Straight off being sworn in as the District of Connecticut’s newest chief federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John H. Durham of Groton will make a public appearance March 5 at the University of St. Joseph to discuss high-profile mob cases he has investigated.
Durham, 67, has served as the interim U.S. attorney since Oct. 28, 2017, after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order appointing him to the position. President Donald Trump nominated Mr. Durham to serve as U.S. attorney on Nov. 1, 2017, and the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on Feb. 16.
“I am very honored to serve as Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney and deeply appreciative of all who have supported my nomination,” Durham said in a written release. “I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated and skilled people in our office and the brave men and women of our partner law enforcement agencies in the cause of justice for the people of our state and nation.”
Prior to his appointment as U.S. attorney, Mr. Durham served as an assistant U.S. attorney in various positions in the District of Connecticut for 35 years, prosecuting complex organized crime, violent crime, public corruption and financial fraud matters. He famously investigated whether notorious Boston mobsters James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi corrupted FBI agents while serving as informants.
From 1982 to 1989, Durham served as an attorney and then supervisor in the New Haven field office of the Boston Strike Force in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.
Durham was invited to speak at the University of St. Joseph as part of the college’s recently launched criminal justice program.
“We thought this would be a wonderful way to get more students interested in criminal justice and pre-law, and this just seemed like it had the perfect blend of interests for students and the general community,” said Rhona Free, president of the university. “It’s a completely new major created two years ago, and it has a strong focus on restorative justice, so it’s a new area of study for St. Joseph students.
The talk also comes just ahead of St. Joe’s move to becoming fully coeducational, starting with the Fall 2018 semester. “We anticipated that we would get a lot of applications from male students, but we were also hoping for female students who would be interested in attending a coeducational school,” Free said, adding that bringing in a speaker of Durham’s stature has helped bring attention to the new program.
From 2008 to 2012, while he served as acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Durham investigated the destruction of videotapes and treatment of detainees by the CIA. From 1998 to 2008, he served as a special attorney for the District of Massachusetts and Head of the Justice Task Force, where he reviewed alleged criminal conduct by FBI personnel and other law enforcement corruption in Boston, leading the prosecution of a former FBI supervisory special agent and a former Massachusetts State Police lieutenant.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office enforces federal criminal laws in Connecticut and represents the federal government in civil litigation. As U.S. attorney, Durham takes charge of a staff of nearly 70 assistant U.S. attorneys and approximately 57 staff members at offices in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport. He is the district’s 52nd U.S. attorney.
Durham will speak Monday, March 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hoffman Auditorium.