Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prosecutors in botched case against Sen. Stevens suspended

Prosecutors in botched case against Sen. Stevens suspended
By Kevin Johnson
May 24, 2012

Two Justice Department trial lawyers involved in the botched corruption prosecution of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens have been suspended without pay for "reckless professional misconduct'' in failing to disclose critical information to the senator's defense team.

Joseph Bottini, an assistant U.S. attorney in Alaska, was suspended for 40 days and James Goeke, an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington state, was suspended for 15 days, according to a summary of the findings released today by the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility.

The full 672-page report of the Justice Department's internal investigation was submitted to the Senate and House Judiciary committees.

The findings come two months after a special investigator appointed by federal Judge Emmet Sullivan found that the Stevens prosecution was "permeated by the systematic concealment'' of evidence favorable to the defense.

A jury convicted Stevens, a Republican, in 2008 on seven counts of lying on Senate financial disclosure statements. Days later, Stevens lost his re-election bid. In 2009, Sullivan threw out the conviction. Stevens died in a plane crash in August 2010.

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