Attorney General Holder Recognizes Department Employees and Others for Their Service at Annual Awards Ceremony
Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes 278 department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 62nd Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony. Ten other individuals outside of the department are also honored for their work. Held at DAR Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their outstanding dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s missions.
“With this important event, we come together to honor some of our nation’s most distinguished, dedicated, and deserving public servants,” said Attorney General Holder. “The hard work and impressive achievements of these 278 award recipients have inspired their colleagues at every level of the U.S. Department of Justice – including me. Their leadership has been indispensable in defining the past year as one of historic accomplishment in the face of nearly unprecedented challenge.”
Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole present the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service – the department’s highest award for employee performance – to the team responsible for outstanding achievement in U.S. v. Windsor implementation.
The task of the Windsor Implementation Team was to make real the promise of the U.S. v. Windsor decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted, the purpose and effect of Section 3 was to discriminate against same-sex couples in the more than 1,000 federal laws in which marital status is a relevant consideration. Bringing to bear expertise from across the department, the Windsor team coordinated with agencies across the government to identify these laws, as well as other federal rules and policies affected by Section 3, and issue new policies and guidance to expunge the discrimination Section 3 had required. In doing so, the team ensured that committed and loving couples throughout the country, and their families, would receive equal treatment by the government regardless of their sexual orientation.
The recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service include, from the Civil Division, Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General Jonathan F. Olin; Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General Natalia T. Sorgente; Counsels to the Assistant Attorney General James A. Cadogan, James C. Cox, Helen L. Gilbert and Joshua I. Wilkenfeld; Special Assistant for Policy in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General Kerry A. Bollerman; Federal Programs Branch Assistant Branch Director Arthur R. Goldberg; Federal Programs Branch Trial Attorneys Jennie L. Kneedler, Jean Lin and Eric R. Womack; and Appellate Staff Attorneys Adam C. Jed, Jeffrey E. Sandberg and Abby C. Wright; from the Civil Rights Division, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan; Office of the Assistant Attorney General Acting Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor Emily M. Loeb; Policy and Strategy Section Legislative and Policy Counsel Varda Hussain; and Appellate Section Trial Attorney Holly A. Thomas; from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Office of Legal and Victim Programs Attorney-Advisor Jason F. Cunningham; from the Office of the Attorney General, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General Jenny R. Mosier; from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Associate Deputy Attorney General Robin E. Jacobsohn and Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General Geoffrey A. Starks; from the Office of the Associate Attorney General, Counsel to the Associate Attorney General Stacey K. Grigsby; from the Office of Legal Counsel, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General Benjamin C. Mizer and Leondra Kruger; from the Office of Legal Policy, Chief of Staff Steven Siger; from the Office of Justice Programs, Office of the Assistant Attorney General Senior Adviser Theron P. Pride Jr.; from the Office of the Solicitor General, Assistant to the Solicitor General Eric J. Feigin; and from the Tax Division, Appellate Section Attorney Ivan C. Dale.
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism is given to recognize an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties. This year’s award is presented for courageous acts during the rescue of a young hostage.
On Jan. 29, 2013, Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus in rural Midland City, Alabama, killed the driver, and took five-year-old Ethan Gilman hostage in a fortified underground bunker. Armed with multiple weapons and improvised explosive devices (IED), Dykes grew increasingly unstable over the six-day standoff, leading to an assessment that the kidnapped child would ultimately die unless a rescue was attempted. On Feb. 4, 2013, at grave personal risk and without regard for their own safety, five members of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team made entry into the bunker, which Dyke’s had previously indicated was a “funnel of death.” The initial breach was violent, but successfully cleared the bunker hatch for the five-man entry team. The team immediately encountered additional obstacles placed lower in the opening by Dykes. As the entry slowed, Dykes retrieved his handgun and engaged the team from less than five feet away while in a position of cover, and with Ethan as a shield. During the initial assault, Dykes detonated an external IED, and was believed to be in the process of attempting to detonate a second IED inside the bunker. At grave personal risk and without regard for their own safety, the members of the team moved from a position of cover, exposing themselves to gunfire, in order to clear the obstruction for entry. Without hesitation, the team entered into the darkened, smoke-filled hole. Once inside, they swiftly sorted through a confused situation, identified Ethan and immediately evacuated him from the bunker and the remaining IED threat. The exceptional courage and extraordinary decisiveness of the recipients ultimately prevailed, resulting in the death of Dykes and the rescue of Ethan unharmed.
The recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism include, from the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office, Supervisory Special Agents Christopher K. Curren, Neil Whitfield Darnell, William T. Francis Jr., Ryan J. Short and Kyle R. Vowinkel; Critical Incident Response Group Special Agents Brocklyn D. Bahe, Christopher S. Baylor, Benjamin M. Binger, Christian Galeski, J. Michael Montoya, Kevin P. Murray, Matthew Nagle and Stanley M. Wadas; and Special Agent Rodney O. Draper.
The Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity is presented to pay tribute to the memory and achievements of former Attorney General Edward H. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor, dean and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the department. This year’s award is presented to Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs in the Criminal Division’s Office of the Assistant Attorney General Bruce C. Swartz for exemplary service to the Criminal Division and the department.
Mr. Swartz is a person of utmost integrity, who has demonstrated his exceptional strength of character and expertise in over 12 years as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division and, more recently, as the department’s Counselor for International Affairs. He supervises three Criminal Division offices, each of which plays a critical role in international law enforcement. In addition to guiding these offices as they navigate some of the most sensitive international legal issues that the department handles, Mr. Swartz provides essential advice to the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and other department leaders concerning the intersection of U.S. and international interests in areas of criminal law enforcement, national security and intelligence matters. He is the consummate professional and an exemplary public servant.
The Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award recognizes employees who have served at least 20 years in the department and have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers. This award is presented only in exceptional circumstances to those individuals of special merit and is not awarded to express general appreciation for tenure alone. One Mary C. Lawton Award is presented this year.
This year’s award is presented to T. Christian Herren Jr.¸ Chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section for exceptional contributions and leadership to the Civil Rights Division and the department.
Mr. Herren’s oversight and direction have guided the heavy and highly complex litigation, appellate and administrative review docket carried by the Civil Rights Division Voting Section, while managing resources wisely and efficiently, and raising the productivity and professionalism standards of staff. Throughout his 20 years of service to the Voting Section, Mr. Herren has significantly contributed to the development of the jurisprudence of voting rights law through his appellate work on matters before the U.S. Supreme Court or the courts of appeal, or his trial work in the district courts throughout the nation. His institutional knowledge of the section’s work and voting law in general, coupled with a critical review of existing practices and a willingness to innovate and strategize, has enabled him to maximize the Voting Section’s enforcement efforts. He is highly respected within the division, the department, and by elections officials and civil rights practitioners nationwide. Mr. Herren’s lifetime of dedication to the Voting Section exemplifies his strong commitment to not only voting rights, but to civil rights in general and overall public service.
The William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement is an honorary award granted to recognize state and local law enforcement officials who have made significant contributions to cooperative law enforcement endeavors. This year’s award is presented to the Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office Task Force Officer William Schwartz.
Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem throughout the nation. Detective Schwartz has been a true crusader in our country’s battle against prescription drug abuse and has led the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Miami Field Division’s (MFD) Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS) program with an end result that has made a substantial impact on the illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals throughout the state of Florida. Through his outstanding investigative work on high impact pharmaceutical investigations, he has been instrumental in the success of the DEA MFD TDS goals and objectives. Detective Schwartz has educated hundreds of federal and state attorneys and law enforcement officers to investigate and successfully prosecute those responsible for the illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs. His outstanding accomplishments have significantly contributed to preventing the illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs and reducing prescription drug abuse which is vital to the health and welfare of the American people.
The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service is the top public service award granted by the department, and is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the Department of Justice in the accomplishment of its mission and objectives. This year’s award is presented to Helen Miner, a volunteer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, for her outstanding dedication to FCI El Reno and the inmate population. Ms. Miner is honored for her outstanding dedication to the rehabilitation and improvement of the incarcerated as they prepare to reenter back into society. Her dedication as a volunteer at FCI El Reno for 44 years has greatly infused the incarcerated men at FCI El Reno by giving inmates hope and skills that will extend beyond their incarceration. Ms. Miner demonstrates confidence and respect, while promoting self-confidence, self-improvement and self-worth within the inmate population. Her commitment and contributions to FCI El Reno have been invaluable.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Justice Department’s second highest award for employee performance. The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the department’s mission. Ten Distinguished Service Awards were presented this year to individuals or teams of people.
The first Distinguished Service Award is presented to members of the investigative and litigation team responsible for exemplary performance in the prosecution of conspiracies in the automobile parts industry. This team, honored for its leadership, dedication and tireless investigation of global anticompetitive cartels, is responsible for the historic prosecution of over a dozen price-fixing, bid-rigging and market-allocation conspiracies in the automobile parts industry. This four-year investigation was unprecedented in both its scope and the volume of commerce affected by the illegal conduct. Due to the team’s efforts, 26 companies have agreed to pay fines totaling $2.3 billion and 20 individuals have been sentenced to serve jail sentences. The conspiracies uncovered by the investigation affected more than 25 million cars purchased by American consumers and over $5 billion in automotive parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers and automobile plants in 14 states. As a result of the extraordinary efforts of the team, competition was restored to the auto parts industry, and the companies and individuals responsible were held accountable for their illegal conduct.
Award recipients include, from the Antitrust Division, Chief Lisa M. Phelan; Assistant Chief Kathryn M. Hellings; Trial Attorneys Shane Cralle, Paul Gallagher, Kenneth W. Gaul, Mark C. Grundvig, Jason Jones and Eric Meiring; Washington Criminal I Section Secretary Priscilla Scruggs; Paralegal Unit Paralegal Specialist Meghan Ballard; and Office of Operations Trial Attorney Portia Brown; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agents Kristina Honeycutt and Faustine M. Smith-Neil; and from the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, Special Agent Douglas R. Wood Jr.
The second Distinguished Service Award is presented for distinguished service by the team that engaged in groundbreaking work to address constitutional violations in the operation of the juvenile court in Shelby County, Tennessee. For the first time since the law was enacted almost 20 years ago, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was used to investigate a juvenile court. The investigation uncovered that children were not: provided timely and adequate notice of the charges against them; protected against self-incrimination; provided timely probable cause hearings; provided meaningful assistance of counsel; and provided adequate protections before being transferred to adult court. The investigation also revealed that black children received disproportionately harsh treatment in the different stages of the delinquency process. The team negotiated a landmark settlement that is being implemented and promises to transform the juvenile court in Shelby County into a model for the nation. In the short time since the settlement was entered, Shelby County has already funded and inaugurated a juvenile public defender system. In that same time, the rate of admissions to pre-trial detention has drastically dropped, and initial data suggests that black children are already being treated more fairly at all stages of the delinquency process.
Award recipients include, from the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section, Deputy Chief Judith C. Preston, Special Litigation Counsel Winsome G. Gayle and Trial Attorney Anika N. Gzifa.
The third Distinguished Service Award is presented for groundbreaking and highly successful work as part of the investigation into manipulation of the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR), a leading benchmark interest rate that is tied to student loans, mortgages and financial instruments used around the world, as well as other leading benchmark interest rates, including the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). Between June 2012 and October 2013, members of the LIBOR team resolved cases with four of the world’s largest financial institutions: Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays), UBS AG (UBS), The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS), and Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank). At all four institutions, certain derivatives traders requested that certain rate submitters submit LIBOR and/or Euribor contributions that would benefit the traders’ positions, rather than rates that complied with the definitions of LIBOR and Euribor. In addition, at Barclays and UBS, management directed that LIBOR submissions be lowered in order to reduce the reputational risk associated with proper, higher LIBOR submissions. To date, the criminal penalties assessed by the department and resulting from the LIBOR team’s actions exceed $1.1 billion.
Award recipients include, from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Rebecca A. Rohr; Acting Fraud Section Chief William J. Stellmach; Deputy Fraud Section Chiefs Daniel Braun and Patrick F. Stokes; Assistant Fraud Section Chief Sandra Moser; and Trial Attorneys Alexander H. Berlin and Gary Winters; from the Antitrust Division, Assistant Chief Elizabeth B. Prewitt; Trial Attorneys Ludovic C. Ghesquiere, Richard A. Powers and Daniel M. Tracer; New York Office Legal Administrative Officer Caitlin E. Morrison; Chicago Office Trial Attorney Eric L. Schleef; and Litigation I Section Trial Attorney Michael T. Koenig; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agents Patrick M. Boone, Michael P. Kelly, Michael J. McGillicuddy, Kendra S. McLamb and Jeffrey Weeks; and Forensic Accountant Kyle D. Dornbos.
The fourth Distinguished Service Award is presented to the team whose outstanding contribution led to the successful arrest and prosecution of James “Whitey” Bulger and his longtime girlfriend, Catherine E. Greig. Bulger, one of the country’s most notorious criminals, had eluded capture for his crimes for over 16 years, helped in no small part by Greig. In June 2011, federal law enforcement officials developed a public campaign that focused on Greig rather than Bulger. The campaign worked, and Bulger and Greig were located in a Santa Monica, California, apartment along with over $800,000 in cash and 30 firearms. Bulger and Greig were then successfully prosecuted, and Greig received one of the highest sentences for harboring a fugitive ever imposed in the United States. After a 10-week trial, Bulger was convicted of multiple offenses and in November 2013, he was sentenced to serve consecutive life terms in prison. Bulger’s trial was a monumental undertaking, involving evidence spanning more than 20 years of criminal conduct, including 19 charged murders. Over the course of the 10-week trial, the government called almost 70 witnesses, many of whom were hostile, advanced in age and murderers themselves. Following trial, the team also resolved several difficult and novel victim-related forfeiture issues.
