NAFUSA Members Remember Johnnie Mac Walters

As reported here on June 26, 2014, long time NAFUSA member Johnnie Mac Walters died on June 24. NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over the Department of Justice in Mac’s honor, and NAFUSA member Walt Wilkins (South Carolina 2008-2010), currently the Circuit Solicitor in Greenville, presented the flag to Mac’s four children at a memorial service in Greenville, South Carolina on July 19. Walt reports that the children were very grateful and sincerely appreciated the gift from NAFUSA. Letters to the family were also sent by NAFUSA members Bill Sessions and John Clark.

Clark shared his “refreshed recollections” contained in his letter. He recalled the assistance Walters gave to Sessions and Clark in ensuring that their requests for timely decisions on matters crucial to their 1972 grand jury investigation did not get bogged down in the bureaucracy. Clark’s reference to “George” refers to George Parr, the notorious South Texas political boss under investigation for income tax evasion. The reference to “my book” refers to Clark’s non-fiction book The Fall of the Duke of Duval (Eakin Press, 1995), chronicling the year-long grand jury investigation and the multiple prosecutions that grew out of it.

Clark writes:

After re-reading the Times piece and thinking further about the chronology of events, it’s my recollection that Scott Crampton succeeded Johnnie as Ass’t AG – Tax Division in 1971, when Johnnie became IRS Commissioner. We knew Johnnie, of course, as well as Scott.  We knew at the outset of our investigation in the Spring of 1972 that we had a tight Statute of Limitations deadline for George’s 1966 tax year ; and when we needed an expedited decision on an immunity grant for Karl Stautz to help us meet that deadline, Scott (at DoJ), and Johnnie (at IRS) helped to accomplish getting the facts reviewed and the decision made promptly.  When we needed assurance a little later in 1972 that the mandatory review by IRS Regional Counsel of the proposed indictment wouldn’t get bogged down in needless bureaucratic delays, Johnnie assured us that it wouldn’t, and it didn’t.  Johnnie believed in us and in the validity of our investigation, and he was helpful to us in ensuring that key decisions were made after proper review and without unnecessary delay. As you may recall, we were concerned because Regional Counsel reviews and decisions had a reputation among US Attorneys’ offices as needlessly slow, as did immunity requests at DoJ. Our District Director, Bob Phinney, was also concerned about the potential delay we might encounter at Regional Counsel level.  I.A. Filer told me that he thought George Stephen (the Chief of Intelligence in Phinney’s office) was the one who selected the team of agents that was assigned to our investigation.  We had three Special Agents (I.A. Filer, Jerry Culver, and Charlie Volz) and crack Revenue Agent Ed Watts. As I wrote in my book, I never worked with a more professional or a more capable team of investigators.

John

 

At the time of the Parr investigation, Sessions was the United States Attorney for the WD of Texas (1971-1974) and Clark was the First Assistant. Sessions later became a United States District Judge for the WD of Texas and the Director of the FBI. Clark succeeded Sessions as U.S. Attorney (1975-1977) and is currently of counsel with the San Antonio law firm of Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson. He is also a past president of NAFUSA and one of the founders. Sessions is currently a partner at Holland & Knight in Washington.

Clark says, “Johnnie Mac Walters truly believed, as the oft-quoted maxim puts it, that ‘A public office is a public trust.’ I felt privileged to know him.”

Johnnie Mac Walters

MacBride Argues Prosecutorial Power Shifting From NY to DC

 

In an interview published today in Corporate Crime Reporter, Davis Polk Partner Neil MacBride On the Shift of Prosecutorial Power from New York to DC, NAFUSA member Neil MacBride, who served as the United States Attorney for the ED of Virginia 2009-2013, talks about his perception that the center of the corporate crime universe is shifting from New York to Washington and northern Virginia.

In MacBride’s view, a paradigm shift occurred in the national security area with 9/11and the Patriot Act and other statutes began to tear down artificial walls and federal agencies began to share information. According to MacBride, the shift spilled over into the enforcement and regulatory space.

The result has been a consolidation of enforcement authority in Washington. You have this proliferation of regulatory and enforcement agencies that just didn’t exist a decade ago.

