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Press Release

Attorney General Recognizes District Employees

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

WASHINGTON – Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Gregg L. Sullivan, Perry H. Piper, Jeffrey E. Theodore, and A. William Mackie of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Tennessee were four of 243 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 30th annual Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

The Eastern District of Tennessee was one of 44 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

AUSAs Piper and Sullivan were recognized for the successful prosecution of Walter Cardin, a safety manager for the Shaw Group, a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear power plant contractor. Cardin falsified injury information at three TVA nuclear power plant sites for several years and hid and misclassified injuries so that the Shaw Group could collect safety bonuses of over $2.5 million from TVA. Cardin’s fraud impaired the safety of the work environment at nuclear sites. The prosecution team reviewed over 500,000 documents, interviewed hundreds of individuals, and presented over 60 witnesses during a 10-day trial to establish Cardin’s guilt. After conviction on all counts, Cardin was sentenced to 78 months in prison.

AUSAs Theodore and Mackie were recognized for their dedication and exemplary skills in the successful prosecution of Darren Huff. Huff, a militia leader and a self-proclaimed “potential domestic terrorist,” travelled to Madisonville, Tenn., with other armed militia members for the purpose of arresting public officials and taking over the courthouse. Huff and his militia followers abandoned their plan when they were met with an overwhelming law enforcement presence. Although prosecution options were limited, AUSAs Theodore and Mackie creatively employed an obscure, seldom-used criminal statute to charge Huff. Although there had been no reported convictions under the statute, the AUSAs determined the offense of transporting a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a civil disorder was a viable charge. They skillfully managed fearful witnesses at trial in order to secure a conviction in the highly-publicized case.

In his prepared remarks to awardees, Attorney General Holder said, “Locally, nationally, and internationally, you represent the very best that this Department has to offer. Your work embodies our ongoing commitment – not merely to win cases, but to do justice; to protect our fellow citizens from crime, violence, and terrorism; to empower the most vulnerable among us; and to uphold the rule of law.”

EOUSA Director Monty Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, saying to the recipients, “You have persevered, and remained focused and motivated – achieving remarkable results in work that makes a difference in the lives of citizens across our great country. The vast scope of your collective accomplishments is nothing short of exceptional.”

“The Eastern District of Tennessee is fortunate to have many quality federal prosecutors. The awards given to these particular AUSAs highlight their accomplishments and achievements in cases involving national security concerns, the highest priority for the Department of Justice. It is gratifying that these AUSAs are recognized nationally for their exceptional work,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

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 March 18, 2015