Award recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary R. Hafer, Mary B. Murrane and Fred M. Wyshak Jr.; and Paralegal Specialist Theresa M. Fahey; from the DEA’s New England Division, Supervisory Special Agent Daniel M. Doherty; from the FBI’s Boston Field Office, Supervisory Special Agent Richard E. Teahan; Special Agents Michael J. Carazza and Gregory J. Comcowich; and Public Affairs Specialist Katherine A. Gulotta; from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Special Agent Scott F. Garriola; from the Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division, Senior Special Agent James J. Marra; from the U.S. Marshals Service, Asset Forfeiture Division Assistant Chief Inspector Thomas J. Abernathy III and District of Massachusetts Deputy U.S. Marshal Neil R. Sullivan; from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent Sandra J. Lemanski; and from the Massachusetts State Police, Detective Lieutenant Stephen P. Johnson.
The fifth Distinguished Service Award is presented for the successful settlement negotiations and the predicate fraud investigations conducted by the recipients which led to the largest settlement with a single entity in American history – $13 billion – and the largest Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act penalty ever recovered by the department - $2 billion. The tireless efforts of the recipients advanced core missions of the department by holding wrongdoers accountable for reckless and abusive conduct that contributed to the financial crisis, as well as providing substantial compensation for federal entities supported by American taxpayers and critical assistance to neighborhoods impacted by the mortgage meltdown.
Award recipients include, from the Office of the Associate Attorney General, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Elizabeth Taylor; Chief of Staff Brian Martinez; and Director of the RMBS Working Group Geoffrey Graber; from the Civil Division, Director of E-Discovery, FOIA and Records Allison C. Stanton; Office of the Assistant Attorney General Counsel Melanie T. Singh; Consumer Protection Branch Trial Attorney David A. Frank; and Fraud Section Trial Attorney Carol Lynn Wallack; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Degnan and Viveca D. Parker; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Elias, Colleen M. Kennedy, David T. Shelledy and Kelli L. Taylor.
The sixth Distinguished Service Award is presented to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Trial Team for exemplary performance in litigating the U.S. v. City of New York discrimination case. In this long-standing Title VII case, the district court found that the city of New York engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against black and Hispanic applicants for entry-level firefighter positions. Specifically, the district court found that the city violated Title VII by using written examinations that had a disparate impact on black and Hispanic applicants, and did not test the relevant skills needed to perform the firefighter job. At the time the city administered the first challenged examination, the uniformed members of the FDNY were only 2.9 percent black and 2.8 percent Hispanic. This extremely low level of minority representation in the FDNY was essentially the same as in the early 1970s, when the city was also sued for racially discriminatory hiring practices in its fire department. As a result of the liability finding and the United States’ continued litigation of remedies, current and future applicants to the FDNY have the opportunity to compete for employment on a fair and lawful basis for the first time in decades based on a new examination developed under the supervision of the district court and in conjunction with the recipients. In addition, the city has agreed in principle to pay up to $98 million in back-pay to victims of the city’s discrimination, and the court ordered the city to give 293 victims priority employment as a firefighter. This is the largest affirmative recovery ever obtained by the Civil Rights Division in a Title VII case.
Award recipients include, from the Civil Rights Division’s Employment Litigation Section, Deputy Chief Meredith L. Burrell; Special Litigation Counsels Eric K. Bachman and Sharon A. Seeley; Supervisory Civil Rights Analyst Cynthia M. Jones; Trial Attorneys Clare F. Geller, Kathryn E. Ladewski, Barbara A. Schwabauer, Jennifer M. Swedish, Allan K. Townsend and Carolyn P. Weiss; and Paralegal Specialists Adrienne D. Harrell and Tamera N.C. Overton; from the Criminal Section, Trial Attorney David N. Reese; from the Appellate Section, Deputy Chief Dennis J. Dimsey and Trial Attorney Lisa J. Stark; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Senior Trial Counsel Elliot M. Schachner.
The seventh Distinguished Service Award is presented to the teams involved in the successful investigation and prosecution of the violent transnational criminal organization Barrio Azteca. This complex racketeering case targeted an organization responsible for the U.S. Consulate murders in Juarez, Mexico, and countless shootings, assaults, and other acts of violence, as well as narcotics trafficking and money laundering. The team eventually charged 35 members and associates, and sustained convictions on all who were found or brought into the United States, with the most violent members, including those responsible for the consulate murders, being sentenced to serve life sentences in prison.
Award recipients include, from the Criminal Division, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section Trial Attorney Brian D. Skaret; from the DEA, U.S. Consulate General Special Agents James D. Armstrong and Javier Barraza; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Snyder; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gibson; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Leal; from the FBI’s Tampa Field Office Special Agent Carlos M. Hernandez; from the FBI’s El Paso Field Office, Supervisory Special Agent Rodolfo Ortega Jr. and Special Agents Samantha A. Mikeska, Lorenzo Perez Jr. and Alyson Samuels; from the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Supervisory Special Agents Edgar Cruz and Alfred A. Watson, and Special Agent Charles M. Bryden; from the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office Supervisory Special Agent Rene F. Medina and Special Agent Gregory Watterson; and from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Investigative Operations Division, Chief Inspector M. Brian Maxwell.
The eighth Distinguished Service Award is presented to the team who performed distinguished work on complex legal issues arising from the 17-day federal government shutdown that occurred in October 2013 as the Executive Branch faced novel questions arising from a possible default on its fiscal obligations in the midst of a government-wide shutdown. Teams of attorneys from the Office of Legal Counsel and the Civil Division’s Federal Programs and Commercial Litigation Branches were on the front lines in addressing all of these complicated legal questions. The team advised the White House, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Attorney General and various other agencies, while also fending off lawsuits challenging agencies’ actions (or inaction) during the shutdown. In a historic time of great national significance, and under extraordinary deadlines, the team’s work was thorough and careful; covered a wide range of statutory, regulatory and constitutional issues affecting every agency in the Executive Branch; and combined the highest standards of craft with the imagination and creativity demanded by the unprecedented nature of the shutdown and debt limit conflict.
Award recipients include, from the Office of Legal Counsel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Daniel L. Koffsky; Senior Counsel Matthew D. Roberts; and Attorney-Advisers Jaynie Lilley, Thomas G. Pulham and Nitin Shah; from the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Assistant Branch Director Susan K. Rudy; Federal Programs Branch Trial Attorneys Kathryn C. Davis, Lesley R. Farby, Adam D. Kirschner and Daniel S.G. Schwei; and Senior Trial Counsel Ellen M. Lynch.
The ninth Distinguished Service Award is presented to the Office for Victims of Crime Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) Team for its effective, reliable and compassionate response to victims of terrorism and mass violence. Due to the far-reaching scope and horrific nature of crimes of mass violence, communities are usually unprepared, financially or emotionally, to respond to the needs of victims and survivors. The AEAP Team has provided these communities with invaluable support in both the short and long term, from emergency crisis response to enabling victims and their families to participate in criminal justice proceedings years later. The AEAP Team has gone far beyond the role of simply awarding funding, and has taken a farsighted and proactive role to assist victims and their states and communities.
