Scottsdale to Feature Panel on Justice Reform

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.”

Hon. John Daniel Tinder

Hon. John Daniel Tinder

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.

Scottsdale to Feature Panel on Police Issues

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.”

Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson

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.

Liz Geddes and Joan Hartman Named Bradford Award Winners

Each year, NAFUSA recognizes an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding performance through the J. Michael Bradford Memorial Award. The award is named after J. Michael Bradford, who served as a U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas from 1994 to 2001. Bradford, who died in 2003, had a distinguished career in public service, including successfully defending the government against lawsuits stemming from the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian’s compound in Waco, Texas. NAFUSA annually solicits nominations from current U.S. Attorneys for the Bradford Award. Typically, the recipient has handled a significant investigation and prosecution or series of prosecutions that has had a significant impact and merits special recognition.

Once again, a number of exceptional nominations were made by U.S. Attorneys around the country. The Michael Bradford Award Committee was chaired by NAFUSA Vice President Bart Daniel. Its members included Doug Jones, Ed Dowd, Kent Alexander, Don Washington, Hal Hardin, Sharon Zealey, and Rich Rossman. This year, the Board voted to give the award to two AUSAs from separate districts. Elizabeth Geddes, from the Eastern District of New York, was nominated by then United States Attorney and now Attorney General Loretta Lynch, for a variety of investigations and prosecutions resulting in the near complete dismantlement of the Colombo crime family. Joan Hartman, from the Eastern District of Michigan, was nominated by United States Attorney Barbara McQuade, for her exceptional accomplishments in transforming the way the Department of Justice fights health care fraud. The committee and board of directors decided both nominees were worthy of the Bradford Award and declared them each 2015 winners.

Liz Geddes

Liz Geddes

Elizabeth Geddes is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and is currently the chief of the Organized Crime and Gangs section in the EDNY. In that role, she oversees the Office’s criminal prosecutions of members and associates of organized groups who commit crimes including racketeering, murder, extortion, narcotics trafficking, fraud, and sex trafficking. Prior to her current assignment, she served as deputy chief of the General Crimes section and acting deputy chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering section. Geddes clerked for the Honorable Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York. She graduated University of Notre Dame in 1997 and graduated Georgetown University Law Center magna cum laude in 2004.

Geddes has distinguished herself through her work in a variety of investigations and prosecutions resulting in the near complete dismantlement of the Colombo crime family, a violent criminal enterprise that had once functioned as one of the five powerful La Cosa Nostra crime families.  Numerous Colombo family members have been held accountable for multiple murders including the 1997 murder of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols, a murder that long remained unsolved.
Joan Hartman

Joan Hartman

Joan E. Hartman  is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan and the civil health care fraud case coordinator for that district. Hartman has pioneered the use of data to identify and rank potential health care fraud targets nationwide and to measure the effectiveness of prosecutorial efforts in establishing deterrence and reducing overall Medicare costs by district. Hartman conducts nationwide and district-level training for prosecutors and agents on making the most effective use of data in developing targets and cases. Hartman has previously received a Director’s Award and a Civil Division Special Commendation award for her work in the data analytics area.  In June 2015, Hartman also received a Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Award for Excellence as part of the team that handled the investigation and prosecution of oncologist Farid Fata.

Prior to moving to Michigan, Hartman was an Assistant Director in the Civil Frauds section of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  She handled trial and appellate matters arising under the False Claims Act and the civil conflict of interest laws, including briefing several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.  She also handled a broad range of other matters ranging from a trial in the Hague defending against Iran’s claim that the United States breached the Algiers Accords, to a Ninth Circuit appeal establishing the legal status of the Northern Mariana Islands. Hartman is also the author of several Monographs on legal issues that are widely used within the Department of Justice and client agencies. Hartman is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and winner of the Francis Wayland Prize for litigation skills, and she received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University summa cum laude.  Hartman lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, John Rothchild, who is Associate Professor of Law at Wayne State Law School, and her two children, Julia, a senior at Yale, and Daniel, a junior at Harvard.


The other nominees were:

Deborah A. Griffin, SD Alabama, nominated by United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown, for her investigation and prosecution of ZenBio, a producer of synthetic cannabinoid.

James T. Lacy, District of Arizona, nominated by United States Attorney John Leonardo, for his work in rooting out and prosecuting corruption, fraud, and drug traffickers.

Kirk E. Sherrif, ED of California, nominated by United States Attorney Ben Wagner, for his successful prosecution of Crisp & Cole, a high profile mortgage brokerage and real estate firm.

Todd W. Robinson, SD of California, nominated by United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy, for his investigation and prosecution of the Luz Verde RICO case, a violent cross-border criminal enterprise.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, SD of Florida, nominated by United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, for his prosecution of several Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) level cases.

William L. McKinnon, Jr., ND of Georgia, nominated by United States Attorney John A. Horn, for his work in fighting public corruption.

Charles J. Williams, ND of Iowa, nominated by United States Attorney Kevin W. Techau, for his investigation and prosecution of an Indian Country double homicide case.

Matthew G. Borgula and Sally Berens, WD of Michigan, nominated by United States Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr, for their efforts in the successful prosecution o a $46 million Ponzi scheme.

Michael P. Norris, District of Nebraska, nominated by United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg, for his work in an internationally significant child pornography investigation.

David W. Feder and Letecia B. Vandehaar, District of New Jersey, nominated by United States Attorney Paul Fishman, for their investigation of Merrill Lynch’s subprime residential mortgage-backed securities platform and the $16.65 billion civll settlement with Bank of America.

