Biden taps GE HealthCare lawyer, ex-prosecutor for Chicago U.S. Attorney

June 28 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he intends to nominate April Perry, a former federal prosecutor and a senior counsel at GE HealthCare (GEHC.O), to serve as the next Chicago U.S. Attorney.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Perry will be the first woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Morris (Sonny) Pasqual has been serving as acting U.S. Attorney in Chicago after John Lausch stepped down from the role on March 11. Lausch rejoined law firm Kirkland & Ellis in May.

Lausch was originally appointed by former President Donald Trump, a Republican, in 2017. He was kept in the role by the Democratic Biden administration at the behest of Illinois U.S. senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, even as Biden terminated the appointments of other Trump-era U.S. Attorneys.

Durbin and Duckworth praised Perry’s nomination on Wednesday.

“She was highly regarded by our screening committee and brings strong qualifications and a wealth of experience from her time in the U.S. Attorney’s office and in the private sector to the position,” the senators said in a joint statement.

Reached for comment, Perry said she is “honored to be nominated, and would be proud to serve if confirmed.”

A spokesperson for GE HealthCare called Perry “outstanding” in a statement.

Perry is the senior counsel of global investigations and fraud and abuse prevention at Chicago-headquartered GE HealthCare, which was spun off from General Electric at the beginning of the year. Prior to joining the company in 2022, she was general counsel at Ubiety Technologies for three years, the White House said.

Perry was chief deputy state’s attorney and chief ethics officer for Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx from 2017 to 2019. Before joining Foxx’s team, she worked in the Chicago U.S.

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Attorney General James makes big development in NY fight against gun violence

State Attorney General Letitia James says she secured a court order to stop gunmakers from selling ghost guns in New York.
Legally, gun manufacturers are supposed to mark guns with serial numbers that help officials trace the gun back to the maker, seller, and customer. However, ghost guns are made without a serial number, that can’t be traced.

They’re often sold in parts that someone can put together at home.

Now, Attorney General James says 10 national gun companies will have to stop selling and shipping those parts. James won the court order against several big gun names including 80% Arms and Glockstore.

Ghost guns have been connected to several shootings across the city, including one that took the life of 16-year-old Angellyh Yambo and injured two other teens last April as they were walking home from school in Melrose.

Officials for months have been warning that ghost guns are a danger to New Yorkers because they’re a loophole around gun regulation. Since they are sold in separate parts, they don’t have a serial number, making it hard for law enforcement to track down a shooter.

The attorney general called this a common sense gun law and says that this court order will protect the public.

She also has filed a lawsuit against those 10 companies, which is currently pending.

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Missouri attorney general subpoenas case dismissal list as part of Kim Gardner probe

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Attorney General’s Office issued a wide-ranging subpoena to the St. Louis courts on Wednesday seeking a trove of records as part of a suit to remove Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner from office.

The subpoena offers a further glimpse into the case Attorney General Andrew Bailey is building against Gardner, who Bailey argues has been neglectful of her duty as the city’s top prosecutor.

Bailey’s document asks for, among other things, a list of cases dismissed by Gardner’s office and the average length of time cases are pending — two data points that could be key as Bailey’s office tries to illustrate that Gardner has failed to prosecute some cases while allowing others to languish for years. Those same issues have been repeated targets of criticism of the office in recent years.

In an effort to oust Gardner, Bailey filed a “quo warranto” petition late last month amid a firestorm over prosecutors’ handling of a pending robbery case that left a man free despite violating his bond dozens of times. Police said the man, Daniel Riley, caused a crash that pinned a 17-year-old volleyball player from Tennessee between two cars and resulted in both her legs being amputated.

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Along with the case dismissals, Bailey argued that Gardner’s office has failed to keep victims informed and has failed to review or act upon thousands of cases submitted by St. Louis police.

The attorney general’s office immediately issued a 34-point subpoena to the circuit attorney’s office, seeking records including victim complaints, copies of Gardner’s personnel file and copies of warrant applications considered and refused.

Officials then notified Gardner and her top aides they would be deposed. They also asked for documents from Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and Comptroller Darlene Green.

The courts

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Former Cohoes attorney in drug arrest suspended for two years

ALBANY – A former Cohoes attorney was suspended from practicing law for two years Thursday after she did not respond to inquiries from a watchdog panel in connection with her drug-related arrest in 2018.

Danielle R. Lange, an attorney since 2006 after graduating from Albany Law School, was disciplined by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court’s Third Department.

In a unanimous decision, the court explained that in August 2018, Lange was charged with drug-related offenses following a traffic stop. Lange later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession to resolve the case; she received probation, community service and drug treatment.