Award recipients include, from the Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime, Director Joye E. Frost; Deputy Director J. Robert Cantrall; and Program Manager Eugenia Pedley.
The 10th and final Distinguished Service Award is presented to Tax Division Office of the Assistant Attorney General Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General Kathleen E. Lyon for her extraordinary work in drafting the Program for Non-Prosecution Agreement or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks (Swiss Bank Program). The department has had ongoing investigations into the use of foreign bank accounts to evade U.S. taxes, and the Swiss Bank Program was designed to encourage Swiss banks not already under investigation to cooperate with the department’s efforts. Ms. Lyon was instrumental in drafting the terms of the Swiss Bank Program.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice. Two Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards are presented this year.
The first Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented to the members of Operation Main Hub, a multi-agency investigation into neighborhood gangs and drug trafficking organizations initiated in 2009. The FBI focused on the Turabo Heights Public Housing Projects (PHP) and the Barriada Morales while the DEA investigated the Gautier Benitez and Brisas del Turabo PHPs. The investigation revealed that neighborhood based gangs and drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in these areas were directly involved in several shootings to protect their territory, and were responsible for distributing powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills, resulting in millions of dollars of illicit revenue. Within Barriada Morales, the investigation targeted drug points near elementary schools and head start programs, and included multiple controlled drug buys, controlled firearms purchases, and firearms seizures from the gangs, along with extensive surveillance and law enforcement interventions. Agents utilized advanced investigative techniques and obtained numerous pen registers and six Title III wire intercepts. The FBI’s San Juan, Puerto Rico, Division was assisted by approximately 350 other law enforcement agents, including agents from the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local law enforcement agencies. As a result, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico agreed to indict 79 individuals in the Turabo Heights PHP and 126 individuals in the Barriada Morales DTO. Additionally, the DEA indicted 60 individuals between the Gautier Benitez and Brisas del Turabo PHPs. With over 350 tactical operators flown to the island, the arrests within the Barriada Morales became the largest single day tactical operation in FBI history. These arrests significantly disrupted the narcotics distribution network within Caguas, Puerto Rico, and caused a noticeable decrease in violence, especially within the Turabo Heights PHP.
Award recipients include, from the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, John A. Morales, and from the FBI’s San Juan Field Office, Special Agents Cristina R. Bretsch, Michael A. Dubravetz Jr. and Allen P. Pack; from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Miami Field Division, Puerto Rico III Field Office Special Agent Carlos M. Gonzalez; from the DEA’s Caribbean Division, Special Agents Rafael A. Santiago, Joseph R. Slesar and Stavros Stefanidis; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Y. Hernandez-Vega, Alberto R. Lopez and Teresa Sofia Zapata; from the Police of Puerto Rico, Agents Jose A. Velazquez-Garcia; Pablo A. Irizarry-Ayala and Jesus Marrero-Cruz; and from the San Juan Municipal Police, Agent Michelle C. Cheveres-Contes.
The second Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement is presented for outstanding performance in the recovery of missing children.
Award recipients include, from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Investigative Operations Division, Chief Inspector Denis Donovan IV and Senior Inspector Frank T. Conner. The investigators of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Sex Offender Investigations Branch target missing child cases when a felony warrant is outstanding for the abductor or companion of an abducted, missing or endangered child. This missing child initiative teams fugitive hunters from the Sex Offender Investigations Branch with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) resources as the nation’s clearinghouse for missing children. This mandate began as a joint effort between the USMS and NCMEC to identify outstanding warrants associated with missing child cases. On Jan. 10, 2014, the USMS and NCMEC reached their milestone 500th child recovery for the Sex Offender Investigations Branch missing child initiative. More than 10 years after the start of the operation, the missing child initiative continues to grow and make a positive impact in communities across the nation.
The Attorney General’s Award tor Exceptional Service in Indian Country recognizes extraordinary efforts by department employees that demonstrate the department’s commitment to fight crime in Indian Country. This year’s award is presented to Assistant U.S. Attorney Glynette R. Carson McNabb for the District of New Mexico for her exceptional service and outstanding contributions to public safety in Indian Country over the course of 14 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Since June 2010, Ms. McNabb has served as the supervisor for the District of New Mexico’s Indian Country Crimes Section and Tribal Liaison for the 22 tribes in New Mexico. Her dedication to improving public safety and the quality of life in tribal communities not only in New Mexico but throughout the country, has substantially contributed to the department’s commitment to fight crime in Indian Country.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements which have significantly improved operations, productivity, or reduced costs. Two Excellence in Management Awards are presented this year.
Award recipients include, from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Office of General Counsel, Principal Deputy General Counsel Lisa M. Dickinson for her exemplary leadership in management at the U.S. Marshals Service; and from the Civil Division’s Office of Management Programs, Executive Officer and Director Kenneth L. Zwick for his exemplary leadership in management of the Civil Division.
Ms. Dickinson has dedicated 20 years of professionalism and integrity to the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). Her efforts to support and improve the USMS and its employees, while serving in myriad capacities within the organization, exemplify the best traditions of the department. She is not only highly regarded for her expert legal counsel, but also is respected for her stellar historical knowledge of the USMS and known for always willing to share her insight and knowledge. In her current position as the Principal Deputy General Counsel overseeing operations of the Office of General Counsel, Ms. Dickinson continues to provide legal advice and guidance, coordinate litigation matters with U.S. Attorney's Offices and respond to inquiries from other federal agencies and members of the public. Throughout her career, she has been called upon numerous times to serve dual roles for the USMS. From 2004 to 2006, she served as the Acting Executive Assistant to the director, while at the same time serving as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. From 2006 to 2008, she served as the Senior Counsel to the director, providing advice and guidance on diverse issues and matters. In 2012, while providing counsel in the Office of General Counsel, she also served as the Acting Assistant Director for the Human Resources Division, and from June 2013 through March 2014, she served as the Associate Director for Administration. In every position throughout her career, Ms. Dickinson has inspired co-workers and subordinates with her dedication and knowledge of the USMS, and its historic role in protecting our judiciary for the nation.
Mr. Zwick is recognized for his sustained leadership in guiding the business operations of the department’s component. In his tenure with the department, Mr. Zwick has responded with speed and effectiveness to repeated challenges of extraordinary complexity, including the creation of an administrative infrastructure to support the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He has also expertly transformed the daily operations of the Civil Division’s litigation support and human resources efforts, saving the department millions of dollars and dramatically improving efficiency. Mr. Zwick has consistently provided outstanding contributions to the department under challenging conditions, and his exceptional leadership has markedly improved the department’s operations.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology recognizes outstanding achievements in applying information technology to improve operations and productivity, reduce or avoid costs, and solve problems. Two Excellence in Information Technology Awards are presented this year.
The first Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology recipient is Director Richard W. Tayman from the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Office of Information Technology for Superior Program Management of ENRD Information Technology Systems.
