Friday, August 29, 2014

Ex-Gov's Lawyer John Brownlee Lost High Profile Cases Here

John Brownlee (left), former Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Those paying close attention will note that the defense of former Gov. Bob McDonnell is being headed by John Brownlee of the National White Collar Defense and Investigations practice at the international law firm of Holland & Knight in D.C. You'll remember Brownlee for two things: he was married to Channel 10 news anchor Lee Ann Necessary and he was the U.S. Attorney/Western District who failed to win the two biggest cases of his career here.

Brownlee, who was appointed U.S. Attorney by George Bush 10 days after the tragedy of 9/11, resigned in April, 2008, talking about running for Attorney General of Virginia on the Republican ticket. He never ran.

He headed the prosecution of former D-Day Memorial head Richard Burrow on fraud charges and former Dr. Cecil Knox for illegal drug distribution (oxycontin). He got convictions in neither case and many thought at the time that his heavy-handed prosecution ruined the careers of two very good men. Brownlee was charged with prosecutorial misconduct in the Burrow case.

In both cases, Brownlee faced Roanoke lawyers John Lichtenstein and John Fishwick.

Today, he is involved in his closing argument in the McDonnell case.

(Note: I don't know how Roanoke's daily paper missed this significant angle on the story, since Brownlee was a headline guy here for years. The Times does not have anybody in Richmond covering the biggest political story of the decade, though. It had an AP story today and has generally gone with Richmond Times-Dispatch stories. They are both Berkshire Hathaway papers. 

(You might recall that when the University of Virginia's board of trustees fired its president--the biggest education story of the year in Virginia--The Times didn't have anybody there, either, and it wasn't part of that BH consortium then, so it just used AP. Can't go sending these reporters out of town. They might enjoy themselves.)


1 comment:

  1. Brownlee ran for the GOP AG nomination, but stepped aside at a 2009 party convention in favor of Ken Cuccinelli.