrom. The team obtained convictions against two violent, racially-motivated offenders. Due to this team’s hard work and excellent litigation skills, two killers were brought to justice, and an entire community's civil rights were vindicated. Award recipients from the Department’s Civil Rights Division include Eric L. Gibson, Trial Attorney; Daniel K. Rosenholtz, former Paralegal Specialist; individuals from the FBI include, Arch G. Gothard, IV, Special Agent in the Kansas City Division; Heith R. Janke, Special Agent in the San Antonio Division; members from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Missouri include, Assistant U.S. Attorneys D. Michael Green and David M. Ketchmark; and Financial Analyst Elsie Robinson.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also presented to a team responsible for “Operation Joint Hammer,” a transnational enforcement operation, which led to the identification and prosecution of scores of dangerous child sex offenders throughout the world. Recipients from Also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service are Senior Officers Andrew Cruickshank and Jose Gonzalez from theFederal Correctional Complex, Lompoc, Calif., for their life saving efforts on behalf of an inmate. Mr. Cruickshank and Mr. Gonzalez performed CPR on an inmate for more than 15 minutes while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Their efforts saved an individual’s life and inspired other staff to become certified in CPR. the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division include Assistant Deputy Chief and Assistant to the Chief for the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section Steven J. Grocki and James M. Fottrell; from the FBI’s Innocent Images Unit Investigative Operations Analyst Linda S. Ellerby; Investigative Support Specialists Julie Ann Harper and Maria E. Jackson; Industrial Security Specialist Crystal J. Tennessee; Information Technology Specialist Robert J. Williams and SupervisorySpecial Agent Mark E. Zimmerman; from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Postal Inspectors Clayton E. Gerber and J. Todd Bame; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Senior Special Agent Theodore Siggins.
Also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is, from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Phoenix Field Division, Group Supervisor Mark J. Benek and Special Agents Stephanie J. Barta, Joshua F. Cluff, Karl W. Hedrick, Daniel Mehdi, Brandon Moore, Daniel E. Moritz and Robert L. Wardle; and from the Phoenix Police Department Task Force Officer Danny Valadez. The Phoenix Strike Force Group 1 receives this award for their outstanding Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations aimed at dismantling a significant drug trafficking and money laundering organization. Because of the team’s talent, dedication, and hard work, the Verdugo-Calderon Organization suffered significant damage, including the loss of its primary leadership and significant disruption to its drug trafficking activities that reached from Mexico and throughout the United States.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is presented to the prosecution team that successfully investigated and prosecuted the Vasquez-Valenzuela family, which committed acts of forced prostitution by young women and minors they smuggled into the country from Guatemala. Members of the team included, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Cheryl O’Connor Murphy, Curtis A. Kin, Anthony J. Lewis, and Sarah J. Heidel, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and Paralegal Specialist Rochelle Wong; from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, Special Litigation Counsel Andrew J. Kline, Trial Attorney Cyra O’Daniel, and Paralegal Specialist Connie Lee; from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Special Agents Tricia Whitehill and Valerie Venegas; fromU.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Special Agent Miguel Palomino; and from theOffice of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, Special Agent Jesus Quezada Jr.
Also awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service was the prosecution team for United States v. Pavel Lazarenk. It was the first prosecution of a foreign political leader for laundering the proceeds of foreign crimes involving political corruption, fraud and extortion through financial institutions in the United States. Award recipients from the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California include, Peter B. Axelrod, Patricia J. Kenney, Stephanie Hinds and Hartley M.K. West, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Jonathan R. Howden and Martha A. Boersch, Former Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Christine Y. Tian, Paralegal Specialist; from the department’s Criminal Division’s Organized Crime & Racketeering Section, Hallie A. Mitchell, former Trial Attorney; Amelia Lucero-Cordes, Paralegal Specialist; from the FBI Moscow Office, Bryan Earl, Legal Attaché; from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), San Francisco District Office, Supervisory Special Agent Bennett Hong; and Charles A. Tonna, Internal Revenue Agent.