Mr. Tayman is a true technology innovator who is extremely well respected throughout the department. While he has taken care of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s (ENRD) automated information technology systems for over 25 years, Mr. Tayman is also regularly called upon to provide expert guidance for the development and deployment of major enterprise-wide department’s IT systems. Just as the department turns to him for advice, insight and guidance, so do some of the world’s largest information technology equipment vendors and service providers. As a result, ENRD and the department often see incredibly satisfying price tags on the products and services it procures, and technology solutions are often provided with extra care and concern when Mr. Tayman is involved in such acquisitions.
The second recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology are Supervisory IT Specialist Ray M. Jagels and IT Specialist Douglas L. Baus from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System, for the development of the innovative and complex JPATS System
Over an aggressive 19-month development cycle, the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) Information Technology Team developed the innovative and complex JPATS Automated Routing and Scheduling System. The team implemented the details of hundreds of JPATS trips and over 11,000 prisoner routes in the system, developed major customization of Oracle Transportation Management Software, and implemented complex data integration procedures between the Base Scheduling System and the Automated Routing and Scheduling System. New user interface functions were created, and a comprehensive training program was developed to successfully address a significantly re-engineered business process. At the close of fiscal year 2013, the use of this program succeeded in exceeding target goals by supporting improvements in scheduler productivity, and by enhancing operational performance that resulted in an overall savings of $11.1 million for the department.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions in protecting U.S. national security. One Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security Award is presented this year for exemplary service in the operation of a national online counterterrorism program. Through innovative online targeting strategies and creative use of technology, Terror Net is a key contributor to the FBI’s mission to protect the U.S. from terrorist attack. Terror Net is a national online counterterrorism program operated by the FBI San Francisco Division. It targets predicated subjects who use the Internet in furtherance of terrorist acts, and focuses on homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) who are difficult to identify and investigate through traditional methods. The Terror Net team conducts online targeting of HVEs, both in the San Francisco Division and other FBI field offices which do not have their own resources or subject matter expertise to conduct this type of operation. The Terror Net team is the preeminent FBI asset used to locate, engage, and disrupt terrorist threats emanating from the online realm. Through fiscal year 2013 to present, Terror Net has conducted major counterterrorism disruptions against two subjects who attempted to conduct large scale vehicle bomb attacks on significant targets in the United States. Terror Net is currently supporting 37 cases in 17 field offices, and has supported over 70 investigations in 25 field offices over time.
Award recipients include, from the FBI, San Francisco Field Office Special Agents James P. Colraine, Daniel R. Costin, Stephen V. Denitto, Kevin J. Gray, T.M. Ito, Steven A. Kornaros, Matthew Quick, Mike P. Stahala and Gregory Wuthrich; Sacramento Field Office Language Specialist Bassam Dib; Legat Singapore Supervisory Special Agent Sanjay Virmani; Counterterrorism Division Intelligence Analyst Sarah E. Marconi and Management and Program Analyst Melissa L. Willig.
The Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity is the department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity program. One Equal Employment Opportunity Award is presented this year for outstanding leadership and performance in equal employment opportunity and diversity in the Tax Division. The Tax Division’s Attorney Diversity Subcommittee has made significant and long-lasting contributions to the division and the department in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement. The subcommittee developed concrete proposals to improve attorney hiring practices in the division; brought the Diversity and Inclusion Dialogue Project to the department; recommended changes to the division’s attorney worklife policies; fostered deeper relationships with department affinity groups; and hosted a number of thought-provoking, interesting and fun diversity and inclusion events for division employees. The recipients each served as chair of this subcommittee and, as such, deserve to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion in the division and the department.
Award recipients include, from the Tax Division, in the Criminal Enforcement Section, Northern Region, Assistant Chief Karen Kelly; from the Civil Trial Section, Southern Region Assistant Chief David M. Katinsky; from the Office of Review, Section Chief Ann C. Reid; and from the Civil Trial Section, Eastern Region, Section Chief Deborah S. Meland.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of legal support to attorneys by paralegal specialists and other legal assistants.
In the Paralegal Category, this year’s award for Excellence in Legal Support is presented to Paula C. Clinedinst, Paralegal Specialist for the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Wildlife and Marine Resources Section for her sustained outstanding paralegal support to the ENRD Wildlife and Marine Resources Section. Ms. Clinedinst is a key member of the Wildlife and Marine Resources team, superbly providing all facets of paralegal support, including cite-checking and proofing briefs; legal research; overseeing and tracking two high-volume litigation dockets; and training other paralegals. For 25 years, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty time and again, and has delivered outstanding results for the division. Moreover, her tireless efforts and dedication have ensured success in some of the division’s most important and difficult matters, including litigation related to the Navy’s use of sonar; the operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System; the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; and California’s Central Valley Project.
In the Legal Support Category, this year’s award for Excellence in Legal Support is presented to Gail P. Dallman, Legal Assistant for the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees’ Office of the U.S. Trustee - Region 11 for her outstanding and sustained dedication and contributions to the U.S. Trustee Program. On her own initiative, Ms. Dallman worked to identify, test and implement the use of low-cost alternatives to the Public Access to Case Electronic Records (PACER) system. Based on her success in converting offices in Region 11, the U.S. Trustee Program made PACER costs savings nationwide a priority for fiscal year 2014, and Ms. Dallman is playing an important role in that effort. She serves as one of the field leads on the CourtLink Working Group, adapted the PowerPoint tutorial she developed for her region for use on a national level, and assisted in drafting frequently asked questions and answers for new users. She also fields questions and provides assistance to staff from around the country as they work to implement this new system in their offices. As a result of the efforts started by Ms. Dallman, the U.S. Trustee Program has already realized significant savings, and projects a drop in PACER costs of at least $750,000 in fiscal year 2014.
The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary. Two Excellence in Administrative Support Awards are presented this year.
In the Administrative Category, this year’s award for Excellence in Administrative Support is presented to Staci A. Card, Contract Specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, for her outstanding work in her contracting efforts for the Electronics Business Group of Federal Prison Industries (FPI). Her expertise, attention to detail and innovative thinking have directly resulted in the realization of numerous renewable energy projects, benefitting FPI and federal agencies in their quest to become more energy efficient. Ms. Card’s devotion to duty is in keeping with the highest standards of the agency, and reflects great credit upon herself, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the department.
In the Secretarial Category, this year’s award for Excellence in Administrative Support is presented to Renee L. Robinson, Information Technology Specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska for her outstanding and sustained dedication and contributions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska. Ms. Robinson is recognized for her indispensable contributions to the mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in multiple roles. Besides her regular responsibilities as Information Technology Manager, Ms. Robinson developed and executed the Information Management, Records Management, Case Management and Property Accountability Programs for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and two branch offices in the District of Alaska. She served as the Acting Administrative Officer while the position was vacant, and has ensured that docketing functions are accomplished while that position remains vacant. Ms. Robinson can be counted on to perform any support task required in the office, and does so willingly, accurately, and professionally. Her dedication reflects greatly upon herself, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the department.
