A longtime prosecutor who is planning to run for a newly open congressional seat in the 7th District has deep ties to a locally headquartered law firm.
Clare Putnam Pozos, 35, is one of several Republicans who have said they plan to run for the open seat, currently held by U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan. Her father, Alfred Putnam Jr., is a partner and former chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath, and her husband, Antonio Pozos, joined the firm as a partner last month.
But she has never worked at Drinker Biddle herself. She spent two years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as an associate, after one year as a clerk for U.S. District Senior Judge Michael Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The congressional seat became available when Meehan said he would not seek re-election, after news reports revealed that he had used taxpayer money to resolve a sexual misconduct complaint by a former aide. Clare Pozos said she was not planning to run before then, but changed her plans once the seat became open.
“The community needs strong leadership and representation in Congress,” she said. “We need fresh, new voices in Congress.”
The shape of the 7th District is subject to change, as Pennsylvania undergoes a redistricting effort following a ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which said the current district boundaries are not consitutional. Pozos said regardless of the new map, she trusts her district to elect the best candidate for the job.
Both Clare and Antonio Pozos are former prosecutors. She was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania until last week, when she resigned to kick off her campaign, and in Washington, D.C., before that. He was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice before joining Drinker Biddle.
Antonio Pozos was part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force and Corporate Strike Force at the DOJ, where he prosecuted health systems and their executives, home health care agencies, doctors and other health care professionals. He resigned from that position before Clare Pozos had planned to run for Congress, he said, but the timing happened to work out well.
“While there’s always some trepidation to joining a place where there is so much family connection, it was, I think, an easier transition because I was familiar with the people and the structure and the general culture,” Antonio Pozos said. The DOJ experience will be helpful as he builds a practice at Drinker Biddle, he said.
“Health care fraud investigations are on the rise and Tony’s significant experience in this area will be extremely valuable to our clients,” current Drinker Biddle chairman Andrew Kassner said.
Putnam chaired Drinker Biddle from 2005 until 2015. A litigator, his practice focuses largely on appellate work, as well as corporate disputes. Under his leadership, the firm grew revenue from $213.5 million in 2004 to $381 million in 2014, and completed a major merger in 2007 with 225-lawyer, Chicago-based firm Gardner Carton & Douglas.