In the aftermath of the Senator Ted Stevens trial, two assistant U.S. attorneys from the Alaska U.S. Attorney Office, Joseph W. Bottini (represented by NAFUSA board member Ken Wainstein) and James A. Goeke were handed 40-day and 15-day suspensions, respectively, by the Department of Justice.
On October 16, 2012, the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys (NAAUSA) filed a amicus brief before the Merit Systems Protection Board urging that the suspensions be reversed.
NAAUSA is a national association representing the interests of the 5,600 AUSAs employed by the Department of Justice. In its press release accompanying the filing of the amicus brief, it stated:
While acknowledging that unwillful mistakes had occurred in the government’s performance of its discovery responsibilities, NAAUSA asserted that the Justice Department, in taking disciplinary action upon Bottini and Goeke, had “failed to appropriately acknowledge the collective responsibility of the entire trial team and the exceptional circumstances that led to the prosecution’s discovery-related errors.”