Seven individuals were awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their workin the prosecution of Michael Joseph Pepe, a U.S. citizen who traveled to Cambodia to purchase young girls from their parents. As a result of the prosecution team's commitment, dedication and exemplary efforts, a Los Angeles jury convicted Mr. Pepe of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. Award recipients included, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia A. Donahue, John J. Lulejian and Elizabeth R. Yang; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Special Agents Gary J. Phillips, Eddy Wang and Paul Carbone; andForeign Service National Vansak Sous.
Frank H. Anderson III, Special Assistant to the Chief Information Officer in the Justice Management Division’s Office of the Chief Information Officer is awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his sustained outstanding leadership, and overall management of the department’s communication needs for nearly 20 years. His oversight and direction have guided the complex and successful efforts of the Office of the Chief Information Officer while simultaneously providing services across the department components and to their executive officers.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also awarded to, from the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section Sharon Lever, Deputy Chief; Joanna Baltes, Trial Attorney; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, David E. Risley, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Jaci L. Carrell, Paralegal Specialist; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Marla Tusk, Assistant U.S. Attorney; from the FBI Aman Jordan Office, Timothy P. Kirkham, Legal Attaché; from the FBI Springfield, Ill., Division, John H. Stafford, Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Matthew J. Iskrzycki, Supervisory Special Agent; Scott B. Easton, Special Agent; Thomas Michael Shanahan, Mary Kay Eades and Rebecca L. Miller, Intelligence Analysts; from the FBI Counterterrorism Division, Jacqueline Maguire, Supervisory Special Agent, and Hillary Brie Sommer, Intelligence Analyst.; and from the FBI Critical Incident Response Group Nicholas Zambeck, Special Agent. This team received the award for their relentless and innovative efforts in the investigation and prosecution of Ali Saleh Kaleh Al-Marri. The trial team unraveled an international conspiracy and successfully completed one of the most high-profile terrorism cases in the department’s history.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is awarded to a team honored for their outstanding efforts to produce four reports of investigation relating to allegations of politicized hiring within the Department of Justice, which resulted in the removal of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006. Recipients include, from the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General Oversight and Review Division, Carol F. Ochoa, Assistant Inspector General for Oversight and Review; Nina S. Pelletier and Mark S. Masling, Investigative Counsels; Joseph Symcak, Senior Special Agent; Judy A. Sutrich, Senior Program Analyst; Jason R. Higley, Special Agent; Dominic N. Russoli, Paralegal Specialist; from the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector GeneralEvaluations and Inspections Division, Gina J. Wong, Senior Program Analyst; Cheron D. Cooper and Katherine A. Zownir, Program Analysts; Cynthia A. Schnedar, Counselor to the Inspector General, William M. Blier, Senior Counsel to the Inspector General; from the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility, William J. Birney, James D. Duncan and Tamara Jaycox Kessler, Associate Counsels; Raymond C. Hurley, Senior Assistant Counsel; Margaret S. McCarty, Assistant Counsel; from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Deputy Chief of Policy, James A. Meade.
An Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is also awarded to Glenn E. Belgard, Deputy U.S. Marshal of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Belgard receives the award for his outstanding leadership and investigative skill in coordinating a U.S. Marshals Service led Fugitive Task Force in central Louisiana. Deputy Belgard has been recognized by community leaders, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for arrests of some of the nation’s most dangerous felons. Deputy Belgard’s accomplishments in fugitive investigations and his skillful service to the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Justice exemplifies professional law enforcement.
Phyllis J. Pyles, Director of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division Torts Branch receives the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for her tenacious and intelligent defense of the United States for more than three decades in tort litigation. She has had a critical role in the development of laws protecting the United States from lawsuits. Her work has consistently met the highest standards of professional excellence.
