Pair Of Eavesdropping Prosecutors Step Down

Attorneys secretly recorded a defendant's conversations, which is a no no

Jumping ahead of a pending judge's punishment, two federal prosecutors volunteered to be reassigned from their posts in U.S. District Attorney Alexander Acosta's Office.

The pair faced stiff penalties for allegedly trying to get an edge on the defense in a malpractice case by eavesdropping on recorded phone conversations between witnesses and the defense attorney.

A federal judge called their actions "flagrant" and had planned to deal with Prosecutor Sean Cronin and his boss, Narcotics Section Chief Karen Gilbert, in a written order.

But Cronin and Gilbert opted to take their punishment in their own hands if you believe Acosta, who probably had a little something to do with the decision.

Gilbert stepped down from her post and Cronin asked to be transferred from the criminal division, according to court records.

Hard to believe the two would give up after showing so much zeal in trying to convict  Dr. Ali Shaygan, was acquitted of all 141 counts of writing illegal prescriptions.

The pair arranged for two witnesses to secretly tape record telephone calls with defense attorney David Markus and his investigator. They were ratted out by one of the witnesses on the stand, which prompted an investigation. Acosta said he knew nothing of the plan.

The Justice Department called the episode "deeply regrettable."

It's unclear if further punishment may be handed down, but U.S. District Judge Alan Gold could still lower the boom on Acosta's office. He has already hinted that he may force the government to pay thousands in fees and costs to Markus, 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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