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Ex-Detroit Fed Prosecutor Wants Former Co-Worker To Give Up His Emails

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino continues to stir the mud in the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s Office where he had become a divisive figure.

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino
Ex-Prosecutor Convertino

By Paul Egan
Detroit News
DETROIT — A federal prosecutor identified as a possible source of a newspaper leak has gone to court to try to stop Richard Convertino from reading e-mails he exchanged with his personal attorney on his Justice Department computer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel says the e-mails – which former prosecutor Convertino is seeking in connection with his federal lawsuit against the Justice Department – are protected by attorney-client privilege.

But Convertino’s attorney, Stephen Kohn, says Tukel gave up confidentiality when he communicated with his lawyer on a taxpayer funded computer.

It’s the latest wrinkle in the battle between Convertino and the Justice Department he once served. Convertino alleges his Privacy Act rights were breached and wants to know who leaked information to Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter for a January 2004 article about an internal investigation into Convertino’s conduct.

Once a rising star in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Convertino resigned amid misconduct allegations related to a high-profile 2003 terrorism trial.

Terror convictions Convertino won were later overturned at the request of the Justice Department. In 2006, Convertino was indicted, accused of concealing helpful evidence from defense lawyers and allowing false testimony. But a jury acquitted him of all charges.

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