John D. Griffith, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section, Mark F. Mendelsohn, Deputy Chief; Lori A. Weinstein, Trial Attorney; Pamela Johnson, Paralegal Specialist; from the FBI Washington Field Office, Brian J. Smith and Paula L. Ebersole, Special Agents; and Troy Burrus and Howard Smith, from U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS, are presented with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for outstanding performance in the investigation and prosecution ofSiemens AG, a German engineering company. The department’s investigation uncovered evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars of corrupt payments in dozens of countries spanning several decades, and in virtually every Siemens operating group and region. The Department’s prosecution was announced simultaneously and coordinated with a civil enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a criminal prosecution by the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office, resulting in overall sanctions of more than $1.6 billion. The Department of Justice’s coordination of its settlement not only with the SEC, but also with a foreign regulator sets a new standard in international cooperation and coordination, and serves as a model for future global anti-corruption enforcement.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice. Four Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards are awarded this year.
The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented toa team from the U.S. Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force Program. The team is honored for their outstanding efforts and exceptional service in the reduction of violent crime and gang activity, and the apprehension of more than 33,000 fugitive felons, more than 1,200 of whom were wanted for murder, during the past fiscal year. Members include from the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Keith Booker; from the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Thomas Hession; from the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Lenny DePaul; from the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Michael Richards; from the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Rob Fernandez; and from the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Inspector Geoff Shank.
Another Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented to John “Mickey” Welch, Special Agent, ATF Nashville Field Division for his leadership and outstanding investigative ability. This is demonstrated by the successful racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations investigation and prosecution of the violent street gang MS-13 in Nashville, Tenn.
Special Agents Richard Bachour, Christopher Goumenis and Sharon Lindskoog, from the DEA Miami Field DivisionGroup Supervisor Brian McKnight; from the DEA Bogota Country Office Group Supervisor John Gazzara; andSpecial Agent Adam Allen are honored with the Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for their participation in Operation Titan, a multi-jurisdictional Consolidated and Regional Priority Organization Target DEA investigation of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Coordinated efforts under the auspices of the Operation Titan team have resulted in the arrest of more than 107 domestic and international targets, seizure of more than $40 million, more than $2 million in other related assets (to include three aircraft), 26 international bank accounts, more than 3,700 kilograms of cocaine and 10 kilograms of heroin.
Also awarded the Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was from the FBI Salt Lake Division, Special Agents Michael J. Gnecknow and Gail L. Gnecknow; Supervisory Special Agent Donald E. Robinson, Jr.; Investigative Operations Analyst Dorothy A. Broyles; Evidence Technician Esther Tamez; Financial Analyst Michele E. Lewis; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wendy Olson and Traci Whelan; Paralegal Specialist Denise Price; AutomatedLitigation Support Specialist Pamela J. Rocca; andVictims Witness Specialist Kristi Johnson. This team receives the award for their exemplary efforts during a three-year long investigation of a brutal triple homicide and the abduction of two children in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in May 2005. As a result of their efforts, a violent serial sexual predator was arrested, and one of the abducted children was recovered.
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. Three Excellence in Management Awards are presented this year.
Paul J. Copenhaver, Warden at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Dublin, Calif., is awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management for maintaining high expectations of staff and inmates. He is directly responsible for the planning and oversight of security enhancements and procedures at the FCI in Dublin. Through constant oversight, he engineered a 32 percent reduction in overtime expenditures. His leadership and knowledge have made him a valuable resource for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and other federal agencies, providing significant contributions to the overall management of staff, inmates and general operations of FCI Dublin.
Another Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management was presented to the Grid Computing Initiative Implementation Team for their creative insight and dedication in the implementation of a virtual supercomputer across the FBI Trilogy network. Award recipients include, from the FBI’s Operational Technology Division, Jesse H. Taylor, Senior Cryptologic Mathematician; Vivian K. Clifton, Electronics Engineer; Paul S. Driscoll, Supervisory Information Technology Specialist; An Q. Nguyen and Chad Richard Loewenstine, Mathematicians.
