U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.
The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington’s biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.
Both the Justice Department and Covington declined to say if either official had personally worked on matters for the big mortgage industry clients. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Holder and Breuer had complied fully with conflict of interest regulations, but she declined to say if they had recused themselves from any matters related to the former clients.
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CaliforniaALL was a non-profit entity headed by former State Bar of California Board of Governors member Ruthe Catolico Ashley – a long time friend of California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue.
In its brief existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million from utility companies (AT&T, PG&E, Verizon, Sempra), including a sub-rosa “hush-hush” contribution of $780,000.00 from the State Bar of California Foundation (DBA California Bar Foundation.)
CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in June of 2010.
CaliforniaALL never acknowledged receipt of the approximate $780,000 from the State Bar of California Foundation (AKA California Bar Foundation) in any of its publications, although it did acknowledge the transfer on its IRS tax returns.
Likewise, the Foundation never acknowledged this transfer to CaliforniaALL — the largest grant it ever bestowed — via publications issued by its newsroom, the California Bar Journal, or similar publications; it did, however, recognize the transfer on its IRS returns, and in a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its annual report.
As the purpose of CaliforniaALL was to transfer those funds forward, it did so by awarding approximately $300,000 in grants to the UCI Foundation, where State Bar of California Executive Director Joe Dunn serves as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee.
In September 2009, Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL. That month, Joe Dunn publicly launched his online publication, ” Voice of OC.”
Events surrounding the State Bar of California, California Bar Foundation, CaliforniaALL, Voice of OC, and UCI Foundation, as well as the fact that those who were involved with CaliforniaALL (i.e. Morrison & Foerster’s Susan Mac Cormac as legal counsel for CaliforniaALL and Girardi & Keese’s Howard Miller in his capacity as BOD member of Cal Bar Foundation, as well as BOG members who voted to endorse CaliforniaALL, as well as Morrison & Foertser Annette Carnegie as California Bar Foundation BOD member during the transfer of $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL ) were also involved with the creation of Voice of OC (Morrison & Foerster’s James Brosnahan and Girardi & Keese’s Thomas Girardi helping Joe Dunn with the establishment of Voice of OC) created the appearance of suspicious activities that funds were misappropriated by Voice of OC, vis-a-vis CaliforniaALL.
Mr. Derek Anthony West (AKA Tony West) Acting Associate Attorney General, the third highest official at the United States Department of Justice. He joined Morrison & Foerster in 2001. While at MoFo, West represented “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh alongside partners James Brosnahan and Raj Chatterjee. West’s sister-in-law — Ms. Kamala Harris — is the California attorney general who was part of sham non-profit entity CaliforniaALL.
Additionally, the belief is heightened given various events’ proximity in time — as noted above, Ruthe Ashley left CaliforniaALL in the same month Mr. Dunn launched “Voice of OC” (as though her mission had been completed).
Moreover, the recent abrupt departure of Thomas Girardi and James Brosnahan from ‘Voice of OC” (as though they were fleeing the scene with guilty consciences), the refusal of SAL-UCI to disclose the amount it receive from CaliforniaALL, the simulated RFP, and CaliforniaALL’s pre-selection of the UCI Foundation as a recipient of funds only reinforce the suspicion. This is heightened by Mr. Thomas Girardi’s lack of credibility (pursuant to findings made by a panel of federal judges in the matter of In Re Girardi), the friendship Mr. Dunn shares with Mr. Girardi, as well as Voice of OC’s refusal to comply with IRS rules mandating that it makes available upon request Forms 990 it had submitted to the IRS within the last three years.
Morrison & Foerster Team (L-R)
Ms. Dian Grueneich — Former Commissioner with California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”);
Mr. Raj Chatterjee — current board member of the Foundation of State Bar of California (DBA California Bar Foundation, entity headed by Arnold & Porter’s Douglas Winthrop formerly of Howard Rice which represented PG&E ;
Ms. Susan Mac Cormac — part of MoFo’s legal team which created CaliforniaALL.
Mr. Tony West – a “mentee” of Willie Brown and CaliforniaALL’s Kamala Harris brother-in-law;
Mr. James J. Brosnahan — original member of the BOD at Joe Dunn’s Voice of OC. Brosnahan represented El Paso Corp during California Energy Crisis opposing Pierce O’Donnell, Joe Cotchett, and Thomas Girardi who also served as original BOD member at Joe Dunn’s Voice of OC, alongside Martha Escutia.
Ms. Annette Carnegie, formerly member of the board of California Bar Foundation during the Hush-Hush subrosa transfer of $780,000 to CaliforniaALL;
Ms. Diane Pritchard who practiced extensively before the CPUC while at MoFo;
Mr. Geoffrey Brown, professor of law at JFK School of Law. Between 2001 to 2007 served as Commissioner with the CPUC. From 2006 to 2009 Brown serve as director with the State Bar of California Foundation (DBA “California Bar Foundation”). In 2008, California Bar Foundation quietly transferred $780,00.00 to sham entity CaliforniaALL — which also obtained additional 1.5 Million from utility companies. In reaction to complainant’s request for an inquiry to the State Bar of California Board of Governors, Brown immediately, as though bitten by a snake, threatened to file legal action even though the communication with the BOG was absolutely privileged and justified, and only made mention of Brown in passing. Brown is still under extreme scrutiny by TLR/YR in matters relating Judy Johnson’s CCPF and the saga known as “Bribing Pat.” (image:courtesy photo)
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