News and Press Releases

U.S. ATTORNEY POLITE ANNOUNCES PERSONNEL AND UNIT CHANGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 03, 2014

United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. announced that today, Richard W. Westling is rejoining the U.S. Attorney’s Office to serve as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney.  Effectively immediately, the senior staff of the Office is as follows:

Richard W. Westling serves as the First Assistant United States Attorney.  Between 2008 and 2014, Mr. Westling was a partner in Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP, in Nashville, TN, and a shareholder in Ober|Kaler, in Washington, D.C.  At both firms, he represented clients in health care fraud cases and a variety of other government enforcement matters.  Previously, Mr. Westling served as general counsel of a Louisiana-based physician-hospital organization which administered a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan with more than 35,000 members.  From 1997-2006, he practiced with the Law Offices of Richard W. Westling, LLC in New Orleans, where he defended complex federal criminal matters involving allegations of public corruption, health care fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax and environmental crimes and narcotics violations.  He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 1992 until 1997, prosecuting a variety of white collar crimes and serving as the Asset Forfeiture Chief for three years.  From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Westling was trial attorney and special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.  He graduated with honors from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN and cum laude from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Tulane Law Review.

Eileen Gleason serves as Executive Assistant United States Attorney.  Prior to her current position, Ms. Gleason served as Senior Litigation Counsel.  She first joined the United States Attorney’s Office in January 1988 as an Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the Civil Division. After transferring to the Criminal Division, she specialized in prosecuting white collar crimes, political corruption and environmental crimes and served as Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit.  Previously, Ms. Gleason served with the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. as a trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division from 2005 until 2008, and as a senior trial attorney, assistant chief, principal assistant chief and acting chief of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division from 1999 until 2005.  Ms. Gleason also has served as Assistant Director of the Office of Legal Education, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, in Washington, DC.  She served as a United States Magistrate for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 1981 until 1983.  Ms. Gleason practiced law with two New Orleans firms, Phelps Dunbar, LLP and Gelpi, Sullivan, Carroll & Laborde, and served judicial clerkships with the Honorable Edward J. Boyle, Sr. and Morey L. Sear, United States District Judges for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  She is a graduate of Tulane University and Loyola University College of Law, where she was a member of the Editorial Board of the Loyola Law Review.

Duane A. Evans serves as the Chief of the Criminal Division.  He joined the United States Attorney’s Office in August 2000 as an Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the Criminal Division.  During his tenure in the Firearms/Violent Crimes Unit, he specialized in prosecuting matters related to firearms, narcotics, and violent crime.  In 2006, he became the Supervisor for the Violent Crimes/Project Safe Neighborhoods Unit.  In 2010, he became Chief of the Strike Force and Anti-Gang Unit.  Beginning in June 2012, he served as Senior Litigation Counsel until his promotion to the position of Criminal Chief.  After graduating from Tulane University School of Engineering and Loyola University College of Law, Mr. Evans served a judicial clerkship for Virgin Islands Superior Court Judge Ishmael A. Meyers from 1995-1997.  He later worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.  He is a native of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

Peter M. Mansfield serves as Chief of the Civil Division. Prior to his current position, Mr. Mansfield served as Deputy Chief of the Civil Division since 2008. Since 2007, Mr. Mansfield also has supervised the office’s Financial Litigation Unit which is responsible for the enforcement and collection of criminal fines, restitution, and civil judgments in the district. As a supervisory AUSA, Mr. Mansfield has been the lead editor and reviewer of the office’s civil appeals in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals since 2011.  Mr. Mansfield joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2005 and has handled both defensive and affirmative civil cases in district and appellate courts as lead counsel. After graduating from Franciscan University and Ave Maria School of Law, both magna cum laude, Mr. Mansfield began his legal career as a litigation associate at Adams and Reese, L.L.P. in its New Orleans office. Mr. Mansfield is a native of Metairie, Louisiana.

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In addition, U.S. Attorney Polite announced that he has reorganized the Office’s Criminal Division into the following units:

The Organized Crime Strike Force/Violent Crime Unit investigates and prosecutes violent crime and firearms offenses, with a particular focus on conduct by organized street gangs and criminal enterprises.  Along with representatives from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, members of the Unit actively participate in the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, an initiative led by the New Orleans Police Department to combat gang-related shootings and murders in the New Orleans area.

The Public Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes corruption by public officials and law enforcement officers.  The Unit also handles criminal civil rights matters, such as hate crimes, police brutality and human trafficking.

The Narcotics Unit investigates and prosecutes cases involving the distribution of illegal narcotics.  The Unit primarily seeks to disrupt large-scale drug-trafficking organizations that qualify for prosecution by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

The Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud offenses of all types, including financial institution crime, health care fraud, bank fraud, computer fraud, institutional insurance fraud, large scale mail and wire fraud, and criminal tax violations.  The Unit also handles child pornography cases under the Project Safe Childhood initiative.

The National Security Unit investigates and prosecutes cases involving international and domestic terrorism, threats involving weapons of mass destruction, terrorism financing, immigration violations, environmental crimes, and other offenses that impact national and border security.

The Appeals Unit defends convictions and judgments obtained by the Office in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the federal appellate court overseeing cases in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.  Additionally, the Unit, in consultation with the Department of Justice, decides when to seek appellate review of trial level rulings adverse to the United States.

U.S. Attorney Polite stated, "Through these unit changes, I have reallocated our personnel into units that more accurately reflect our District’s prosecutorial priorities. In particular, I am increasing the number of prosecutors addressing violent crime and narcotics offenses, while at the same establishing the Office’s first stand-alone unit to address political corruption and civil rights violations.  These changes, together with the appointment of new senior management, represent significant steps toward the goal of increasing the productivity and efficiency of our Office."

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