Maggie K. Hansen, Supervisory Librarian, Robert F. Kennedy Building Main Library, in the department’s Justice Management Division also received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management. Hansen is recognized for assisting litigation efforts by all department components through her legislative history research. Ms. Hansen foresaw the importance of developing a historical archive of departmental documents, speeches, and memorabilia by and about the department. This collection has been instrumental in providing necessary primary sources to Department of Justice components.
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.
James Mark Fleshman, Chief Information Officer for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) receives the award for outstanding innovation and leadership in the development and management of EOUSA’s and the U.S. Attorneys Office’s (USAO) information management and information technology resources, which are deployed nationwide in more than 200 staffed sites. For the past decade, he has served as a highly effective change agent and as a member of the management team, has planned and implemented creative approaches resulting in improved U.S. Attorneys Offices’ operational effectiveness and efficiency at reduced costs.
An Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology is awarded to the team that developed and deployed the Innocence Lost Database (ILD) to assist local, state and federal law enforcement officers working child prostitution matters. Team members include from the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division Crimes Against Children Unit, Jamie L. Konstas, Intelligence Analyst; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Heather L. Gordon, Intelligence Analyst; and from the FBI Information Technology Operations Division, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Christopher N. Carrino, Computer Scientist.
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. Recipients are, from the FBI, New York City Division, Zachary J. Miller, Assistant Special Agent in Charge; John F. Karst, Jr. and Elisabete Santos, Supervisory Special Agents; Lionel A. DeSilva, James E. Dennehy, Stephen Fullington, William G. Smith, John J. Hartnett, Robert Kravec, Sara Poole, Michael R. Bickings, Robert B. Booth, Carol A. Motyka, Peter G. Diaz and Daniel S. Kim, Special Agents.
This group is recognized for their exemplary, tireless performance in connection with a multi-faceted, long-term investigation, which utilized numerous resources and sophisticated techniques. These agents displayed exceptional leadership, managerial and investigative skills throughout this complex investigation. The group’s exceptional service and achievements greatly enhanced and will continue to contribute to the overall intelligence base available to the U.S. intelligence community. The extraordinary efforts resulted in the production of vital intelligence that enabled policy makers to further shape U.S. foreign policy and protect U.S. national security interests.
The Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity is the department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program. This year’s recipient is Suzanne L. Bell, Deputy Director for Legal Recruitment and Outreach, Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management. Suzanne L. Bell is honored for her superior management of the department’s legal hiring programs. In addition to her exemplary accomplishments in recruitment and outreach, she has been instrumental in creating and implementing several new training initiatives, and offering critical support for new attorneys and current supervisors.
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. The recipients in the Paralegal Category are, from the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section, Supervisory Paralegal Specialist William N. Taylor; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Paralegal Specialist Marti P. Goldring. Recipients from the Legal Support Category are, from the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Natural Resources Section, Diana (Deedee) Sparks; and from theExecutive Office of U.S. Trustees – Dallas, TexasLegal Clerk Christi C. Flanagan.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary. Recipients in the Administrative Category are, Misti L. Kloubec, Administrative OfficerBudget Analyst, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa; and Peggy C. Taylor, Administrative Officer, Region 7, U.S. Trustees Program. The recipient in the Secretarial Category is Rosa F. Rach, Administrative Assistant, Drug Enforcement Administration Operations Division.
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 (FOIA). This year’s recipient from the U.S. Marshals Service is Associate General Counsel William Edward Bordley. By implementing new initiatives such as the FOIA/Privacy Act Web site and electronic reading room, Mr. Bordley greatly enhanced accessibility of information to U.S Marshals Service employees and the public.
