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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Attorney General Recognizes Two Eastern District Of New York Employees

WASHINGTON – Assistant United States Attorneys James McGovern and Celia Cohen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York were two of 160 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 31st Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

The Eastern District of New York was one of 31 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

In her prepared remarks, Attorney General Lynch told the awardees, “Our honorees include career executives and supervisors; Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys; appellate attorneys and law enforcement officials; administrators, paralegals, and public affairs officers. These individuals, and so many others, have faced daunting and sometimes dangerous challenges. They have dedicated their leadership and their expertise, their time and their energy, to the service of their mission. And they have remained devoted, at all times, to the high ideals and deeply-held values that animate our country and our cause.”

Assistant Unites States Attorneys McGovern and Cohen were honored for securing a death sentence, for a second time, against Ronell Wilson, a high-ranking member of the violent Bloods gang, who committed the execution-style murders of New York City Police Department Detectives James V. Nemorin and Rodney “Jay” Andrews during an undercover weapons transaction in Staten Island, New York, on March 10, 2003. After the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Wilson’s 2007 death sentence, the prosecutors undertook what many believed to be the insurmountable task of convincing a New York jury to impose the death penalty, again. Proving that will, skill, and commitment can overcome most obstacles, the prosecutors worked tirelessly and masterfully to defeat a newly contrived intellectual disability claim and to build a case for the death penalty, vastly different from that offered in the 2007 proceeding. As a result of their efforts, Wilson was returned to death row in September 2013.

EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit

Updated July 2, 2015