The United States Attorney serves as the chief federal law enforcement official in the entire Eastern District of Texas.
As the ranking federal law enforcement official in the entire district (which has roughly two million inhabitants) the United States Attorney represents the United States of America, and thus acts as the principal legal representative, advisor and litigator on behalf of all agencies and components of the United States Government within the jurisdiction.
The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas presides over a staff of approximately 100 individuals, approximately 50 of whom are Assistant U.S Attorneys, with the rest serving as secretarial, legal and administrative support staff. The primary function of the United States Attorney's Office is to lead and carry out national priorities established by the President of the United States and the Attorney General, and to further recognize and address more localized needs and priorities which fall within the federal enforcement area of interest.
The absolute priority of the United States Attorney as the chief federal law enforcement entity in the district is national security and, in specific terms, terrorism prevention as well as counter-terrorism (i.e. investigation and prosecution of terrorist acts, conspiracy, plans and enterprises). The United States Attorney leads the U. S. Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee (ATAC), which consists of high ranking representatives from all federal enforcement investigative agencies, and all major state and local investigative/enforcement entities within the thirteen parish district. While specific goals and methods of the ATAC are non-releasable for security reasons, it can be said that one of the primary functions of the ATAC is the fostering and maintenance of regular, critical communications, as well as intelligence and evidence sharing between and among the participating agencies, in an effort to prevent and deter terrorist acts within the district. The operational core of the U. S. Attorney's is the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) which itself consists of representatives of the major federal, state and local investigative agencies. At no time is any priority within the district higher than the maintenance of national security. In order to effect this overarching goal, the United States Attorney not only chairs the ATAC but serves as key legal advisor to all participants including such key federal participants such as the FBI, U. S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization Service and other such agencies.
A secondary - albeit critical priority within the district - is the aggressive pursuit of the Attorney General's Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods, which has as its stated goal the dramatic reduction of firearm violence and crime in the district, is yet another ultra high priority of the Administration, and is dependent for its ultimate success upon a number of factors, including the establishment and maintenance of close partnerships between participating federal, state and local agencies (along with necessary regular intelligence sharing), and community outreach/public relations relying on the establishment of an aggressive campaign to deter potential criminals from illegally possessing and using firearms. The Administration's imaginative and innovative accountability goal to determine the success of Project Safe Neighborhood depends upon regular reporting by the U. S. Attorney on violent crime trends in each district, with success determined not by prosecution statistics but by the determination of whether violent crime is in fact decreasing.
Other important priorities to which the United States Attorney's Office is dedicated is an active civil rights program to insure the safety and constitutional rights of all citizens, as well as freedom from civil rights abuses and hate crimes; an increasingly aggressive anti-drug enforcement initiative, supported by the multi-agency HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Forces; and the Administration's highly prioritized efforts against large scale corporate fraud, which has a proven so damaging to our economy and so financially debilitating to its myriad victims, including investors and affected corporate employees.
Many initiatives are conducted jointly between the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the United States Attorney's Office, including health care fraud, in an effort to protect not only investors and corporate victims, but to insure the rights and fair treatment of the elderly.
The United States Attorney's Civil Division effectively serves as the law firm or legal counsel to the government in the district, representing the United States in all facets of the defense of federal agencies arising out of law suits in such matters as vehicle accidents; representation of United States agencies in labor claims and disputes; and affirmative civil litigation in which the United States uses civil legal enforcement actions to recover monetary obligations to the United States on behalf of the taxpayers.
Whichever role the United States Attorney's Office plays in any matter pending before the United States Courts, our primary mission remains the same: to serve as a fair yet highly effective advocate on behalf of the United States Government and its citizens. It is thus essential that attorneys representing the United States at all times remain highly professional, not only in terms of highly developed degrees of legal competence, but equally highly developed professionalism and ethical standards in which they must and do conduct themselves in civil, dignified and courteous manners with the courts, opposing parties, witnesses, the press and the public. Held to the very highest standards professionally, ethically, and in terms of our legal competence and acumen, as United States Attorneys representing the people of the United States of America we remain ever mindful that our greatest duty is to truth, loyalty and fair play, principles which we will never sacrifice, inasmuch as our ultimate goal in each and every case is, simply, to achieve justice.