US Attorney Portfolio

Original Publication Date

ePluribus Media's on-going series on US Attorneys will bring background stories on many US Attorneys ... we started with US Attorneys: Kevin Ryan, Carol Lam, Paul Charlton, HE Cummins, David Iglesias, John McKay and Daniel Bogden. With the exception of Bud Cummins, these attorneys were all "resigned" on December 7, 2006.

Margaret Chiara

Original Publication Date

Recently, an eighth name was added to the list of the Gonzales Seven, the U.S. Attorneys forced to resign since the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in March of 2006.  It now appears Margaret Chiara can also be added to the list of attorneys receiving their phone calls on December 7th, 2006 -- Pearl Harbor Day. In his opening remarks to the House committee hearings, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella stated that there are 18 who have resigned since March 2006.

The U.S. Attorney story to date:

On Tuesday March 6th, 2007, under oath in front of Congress, six recently fired US Attorneys gave testimony compelled by subpoenas issued on Friday, March 2nd. H.E. "Bud" Cummins, Paul Charlton, Daniel Bogden, David Iglesias, Carol Lam and John McKay testified in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, with Lam, McKay, Iglesias and Cummins also testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier the same day.

Spotlight on John McKay, Western Washington

John McKay
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The saga of the purge of US Attorneys continues to unfold and this "spotlight" features the resignation of US Attorney John McKay of Washington's Western District, and his "interim" replacement, Jeffrey Sullivan. Mc Kay was nominated by President Bush and approved by the Senate in 2001 and has served the citizens of Western Washington for the last five years.

Typically, US Attorneys change with a change in the White House, not in the middle of a presidential term. McKay was asked to resign on December 7th, 2006 and announced his resignation effective January 26th, 2007. "I have nothing but respect and pride in having worked for President Bush," he said. He will be joining the faculty of Seattle University Law School.

So why was McKay asked to resign?

Spotlight on Daniel Bogden, Nevada

Daniel Bogden
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Over the last several weeks the brouhaha over the forced resignation of several US Attorneys from around the country has continued to grow. Daniel Bogden, US Attorney, Nevada announced his resignation last month and has recently announced his last day will be February 28th, 2007. There has been no report yet of Senator Ensign recommending a replacement to President Bush, and no report of an "interim" being named by the Attorney General. Senator Reid expressed surprise at the announcement, but Senator Ensign (who recommended Bogden to Bush in the first place) said he was not surprised. He had learned in December 2006 that Bogden was being removed from his position. From the Las Vegas Sun:

Reid's office could provide little information as to why Bogden was apparently forced out.

Ensign, a Republican who has known about Bogden's departure since Justice Department officials told him about it during a briefing last month, would not offer any explanation.

So, why was Bodgen pushed out? From all reports, he was good at his job and respected by the people of the state of Nevada. Again from the Las Vegas Sun Article:

During his five-year reign as the highest-ranking federal prosecutor in Nevada, Bogden has scored some notable successes. His office boosted firearms prosecutions, secured the convictions of dozens of violent gang members and oversaw the cases against four former Clark County commissioners convicted of taking bribes.

Spotlight on Paul Charlton, Arizona

Paul Charlton
Original Publication Date

The Curious Tale of Paul Charlton

While serving the state of Arizona as US Attorney, Paul Charlton garnered a good reputation with many organizations, from the local to the national level. Nominated by George W. Bush and approved by the Senate in 2001, Charlton spent five years creating a reputation that had the FBI calling him supportive and proactive, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) calling him outstanding and dedicated, and local officials said he was responsive and diplomatic.

During his tenure as the Arizona U.S. Attorney, Charlton established the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC), a program that has improved communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies; a National Security Division within the U.S. Attorney' s Office to actively work with law enforcement agencies on terrorism related criminal cases, and expanded the Victim Advocate staff in his office to better serve crime victims. In 2002, the U.S. Attorney' s Office Victim Witness Program was awarded the Federal Service Award, and this December the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office would serve as a national "Model Program."1

Not bad work for a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney's office, and clearly not the kind of person you'd expect to make waves or cause trouble for his superiors. So it's surprising to discover that Charlton was one of seven US Attorneys that were asked to resign by the Administration on December 7th, 2006.