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