Attorney General Mukasey Recognizes Department Employees and Others for Their Service at Annual Awards Ceremony

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...

This year's John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice was presented to Richard D. Cooke , Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia ; George S. Leone , Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey ; Robert D. Okun , Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia ; Robert A. Zauzmer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ; Nina S. Goodman , Attorney, Appellate Section, Criminal Division of the Department of Justice; and Michelle Morales , Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. The team received the award for their role in spearheading the Department's response to the retroactive crack cocaine guidelines. Their work enabled those in the field to respond to the flood of motions with speed, accuracy and uniformity.

The John Marshall Award for Preparation or Handling of Legislation was awarded to Brian A. Benczkowski , Chief of Staff, Office of the Attorney General. Benczkowski provided outstanding leadership in the Office of Legislative Affairs during his tenure as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He demonstrated remarkable ability in effectively articulating the Department's positions on legislation relating to the War on Terror and other subjects that substantially affected our interests. He also managed the confirmation process for presidentially appointed nominees, which provided the Department with Senate-confirmed leadership in critical positions. His resolution of disagreements and other challenges in legislative, oversight and confirmation processes constituted extraordinary service to the Department.

The John Marshall Award for Asset Forfeiture was presented to Courtney J. Linn , Assistant U.S. Attorney from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California . Linn was honored for outstanding legal policy, training and case-related contributions to the asset forfeiture and money laundering programs.

Four Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York received the John Marshall Award for Dispute Resolution for the extraordinary result they achieved through mediation of the government's environmental claims against the Dana Corporation, a bankrupt auto-parts supplier. Due to the team members' creative and effective use of alternative dispute resolution, they secured a $125 million settlement that will be used to clean up two Superfund sites. Recipients were Pierre G. Armand , Daniel P. Filor , Matthew L. Schwartz and John D. Clopper .

Other Department employees were recognized at the ceremony for receiving the 2008 Presidential Rank Awards. Each year the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recommends awards for career Senior Executive Service employees that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, accomplishments and service over an extended period of time. These recipients progressed through a rigorous series of panels for review of their accomplishments with recommendations going to OPM, and ultimately approved by the President. Phillip H. Warren , Chief, Antitrust Division's San Francisco Field Office, was named a recipient of the Distinguished Rank Award for achieving extraordinary results. The Meritorious Rank Award recipients are M. Faith Burton , Special Counsel, Office of Legislative Affairs for the Department of Justice; Ronnie A. Carter , Special Agent in Charge, ATF Dallas Office; D. Scott Dodrill , Regional Director, Northeast Region, Federal Bureau of Prisons; Wilfred L. Ford , Assistant Director, Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, ATF; Stuart Frisch , General Counsel, Justice Management Division; Timothy P. Garren , Torts Branch Director, Civil Division of the Department of Justice; Irva D. Greene , Executive Officer, Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice; Seth G. Heald , Chief, Civil Trial Section, Central Region, Tax Division; James C. Kilbourne , Chief, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice; Barry M. Sabin , former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice