New U.S. Attorney Andy Luger has chosen a leadership team of experienced prosecutors, led by a first assistant described as a “conciliator” by people familiar with the U.S. attorney’s office.
That’s likely to send a message of reassurance to 54 assistant U.S. attorneys and about 60 other staffers in the Minnesota office that has been plagued by internal turmoil in recent years.
Luger named Greg Brooker his first assistant, an administrative position. Luger describes him as “highly respected by people in the office and by the federal bench.” Brooker had been chief of the civil division.
Brooker is “a very nice guy” and a good lawyer, said Dan Scott, Minnesota’s former chief federal public defender. “He is the kind of guy who will always try to find a solution rather than a confrontation,” Scott said.
Other key appointees are Tracy Perzel, who becomes chief of the criminal division, and Ana Voss, chief of the civil division. New deputy chiefs include Jerry Wilhelm, civil division; Karen Schommer, major crimes, and Nate Petterson, narcotics and violent crimes. Staying on as deputy chiefs are Tim Rank, white-collar crime; Charles Kovats, counterterrorism, and Jim Lackner, appellate division.
Steven Schleicher will head special prosecutions, a new section devoted to long-term, complex investigations. Andrew Dunne and David MacLaughlin will be senior litigation counsels primarily responsible for internal training. Laura Provinzino will oversee a new initiative to combat human trafficking.
“I would say this is an experienced crew that understands what’s going on,” Scott said. “It means [Luger] won’t have to micromanage because he has people who he trusts who have the experience to operate without someone watching over their shoulder.”
Indeed, it should free up Luger, who has extensive trial experience, to do courtroom duty himself. “I expect to try some cases,” he said.
Luger said a hiring freeze for U.S. attorney’s offices has been lifted and he’ll be hiring at least two assistant U.S. attorneys, a press officer and perhaps others.
Randy Furst • 612-673-4224