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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Judge in Ted Stevens Case Drops Civil Contempt Against 3 Justice Lawyers

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The controversial and bungled Ted Stevens case continues to pop up in the news.

The latest: A fed judge in Washington on Tuesday dismissed a civil contempt order against three senior Justice Department lawyers. The judge, Emmet G. Sullivan, found them in contempt for failing to turn over materials in the case, Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post reported.

Sullivan found the issue was a civil matter, not criminal, and that contempt was resolved once the lawyers produced the documents, the Post reported.

The three officials are: Patricia Merkamp Stemler, head of the department’s criminal appellate division, William Welch II, chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity unit and his deputy, Brenda Morris, the Post reorted.

“Ms. Stemler, Mr. Welch, and Ms. Morris are no longer in contempt for their violation of the Court’s January 21, 2009 Order,” Sullivan wrote, according to the Post.

Stevens, a senator at the time, was convicted in 2008 just before his failed re-election bid. But the case was thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens died last August in a plane crash.

The three senior officials still remain under investigation for criminal contempt by a court appointed prosecutor, the Post reported. A report on that matter is due out soon.

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