Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Second Leak of Probes of Prosecutors Points Finger at Two Alaska-Based Lawyers and an FBI Agent


The Associated Press has reported that “a lawyer familiar with the matter” has said that a draft U.S. Department of Justice report finds that two prosecutors from the Anchorage U.S. Attorney’s Office and an FBI agent committed professional misconduct regarding the 2008 trial of then-U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

The AP report says that the source identified Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Bottini and James Goeke as well as FBI agent Mary Beth Kepner as three officials being accused of having engaged in misconduct.

“Other Justice Department prosecutors involved in the case, including William Welch, who led the office that prosecuted Stevens, were not found to have engaged in misconduct,” says the AP report.

The AP report generally tracks the National Public Radio report published Monday regarding a report of the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog unit that focuses on investigating alleged violations of ethical standards.

The AP report differs from the NPR report, however, in that the AP states that its source says that the court-appointed special counsel conducting a separate probe of the prosecutors in the Ted Stevens case for potential criminal violations “has not yet made a decision whether to recommend charging anyone in the probe and has not made a decision on whether to issue a report on his findings.”

By contrast, the NPR report stated that Henry Schuelke, the court-appointed special counsel, had decided not to recommend any criminal prosecution of any of the prosecutors and had also prepared a written report.

The Associated Press report is by Pete Yost, and is available at on the Internet.

Separately, Rich Mauer of the Anchorage Daily News has a nice story on the pre-sentencing pleadings filed by Mark Zachares, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Don Young, R.-Alaska. You can find that article at on the Internet.

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