WASHINGTON , Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey recognized 250 Department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 56th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony. Twenty-two other individuals outside of the Department also were honored for their work. Held at Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both Department employees and others for their dedication to carrying out the Justice Department's mission.
Attorney General Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip presented the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service to two prosecution teams responsible for the prosecution of United States v. Padilla and United States v. Seale. The Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service is the Department's highest award.
"The achievements of the people we honor today span the globe, and are as broad as the mission of the Department: To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law," said Attorney General Mukasey. "We all serve that mission in different ways, but what all of these award recipients have in common is that they have reached the highest level of accomplishment in the work that they do."
The Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service was presented to the team that investigated and prosecuted Jose Padilla , Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi for supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations engaged in murder, kidnapping and maiming persons overseas. Their unprecedented determination and courage in pursuing this unique and highly complex prosecution for five years, brought an end to the terrorist activities of a network of Islamic extremists committed to damaging the national security of the United States . This trial team cemented a new prosecutorial model in terrorism cases and set the standard for others to follow.
The recipients of the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service include, from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida , Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell R. Killinger , Brian K. Frazier , John C. Shipley Jr. , Lisa Tobin Rubio , Anne R. Schultz and Robert K. Senior ; Eileen C. Stafford , Legal Administrative Specialist; Angel L. Martinez , Intelligence Specialist; and Hanif K. Ali , Computer Specialist; from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Stephanie K. Pell , Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General; from the FBI Miami Division, Special Agents Kent T. Hukill and John T. Kavanaugh Jr .
The prosecution team that obtained a conviction in United States v. Seale also received the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service. Evidence presented at trial showed that on May 2, 1964 , the defendant and his accomplices, all members of the Klu Klux Klan, abducted two victims and drove them into the Homochitto National Forest in Franklin County, Miss. , where they beat the victims and interrogated them at gunpoint. Seale and the other Klansmen then bound the two men, drove the victims to Parker's Landing in Warren County, Miss. , and drowned them in the Old Mississippi River.
The recipients of the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service from this team were, from the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Paige M. Fitzgerald , Special Litigation Counsel; Eric L. Gibson , Trial Attorney; and Connie Lee , Paralegal Specialist; and from the FBI's Jackson, Miss. , Division, William J. Stokes , Special Agent.
The Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Heroism is given to recognize an extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties. This year, the award was presented to Capt. Ricardo (Rick) Marques and Chris J. Jeansonne Jr. , Cook Supervisor, of the Federal Bureau of Prisons U.S. Penitentiary Pollock in Louisiana .