2023 Investigative Summary 12
INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED LACK OF CANDOR TO THE COURT AND OTHERS
An AUSA self-reported a court’s ruling granting a defendant’s motion to suppress, concluding that the AUSA made intentional misrepresentations to the trial court during two court hearings and misrepresentations to a magistrate judge concerning the facts underlying probable cause to issue the search warrant in question. The court later revised its criticism of the AUSA to conclude that the AUSA’s conduct was reckless rather than intentional.
Based on the results of its investigation, OPR concluded that the AUSA did not knowingly mislead the court in the government’s written filings and oral arguments and accordingly, did not violate her duty of candor to the court. OPR also concluded that although the AUSA omitted material information from the search warrant affidavit at issue, rendering the document misleading and lacking in probable cause, the AUSA’s actions were not knowingly or recklessly false and did not violate the rules of professional conduct or her general duty of candor to the court. Rather, after carefully considering all of the circumstances, OPR concluded that the court’s misinterpretation of a portion of the search warrant affidavit and belief that the AUSA lacked candor when responding to the court and when creating the affidavit were caused by the AUSA’s poor oral advocacy skills and lack of attention to detail.