The Third Department’s Attorney Grievance Committee, which investigates complaints against lawyers, alleged that Lange’s actions adversely reflects on her fitness as an attorney and violated professional conduct rules. The panel served Lange with a petition and afforded her two adjournments but she never responded with an answer, the decision said.

In December, the Third Department determined Lange had committed misconduct. On Thursday, it imposed the two-year suspension.

The decision noted that Lange, now based in Salem, Mass., no longer holds a law office in New York but has continued to appear as the attorney of record for clients in the state, which also could be deemed misconduct. The Third Department ordered that Lange cannot be reinstated in New York until she is in good standing in Massachusetts, satisfies registration requirements and has proof of a law office in New York.

Presiding Justice Elizabeth Garry and Justices Sharon Aarons, Molly Reynolds Fitzgerald, Lisa Fisher and Eddie McShan imposed the ruling.


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Dorchester man convicted of 2010 murder gets a new trial because his lawyer was really bad

Massachusetts’ highest court ordered a new trial for a Dorchester man convicted of a 2010 shooting murder because his lawyer was really bad.

Omay Tavares, now 33, was convicted on Oct. 17, 2011, for first-degree murder in the shooting death of George “Jeffrey” Thompson on Jan. 7, 2010.

“Failure to investigate the only defense a defendant has,” the Supreme Judicial Court established in 1987 in their ruling in Commonwealth v. Haggerty, “falls below the level of competency expected.”

It’s one of several precedents that informed the justices in their Friday decision to affirm a lower court’s ruling on Tavares’ motion for a new trial. The request asserted “ineffective assistance” because his lawyer didn’t look into the information that indicated he wasn’t the killer.

His trial lawyer in that case was hired by a “family friend” for a flat fee of $5,000, according to the SJC.

Little did they know, but that attorney was taking on this case — his first murder case as lead counsel — right after a one-year bar suspension for “gross incompetence” that got his last client thrown in prison. The SJC ruling makes clear that the attorney’s skills got no better during that suspension.

Prosecutors two weeks before trial made the defense attorney aware of a “proffer,” which the SJC defines as information on one or more crimes given up to the government in exchange for that information not being used against the person presenting it, that indicated that someone else — identified as “HH” — was the likely perpetrator and not Tavares.

Apparently, the attorney made no move on this information. He got the redacted document a day before trial and didn’t ask for a continuance to investigate the new information, nor did he capitalize on interviewing “HH” when the court ordered him available ahead

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The district attorney’s office doesn’t have own policies to handle case files

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Practices by the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office have come under fire following the dismissal of Dr. Juan Villarreal’s criminal case, due to lost evidence.

“I don’t feel like justice was served when you can’t have your man cleared or you can’t have your day in court,” said Nueces County Judge Connie Scott, reacting to the case.

Losing evidence has not been the only recent questionable action by the district attorney‘s office.

We reported that in a criminal case against Joseph Tejeda for capital murder, the district attorney’s office gave access, to the case file, to the alleged victim’s mother.

A judge said he found “credible evidence of gross incompetence, negligence or carelessness” in the prosecution of Tejeda’s cases.

Villarreal’s case is now the latest instance.

“We’re not the first office that’s lost evidence. It’s a shame that any office looses evidence like this. But we’re not the first time this has happened,” Douglas Norman of the district attorney’s office said in Villarreal’s Monday hearing.

In a hearing about the Tejeda case, Norman said there were no policies and procedures pertaining to access of case files.

Assistant District Attorney Angelica Hernandez tested the to clarify the information.

“That is correct,” she started to say.” “We follow the Nueces County policies and procedures, and the standard documents they require employees to sign that they understand the confidential nature of criminal histories or TCIC/NCIC, other documents that might be in the file, and that they’re not to disclose the contents of those but those are Nueces County’s.”

In an open records request, we were told it’s the Nueces County Personnel Manual the district attorney’s office uses.

County Judge Scott was unaware the district attorney‘s office does this.

“What the policy works for us isn’t always

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Michigan attorney accused of embezzling millions from Carhartt heiress’ trust

WAYNE COUNTY, MI — A Detroit area attorney is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the late Gretchen Carhartt Valade, the granddaughter of the man who founded the Carhartt workwear company.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday, Jan. 11 that Wayne County attorney David P. Sutherland, 57, of Grosse Pointe Farms is facing four felonies.

He is charged with conducting a criminal enterprise, two counts of embezzlement of $100,000 or more, and embezzlement of a vulnerable adult of $100,000 or more.

He was arranged Wednesday in Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Court.

Valade died Dec. 30 at the age of 97.

She was a well known philanthropist and arts supporter.

Officials with the state Attorney General’s office said Sutherland was the personal attorney and trustee for Valade. They allege he used that position “to embezzle millions of dollars from her irrevocable trust, by issuing himself a series of loans without Ms. Valade’s permission.”