Nicole W. Friedlander, SD New York, nominated by United States Attorney Preet Bharara for her high impact prosecutions in the area of consumer fraud and cybercrime.

Christopher M. Stephens, WD of Oklahoma, nominated by United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats for his work in the first prosecution in the nation involving fraud in the Federal Communication Commission’s wireless Lifeline Program.

Frederic N. Weinhouse, District of Oregon, nominated by United States Attorney Amanda Marshall, for his work as the Project Safe Neighborhood Coordinator for Oregon.

Heather H. Rattan, ED of Texas, nominated by United States Attorney John M. Bales, for her work in dismantling Colombia’s largest cocaine transportation network.

James H. Sturgis, SD of Texas, nominated by United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, for his successful prosecution of the “Panama Unit”, an elite counter-drug task force.

Debra Kanof, WD of Texas. nominated by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr., for her successful investigation and prosecution of widespread public corruption in El Paso city and county government.

Jeffrey Toobin To Speak in Scottsdale

NAFUSA President Matt Orwig has announced that Jeffrey Toobin will speak in Scottsdale on the state of the United States Supreme Court.


Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for The New Yorker and senior analyst for CNN, is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country. His most recent book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, was published by Doubleday in 2012 and was a New York Times best-seller. The Oath followed The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which was also a best-seller and earned the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is currently at work on a book about the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst.

Toobin, who is also a noted lecturer, has written several other critically acclaimed, best-selling books including A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President; The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson; and Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election.

Previously, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case—United States v. Oliver North.

Toobin earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Register for Scottsdale Conference


The Phoenician

Registration remains open for the NAFUSA Scottsdale conference to be held at The Phoenician October 15-17, 2015. The conference will open on Thursday morning, October 15, with golf at The Phoenician.

NAFUSA The deadline for the conference rate of $325 a night has passed, but contact Blair Berman at the hotel at 480.423.2842 to check on availability.  If a room is not available at The Phoenician, Blair will assist you in suggesting alternative hotels nearby.


Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post








NAFUSA Program Scottsdale 2015.

Thursday evening will feature a cocktail reception at the Joake Inn at The Phoenician, honoring NAFUSA member David Margolis, as he serves his 50th year at the Department.

Friday and Saturday mornings will feature CLE programs, with a luncheon on Friday. The Friday program will feature an ethics presentation by Professor Marianne Jennings and a two hour panel on “Issues in 21st Century Policing: Protecting Civil Rights and Public Safety.”

Sally Quillian Yates

Sally Quillian Yates

On Friday, luncheon will be held on The Phoenician Patio, with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates as the featured speaker.








The Saturday CLE program will feature a dialogue with EOUSA Director Monty Wilkinson and AGAC Chair John Walsh, moderated by NAFUSA President Matt Orwig. The two Bradford Award winners will follow with presentations, and the morning will close with a two hour panel on “Criminal Justice Reform Proposals: How to be Tough and Smart on Crime.”

The conference will close on Saturday evening with a banquet and business meeting, featuring Jeffrey Toobin as the keynote speaker. He will speak on “The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama.”


Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin




NAFUSA Board Meets in Nashville

On May 16, 2015, the NAFUSA officers and board members met in Nashville for their annual Spring meeting. The meeting was held at The Hermitage Hotel. As is the custom, members paid their own travel and hotel expenses.

President Matt Orwig reported on the early plans for the Scottsdale conference to be held on October 15-17 at The Phoenician. Registration is expected to begin in July. NAFUSA has nine sponsors for the conference, with more expected. A full list of sponsors can be found on the NAFUSA website and in each monthly newsletter.

Executive Director Rich Rossman reported that NAFUSA has 266 active members, including 60 life members (the latest being David Iglesias) and 24 senior members. Unfortunately 33 members have yet to pay their current dues, which were payable by February 28, 2015.

President Elect Greg Vega advised that the 2016 conference will be held on October 6-9, 2016, in San Diego at the Hotel Del Coronado.

The Board is shown in the photo below during their Saturday morning meeting at the hotel.

Nashville board meeting


On the evening before the meeting, they enjoyed a boat cruise on the General Jackson Showboat on the Cumberland River. They were joined by Magistrate Joe Brown and his wife, Marilyn, Ed and Cindy Yarbrough, and Russ and Betty Dedrick. Joe, Ed and Russ are NAFUSA members in Tennessee, invited to join the board for the social events of the weekend.

Nashville: General Jackson Showboat

Shown in the photo above (click on photo for a larger image):

Seated: Melissa Orwig, Ann Stevens, Susan Adzick, Patty Rossman, Marilyn Brown, Sue Farus, Cheryl Leone, Erica Stern, Julie Stephens, Cindy Daniel, Alice Martin, Yvonne Washington

Standing: Matt Orwig, Russ Dedrick, Chuck Stevens, Bob Cleary, Doug Jones, Bob Miller, Hal Hardin, Joe Brown, Rich Rossman, Greg Vega, Don Stern, Bill Leone, Terry Flynn, Jay Stephens, Jack Selden, Bart Daniel, Ken Wainstein, Ed Yarbrough, Cindy Yarbrough, Louis Martin, Don Washington

The social events began with a Thursday night performance of Grand Ole Opry Classics at Ryman Auditorium, golf on Friday morning, and closed with a reception hosted by Hal Hardin at his office, as shown below.

Hardin reception