By: Brendan Kearney
A month and a half ago I wrote about the addition of a young but high-profile lawyer to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office, Leo J. Wise.
When U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein told me Wise, who policed Congressional ethics for the past couple of years, would prosecute white-collar crime as an AUSA, the bribery case against state Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s) and a pair of Shoppers Food executives immediately came to mind.
Well, Wise entered his appearance in Maryland’s federal court for the first time this week, and, sure enough, one of the two (sets of) cases on his personal docket is the Currie-Shoppers prosecution.
Presumably, no one will disassemble the U.S. Attorney’s office (as certain members of Congress reportedly have suggested re: the OCE) before trial in the case next summer…
Of course, Rosenstein’s office’s other major political corruption prosecution (and ongoing investigation) also involves Prince George’s County, and there was attorney news in that cluster of cases, too, this week.
In case you’ve been asleep for the past month, County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife, Leslie, were arrested Nov. 12 after the FBI overheard the couple scrambling to hide nearly $80,000 in cash and a check for $100,000 in, um, various places.
Prominent defense attorney William R. “Billy” Martin, who has defended people like Michael Vick and the mayor of Atlanta, seemed an appropriate person to represent Jack Johnson, but few had heard of Leslie Johnson’s counsel, Owings Mills attorney Roland N. Patterson Jr.
Apparently the county councilwoman-elect decided she needed a little more heft to protect her from federal prosecutors because this week a big-firm attorney, whose office is in the Watergate building no less, entered her appearance on behalf of Mrs. Johnson. Perhaps not coincidentally, Shawn M. Wright is a partner at Martin’s old firm, Blank Rome LLP.
So, dear readers, do you think these these personnel moves will significantly impact the evolution and outcome of these cases or were these politicos’ looking at jail time regardless of any clever attorney’s maneuvering?