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2014 Investigative Summary 4

Investigation of Alleged Unauthorized Disclosure of Sensitive Criminal 
Investigative Information; Lack of Candor to an Investigating Agency

OPR initiated an investigation into allegations that a DOJ attorney may have disclosed information concerning the existence of an ongoing federal criminal investigation and a court-authorized wiretap to his spouse, who in turn provided the information to a target of the investigation. The DOJ attorney left federal service prior to the completion of OPR's investigation.

OPR concluded that the former DOJ attorney was the source of the confidential information that his spouse disclosed to a target of the investigation. OPR concluded that in disclosing the information, the DOJ attorney committed intentional professional misconduct by purposely revealing confidential information relating to his client, the United States, without approval or consultation, in violation of a state bar rule. OPR also concluded that the former DOJ attorney committed professional misconduct by using client information that damaged his client's interests, in reckless disregard of his obligation under a state bar rule.

In addition, OPR concluded that the former DOJ attorney committed intentional professional  misconduct by not providing truthful answers in a sworn affidavit that he submitted to an investigating agency, and by dissembling about what he did, in violation of a state bar rule.

Finally, OPR concluded that by disclosing confidential information to his spouse, the DOJ attorney engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in reckless disregard of his duty under a state bar rule, because his disclosure compromised court-approved wiretaps and led to the premature conclusion of a federal criminal investigation.

OPR referred its findings to the PMRU for a determination as to whether OPR's findings should be referred to state bar disciplinary authorities. The PMRU upheld OPR's findings of professional misconduct and authorized OPR to refer the conduct of the former DOJ attorney to the state bar. OPR referred its findings of professional misconduct to the appropriate state bar disciplinary authority.

Updated July 13, 2021