August 2011


Santa Fe Update
Conference To Be Held Next Month

Inn at LorettoNAFUSA had reserved a number of rooms at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, the site of the September 29-October 1 conference. Unfortunately, the block of reserved rooms are now taken. A number of rooms have been acquired, however, at the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto with the same rate offered at La Posada: $249 per night plus $12 daily service fee. If you have not reserved a room for the conference, call the Inn and Spa at Loretto at 1.866.582.1646 and mention NAFUSA. Reservation deadline for the hotel is August 30, 2011. With the world famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to be held in New Mexico October 1-9, rooms in Santa Fe are being  reserved quickly.


If you haven't yet registered for the NAFUSA conference, click here for the registration form. The program for this year's conference is almost complete. Click here for the most recent draft program.


Golf remains available at Black Mesa Golf Course on Thursday morning, September 29. The green fee with cart is $82 per person. If you are interested, email President Bill Lutz at

Conference To Feature Panel on Southwest Border Issues

U.S. and Mexican Officials to Join Panel


Gustavo MoharOn Friday, September 30, the NAFUSA Santa Fe conference will feature a two hour panel discussion on Southwest border issues. The panel will feature Gustavo Mohar, shown left, the General Secretary of the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN) for the Government of Mexico. He previously served as the Director for International Affairs. He was Mexico's Chief Negotiator for Migration Affairs during the Fox-Bush Administrations, leading the Mexican delegation negotiating a two-nation agreement for a safer, orderly and legal migration flows between both countries.


Joining Mohar on the panel will be David V. Aguilar, shown right, who was named Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on April 11, 2010. Aguilar was formerly the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, the highest ranking Border Patrol Agent. He joined the Border Patrol in 1978. David Aguilar


Mario Palmerin, the head of the San Diego Attache Office of the Department of Justice-Office of the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR), will also serve on the panel, bringing the important perspective of a Mexican local prosecutor. Palmerin has served in various positions in the Mexican Attorney General's Office. He was assigned to the San Diego Attache Office in 2003 and became the head of the office in 2009.


L.D. (Larry) Villalobos, Section Chief of the Research and Analysis Section of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) will also serve on the panel. EPIC is a federal office established to collect and disseminate information relating to drug, alien, and weapon smuggling in support of field enforcement entities throughtout the region.


Rounding out the panel, the current border U.S. Attorneys, Dennis Burke (District of  Arizona) and Ken Gonzales (District of New Mexico) will represent the views of U.S. Attorneys in the field. Charlie Savage, the Pulitzer Prize- winning New York Times reporter, who covers DOJ issues for the Times, will moderate the panel.

WikiLeaks Panel Changes
Valerie Plame Wilson Joins Panel

Valerie Plame WilsonValerie Plame Wilson, a former covert CIA operations officer and author of Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, will appear on NAFUSA's WikiLeaks panel on Saturday, October 1 in Santa Fe. Ms. Plame Wilson's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, had been scheduled to appear, but must be in Africa on business. 


Joining Ms. Plame Wilson on the panel are Kenneth Wainstein, former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the National Security Division, former Homeland Security Advisor at the White House and NAFUSA member, Jack Goldsmith, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and former head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, and Eric Snyder, whose career includes service as a trial attorney with the Criminal Division at Main Justice, Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and an Assistant District Attorney with New York County. Charlie Savage of The New York Times will be the moderator.

NAFUSA Liaison Committee Meets with Attorney General
Quarterly Meetings Continue

Liaison Committee 7/20/11NAFUSA's six person Liaison Committee met with Attorney General Eric Holder on July 20, 2011, at the Attorney General's conference room at Main Justice. The AG was joined by his chief of staff, Gary Grindler, and his deputy chief of staff and counselor, Monty Wilkinson.  [It was later announced that Wilkinson has been appointed Principal Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA). Channing Phillips of the AG's staff will be the AG's new liaison to NAFUSA.]


The General discussed the recent Senate confirmations of Jim Cole as Deputy AG, Lisa Monaco as Assistant AG in charge of National Security, Virginia Seitz as Assistant AG for the Office of Legal Counsel, Donald Verrilli as Solictor General and Denise O'Donnell (former NAFUSA board member) as Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Vacancies remain for tax, inspector general and ATF. [On July 29, 2011, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Michael E. Horowitz as Inspector General.] The AG advised that Christine Varney, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of Antitrust, will be leaving the department in August and a search has begun for her replacement. As for U.S. Attorneys, openings remain in Utah, Western Michigan and Northern Oklahoma.


The Liaison Committee suggested that NAFUSA would like to sponsor an ethics seminar for U.S. Attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorneys and/or Department personnel. The AG was very open to this idea and urged that the Committee follow up with his staff. The group discussed the possibility of NAFUSA including experts from academia for this purpose.