Sutherland’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 25

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Arizona Republican lost lawsuit over attorney general race

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has thrown out Republican Abraham Hamadeh’s challenge of election results in his race against Democrat Kris Mayes for Arizona attorney general, concluding that Hamadeh didn’t prove the errors in vote counting that he had alleged.

The ruling on Friday by Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen came after Hamadeh’s attorney, Tim La Sota, acknowledged his client had not gained enough votes during his litigation to change the outcome of the race. Mayes finished 511 votes ahead of Hamadeh out of 2.5 million in one of the closest elections in state history.

“You haven’t met the burden,” Jantzen told La Sota shortly before ruling against Hamadeh.

As part of the litigation, the parties in the case were allowed to inspect a sample of 2,300 ballots. Through the inspection, Hamadeh said he gained a net six votes, while Mayes maintained he netted three votes.

“If you extrapolate the numbers, they are not going to get us to 511 votes if you take the sample we have,” said La Sota, who had pushed for a larger sample size.

Hamadeh, whose race is the subject of a separate automatic recount conducted by the state due to the close results, complained in a tweet about election operations in Maricopa County and said his team “will await the results of the count before deciding our next steps.”

Andrew Gaona, an attorney representing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said the lawsuit was a “spectacular waste of everyone’s time.”

Under the Arizona law, Hamadeh faced the high bar of proving not just that election officials wronged but that he would have won without their misconduct.

In his lawsuit he alleged that problems with printers in Maricopa County led to a series of issues that disenfranchised voters. He also alleges his

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Saratoga Planning Board won’t hear petition while landlord under review

SARATOGA —The town Planning Board told the owner of the Saratoga Lakeview mobile home park that it would not consider a special use permit or a lot line adjustment of his property while the state attorney general‘s office reviews his agreement with tenants.

Chairman Ian Murray told park owner Michael Giovanone on Nov. 30 that he has agreed to allow residents to stay in the park until 2026 and the board cannot proceed until it hears from Attorney General Letitia James.

“There are issues with this,” Murray told Giovanone in a transcript of the meeting provided to the Times Union. “No way can the Planning Board review this application at this time. The certification I got back from the Attorney General is that Mr. Giovanone gave a five-year window for residents to stay. That’s what’s going to be honored.”

At the meeting, Giovanone, who wanted to expand his Boat N RV Condos on Route 9P onto the 3.2-acre mobile home park, argued he won’t have to wait five years because tenants are moving out and therefore, under state real property law , the park will no longer have enough residents to be considered a mobile home park.

“When we get down to two (residents), game over,” said Giovanone who could not be reached for further comments on Friday.

Murray told Giovanone that the attorney general‘s office will guide the board’s decision, not Giovanone. Murray also said he just “wanted to put it on the record.”

This decision by the Planning Board follows an Attorney General letter to Giovanone’s attorney demanding Giovanone “cease and desist your harassment of tenants.” The letter also noted that Giovanone is “prohibited from interfering with the tenant’s privacy, comfort and enjoyment of a tenant’s home” as the actions could be considered harassment.


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Arizona County Lawyer Contacted Sheriff About Threat From Kari Lake Campaign: Report

A top attorney for Arizona’s Maricopa County told The Washington Post that he contacted law enforcement authorities about what he considered a threat from the campaign of losing GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Lake’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have denied the allegation.

The clash occurred during a phone call Nov. 14 as Lake was projected to lose to Democratic rivals, Katie Hobbs. At one point a Republican National Committee lawyer on the call demanded rapid answers from the county attorney on a number of issues. The county includes vote-heavy Phoenix.

The RNC attorney, who was identified as Benjamin Mehr, underscored that there were “a lot of irate people out there” and that Lake’s campaign “can’t control them,” recalled the county attorney, Tom Liddy.

Liddy, a lifelong Republican who heads the county’s office for civil litigation, told the Post on Friday that he considered the comment a threat, and informed county Sheriff Paul Penzone and his boss, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.

At one point, Liddy told Mehr: “Let me tell you something, Ben, it sounds like you’re threatening me” — which Meher denied.

But Liddy reiterated: “If I don’t get these answers to you quickly, you’re not going to be able to tell the crazy people that I’ve been helpful. I don’t give a fuck. Is that clear enough? … no more threats.”

The call was secretly recorded by the Lake campaign, which posted two minutes of the 12-minute call on Twitter. The campaign did not respond to Post requests to release the entire recording.

The posted recording did not include the threat reported by Liddy, but it did include Mehr’s denial that he threatened Liddy. It also included Liddy’s summary of the threat, and his “no more threats” admonition to Mehr.

Lake has

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