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Press Release

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis Announces Departure from Civil Division

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division announced his departure from the Department today, effective Sept. 7, 2020.  Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Environment and Natural Resources Division will replace Mr. Davis.

“I want to thank Ethan for stepping up and leading the Civil Division these last few months,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “Ethan is an outstanding lawyer – his work has been integral to the Civil Division’s successes over the past few years and I know his talents and leadership will be sorely missed.  I also want to thank Jeff Clark, who has done a fantastic job leading the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, for stepping in to lead the Civil Division after Ethan’s departure.”

“I am honored and humbled to have served alongside the dedicated lawyers and staff in the Civil Division,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis.  “Many of the most talented people in the federal government work in the Civil Division, and I am grateful to Attorney General Barr for giving me the opportunity to serve.”

Mr. Davis joined the Civil Division in 2017 as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Consumer Protection Branch, where he oversaw civil and criminal enforcement actions designed to combat the opioid crisis and fraud on elderly Americans.  Mr. Davis also served on the Deputy Attorney General’s Corporate Enforcement Working Group, which developed and implemented several significant policy reforms.  After a year clerking for Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, he returned to the Justice Department as the Civil Division’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and later the Acting Assistant Attorney General.  In those roles, he supervised the Division’s civil defensive work, as well as implementation of the Division’s corporate enforcement policies, including the voluntary disclosure, cooperation, and remediation policies.

Under Acting Assistant Attorney General Davis’s leadership, the Civil Division has used every enforcement tool available to prevent wrongdoers from exploiting the COVID-19 crisis.  In particular, Mr. Davis focused on the use of the False Claims Act (FCA) to address fraud and other illegal activity related to the COVID-19 stimulus programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Credit Facility, and the provider relief fund.  Mr. Davis also prioritized enforcement of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) against fraudulent COVID-19 tests, treatments, purported cures, and other products.  For example, in August 2020, the Civil Division, working with agency partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order against a defendant that operated hundreds of websites that fraudulently purported to sell products that became scarce during the pandemic, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. 

During Mr. Davis’s tenure, the Civil Division also fought the opioid epidemic through actions under the FCA, the FDCA, and the Controlled Substances Act.  The Civil Division pursued criminal and civil investigations into pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, health care providers, and other entities for alleged unlawful activity related to the opioid crisis.  In one matter, for example, the Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont reached a $145 million resolution with an electronic health records company for soliciting and receiving kickbacks from a major opioid company.

Additionally, under Mr. Davis’s leadership, the Civil Division also took aggressive steps to combat fraud on elderly Americans.  The Civil Division prioritized using the FCA to pursue nursing homes that provide substandard care to residents, as well as other statutes against individuals and companies that use fraudulent robocalls to prey on American seniors.  In August 2020, for example, the Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York successfully secured a permanent injunction barring two individuals and two companies that transmitted massive volumes of fraudulent robocalls from conveying any telephone calls into the U.S. telephone system.

Updated September 1, 2020

Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 20-861