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. Two awards are presented this year. The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention is presented to the team responsible for prosecuting the largest pharmaceutical fraud case in the history of the Department of Justice. Receiving the award are, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Catherine L. Votaw, Joseph A. Trautwein, Denise S. Wolf, Marilyn May, Alvin Stout, Nancy Rue, and Margaret Hutchinson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Denis Cooke and Alison Barnes, Auditors; from the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Consumer Litigation Branch, Jeffrey Steger and Ross Goldstein, Trial Attorneys; Regina Hosey, Paralegal; from the Civil Division, Frauds Section, Patricia R. Davis, Assistant Director; Patricia Hanower, Trial Attorney.
The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention is also presented to, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, George S. Cardona, Acting U.S. Attorney: Richard E. Robinson, and Douglas A. Axel and George S. Cardona, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, James Harbin, Catherine Budig and Loretta Cummings, Postal Inspectors; Daniel Ryan and Humberto DaFonte, Consumer Fraud Analysts; and from the U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS, Criminal Investigation Division, Special Agent Gary Tang. The team is recognized for their demonstrated excellence and perseverance in the successful investigation and prosecutions of Milberg Weiss and its senior partners.
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 recipients are, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, John A. Wortmann Jr. and Glenn A. MacKinlay, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Martha Wyatt, Program Specialist; from ATF, Thomas F. Crowley, Special Agent; from Harvard University, Senior Research Associate Kennedy School of Government, Anthony Braga, PhD; from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Daniel Mulhern, Assistant District Attorney; Executive Director, Boston Ten Point Coalition, Reverend Jeffrey L. Brown; from the Boston Police Department, Sergeant Detective John Ford and Deputy Superintendant Gary French; Executive Director, Stop Handgun Violence, Laura Hyer; Director, Boston Re-entry Initiative, True-See Allah; andRe-entry Manager, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Christian J. Mitchell. This diverse group’s efforts serve as a model for community partnering. Faced with an alarming increase in gang-related violent crime that threatened the viability of several Boston neighborhoods, the team launched a collaborative two-year effort aimed at improving the quality of life for area residents.
Robert Scott Taylor, HVAC Foreman, U.S. Penitentiary, Lee, Va., is presented the Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Wage Grade System Employee for numerous accomplishments in his area of expertise. Mr. Taylor completes his assignments with a high level of energy and displays the “team player” attitude necessary in a correctional environment. Mr. Taylor is a highly motivated and dedicated individual to the mechanical services discipline and the Bureau of Prisons.
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 are, Kenneth Moore, Senior Correctional Officer, Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman, Fla.; Aaron J. Mango, Assistant U.S. Attorney, White Collar and General Crimes Division, Western District of New York; Catherine Anne Chess Chen, General Attorney, Office of the FBI General Counsel; Trisha B. Anderson, Attorney Adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel; Zana M. Scarlett, Trial Attorney, Miami Office, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees.
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. Eleven awards in nine categories are presented this year.
The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is presented to, from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Deputy Section Chief Julius Rothstein and Trial Attorney Matthew R. Stiglitz; and Deputy Chief for Policy and Appeals, Teresa Wallbaum. The team is recognized for exceptional service to the department and nation for their relentless efforts in the investigation and conviction of Taliban cell leader Khan Mohammed.
The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is also presented to the team that litigated AWG Leasing Trust v. United States, the first case to go to trial involving the abusive sale in/lease out tax shelter. Recipients include, from the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, Civil Trial Section, Southern Region Assistant Chief Angelo A. Frattarelli; from the Northern Region, Trial Attorneys Robert Kovacev, Matthew Von Schuch and Karen Smith.
The John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation was awarded to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) trial team. This team earned an important victory for competition and consumers when NAR reversed its position and agreed to a comprehensive settlement shortly before trial. Members of the team include, from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Litigation I Section, Trial Attorney Steven B. Kramer; from the Networks and Technology Enforcement Section, Trial Attorney Travis R. Chapman; from the Antitrust Division, Litigation III Section, Assistant Section Chief David C. Kully; and Trial Attorneys, Craig W. Conrath, Timothy T. Finley, Lisa A. Scanlon, William H. Jones II, Owen M. Kendler and Mary Beth McGee.
