April 10, 2017 Top Story

Prosecutor’s Undisclosed Relationship Leads to Ethics Sanctions

AUSA’s relationship with FBI agent violates misconduct and conflict of interest rules

By Kelso L. Anderson

An undisclosed intimate relationship between an assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) and the AUSA's lead law enforcement investigator prompted an investigation that resulted in a state ethics committee disciplining the AUSA above and beyond the sanction imposed by the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO). 

In re C. Mignonne Griffing. While the failure to disclose the relationship led to the ethics sanctions, ABA Section of Litigation leaders believe that the AUSA's role as a "minister of justice" in criminal cases compels all prosecutors to be forthcoming and honest with all parties in a criminal proceeding.

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