Hardin Presents Flag to Family of Ernie Williams

On November 9, 2017,  NAFUSA President Hal Hardin presented  the family of  Ernie Williams with a flag flown over the Department of Justice in his honor.  Ernie died in November, 2016. It is a tradition for NAFUSA to request the flying of an American flag which is presented to the families of former United States Attorneys during bereavement.  The presentation took place in the Williamson County Historic Courthouse with family and friends in attendance.  Williams  was appointed by President Bush and served as US Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee from 1991-1993.

Billy Kimbrough Passed Away in March

NAFUSA recently learned that William (“Billy”) Adams Kimbrough Jr passed away on  March 31, 2017, after a long illness.  Billy served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1977 to 1981, in the Carter Administration. He was an early and active member of NAFUSA until failing health kept him away. He was born in Selma, and was a long time resident of Mobile. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kay, his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, both of Mobile, his son Will (Jessica), and granddaughters Emma and Sadie, all of Nashville, his sister Ann Kimbrough, of Spanish Fort, his brother Judge Hardie B. Kimbrough (Deanna) of Thomasville, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Billy graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) where he played football. He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law and then served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney during the Kennedy Administration. After his service as U.S. Attorney, he joined the firm of Turner Onderdonk from which he retired in 2012. Billy loved living in Mobile, practicing law, playing golf, and participating in the political and civic life of the city. He was elected to the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee in 1966, and volunteered in many political campaigns. He especially enjoyed his work with the Greater Gulf State Fair, serving as president in 1967.

As is our tradition, at the request of NAFUSA, on November 28, the Department of Justice flew an American flag over Main Justice in Billy’s honor and NAFUSA will present it in a commemorative box to his family as a token of the regard with which he was held by his colleagues.

November 28, 2017, in honor of Billy Kimbrough

Ed McDonough Dies, 77

Ed McDonough

Edward Bailey McDonough, Jr. passed away peacefully with his wife, Dianne, and family friends by his side on May 5, 2017 at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston after a battle with heart disease. Ed was one of the founding members of NAFUSA and a past president. He was born in Galveston, in a family with a long history in Galveston commerce, notably McDonough Iron Works. Ed attended Notre Dame earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. He then returned to Texas and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.

After a year of private practice in Houston, Texas, Ed joined the Harris County District Attorney’s office. In 1969 he became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, and a year later became Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1974 President Gerald D. Ford appointed Ed as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. His distinguished career included serving as lead prosecutor in the USA v. George Parr case involving voter fraud in South Texas, a chapter in Texas politics which gave rise to many books about the Duke of Duval, as the defendant was known. Ed also served as lead prosecutor in the case involving the bombing of the Pacifica Radio Station in Houston, Texas. In 1968 Congress authorized federal authorities to obtain court orders to intercept communications of individuals suspected of violating federal criminal laws. In the early 1970s, Ed tried in Federal Court in Victoria the first criminal case in the Southern District of Texas resulting from a court-authorized wiretap. After leaving public office, he pursued the private practice of law defending white-collar crime accused.

Ed McDonough’s work in law earned many honors and awards, including letters of commendation from the Attorney General of the United States, the Internal Revenue Service, and a Special Achievement Award from the Attorney General of the United States. He became Board Certified in Criminal Law and was also active in professional organizations for lawyers, including serving as a Director of the State Bar of Texas, a Fellow of the Houston and Texas Bar Foundations, the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys (President, 1986-1987), Federal Bar Association, Southern District of Texas Chapter (President, 1976), the National Health Lawyers Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas (Director, 1995) and the American Health Lawyers Association. Ed lectured extensively, including to the National Home Health Care Association Annual Law Symposium, the American Bar Association Institute on White Collar Crime, the Texas Association for Home Care, the National Association of Former United States Attorneys, the Wednesday Tax Forum of Houston, and the Texas Health Defense Network. In 2014 the State Bar of Texas recognized Ed as a Fifty Year Lawyer.

Following the tradition of the McDonough clan’s association with the sea, Ed had a lifelong love affair with sailing. He was an accomplished sailor and was one of the first sailboat owners to be accepted by Lakewood Yacht Club where he moored “Caviar”, his prized 47’ sailboat.

Social activities rounded life and included lifelong associations with the Galveston Artillery Club, the Galveston Country Club, and the Alley Theater as a season ticket holder for 45 years. Ed and his wife, Dianne, never missed a Mardi Gras party and were active in Galveston through the Knights of Momus since its revival as a Galveston Mardi Gras Krewe in 1985. As a Charter Member of the Krewe of the Knights of Momus, he served as President, Ball Captain, Ball Chairman, and reigned over Galveston Mardi Gras as King Frivolous LXXXIV in 1999.

A deeply spiritual man and devout Catholic, Ed was a member of Saint Mary Basilica and served on the Advisory Board for Holy Cross Chapel, Houston, Texas. He served several decades on the Development Board for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and was an Advisory Board member of the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston.

