Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Traffic Cop in the Desert, Plus a Note on My Talk

Indio, California—

I’m visiting relatives out of state, so all I’m going to do this morning is point you toward two notable items available on the Internet:

1. Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News has the story that the new filing by former State Rep. Vic Kohring’s new lawyer asserts that the FBI paid key informant Frank Prewitt $200,000, apparently after he testified in the Kohring case. (Note that Prewitt provided information and assistance to the FBI for more than two years.) The FBI and Prewitt would neither confirm nor deny the payment to the Daily News. I’ll have more to say about this apparent payment and this filing after I’ve had a chance to read the filing. Until then, Demer’s story is at on the Internet.

2. A recently departed Department of Justice official told a law school audience yesterday that the Department’s decision to dump the prosecution of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens was “painful” but “the right thing to do based on the circumstances of that case.” Former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden said that the Department had “abandoned a case it believed in on the merits” when Attorney General Eric Holder decided to request that the prosecution be dismissed after the jury returned guilty verdicts. Ogden said, however, that the decision to drop the case in the midst of allegations of prosecutorial misconduct had served the broader goal of showing that federal prosecutors respected the rights of defendants even when it hurt. The Blog of Legal Times reports that Ogden acknowledged that the decision to kill the Ted Stevens case almost a year ago had “rankled career prosecutors and hurt morale.” You can read the whole account at on the Internet.

And in response to commenter Howard, I’m still thinking about how to get out my presentation from last Thursday evening. Thanks for your interest.

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