A discussion was held regarding the October 11, 2011, ten year anniversary of the murder of Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales. The committee advised the AG that NAFUSA is considering raising funds to increase the amount of the reward, currently at a million dollars. There is compelling evidence that Wales murder is work related, and, if so, he will be the first Assistant U.S. Attorney in history to be killed in the line of duty.


The Liaison Committee advised the AG that NAFUSA's 2013 conference will be held in Washington and the board has discussed a "Day at Justice" event of a half or full day to be held at the Department, perhaps in the Great Hall with Department officials addressing the membership. The General was very receptive, but pointed out there was no assurance he would still be there. He kidded that, in that event, he could join on our side.


NAFUSA Liaison Committee members posing for the photo above taken by Department photographer Craig Crawford were (from the left) Doug Jones, President-Elect Rick Deane, Treasurer Matt Orwig, Attorney General Eric Holder, President Bill Lutz, Immediate Past President and Chair of the Liaison Committee Rich Rossman and Wayne Budd.   



Four NAFUSA Members Serve on Texas Senators' Bipartisan Committee
President Obama Names Four Career Federal Prosecutors

Texas has four presidentially nominated U.S. Attorneys, ending a 2-1/2 year standoff among the state's lawmakers. The state's two Republican Senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison named a bipartisan committee of 32 attorneys to assess candidates and make recommendations. NAFUSA members Dan Hedges (Chair), Tony Canales, Paul Coggins and Ron Woods served on the committee. The President nominated the four choices that resulted from this process.


Sarah Saldana, who heads the public corruption unit of the Northern District of Texas, was chosen for that office and will be the state's first Latina chief prosecutor. U.S. Magistrate Robert Pitman of Austin was selected for the Western District and will be the first openly gay U.S. Attorney in Texas. John Malcom Bales was selected for the Eastern District. He was the recipient of NAFUSA's Michael Bradford Award in 2004. Kenneth Magidson, an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 1983, was named to the top post for the Southern District.



"Whitey" Bulger Arrested 16 Years After Indictment
Don Stern U.S. Attorney When Bulger Was Indicted

Stern3NAFUSA Secretary Donald K. Stern was the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts when James "Whitey" Bulger was indicted in 1995. Bulger, recently arrested in California,  was one of many defendants indicted, including the local head of the La Cosa Nostra. It was later revealed that Bulger had been a long time high echelon FBI informant. He became a fugitive and it was later revealed that he had been tipped off by a FBI agent, John Connolly. Bulger was later re-indicted in 1999 for murder in aid of rackerteering.


Evidence established that Bulger had made pay offs to some FBI agents, including Connolly, who was tried and convicted of obstruction and other crimes and sentenced to ten years. Connolly was also convicted in Miami for providing information to the Bulger group.


On July 27, Stern published "Lessons from Whitey" in The Boston Globe. Click here to read Stern's column .   

New York Times Features Defense By NAFUSA Member
Doug Jones Seeks Clemency for Birmingham Man

 Doug JonesThe July 10, 2011 New York Times Sunday Review featured a story on a Birmingham, Alabama man whose 11-year-old daughter died in a 1963 church bombing. Later the father was charged with public corruption crimes committed during his tenure as a county commissioner. NAFUSA member G. Douglas Jones, NAFUSA member is prominently mentioned in the article.


Jones led the successful prosecution of the last two known living suspects in the bombing. He also represented the father. The article describes his defense and his clemency petition on his client's behalf.  

Former U.S. Attorneys File Amicus Brief To Support Family of Witness
Fighting Family's Deportation

Adam Liptak, who spoke at NAFUSA's conference in New York in 2010, reported on August 8, 2011, in The New York Times on a petition pending before the United States Supreme Court seeking to appeal a ruling from the Fifth Circuit ordering the deportation of the wife and teenage son of a former government witness, despite the fact that the government concedes the family may face persecution in Albania.  


Liptak notes in his article that "The justices have received a pile of supporting briefs from human rights groups and law professors urging the court to hear the case. But the most interesting supporting brief was filed by some 40 former law enforcement officials, including Dick Thornburgh, who was attorney general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, and William S. Sessions, who served as director of the F.B.I. in three administrations." Both Thornburgh and Sessions are NAFUSA members and several of the 32 former U.S. Attorneys who joined the amicus brief, including Rudy Giuliani and Robert Morgenthau, are also NAFUSA members. Click here to read the amicus brief filed by Covington & Burling LLP, counsel for amici curiae.


David J. Cannon Dies
Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
David J. CannonLong time NAFUSA member David Cannon died on July 26 after a lengthy illness. Cannon was a well-known figure in Milwaukee's legal community and a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. In addition to serving as U.S. Attorney, he had also served as Milwaukee County district attorney. He was appointed United States Attorney by President Richard Nixon. Cannon was a 1960 graduate of Marquette University Law School.

National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA)

Ronald G. Woods

Executive Director

5300 Memorial- Suite 1000

Houston, TX 77007

Phone: 713-862-9600





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