posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 07:41 PM
for those who have taken the step not to be part of walmart of isp.....hmmm, i wonder if haveing aol makes me a hipocrit.....here's the whole story
US terror prosecutor sues his Justice Dept. bosses
By James Vicini, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal prosecutor in a high-profile Detroit terrorism case has sued the Justice Department and claimed officials violated
his privacy rights by leaking to the news media that he was under investigation for possible misconduct, his lawyers said Tuesday.
Lawyers for Richard Convertino, who won the conviction of three Muslim men in the first major terror-related trial after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks,
also claimed officials retaliated against him after he testified about the case in September last year before the Senate Finance Committee.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Washington, seeks a jury trial and unspecified money damages for privacy act violations that hurt his
career, harmed his reputation and caused "embarrassment and humiliation."
According to the lawsuit, Convertino was notified in December that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility had begun an
investigation into allegations he had engaged in various acts of professional misconduct.
Convertino claimed the allegations were false, but said officials leaked details of the probe to a Detroit Free Press reporter, whose story appeared
on Jan. 17. It also disclosed the identity of a confidential informant in the case.
A federal judge in Detroit is considering whether to order a retrial. He has said Convertino, an assistant U.S. attorney, and another prosecutor
failed to turn over to the defense evidence that might have helped the defendants.
Four defendants went on trial. Two were convicted of terror-related offenses, one was convicted of document fraud and the fourth was acquitted of all
Convertino sued U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins, Jonathan Tukel and Alan Gershel, two officials in the U.S. attorney's office in Detroit, the head of
the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The only mention of Ashcroft in the lawsuit was when Sen. Charles Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called him in September to
complain that Convertino and another prosecutor were being removed from the case.
The lawsuit claimed that Convertino and his co-counsel had expressed their concerns to their supervisors "about the lack of support and cooperation,
lack of effective assistance, lack of resources and intra-departmental infighting that plagued and hindered" the investigation and prosecution of the
A Justice Department spokesman had no comment on the lawsuit. It typically does not comment about pending lawsuits.
02/17/04 16:00 ET
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