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“Dear Attorney General Mukasey…” Chief Judge Mark Wolf of the U.S. District Court in Boston begins a Jan. 2 six-page letter in which he pleads with Michael Mukasey to review the Department of Justice’s stance on prosecutorial misconduct and discipline. Wolfe’s six-page missive is the chief judge’s second attempt to get Main Justice to pay closer attention to the conduct of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffery Auerhahn. Wolfe in 2003 found that Auerhahn withheld exculpatory information from the defense in the cases of two reputed mobsters in a long-running New England Mafia case. The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigated Auerhahn in 2005 and agreed with Wolfe. In 2006, Auerhahn received a written reprimand. However, Wolfe felt the punishment was too mild. In 2006 and last year, Wolfe had meetings with ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and he followed up with letters to Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis last year protesting what he saw as the “inadequate” and mild discipline against Auerhahn. Last summer, Wolf filed an unusual complaint against Auerhahn in court, and he warns Mukasey that such moves could become more common if the issue is not addressed. He also asked the state bar to investigate Auerhahn. “I anticipate that this will become much more common unless the Department’s performance in disciplinary matters improves significantly,” Wolfe wrote. Recalling related cases of FBI agents’ complicity in framing other gangsters, Wolfe also contends that the Auerhahn matter is not the exception. “As I discussed with your predecessor, the Department’s failure to be candid and consistent with the court has become disturbingly common in the District of Massachusetts,” he wrote. Wolf also is concerned by the department’s Civil Division, which in related civil suits has defended the government’s misconduct. Mafia suspects, framed by the FBI, and their estates have won more than $100 million in judgments in such suits, Wolf noted in his letter. “I felt that I should bring these matters to your personal attention in the hope that, with your leadership, the recent past will not be prologue, and the Department will soon againg discharge its duties in a manner that commands the trust of federal judges and the people of the United States.” Peter Carr, a Justice spokesman, says Mukasey’s reply is forthcoming: “We will review the letter and respond to Chief Judge Wolf.”
Pedro Ruz Gutierrez can be contacted at [email protected]. The following article first appeared on The Blog of Legal Times.

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