Ed is survived by his wife Dianne of 41 years. Following a private burial, friends are cordially invited to a Rosary at 10:30 in the morning of Friday, May 12, 2017, at Saint Mary Basilica, 2011 Church in Galveston, Texas. A funeral Mass will immediately follow the Rosary. NAFUSA member Ron Woods will be among the honorary pallbearers. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Ed’s memory may be made to the Salvation Army, Saint Mary Basilica (Galveston), and the Alley Theatre.

As is our custom, NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice on Monday, May 15, in honor of Ed, and Ron Woods presented it to Diane at the Galveston Artillery Club following the funeral as a token on the esteem in which Ed was held by his former colleagues.


Frederick Lacey Dies, 96

NJ.com True Jersey reported on April 4, 2017, that Frederick B. Lacey, former U.S.

Frederick Lacey

Attorney for the District of New Jersey, died at 96 at home in Naples, Florida. Lacey was appointed by President Nixon in 1969 and only served one year before Nixon appointed him to the federal bench, where he served for 14 years.

NJcom True Jersey reports that

Lacey,…, quickly rose to prominence in his short tenure as the state’s top federal law enforcement official. With [NAFUSA member] Herbert J. Stern, who would succeed him as U.S. Attorney and also become a federal judge, Lacey and his office successfully prosecuted Newark Mayor Hugh J. Addonizio–who was linked at trial to mob boss Ruggerio “Richie the Boot” Boiardo–and the Hudson County Democratic powerbroker John V. Kenny.

“He was one of the state’s most prominent attorneys and he put his entire reputation on the line,” remembered Stern, recounting the extensive corruption in New Jersey and the speed at which Lacey went after it in a succession of high-profile trials.

“In a twinkling of an eye, the state changed,” Stern said.

 Lacey served as an assistant and chief assistant U.S. Attorney in New Jersey (1953-1955). He graduated from Rutgers University and served four years in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from Cornell University Law School. His wife Mary predeceased him. He is survived by seven children, 22 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Services have yet to be finalized.
NAFUSA has requested that an American flag be flown over Main Justice and presented to the family as a token of the regard with which he was held by his former colleagues.

Jim Connelly Dies

 Jim Connelly

James P. Connelly, who served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 1993-2000, passed away on February 14, 2017. He was born in Spokane, Washington. Jim’s family emigrated from Tuam, Ireland in 1860. His father became both a U.S. Attorney and State Supreme Court Judge. Jim attended college at Notre Dame, and Gonzaga University and graduated from Gonzaga Law School. After working as a prosecutor for Spokane County he joined the firm of Cashatt, Williams, Connelly and Rekofke. He later joined his lifelong friends Robert McNicols, Leo Driscoll and Mike Cronin to form the law firm of Winston Cashatt. Throughout his career he was known as a fierce and brilliant trial lawyer, a passion he shared with many attorneys throughout his career. He retired from private practice and taught for a short time at Gonzaga Law School before following in his father’s footsteps and was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Jim was known for his colorful language, his love of books, his enjoyment of a good gathering with friends and a stiff glass of good scotch. Most important to Jim were his eight children.  Jim and his wife Marianne, enjoyed many wonderful years with his large family, taking trips to the Oregon coast, skiing at Schweitzer, sailing on Lake Pend Orielle, and spending winters at the beach in Coronado, California. Jim is survived by his wife Marianne; his eight children and their spouses, Patrick (Laurie), Michael (Sue), Anne (Gordon Connelly-Chew), Lisa (Kubi Ibrahim), Mary (Jim Doherty), Matt (Kristi), Cara (Ahmad Mohammadian) and Kathleen (Tom Arnold); 21 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his cousin Kathy Connelly.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, February 18 at St. Aloysius Church at 10:00am, followed immediately by a reception at Cataldo Hall. As is our custom, NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice on February 15 in Jim’s honor, and it will be presented to his family as a token of the regard with which he was held by his colleagues. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s name can be made to Volunteers of America, Crosswalk Shelter.

Michael Johns Dies, 67


Michael A. Johns passed away on January 13, 2017, in Phoenix. Mike served as the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1997-1998, and spent his entire professional career in the United States Attorney’s Office. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Susan; and their children, Kevin, Emily Jagodzinski and Ryan; and two grandchildren, Aiden and Allie Jagodzinski. A funeral mass will be held Friday, January 27, 2017, at 11 am at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Phoenix with a Celebration of Life service at noon in the church hall. As is our custom, an American flag was flown over Main Justice at NAFUSA’s request and will be present to Mike’s family by his friend, NAFUSA member Jose de Jesus Rivera.

George Beall Dies, 79

George Beall, with AG Elliot Richardson in 1973 (Mike Lien/The New York Times)

George Beall, with AG Elliot Richardson in 1973 (Mike Lien/The New York Times)

NAFUSA life member George Beall, 79, died on Sunday in Naples Florida. Beall was best known for his prosecution of Vice President Spiro Agnew, which led to Agnew’s resignation in 1973. Beall served as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland (1970-1975).

Beall graduated from Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He clerked for Chief Judge Simon E. Sobeloff of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After his government service, he was a partner at the law firm of Hogan Lovells until his retirement several years ago.

