U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan of Boston, who has long honed a reputation as a hard-nosed crimefighter, has brought fewer criminal cases almost every year since he was appointed to his post in 2001 as the ranking prosecutor in Massachusetts, says the Boston Globe. Sullivan said the number of prosecutions has declined in part because he has focused on fighting white-collar crime, which often involves complex, time-consuming cases. Other statistics show that white-collar prosecutions have plunged even more precipitously under his stewardship, falling by nearly half from 2002 to 2006.
Sullivan – a law-and-order Republican who has been acting head of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the past 13 months while remaining U.S. Attorney – also attributed the declining prosecutions to staff vacancies he had been unable to fill and a soaring number of appellate and civil cases. U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner sees more small-time, nonviolent drug offenders who used to be prosecuted in state courts and face far longer mandatory sentences in federal court. Sullivans awaiting Senate confirmation as permanent ATF director.