The Claudia J. Flynn Award for Professional Responsibility recognizes a department attorney who has made significant contributions in the area of professional responsibility by successfully handling a sensitive and challenging professional responsibility issue in an exemplary fashion and/or leading efforts to ensure that department attorneys carry out their duties in accordance with the rules of professional conduct. This year’s award is presented to Paul M. O’Brien, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division’s Office of the Assistant Attorney General for his significant contributions to the professional responsibility of department attorneys. Mr. O’Brien has spent his 20-year career representing the interests of the department on challenging professional responsibility issues. In his capacity as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, he oversees the highly sensitive work of the Office of Enforcement Operations and the Public Integrity Section, and has led efforts to ensure that the department’s attorneys carry out their duties in accordance with the rules of professional conduct. His improvements to the Electronic Surveillance Unit and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Unit ensure that department attorneys have the tools, resources and knowledge to represent the interests of the United States while meeting their professional responsibility obligations. Whether the issues involve particularly sensitive or challenging matters, or enhance department policy in the area of professional responsibility, Mr. O’Brien is highly respected by his colleagues as a dedicated leader who can be depended upon for his integrity, judgment and commitment to do the right thing in every circumstance.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to the implementation of FOIA. The president’s Open Government Directive and the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines prioritize the need for the government to incorporate information technology into FOIA processing when responding to requests for information. The Civil Division’s FOIA Unit developed a groundbreaking program that successfully increased the efficiency and timeliness, while decreasing the cost, of responding to FOIA requests. In just one fiscal year, the recipients successfully transformed workflows and applied information technology typically used in litigation to the FOIA search, review, and response process. Using these new methods, in fiscal year 2013 the team reduced the division’s request backlog by more than 50 percent, while receiving six percent more requests than the previous year. Using new processes and technology the team completed 33 percent more requests than in fiscal year 2012. The success of the team is attributable to its expertise and dedication to the president’s open government priorities. Through its efforts, the recipients created a technologically innovative FOIA system that advances the president’s and the Attorney General’s goals of providing faster and more complete responses to requests for information by the public.
Award recipients include, from the Civil Division’s Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Senior Supervisory FOIA Counsels Angie E. Cecil and James M. Kovakas; Director of the Office of Litigation Support Joshua P. Wood; and Office of Management Programs Senior Litigation Support Professional Tammy L. Walmsley for their outstanding and sustained dedication and contributions to the department’s FOIA Program.
The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud, white-collar crimes and official corruption. This team is honored for its exceptional perseverance, diligence and vision in the investigation, litigation and prosecution of allegations that Johnson & Johnson and two of its subsidiaries, Janssen and Scios, improperly promoted drugs, disregarded patient safety and paid kickbacks to enhance sales. The resolution marks the culmination of an extensive, coordinated eight-year investigation. The team’s extraordinary efforts resulted in three civil complaints and two criminal informations filed in the three different districts, and demonstrated an exemplary use of parallel proceedings. More important, the team’s efforts resulted in Johnson & Johnson paying in excess of $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from its illegal misbranding and fraudulent marketing of drugs to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children and those with developmental disabilities, and its payment of kickbacks to physicians and the nation’s largest long-term care pharmacy provider. The global resolution is the third largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, and with respect to Risperdal, the resolution is the largest settlement for one drug.
Award recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Deputy Chief for Affirmative Civil Litigation Mary Catherine Frye; and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott M. Cullen, Charlene Keller Fuller and Albers S. Glenn; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas R. Green and Sara Winslow; from the from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin James Larsen; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Assistant U.S. Attorneys George B. Henderson III and Gregg David Shapiro; and from the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch Fraud Section, Senior Trial Counsel Laurie A. Oberembt; Senior Counsel for Healthcare Fraud Edward C. Crooke; and Trial Attorneys Jennifer L. Cihon, Kimberly I. Friday, Patrick M. Klein II and Renée S. Orleans.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community. The award recognizes the significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the department in the accomplishment of these programs.
This year’s Outstanding Contribution to Community Partnerships for Public Safety Award is presented to the team who performed exceptional work to address solutions to the active shooter epidemic. This team focused on two major collaborative efforts: working with Executive Branch members to create a singular national voice addressing potential solutions to the active shooter problem; and working with law enforcement nationally to share best practices and lessons learned. To accomplish the first task, the recipients began what became six months of nearly-daily meetings with representatives from Executive Branch agencies. President Obama had asked the working group to focus first on creating guides for schools, institutions of higher learning, and houses of worship which would be used to develop comprehensive Emergency Operations Plans. From the first meeting led by the Vice President’s Office, it became clear that each working group member brought his or her own agencies varied priorities and responsibilities. Out of intense and productive discussions, three distinct 100-page guides were written, vetted, and approved by the Executive Branch agencies. When the documents were released by Vice President Biden during a July 2013 press conference, it marked the first time a collaborative effort had resulted in Federal agency collaboration on emergency planning guides. The guides provide practical advice on how to work with students, teachers and administrators on ways to prevent and intercede before an active shooter incident happens, and how to react and respond when it does. The second effort undertaken by the team focused on finding a practical way to share with 800,000 law enforcement officers better ways to predict and respond to active shooter incidents. The team designed a three-tiered approach to this task. First, the team worked with the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and Texas State University to adopt a national response protocol for law enforcement. Second, the team developed materials for a two-day conference, hosted by FBI field office personnel to bring lessons learned and best practices to the chiefs, sheriffs, and commanders on the scenes of these incidents. Finally, the team developed tabletop exercises specific to schools and universities to bring law enforcement and first responders together to discuss how they would handle an active shooter incident in their territory.
Award recipients include, from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Office of the Director Supervisory Special Agent Michael McElhenny; Resource Planning Office Special Advisor Kathryn M. Crotts; Critical Incident Response Group Supervisory Special Agent Katherine W. Schweit; and Public Affairs Specialist Andrew C. Ames; from the Department of California Highway Patrol, Lieutenant David William Knoff.
The Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Wage Grade System Employee recognizes extraordinary performance and contributions by wage grade system employees, including laborers, mechanics, and skilled craft workers. One Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Service by a Federal Wage Grade System Employee is presented this year to Michael Grigsby, HVAC Supervisor Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in Montgomery, Alabama.
Mr. Grigsby is honored for his outstanding leadership and dedication to FPC Montgomery for the past 16 years. His knowledge and fortitude to research the most cost effective methods for repairing projects at an institution which opened in 1930 continues to exceed expectations. Mr. Grigsby supervises the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC details at the facility. Additionally, he works closely with Maxwell Air Force Base personnel, and continues to exemplify a very positive partnership with the local community. Mr. Grigsby handles institution emergencies regarding facility concerns in his area of expertise with outstanding efficiency. His ownership of projects assigned to him are reflective of his determination to ensure the best solution for a long term resolution are utilized, as well as always researching the most cost effective methods. Mr. Grigsby is viewed as a leader among his peers, and his reputation is that of a great historian to FPC Montgomery.
The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee recognizes exceptional performance and notable accomplishments towards the department’s mission by an employee with fewer than five years of federal career service. Two Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee Awards are presented this year.
