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Legal News: Law Blog - WSJ.com
Ethics Office Clears Lead Prosecutor in Ted Stevens Trial
By Joe Palazzolo
We flagged a report yesterday about a Justice Department lawyer who was cleared of wrongdoing in the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Edward Sullivan, who played a supporting role on the trial team, recently returned to the courtroom as a public corruption prosecutor more than two years after the Stevens case blew up.
A lawyer for the lead prosecutor in the case tells Law Blog that his client, Brenda Morris, was also exonerated by the Justice Department’s ethics unit.
The Office of Professional Responsibility “found absolutely no midsconduct by Brenda,” said Hogan Lovells' Chuck Rosenberg.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Attorney General Eric Holder asked a federal judge to dismiss charges against Stevens after concluding the department erred in the case. OPR had been investigating why prosecutors failed to turn over certain evidence to Stevens’ Williams & Connolly defense team.
The judge, Emmet Sullivan, appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether prosecutors violated criminal contempt statutes. That two-year investigation has not been resolved. Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, declined to comment on the contempt probe.
Morris, a former supervisor in the Public Integrity Section, continued to work cases during the investigation. Since last year, Morris has been a part of the team prosecuting an alleged scheme in Alabama to influence pro-gambling state legislation.
Also on the trial team were two Alaska-based assistant U.S. attorneys, Joseph Bottini and James Goeke, and Nicholas Marsh, a prosecutor in the Public Integrity Section. Marsh committed suicide last year.
Stevens and four others died in August 2010 when the plane they were in crashed in Alaska.
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