 

When I was U.S. Attorney, I created the Virginia Financial Securities Fraud Task Force. That brought together criminal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, the IRS on the one side. And then we brought in civil regulators like the SEC, the CFTC, state securities commissions. We brought them together in a way that allowed them to share information with the goal of detecting and disrupting financial frauds when they were relatively small, before they ballooned into Madoff style billion dollar ponzi schemes.

We stole the playbook from the national security counterterrorism side and have now applied it in the financial fraud and regulatory space. Companies increasingly have a sense that the locus of power has shifted from New York to Washington and northern Virginia. The regulators and enforcers here are much more active and will soon, if they haven’t already, eclipse New York as being the center of the U.S. government’s efforts against financial fraud.

The interview also discusses the “rocket docket”in the Eastern District of Virginia- rules created to speed cases on both the civil and criminal side. MacBride also discusses his view that the pendulum is swinging back from deferred and non prosecution agreements toward more guilty pleas in corporate cases. He is also quoted on the “rocket docket” in the July 15th posting of Legal Bisnow (DC).

Boston Conference October 9-12

Featured

The NAFUSA annual conference will be held in Boston on October 9-12, 2014 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. Member Registration is now open and each NAFUSA member received an invitation in July via email with the registration form attached. Rooms are available at the Copley through this registration process, at the special conference rate of $319 a night. There are only a limited number of rooms, and the Copley is expected to sell out, so members are urged to register and book a room as soon as possible. The cut-off for reserving rooms at the Copley is September 18, 2014. Click here to viewNAFUSA Program Boston 2014. Click on “Conferences” (above) to view full bios of 2014 speakers.

NAFUSA members: click here to register

President Don Stern and his planning committee promise an outstanding program. The conference will open with Thursday morning, October 9, golf at Belmont Country Club.

Robert Mueller

Thursday evening will feature a cocktail reception at the Copley, honoring NAFUSA’s member, Robert S. Mueller III, who completed 12 years last fall as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a position he took one week prior to the September 11 attacks and held under two presidents.

Leslie CaldwellThe Friday morning CLE program will feature two panels. Jeff Taylor, Raytheon Company, will moderate a panel on Corporate Monitors. The panel members are Leslie Caldwell, shown right, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; Michael Bromwich, Goodwin Procter and the Apple monitor; Kevin O’Connor, United Technologies; and Eric Feldman, Affiliated Monitors.

 

 

 

Steve VladeckThe second panel will be on National Security, moderated by Ken Wainstein,  with Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, Professor Stephen Vladeck, left, American University Washington College of Law,  and Charlie Savage, below right, of the New York Times. On Friday afternoon, a boat cruise and lunch is planned in the Boston Harbor. Friday evening will be reserved for class reunion dinners.

Charlie Savage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saturday morning CLE will feature the awarding of this year’s Bradford Award to the AUSA of the Year.

Loretta LynchThe morning will include a  Dialogue with EOUSA and the AGAC, moderated by President Don Stern and featuring Loretta Lynch, left, Chair of the AGAC and Monty Wilkinson, Director of EOUSA.

 

 

 

Prof. Stephen GillerslWilliam Leone, of Norton Rose Fulbright, will moderate a panel on The Ethical Issues Arising in Internal Investigations with panel members Prof. Stephen Gillers of NYU, shown above, Mary Pat Brown, former head of OPR at DOJ, and Karen Hewitt of Jones Day.

 

 

 

Frank MackamanThe CLE program will close with a panel discussion dealing with the 50 year anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, moderated by Doug Jones and featuring Gerald Stern, who was a young civil rights lawyer in the Justice Department during the Freedom Rides, John Stewart, former aide to Sen. Humphrey, Steven Pollack and Frank Mackaman, shown right, of the Dirksen Center.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday afternoon, there will be an optional tour of Fenway Park.

Commissioner Ed Davis

Commissioner Ed Davis

The conference will close on Saturday evening with a closing reception and dinner. The keynote speaker will be Edward F. Davis, former Boston Police Department Commissioner who will speak on “Lessons Learned from the Boston Marathon Bombing.”  Davis has been in law enforcement for 35 years. He served as the 40th Police Commissioner of the City of Boston from December 2006 until October 2013. Commissioner Davis was Boston’s lead police official during the tragic Marathon bombing and testified before Congress about the bombing and lessons learned. Prior to that, Davis was the Superintendent of the Lowell Police Department, a position he held for 12 years and one he rose to after starting out as a patrol officer in 1978.