The first Contribution by a New Employee Award is presented to Regina Kline, Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section, for her exemplary work in the division. As the driving force behind the precedent-setting U.S. v. Rhode Island and City of Providence (Rhode Island) sheltered workshop lawsuit filed by the Civil Rights Division, Ms. Kline has distinguished herself as an extraordinarily dedicated and effective advocate for the United States. Through her outstanding oral and written advocacy, a groundbreaking settlement was achieved in the case, the first agreement to apply the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) integration mandate in a comprehensive manner to state and local employment service systems for persons with disabilities. Olmstead v. LC (Olmstead) has been called the Brown v. Board of Education of the disability rights movement, and Olmstead enforcement has been a top priority for the department. Although many of the department’s cases involve the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in residential institutions, Ms. Kline’s work in Rhode Island expanded this work to look beyond just where people live, to examine how people live. The results obtained by Ms. Kline in Rhode Island have played a pivotal role in leveraging the department’s Olmstead enforcement to bring about broad policy change, and have led to nationwide interest in addressing segregation in state employment services. Although Ms. Kline has served as a trial attorney at the department for less than two years, she has also played a lead role in the United States’ intervention in Lane v. Kitzhaber, an ADA lawsuit challenging the state of Oregon’s over-reliance on segregated employment services settings for people with disabilities.
The second and final Contribution by a New Employee Award is presented to Ashley Altshuler, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, for his exceptional performance in support of the DOJ Project Safe Neighborhoods, Project Sentry and Offender Reentry Initiatives. Since his hiring, Mr. Altshuler has exceptionally performed his duties in support of the department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, Project Sentry and offender reentry initiatives. He has taken the initiative to make reentry a priority, and led his U.S. Attorney’s Office’s efforts, even though he has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for less than three years. His creation and development of the Probationer and Parolee Reentry Program has made the Western District of Oklahoma safer. Mr. Altshuler has also established a research partnership with a local university to study the effectiveness of the reentry program.
The John Marshall Awards are the department’s highest awards offered to attorneys, for contributions and excellence in specialized areas of legal performance. Twelve awards in nine categories are presented this year.
The first John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is presented to John O. Holm, Erika B. Kranz and Kristin R. Muenzen, Trial Attorneys in the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Land Acquisition Section, for their exceptional work litigating the acquisition of land for the United Airlines Flight 93 Memorial.
The Flight 93 National Memorial Trial Team was responsible for litigating the acquisition of over 275 acres of land in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. The land was acquired to construct the Flight 93 National Memorial to honor the victims of this national tragedy. The recipients were responsible for litigating this case and ensuring just compensation was paid to the former landowners. The case involved extensive discovery, motion practice, settlement negotiations and a week-long trial during the most recent government shutdown. On Dec. 9, 2013, the Land Commission issued a report finding that the fair market value of the subject property was $1.5 million, which was $21.7 million less than the valuation by the landowners’ appraiser. As the result reflects, the Flight 93 Trial Team was successful at every stage of this litigation from the preparation of numerous successful motions that eliminated millions of dollars claimed by the landowners, to limiting the scope of evidence presented at a highly-contentious trial in which the team was able to undermine the testimony of an expert who is nationally recognized in the field of valuing similar, high-profile properties. Through the team’s efforts, the United States and its taxpayers saved tens of millions of dollars, while ensuring that the necessary land was acquired to develop a national memorial to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
The second John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation is presented to Joseph E. DePadilla, Benjamin L. Hatch and Brian J. Samuels, Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Paul G. Casey, Trial Attorney in the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, for their outstanding performance prosecuting 14 sea-based Somali pirates and one land-based Somali pirate leader for their role in the capture and murders of four Americans onboard the sailboat Quest. These prosecutions resulted in two separate trials, U.S. v. Mohammad Saaili Shibin, and a two-month capital trial involving three defendants, U.S. v. Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar. Shibin was the first Somali-based pirate leader ever brought to trial in the United States, and his case was the first time that U.S. piracy laws had ever been applied to a person who did not himself go onto the high seas to commit violent acts of piracy, but rather facilitated those acts from the relative safety of Somalia. The recipients secured convictions on all counts and Shibin was sentenced to serve more than 12 life sentences. In the Salad, et al. trial, the Attorney General directed the prosecution team to seek the death penalty for all three defendants who were found guilty on 26 counts of the indictment. The jury determined that the defendants were eligible to receive the death penalty, and ultimately recommended sentences of life imprisonment. The district court subsequently imposed 19 consecutive life sentences, two concurrent life sentences, and 360 months consecutive for each defendant. This prosecution demonstrates the United States’ commitment to obtaining justice for victims of piracy affecting the United States and the international community, and it sends a strong message that Somali pirates and their land-based leaders are not beyond the reach of U.S. and international law.
The first John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is presented for exemplary dedication and contributions to assert government interest to guarantee right to counsel for indigent defendants. In the 50 years since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright guaranteeing the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for indigent defendants, the department had spoken about the indigent defense crisis in America and provided leadership and grant-making to address it, but had never participated in litigation to contribute to assuring that all Americans facing criminal charges are guaranteed an attorney. That changed in 2013, when a litigation team from the Access to Justice Initiative and the Civil Rights Division researched, crafted, and filed a statement of interest in the federal case of Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon asserting that the federal government has a strong interest in ensuring that all jurisdictions are fulfilling their obligations under Gideon. The filing stated that in the event that the court found constitutional violations, workload limits for public defense providers should be imposed to better ensure quality representation for each client, and an independent monitor should be appointed to ensure compliance. In December 2013, the Federal District Court Judge in Wilbur ruled that there had been a systematic deprivation of the right to counsel and ordered the appointment of an independent monitor. The department’s participation in the case drew national attention and strengthened the department’s ongoing contribution to justice for all, including those who are unable to afford an attorney.
Award recipients include, from the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section, Chief Jonathan M. Smith and Trial Attorney Paul A. Killebrew; and Access to Justice Initiative Acting Senior Counselors Karen A. Lash and Deborah Leff; and Senior Counsels Jenni Katzman and Larry Kupers.
The second John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is presented for superior performance in the litigation and prosecution of Randolph Linn, the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo arsonist. Award recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan and Ava M. Rotell Dustin. On Sept. 30, 2012, Linn, armed with gas cans and a handgun, set fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, the largest mosque in northwest Ohio. This horrific act resulted in more than $1.4 million in damage, displaced the congregation and a full-time elementary school for over a year, and caused a wave of fear to spread throughout the Muslim community in the region. Less than three months after the fire was set, the recipients skillfully negotiated a binding plea agreement resulting in Linn pleading guilty to damage to religious property, use of a fire to commit a felony and use of a firearm to commit a crime of violence. On April 16, 2013, Linn was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for these hate crimes.
