The Prosecutors Under Investigation

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brief biographical sketches of six federal prosecutors under investigation for mishandling the trial of former senator Ted Stevens of Alaska.

BRENDA MORRIS: A longtime prosecutor with the Justice Department's public integrity section, Morris now serves as its principal deputy. She helped supervise the investigation of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and has prosecuted corruption cases nationwide. She teaches corruption investigations within the Justice Department and is a professor at Georgetown Law School. Morris, a graduate of Howard University Law School, served as the lead attorney in the Stevens trial, giving the government's opening statement and cross-examining the defendant.

NICHOLAS MARSH: One of two public integrity trial attorneys on the case, Marsh handled much of the courtroom work during the trials of Alaska lawmakers caught up in the scandal. He has been part of numerous other public corruption investigations, including a scheme in Mississippi to defraud a $400 billion fen-phen settlement. An FBI whistleblower accused Marsh of intentionally withholding evidence from Stevens and sending a witness back to Alaska during the trial to prevent potentially damaging testimony. The prosecution team denies those accusations.

JOSEPH W. BOTTINI: An assistant U.S. attorney in Alaska, Bottini was a key figure in the Stevens case. He questioned the government's star witness, Bill Allen, and delivered the second half of the government's closing argument. Much of Allen's testimony had been discredited. The contempt investigation will look into whether prosecutors knew there was evidence of inconsistencies in Allen's statements but concealed it. Bottini graduated from California Western School of Law in San Diego.

WILLIAM WELCH II: The chief of the public integrity section, Welch supervised the Stevens case but did not participate in the trial. He has supervised every major public corruption case brought by the department in the past several years. Welch, a graduate of Northwestern University Law School and a former prosecutor in Springfield, Mass., prosecuted former veterans hospital nurse Kristen Gilbert, who was charged with killing four patients by injecting them with a heart stimulant. He has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. attorney job in Massachusetts.

EDWARD SULLIVAN: The other public integrity trial attorney in the case, Sullivan has been part of the trial team that won convictions of several Alaska lawmakers caught up in the corruption scandal. But he played a mostly behind-the-scenes role in the Stevens trial and his role in preparing the mishandling of evidence is unclear.

JAMES GOEKE: An assistant U.S. attorney in Alaska, Goeke also had a largely behind-the-scenes role in the Stevens trial. He has been a key figure in the prosecution of other politicians wrapped up in the Alaska corruption scandal.

-- Associated Press

© 2009 The Washington Post Company