TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014
Crime & Courts

U.S. Attorney O’Neill resigning to work with Freeh Group

By ,
Published:
TAMPA -

Robert O誰eill, one of the top federal law officials in Florida, is resigning this summer to work for a firm founded by a former FBI director.

O誰eill will become a managing director in Miami for Freeh Group International Solutions. O誰eill said he plans to spend at least part of his time in Tampa, with an office here, because he doesn稚 want to leave this city.

O誰eill said the position is 殿 great opportunity that he took mainly because at his age 55 he worried he痴 not old enough to stay in his current position until retirement and not young enough to have a long legal career ahead of him.

When he leaves his job as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, his work as a lawyer will be severely curtailed by ethics restrictions relating to cases handled by his federal prosecutors office.

O誰eill said his decision to leave was 澱ittersweet, obviously because he loves his job but is excited about the new opportunity.

O誰eill said the Freeh Group is a 堵lobal risk management firm serving in the areas of business integrity and compliance, safety and security, and investigations and due diligence.

The firm, founded by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, prepared a report for Penn State University on the Jerry Sandusky scandal and has done work to help the board that oversees SAT exams tighten security following a cheating scandal, said James R. Bucknam, chief executive officer.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said O誰eill will be missed by the state痴 law enforcement community.

She called O誰eill 殿 brilliant, dedicated and impactful champion of justice and warrior on behalf of victims, adding that he 都erved our state with great humility and unparalleled work ethic.

釘obby is a rare talent who has provided many years of outstanding public service to the United States and to the state of Florida, Freeh said in a prepared statement. 的 couldn稚 be happier that he decided to bring his experience and credentials to FGIS.

O誰eill and Bucknam said they have known each other going back about 28 years, when O誰eill was a young assistant district attorney in Manhattan and Bucknam was an intern.

Bucknam said the Miami office O誰eill will head will provide a base for FGIS growing Latin American practice.

The firm already has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Wilmington, Del.

O誰eill, who said he now makes about $155,000 a year, said his new position will provide a significant pay increase. But he didn稚 want to discuss specific numbers.

典hey were very generous, he said.

Bucknam said when the firm decided to open a Florida office, O誰eill 努as the first person we thought of. He has always been a prosecutor痴 prosecutor, he was an investigator痴 investigator and just a really good person, extremely well liked by everybody he encountered. He has the skill sets we need in growing our business.

The fact that O誰eill is a 鍍errific investigator, a people person, someone who痴 extremely ethical and smart street smart as well and has a Florida connection 杜ade it a very easy choice for us.

O誰eill was appointed by President Barack Obama, confirmed by the U.S. Senate and then sworn in as 20th U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida on Oct. 5, 2010.

O誰eill supervises a staff of more than 250, including 110 prosecutors, with offices in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala and Fort Myers. The district covers 35 counties.

He said the position 妬s extraordinarily rewarding.

的 will continue in my present position for the next few months to ensure an orderly transition for this office and for my successor, O誰eill said.

O誰eill thanked Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio for giving him an opportunity to oversee Florida痴 middle district.

的 appreciate the confidence which they exhibited in me and I hope and trust that I, and this office, have lived up to their expectations, O誰eill said. 的 am very thankful for having been given this wonderful opportunity.

O誰eill previously served in an interim capacity as U.S. attorney for the district from 2007-08.

He was a criminal prosecutor for most of his career, serving as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney痴 Office and as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida.

O誰eill is a native of the Bronx, N.Y., and has lived in Florida for more than 20 years.

Comments