Federal Judge Seeks To Punish Prosecutor In Evidence Flap


In a rare rebuke to the U.S. Justice Department, Mark Wolf, the chief federal trial judge in Boston, asked the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers to launch disciplinary proceedings against a veteran federal prosecutor who withheld key evidence in a New England Mafia case from the early 1990s, reports the Boston Globe. Wolf criticized the Justice Department for punishing career prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn with only a letter of reprimand after concluding in 2005 that Auerhahn “engaged in professional misconduct and exercised poor judgment.” The state board could suspend Auerhahn’s law license or disbar him.

Wolf told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales he had asked the state to act because “the previously secret reprimand is not, in my view, an adequate sanction for Mr. Auerhahn’s misconduct.” In 2005, Wolf released Mafia capo Vincent Ferrara from prison after finding that Auerhahn had improperly and possibly illegally failed to tell defense lawyers in the 1990s that a key witness had tried to recant an assertion that Ferrara ordered the 1985 slaying of “Jimmy” Limoli. Ferrara said he was innocent in the slaying, but pleaded guilty to murder, along with racketeering charges, under a deal that sent him to prison for 22 years, rather than risk a wrongful conviction that could lead to life in prison.

Link: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/07/03/top_judge_wants_us_prosecutor_disciplined/

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