US Attorney Coffin's tenure a failure

To the Editor:

US Attorney Tristram Coffin's tenure as US Attorney has been a colossal failure. Mr. Coffin and his deputies were given overwhelming evidence of fraud by The Brattleboro Retreat and simply looked the other way.

The sad reality is that US Attorneys and Assistant US Attorneys (AUSAs) "selectively" enforce the law - - picking and choosing who to prosecute and hold accountable under the law while allowing others a free pass. By "selectively" enforcing the law, US Attorneys and AUSAs frequently violate their sworn Oath of Office. As a result of Mr. Coffin's "stellar" performance, we have white collar criminals on the loose in Windham County who have embezzled millions from the state and federal governments, private insurance companies and even their own patients.

Now Mr. Coffin is going to polish off his career by going to work for Downs, Rachlin, Martin (DRM), the same firm who defended The Brattleboro Retreat. Much like the Retreat's Nashville attorney, also a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Matthew M. Curley of Bass, Berry & Sims (who now is under formal investigation for allegations of ethical misconduct before a federal Court), Mr. Coffin is following in Mr. Curley's footsteps to leave government service to defend those who engage in fraud.

Our nation has systemic problems with our judicial system leading the way. In reality, the federal government declines to prosecute the majority of fraud cases while standing behind misleading DOJ Press Releases suggesting that government recovery from fraud prosecution is at an all time high. Yes, the government often prosecutes the largest violators of the False Claims Act but allows the vast majority to engage in fraud without any consequence or penalty.

My hope is that Senator Leahy will recommend a US Attorney nominee to President Obama who will be worthy of such an appointment and who will be steadfast in enforcing the law uniformly and without exception.

Thomas Joseph

Brattleboro, Vt.

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