Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt Announces Departure from Civil Division
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division recently announced his departure from the Department, effective July 3, 2020.
“Jody has served the Department of Justice with honor and distinction for over two decades,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Under his direction as Assistant Attorney General for these past two years, the Civil Division has vigorously defended the Administration’s most important policies and achieved many successes, from regaining billions of dollars from those who sought to defraud our government, to protecting our nation’s seniors by bringing to justice those who sought to abuse and exploit them. On behalf of the Department, I want to thank him for his dedication to the rule of law and his service to the Department and our nation.”
“Having spent more than two decades of my professional career at the Department of Justice, I have a deep and abiding respect for those who have devoted their careers to public service,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt. “I have had the wonderful privilege of working alongside the many talented public servants of the Civil Division, and have witnessed firsthand their dedication and commitment to the values and principles for which this Department stands. I am grateful for the opportunity to have led the Civil Division as Assistant Attorney General, and in that role to have helped support and defend the interests of the Executive Branch. I am confident that the Civil Division will continue its outstanding work on behalf of the Government going forward.”
Under Assistant Attorney General Hunt’s leadership, the Civil Division defended many of the Administration’s most important policies and priorities, including suits concerning the Emoluments Clauses and challenges to the President’s Executive Orders, such as the travel proclamation and the border wall emergency declaration. The Civil Division also successfully opposed suits against numerous immigration-related policies, including the migrant protection protocols, the third-country asylum rule, and the public charge rule. In combatting the opioid epidemic, the Civil Division helped to secure a $1.4 billion settlement in July 2019 from a pharmaceutical company, the largest recovery in history in a case involving an opioid manufacturer.
Under Mr. Hunt’s leadership, the Civil Division also prioritized protecting American seniors, announcing in early 2020, the largest-ever sweep of elder fraud cases in Department history, charging more than 400 defendants with causing over $1 billion in victim losses and surpassing the record-setting 2019 elder fraud sweep. Similarly, in September 2019, a pharmaceutical company agreed to pay $95.9 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks and engaged in false and misleading marketing of its drug to induce providers in long term care facilities, including nursing homes, to prescribe it for behaviors commonly associated with dementia patients, which was not an approved use. More recently, under Mr. Hunt’s leadership, the Civil Division announced first of a kind civil actions against those responsible for fraudulent robocalls.
Beyond vigorously pursuing and defending the Administration’s policies and priorities, during Mr. Hunt’s time as Assistant Attorney General, the Civil Division protected the public fisc in suits seeking monetary relief on behalf of the government and its officials. This included prioritizing enforcement of the False Claims Act, the government’s primary civil tool for protecting taxpayer funds against fraud. In each of the last two years, the government recovered approximately $3 billion under the act. At the same time, the Civil Division increased the use of its authority to dismiss unwarranted qui tam actions. In this area, Mr. Hunt developed guidelines to help ensure transparency and consistency in the Department’s evaluation of the credit to award defendants who cooperate in False Claims Act cases.
Mr. Hunt also prioritized bringing justice to terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, and other fraudsters who illegally obtained naturalization. As just one example, the Civil Division succeeded in securing the civil denaturalization of an individual convicted of terrorism offenses in Egypt who admitted recruiting for al Qaeda within the United States and running a communications hub in California for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Due to enormous successes in this area and growing referrals from law enforcement agencies, Mr. Hunt spearheaded the creation of a new section within the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation – the Denaturalization Section – dedicated to investigating and litigating revocation of naturalization.
The Department of Justice thanks Assistant Attorney General Hunt for his leadership and for his 21 years of service to the Department and our nation.