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A former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted one of the city’s most high-profile murder cases is under investigation by the D.C. Bar after he pleaded guilty last year to failure to pay child support. Oscar Mayers Jr. was the lead prosecutor in the Brianna Blackmond case and won a homicide conviction against the toddler’s godmother, Angela O’Brien, back in 2001. In pleading to the misdemeanor, Mayers, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1987, admitted that he presented copies of altered checks to D.C. Superior Court in an attempt to make it look like he made child support payments that he had not in fact made. Court papers say Mayers owed more than $5,000 in child support payments. Mayers resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in September 2004 before pleading guilty. Prior to being sentenced, Mayers suffered a severe stroke. He was ultimately given probation. His attorney, Steven Salky, a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, declined to comment on the case, as did the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Peter Taylor, who was co-counsel on the Blackmond case with Mayers and is now counsel with Schertler & Onorato, says he was surprised to hear about Mayers’ troubles. “He was a great guy to work with. I learned a lot from him,” he says. D.C. Bar Counsel Wallace “Gene” Shipp says Salky was formally notified of the charges last month and a hearing committee has not yet been assigned to the case. The type of discipline Mayers could face will not be known until after the committee considers the case.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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