U.S. Attorney Adds Five Federal Prosecutors To Tampa Office
Tampa, FL - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announced today that his office has added five new attorneys to its Tampa office. With cumulative responsibilities for federal criminal prosecutions, affirmative and civil defense, appellate, and forfeiture proceedings, the Middle District of Florida includes a geographical area encompassing thirty-five of Florida’s sixty-seven counties. Until recently, approximately 114 attorneys and 129 support staff occupied five offices (Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, and Ocala) covering approximately one-half of the state’s population. Still, the MDFL has kept pace with similarly busy districts for the past several years, with fewer attorneys than some of its respective counterparts.
The Middle District of Florida is one of 94 federal districts across the country. The MDFL (second in population only to the Central District of California) is one of the busiest districts in the country, consistently ranking within the top three categories for the number of civil case filings and prosecutions involving the exploitation of children (Project Safe Childhood). Impacted by a nationwide hiring freeze and normal attrition, the office has had to do more with less. Finally, to restore the district’s staffing deficit, a Department of Justice waiver allowed for the hiring of additional personnel in FY 2013.
“The caseload doesn’t stop,” said U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill. “We have had to make some internal adjustments in order to keep pace with the increasing flow of work. During that time, our staff really stepped up to make sure that the public continued to be served. Our district is very diverse in the types of cases that we litigate. Now, with the addition of new personnel, we will be able to continue the great work throughout the district and address those cases more aggressively and effectively.”
On February 5, 2013, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday administered the oath of office in Tampa to Josephine W. Thomas, Natalie Hirt Adams, Suzanne C. Nebesky, Patrick D. Scruggs, and Michael Kenneth.
Josephine W. Thomas is currently assigned to the General Crimes Section in the Criminal Division in Tampa. She has served in the Middle District since October 5, 2009, after coming to the office on a detail from the Department of Justice Honors Program. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Stetson University School of Law in Gulfport, from where she obtained her Juris Doctorate. She is also a graduate of North Carolina State University, from where she obtained a degree in Textile Chemistry and graduated cum laude.
Natalie Hirt Adams is assigned to the Asset Forfeiture Section, within the Asset Recovery and Victims Rights’ Division, in Tampa. Ms. Adams previously practiced law at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, in Washington, D.C., where she was a Senior Associate. She attended Duke University School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctorate, cum laude. Ms. Adams is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Theater, magna cum laude.
Suzanne C. Nebesky is currently assigned to the Financial Litigation Unit within the Asset Recovery and Victims Rights’ Division, in Tampa. Prior to joining the office, Ms. Nebesky was a litigation associate at the law firm of McRae & Metcalf, P.A., in Tampa. She attended the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland from 1997-1998. She is a graduate of the Honors College at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Corporate Communications, cum laude. Suzanne graduated from the University Of Florida Levin College Of Law, cum laude.
Patrick D. Scruggs is assigned to the Narcotics Section in Tampa. His previous practice includes working in the Trial Division and the Prescription Drug Investigation Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office in New York City. Mr. Scruggs obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Foreign Service, with an International Politics Major, from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, from where he graduated magna cum laude, in December. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School in Newton, Massachusetts.
Michael Kenneth serves in the Civil Division in Tampa. Mr. Kenneth worked as an associate in the law firm of Troutman Sanders in Washington, D.C., where he represented clients in a wide assortment of complex fraud, torts, and commercial litigation cases. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Mr. Kenneth graduated from Yale University, cum laude with honors, where he obtained a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.