The first John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is presented for exceptional support to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Award Recipients include, from the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth S. Brinkmann; Appellate Counsel Scott R. McIntosh; and Appellate Staff Attorneys Melissa N. Patterson and Benjamin M. Shultz; and from the Office of the Solicitor General, Assistant to the Solicitor General Curtis E. Gannon. This team is honored for providing exceptional support to the National Labor Relations Board in connection with the challenged validity of President Obama’s recess appointment of three board members, and to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in connection with the president’s appointment of its director. The issues opened up multiple first-impression questions of constitutional law implicating the historical practices under the Recess Appointments Clause all the way back to the first president. The recipients undertook an extraordinary effort, turning to the primary historical sources themselves, poring over original appointment records in the National Archives, the U.S. Department of State, the Library of Congress and other historical collections, and documented a substantial number of presidential recess appointments never before reported in any academic source or judicial decision.
The second John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is presented to the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section, Deputy Section Chief Ellen M. Mahan; Assistant Section Chief William D. Brighton; Senior Counsel Jerome W. MacLaughlin; Senior Attorneys Peter M. Flynn and Keith T. Tashima; and Trial Attorney Bradley L. Levine, for outstanding performance recovering funds for cleanup and restoration at the New Bedford Harbor PCB Superfund Site. This team was instrumental in recovering $475 million for environmental cleanup and restoration of natural resources at the New Bedford Harbor polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Superfund Site in Massachusetts. Decades of industrial discharges spread PCB contamination across 18,000 acres of the harbor bottom. PCB pollution threatens human health and interferes with a multi-generational tradition of fin and shell fishing in the harbor by local families, including families of Portuguese, Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean descent. The money recovered will increase the pace and efficiency of the harbor cleanup. This case procured a huge victory for the people of New Bedford and for the environment, and struck a blow for environmental justice. It represents an outstanding achievement by this talented, determined and resourceful team of litigators.
The John Marshall Award for Handling of Appeals is presented to Deputy Chief Robert A. Parker of the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section, Criminal Division Attorney Christopher J. Smith; General Attorney Paula H. Wulff of the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel; Senior Counsel David J. Karp from the Office of Legal Policy; and from the Office of the Solicitor, Deputy Solicitor General Michael R. Dreeben, and General Assistant to the Solicitor General Elaine J. Goldenberg. This team is recognized for its extraordinary work in successfully defending the interests of the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court in Maryland v. King. In King, the court, by a narrow vote of five to four, upheld the right of federal and state law enforcement to collect DNA samples from arrestees for the purpose of generating identification profiles. The importance of this decision cannot be overstated as it validates over two decades of efforts by Congress, state legislatures and federal and state law enforcement agencies to create a reliable national database of DNA identification profiles that can be used to identify criminal offenders, solve crimes and exonerate the innocent, all while rigorously protecting personal privacy. The recipients worked together to brief and argue the case on behalf of the United States, and the Supreme Court majority’s opinion closely tracks the arguments they crafted. Their efforts were crucial to the outcome of this case, and will have far-reaching effects on the ability of federal, state and local enforcement agencies to identify offenders and solve crimes.
The John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice is presented to John T. Lynch Jr., Chief of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, for his dedicated service and outstanding leadership of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Mr. Lynch is a leader in one of the department’s most prominent areas of concern, and his expert, tireless and professional work as Chief of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section has furthered the department’s mission at every stage. From the highest levels of the department and throughout the law enforcement community, anyone who confronts complex issues involving computer crime or cyber threats knows and relies upon Mr. Lynch and the people that he leads. From providing expert advice on hacking cases, protecting intellectual property rights, and guiding the department’s position on crucial legislative and policy initiatives, Mr. Lynch has served the government with the highest commitment and level of professionalism.
The John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation is presented to Deputy Director Michelle Morales and Attorney Janis Kockritz from the Criminal Division’s Office of Policy and Legislation for their exceptional work in conceptualizing, planning and completing the DOJ Review of Federal Firearm Prohibitors Report. The report was commissioned by President Obama following the murder of 20 first graders and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The team’s exhaustive work resulted in a comprehensive report that examines how the current prohibitors are applied in practice to prevent certain categories of persons from obtaining and/or possessing firearms; identifies statutory, regulatory and operational gaps or weaknesses in the existing prohibitors; and presents legislative and executive policy options for modifying or enhancing the prohibitors to make them more effective in preventing potentially dangerous individuals from having guns. The report is a major contribution to department’s understanding of the role, application and realities of the federal firearm prohibitors in federal law enforcement, and marks a notable advancement for the Criminal Division in legal and policy analysis.
The John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture is presented to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arlo Devlin-Brown, Christopher D. Frey, Randall Wade Jackson, Paul M. Monteleoni, Matthew L. Schwartz and John T. Zach for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Ward of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. This team is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of various cases stemming from the collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, which was revealed in December 2008 to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. In the five years since Bernard Madoff was arrested for orchestrating his massive Ponzi scheme, the team conducted an international investigation that resulted in the prosecution of more than a dozen individuals; a deferred prosecution agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank; and the forfeiture and collection of more than $4 billion. The forfeited funds are being distributed through the largest and most ambitious remission project in the department’s history, where it will reach thousands of victims in dozens of countries, and serve as a precedent for future large-scale remission programs. The team’s extraordinary work, including its novel use of forfeiture, has ensured a meaningful measure of recompense to thousands of innocent victims who otherwise would not have recovered anything from the failed investments.
The John Marshall Award for Alternative Dispute Resolution is presented to the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Natural Resources Section Assistant Section Chief Keith E. Saxe and Senior Attorneys Stephen G. Bartell and Thomas K. Snodgrass for their outstanding professional achievement for the protection of ecosystems in Juab County, Utah. This team is honored for its exemplary work in the management of litigation involving claims brought under the Quiet Title Act for highway rights-of-way, and the negotiation of a creative three-sided resolution of the first of dozens of lawsuits involving highway rights-of-way claims that threaten the federal government’s ability to manage federal lands in the western United States. The settlement provides for the protection of important ecosystems in a remote area of Juab County in Utah, designated as the Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area, which is known for its beauty and impressive geologic formations. The agreement balances the protection of the lands with limited access to these remote areas for recreational purposes. The settlement is historic in identifying an approach to resolving a flood of litigation that could severely drain the resources of the department and its client land-management agencies. The negotiation was a model of cooperation among federal, state and local governments, as well as environmental interests, and set a foundation of good will on which to build further agreement and resolutions.
The John Marshall Award for Interagency Cooperation in Support of Litigation is presented to Robert A. Kaplan, Regional Counsel for Region 5 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his outstanding work managing EPA’s largest regional enforcement program. As the chief attorney overseeing the EPA’s largest and most successful regional enforcement program, Mr. Kaplan is recognized for his unrelenting efforts to support the environmental enforcement litigation that the department pursues on EPA’s behalf. In fiscal year 2013, the Office of Regional Counsel overseen by Mr. Kaplan led all 10 EPA regions in the number of civil litigation referrals to the department, the number of civil judicial matters concluded, the total dollar value of injunctive relief and supplemental environmental projects obtained in their cases, and the total amount of air pollution reduced through enforcement efforts. These results were enabled in large part by Mr. Kaplan’s leadership and initiatives promoting joint priority-setting by EPA and the department; the efficient deployment of enforcement resources; and the active oversight and support of the case development work, negotiations and litigation undertaken by the assigned case teams.