Another John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is awarded to, from the Department of Justice Tax Division, Office of the Assistant Attorney General Kevin M. Downing, Senior Level Trial Attorney; Michael P. Ben'Ary, Trial Attorney, Northern Criminal Enforcement Section; Frank P. Cihlar, Trial Attorney, Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Jeffrey A. Neiman, Assistant U.S. Attorney. This team is recognized for their outstanding work in negotiating the deferred prosecution agreement with UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland and one of the largest worldwide.
The John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is presented to the Navajo Trust Litigation Team members for their extraordinary efforts in multiple trial, appellate and Supreme Court proceedings over nearly a decade to defend the United States from a nearly $600 million damages claim. Award recipients include, from the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Natural Resources Section, Assistant Section Chief Edward J. Passarelli; Trial Attorneys, Kristine S. Tardiff and Devon L. McCune; from the Appellate Section, Assistant Section Chief William B. Lazarus and Trial Attorney Elizabeth Ann Peterson.
The John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals is presented to Elizabeth D. Collery, Trial Attorney in the Appellate Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Collery receives the award for her superlative skill in appellate advocacy. With intelligence and integrity, Ms. Collery has presented prosecutions time and time again. She has compiled a list of victories in some of the department’s most difficult criminal cases.
This year’s John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice is presented to Paul Michael Brown, Senior Counsel for Instructional Activitiesfrom the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Tort Branch, Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation. Brown is honored for providing legal advice related to defending federal employees in personal liability litigation. During 21 years with the department, he has worked tirelessly to share his expertise with Assistant U.S. Attorneys and agency counsel nationwide in a variety of creative and cost effective ways.
The John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation is awarded to the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Lacey Act Team. This team led the administration’s efforts, in close coordination with several client agencies, to obtain amendments to the Lacey Act, a 100-year-old statute that has served as the principal anti-trafficking authority in the United States to protect a broad range of fish and wildlife. Recipients include, from the Law and Policy Section, Assistant Section Chief Karen M. Wardzinskiand Attorney Advisor, Thomas W. Swegle; and from the Environmental Crimes Section, Senior Trial Attorney Elinor Colbourn and Assistant Section Chief John T. Webb.
The John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture is presented to Lucille C. Roberts, Deputy General Counsel from the U.S. Marshals Service. Roberts receives the award for her distinguished service as the primary point of contact for the U.S. Marshals Service on matters related to asset seizure and forfeiture.
David W. Gehlert, Trial Attorney from the Natural Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division is awarded the John Marshall Award for Dispute Resolution for his outstanding achievements in using alternative dispute resolution to settle a long‑standing and high profile dispute over water rights for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Mr. Gehlert used mediation to obtain a settlement that successfully concluded more than 30 years of litigation. Throughout what proved to be long and difficult negotiations, Mr. Gehlert exhibited professionalism, integrity, skill, and creativity that upheld the highest tradition of the Department.
The John Marshall Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation Award is presented to the following recipients from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Professional Staff Group II: Richard J. Hipolit, Assistant General Counsel; David J. Barrans, David R. McLenachen and Michael J. Timinski, Deputy Assistant General Counsels; Ethan G. Kalett, Supervisory General Attorney; and Martie S. Adelman, Y. Keun Lee, Jamie L. Mueller and Martin J. Sendek, General Attorneys. This team is honored for their thorough understanding of veterans’ compensation and pension law. Their efforts have enabled the department to take consistent and sound positions regarding veterans’ compensation and pension law before the federal courts.
Beginning in 2010, Attorney General Holder will present a new award, the Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility. This award is named after the late Claudia J. Flynn, the department’s first director of the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office. This award will recognize outstanding contributions by a department attorney in the very important area of professional responsibility, which until now, has not been recognized through a specific Attorney General award.