The conference will be held on Columbus Day weekend with several offices closed on Monday, October 13. The fall is a great time in the East and a fine time to plan some extra days to watch the leaves turn.

Johnnie Mac Walters Dies, 94

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Long time NAFUSA member Johnnie “Mac” Walters, died at his home in Greenville, South Carolina, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. He was 94. See the full obituary from today’s New York Times. He served as assistant attorney general (1969-1971) and as commissioner of Internal Revenue (1971-1973) in the Nixon Administration.

As described in his memoirs, Our Journey, published in 2011,

In 1971 embattled President Richard M. Nixon sought to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon to investigate and punish his “enemies.” Tapes of White House conversations reveal that Nixon wanted as Commissioner “a ruthless son-of-a-bitch that he will do what he is told; that every income tax return I want to see I see; that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends.”

Attorney General John Mitchell recommended Assistant AG Johnnie Mac Walters. Apparently no one checked with Walters who was “shocked” when White House Counsel John Dean presented him with an “enemies list.” Walters resisted pressure from the White House and told Secretary of the Treasury George Schultz that he could “have my job anytime he wanted it.”

Walters earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Force as a navigator, flying fifty bombing missions. He was awarded a Legion of Honor award from the nation of France in 2012.

Walters is survived by his wife, Donna Hall Walters, and his sons Hilton and John Roy; and his daughters, Donna Diane Gent and Betsy Kukorowski; five grandchildren and one great-grandson. A memorial service will be held at the  First Baptist Church in Greenville at 2 p.m. on July 19, 2014.

Our Journey

 

At NAFUSA’s request, an American flag was flown over the Department of Justice on June  27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters and will be presented to his family as a token of the appreciation in which he was held by his colleagues.

Flown over the Department of Justice on June 27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters

Flown over the Department of Justice on June 27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters

Johnnie Mac Walters flag case

 

 

Thornburgh in Hospital With Mild Stroke

Dick Thornburgh

According to a report in Reuters on Sunday, June 22, 2014, NAFUSA member Dick Thornburgh, a former U.S. attorney general, two-term Pennsylvania governor, and U.S. Attorney for the WD of Pennsylvania, 1969-1975, has been hospitalized in Pittsburgh.

Thornburgh, 81, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, suffered a mild stroke on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, citing Thornburgh’s wife, Ginny Thornburgh.

“He is resting comfortably and receiving excellent care at UPMC Presbyterian,” Thornburgh’s family said in a statement released through the hospital. “He is awake, alert and looking forward to a full recovery.”

On July 10, 2014, Dick Thornburgh’s assistant at K&L Gates provided this update:

Dick Thornburgh is undergoing rehab at UPMC/Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh.  He is doing well and he is receiving excellent care from dedicated and caring professionals and his condition appears to be on an upward trajectory.  Within the next ten days or so he expects to have a better fix on his future prospects.

Vaira Joins Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores

Peter Vaira

NAFUSA member Peter F. Vaira (E.D. Pennsylvania, 1978-1983) joined the Philadelphia law firm of Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores (GPEFF) in March, 2014. Vaira will serve as special counsel. In announcing his joining the firm, GPEFF stated:

Peter’s over 50 years of practice, during which he has handled the most complex criminal and civil matters in state and federal court, has earned him a reputation as one of the most respected attorneys in the region. Mr. Vaira is also a widely sought after arbitrator, mediator, special master, and independent hearing officer with numerous years of experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. Vaira will direct GPEFF’s alternative dispute resolution practice while also working alongside Michael J. Engle who leads our white collar practice group. We are honored to have such a tremendously accomplished attorney practicing law with our talented team of trial lawyers.

 

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice, GPEFF  has since become an established, full-service law firm, with offices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. www.gpeff.com.

Vaira has written many fine articles in The Legal Intelligencer. Click here The Legal Intelligencer, June 17, 2014 (1) to read his most recent, Protecting Law Firms From Increasing Cyberattacks.