Hundreds of photos from the successful Scottsdale conference are now available on line on the nafusa.org website. Click on “Conferences” and then on “Gallery of NAFUSA Conference Photos.” Matt Orwig is shown with Deputy Director Lisa Rafferty.
NAFUSA’s good friend, Charle Savage of the New York Times, has published his second book, “Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency”. Savage, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, has been a speaker or moderator focusing on national security issues at five of NAFUSA’s recent national conferences.
His earlier book, “Takeover”, described the Bush-Cheney administration’s efforts to expand presidential power. In “Power Wars”, Savage concludes that Obama continued many of the polices of his predecessor and in some cases expanded them. Published by Little, Brown November 3, 2015.
Savage is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times and has been covering post-9/11 legal-policy issues since 2003. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, he graduated from Harvard College and holds a master’s degree from Yale Law School.
On October 17, 2015, at the NAFUSA annual conference in Scottsdale, Greg Vega (SD California 1999-2001) was elected president of NAFUSA by acclamation. A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Greg received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University in 1975, and his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1980. He was a staff member of the Valparaiso University Law Review. Greg is a member of the State Bars of California, Illinois and Indiana.
Greg began his legal career as a Trial Attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service in Chicago, Illinois. In that position, he tried numerous tax cases before the United States Tax Court. Greg joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana in 1983, where he handled federal jury trials including the prosecution of a 32 defendant drug distribution organization (United States v. Zambrana, et al) and judicial corruption cases (United States v. Christakis, et al). In 1987, Greg accepted an offer of employment from the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego, California where his work focused on major frauds and economic crimes.
In 1999, Greg assumed the position of United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, the seventh largest office in the nation at the time. In that position, he prioritized improving bi-national cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Mexico in attacking the Tijuana Drug Cartel. Several successes that resulted from his efforts were the first extradition of a Mexican citizen to the United States (United States v. Arturo Paez) and the arrest in Mexico of Ismael Higuera, a leader of the Tijuana Cartel. An account of the cooperation can be found in the article; “New Web of Trust Topples a Mighty Mexican Cartel” New York Times, Page A3, April 26, 2002.
Greg was selected by Attorney General Janet Reno to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). Greg Co-Chaired the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the AGAC with current Attorney General Loretta Lynch and also served on the Southwest Border Subcommittee of the AGAC.
In 2001, Greg joined the 70 attorney San Diego law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek where his practice focuses on Business Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense and advising corporate clients in regulated industries. Greg served as the Independent Review Organization (IRO) for a publicly traded pharmaceutical company pursuant to a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Greg is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (1997-1998); a past member of the City of San Diego Ethics Commission (2001-2005); a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Conflict Resolution Center (2006-2014) and currently is a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee of United States Senator Barbara Boxer, assisting her in making recommendations to the President for US District Judge and US Attorney positions.
Greg is married to Dr. Sue A. Farus, Ob/Gyn, and they are the parents of three adult children, Greg, Brenna & Christian. They also just recently became Grandparents for the first time with the birth of their grandson, Gregory Ricardo Vega on October 26, 2015.
NAFUSA’s annual conference was held on October 15-17, 2015, at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. The session opened on Thursday evening at with a reception sponsored by Ernst & Young and honoring David Margolis. Unfortunately, the day before the event, Margolis fell outside Main Justice and fractured his elbow. He was unable to make the trip, but the program went on and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg spoke and NAFUSA presented a Washington Nationals Jersey with David’s name and the number “50” representing his 50 years of service to the Department. David is recovering from his injury and promises to make it to next year’s San Diego conference. In the meantime, the Nationals jersey is hanging in his office next to his Yankees “40” jersey presented by Chuck Rosenberg at the Main Justice celebration of David’s 40 years at the Department in 2005.
President Matt Orwig opened the two day CLE sessions on Friday morning and the group was welcomed to Arizona by John Leonardo, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. The ethics presentation was made by Marianne Jennings, Emeritus Professor of legal and ethical studies in business at Arizona State University. The morning closed with a panel discussion of “Issues in 21st Century Policing: Protecting Civil Rights and Public Safety.” The Friday session closed with a lucheon featuring DAG Sally Yates.
