Former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino wants an appeals court in Washington to revive his suit that alleges the U.S. Justice Department unlawfully leaked information about an ethics investigation stemming from his work on a terror case in Detroit.
Convertino's lawyers, including Stephen Kohn and David Colapinto of Washington's Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, announced the appeal May 23 in papers filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Convertino sued DOJ in February 2004, alleging the government intentionally leaked to the press information about an Office of Professional Responsibility misconduct probe to retaliate against him for congressional testimony. A copy of Convertino's suit is here.
Kohn and Colapinto, who specialize in representing whistleblowers, were not immediately reached for comment today. Convertino, a private practitioner in Plymouth, Michigan, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Convertino wants the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reverse a judge’s ruling in March that terminated the long-running privacy suit against the Justice Department. Convertino's lawyers unsuccessfully asked the judge to stay the litigation to allow related litigation to continue in Michigan.
In his ruling in late March, Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington federal district court said Convertino, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit, has proved unable to answer a fundamental question underpinning his case: the identity of the leaker.
Convertino, the judge said, cannot show whether DOJ acted intentionally or willfully without the identity of the person who allegedly leaked information to the press. Lamberth, in his decision, granted summary judgment in favor of the Justice Department.