Beale is survived by his wife Carolyn Campbell; a daughter, Rebecca Beall DiSabato; two step-sons, James C. Alban IV and Nicholas Guy Alban; a step-daughter, Tobey Frederick; 16 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Click here to read the New York Times obituary

As is our custom, NAFUSA will arrange to have an American flag flown over Main Justice in George’s honor and presented to the family as a token of the appreciation in which he was held by his colleagues.

Henry Oncken Dies

Henry Oncken

Henry Oncken, who served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, 1985-1990, passed away on December 21, 2016.  He attended the University of Houston and received his JD from the Bates College of Law. His career began at Humble Oil (Exxon) and then with the District Attorney’s Office. He served as a Harris County District Court Judge before his appointment in 1985 as  U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. In retirement, Henry worked as a visiting judge in the Harris County Criminal Courts. He loved the outdoors and looked forward to spending each hunting season with his friends and family.

He is survived by his wife Jackie, daughter Leah, son-in-law Jon, grandchildren Nathan and Ava and brothers Bill and Gary. 

A Celebration of Life was held on December 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. After the service, a reception will be held at the church followed by the gravesite service. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to The Gladney Center, 6300 John Ryan Drive, Ft. Worth, Texas 76132.

As is our custom,  NAFUSA has arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice in Henry’s honor and it will be presented to his family as a token of the high regard with which he was held by his colleagues.


Ernie Williams Dies

Ernie Williams

Judge Ernie Williams

Judge Ernie Williams, who served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, died this week.  Judge Williams is a veteran who upon graduating high school entered the United States Marine Corps and served there from 1965 until 1969. His service included a tour in Vietnam as well as being selected as a member of the Marine Corps Color Guard in Washington, D.C. As such, he served at the White House and was ultimately honorably discharged as a sergeant.

Judge Williams returned from the Marine Corps and graduated from the University of Tennessee in December of 1974. He obtained his doctorate of jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law in May of 1980. He ultimately moved to Franklin Tennessee and opened his own law practice where he quickly gained a reputation for being a skilled trial lawyer. President George H.W. Bush selected him to be the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in 1991. In that role, he supervised the United States Attorney’s office in Nashville which was comprised of 75 employees and 19 assistant United States attorneys.

Judge Williams was considered to be a hands-on US attorney, actively involved in the trying of cases. These cases involved all types of federal crimes including large drug cases, sexual offenses, kidnappings and murders.

Upon leaving the United States Attorney’s office, he returned to Franklin, Tennessee where he resumed his private practice. He and his wife Nancy were very active in the community and assumed many leadership roles. His wife served on the County Commission until her untimely death in 2002. At that time, the County Commission appointed Judge Williams to fill her vacancy. He was elected to two successive terms following his appointment to represent the 9th Commissioner, he chaired numerous committees, including the budget committee. He is past chairman and board member of My Friends House, an organization that houses and assists at-risk youth throughout the community. He has also served on numerous professional legal associations. He was a Certified Supreme Court Rule 31 Civil and Family Law Mediator.

Prior to establishing Williams, Beal & Nations in 2013 in Franklin, Tennessee, Judge Williams was appointed as presiding judge of the Williamson County General Sessions Court, Division II. The General Sessions Court hears all types of small claims civil suits as well as criminal matters. As a General Sessions Judge, Judge Williams had the authority to dispose of misdemeanor cases and determine whether probable cause existed for felony charges to be brought before the Circuit Court.

Judge Williams lived in Williamson County and been a practicing attorney for 34 years. There are few attorneys in the Middle Tennessee area that have not had cases against him, mediated by him or appeared in front of him. He is survived by three children and five grandchildren.

As is our custom, NAFUSA will request that an American flag be flown over Main Justice in Judge Williams honor as a token of the high regard with which he was held by his colleagues.

Janet Reno Dies at 78

Janet RenoJanet Reno, the first woman to serve as attorney general of the United States, died this morning at her home in Miami-Dade County, Florida, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch released the following statement:

With the passing of Janet Reno, the Department of Justice has lost one of the most effective, decisive and well-respected leaders in its proud history.  From her years in state law enforcement to her long and eventful tenure as Attorney General, Janet Reno always strove, as she put it, to do her ‘level best.’  She led the department in a time of turmoil and change, confronting issues ranging from international and domestic terrorism to fair competition in the emerging technology sector.  In meeting these challenges, she was guided by one simple test: to do what the law and the facts required.  She accepted the results of that test regardless of which way the political winds were blowing.  She never shied from criticism or shirked responsibility, earning her the affection of her subordinates, the respect of her critics, and the esteem of the American people.  And of course, as the first woman to serve as attorney general, she was an inspiration and a trailblazer for so many women working in law enforcement and government — including me.  The United States is a stronger, safer and more just place because of Janet Reno’s leadership, and she will be dearly missed.

Earlier this year, NAFUSA became a Founding Donor of the Janet Reno Endowment at Georgetown University, having made a $10,000 contribution.