On Saturday morning, Matt Orwig led a dialogue with Monty Wilkinson, Director, EOUSA, and John Walsh, Chair, AGAC. It was followed by the presentation of the Bradford Award to AUSAs Joan Hartman and Liz Geddes and the presentation of a plaque to Monty Wilkinson with the names of all the past and present winners of the award, which will hang in the offices of EOUSA at Main Justice. The morning concluded with a panel discussion on “Criminal Justice Reform Proposals: How to be Tough and Smart on Crime.”
On Saturday night a short business meeting was held, and President Orwig thanked the directors whose three year terms have ended: Kent Alexander, Bill Leone, Ken Wainstein, Don Washington and Sharon Zealey. The following officers for 2015-2016 were elected by acclimation: President Greg Vega, President Elect Bart Daniel, Vice President Doug Jones, Secretary Terry Flynn, Treasurer Paul Coggins and Immediate Past President Matt Orwig. The new directors for the class of 2018 elected were: Greg Scott, Rich Roper, Marc Jimenez, David Barlow and Todd Jones. During the passing of the gavel, the new President Greg Vega presented outgoing President Matt Orwig with a handsome globe (Greg is shown holding a photo of the globe which was too large to bring to Scottsdale) for his office. Vega then announced the 2016 conference will be held at the Del Coronado in San Diego, October 6-9.
The conference closed with an outstanding keynote address by Jeffrey Toobin on “The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama.” John Clark (WD Texas 1975-1977), and one of the NAFUSA founders, formally closed the evening with the traditional toast.
On Saturday morning, October 17, the NAFUSA conference will feature a two hour panel discussion on “Criminal Justice Reform Proposals: How to be Tough and Smart on Crime.”
It will be moderated by NAFUSA member, the Hon. John Daniel Tinder, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Tinder served as the U.S. Attorney for the SD of Indiana (1984-1987) and a United States District Judge for the SD of Indiana (1987-2007).
Panel members include Sally Quillian Yates, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and the U.S. Attorney for the ND of Georgia (2010-2015) and is the spokesperson for the Obama Administration and the Department on justice reform issues; Adam Gelb, the Director of the Public Safety Performance Project for the Pew Charitable Trusts; Laurie Robinson, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and former Assistant AG for the Office of Justice Programs; NAFUSA member George Terwilliger and former Deputy Attorney General of the United States; and NAFUSA member Tim Heathy, who served as the U.S. Attorney for the WD of Virginia (2009-2014).
Tim Heaphy has led a bipartisan group of former U.S. Attorneys, including many NAFUSA members, in urging sentencing reform. Click here to view the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee: Letter to SJC re. Smarter Sentencing Act – 2015.07.21.docx-c-1. But other NAFUSA members, including George Terwilliger, have signed letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging restraint on sentencing reform. See, for instance, the August 31, 2015, Op-Ed by George Terwilliger: Hasty Changes to Mandatory Sentencing Could Prove Unwise.
The justice reform panel is expected to focus on a number of issues, including public safety, prison re-entry, pre-trial and others. It should be an interesting two hours.
On Friday morning, October 16, the NAFUSA conference will feature a two hour panel discussion on “Issues in 21st Century Policing: Protecting Civil Rights and Public Safety.”
It will be moderated by Carrie Johnson, the Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk of NPR. Prior to joining NPR, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years and has years of experience closely observing the Justice Department.
Panel members will include NAFUSA member Chuck Rosenberg, the Acting Administrator of the DEA and former chief of staff and senior counselor to FBI Director James Comey; Chiragg Bains, senior counsel to the AAG, Civil Rights Division at DOJ and a member of the team that investigated the Ferguson Police Department; NAFUSA member Jenny Durkan, who served as the U.S. Attorney for the WD of Washington (2009-2014) whose consent degree with the Seattle Police Department has been the model for several jurisdictions; Chief David Brown of the Dallas Police Department; Jennifer Joyce, the Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis; and Professor Michael White of Arizona State University, the leading expert on body cameras.
With such an array of experts on contemporary policing issues, and with differing perspectives from federal and local authorities, it should be a stimulating and informative presentation. Full bios of panelists are posted on the “conferences” link on the home page.