Loretta Lynch, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, will be nominated by President Obama as attorney general Saturday to replace Eric Holder. NPR reports that Lynch’s district serves 8 million people but outside of law enforcement circles, this daughter of a preacher is not widely known. Friends say that’s because Lynch prefers to let her cases speak for themselves, such as a violent sexual assault against Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997. Prosecutors called that case one of the worst acts of police brutality in New York City history. A central figure in the attack, New York City police officer Justin Volpe, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Lynch, a graduate of Harvard Law School, worked her way up the ladder in Brooklyn, a huge office that handles everything from old-school Mafia busts to new forms of cybercrime. Lynch made a splash for indicting Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) on fraud charges. Grimm once worked as an undercover FBI agent. Lynch said, “Michael Grimm made the choice to go from upholding the law to breaking it.” Grimm, who was re-elected Tuesday, has pleaded not guilty. Brooklyn prosecutors are also investigating money-laundering allegations against an ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, said the Wall Street Journal. If she’s selected to lead the Justice Department, Lynch would become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general. She was born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1959, a year before black students there sat down at a whites-only lunch counter and helped catalyze protests around the country.
Lynch spoke last year at the H.F. Guggenheim conference on crime sponsored by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. An account can be seen here: http://www.thecrimereport.org/conferences/past/2013-02-2013-hf-guggenheim-conference-on-crime-in-america A podcast of the speech can be heard starting at 9:22 minutes.