On Thursday, a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the prosecutors in the corruption case of the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens had failed to disclose vital evidence on several instances. The internal ethics report found that the U.S. prosecutors had acted in violation of their obligations, though their acts were unintentional.
The prosecutors, as reported by the Justice Department, face suspensions without pay for engaging in reckless professional misconduct in evidence disclosure.
Summarizing the findings of the internal ethics office, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich sent a letter to the Congress mentioning that the errant prosecutors would be facing the heavy punishments of a 40-day suspension without pay in case of one, and a 15-day suspension without pay in case of the other.
Time for a vacation.
The report is the latest in the disclosure of the Justice Department in its failure to handle the corruption case of Stevens. A separate report by an independent investigator made in March found that the prosecutors had withheld and concealed witness statements, key details and other evidence from the defense lawyers that would have demolished the star witness of the prosecutors. The report also mentioned that the prosecutors allowed a false testimony to be presented during the 2008 trial.
The report also found that the chief witness, Bill Allen, had a sexual relationship with a 15-year old prostitute – something that was covered up by the prosecution.
The prosecutors under Obama administration had used the corruption case to convict Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, days before the 2008 election leading to Stevens losing his bid for a re-election.
Once the election was over, and Stevens prevented from re-election, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, had the case dismissed in 2009.
Stevens died in 2010, in a plane crash.
The findings of the Office of Professional Investigation caused an inquiry into prosecutorial misconduct, and the report was released on Thursday.
One prosecutor in the case, Nicholas Marsh, had apparently committed suicide in September, 2010 during the investigation.