FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AG
MONDAY, MAY 22, 1995 (202) 616-2777
TDD (202) 514-1888
JOSEPH HARTZLER TO HEAD OKLAHOMA CITY PROBE AND PROSECUTION TEAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Janet Reno and Patrick
Ryan, United States Attorney for the Western District of
Oklahoma, announced today that Assistant United States Attorney
Joseph Hartzler of the Central District of Illinois will join the
team of prosecutors investigating the bombing of the Alfred R.
Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Hartzler will lead the
joint team, which is composed of federal prosecutors from
Oklahoma City and around the country.
Hartzler, age 44, has 14 years' experience as an Assistant
United States Attorney in both the Central (Springfield) and
Northern (Chicago) Districts of Illinois, and has served as chief
of both the criminal and civil divisions of the Chicago office.
His extensive trial experience includes the convictions of four
FALN terrorists for seditious conspiracy, and the conviction of a
judge caught in the FBI's Greylord investigation. He is a
former partner in the Chicago law firm of Rudnick & Wolf.
Hartzler graduated in 1972 from Amherst College and received his
law degree from American University Law School in 1978 where he
ranked first in his class and was Executive Editor of the law
The senior prosecutor from the Western District of Oklahoma,
already on the team, is Assistant United States Attorney Arlene
Joplin. Joplin has 17 years' experience as a federal and state
prosecutor, including service as chief of the criminal division
of both the United States Attorney's Office and the Oklahoma
Attorney General's Office, and as First Assistant District
Attorney for Oklahoma County. Her extensive trial experience
includes a number of death penalty cases, as well as cases
involving murder for hire, arson and complex fraud. Ms. Joplin
graduated first in her class from the University of Oklahoma
School of Law in 1971.
The other members of the prosecution team are Vicki Behenna,
Kerry Kelly and Jerome Holmes, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the
Western District of Oklahoma, and John Lancaster and Bruce
Delaplaine, trial attorneys from the Violent crime and Terrorism
Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. United
State Attorney Patrick Ryan will also be participating in the
With the long-term legal team now in place, the team sent to
handle the initial phase of the investigation will return to
Washington. Merrick Garland, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney
General, will return to his post as senior advisor and chief of
staff to the Deputy Attorney General, where he will continue to
oversee the Department's national response to the bombing.
Donna Bucella, Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy
Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys',
who has been instrumental in coordinating the work of the
numerous United States Attorneys' offices involved in the
investigation, will also return to her position in Washington.
In making today's announcement, the Attorney General had
high praise for the prosecution team. "We have an outstanding
group of experienced prosecutors assigned to this matter.
Oklahoma and the nation can be assured that this most important
investigation is in good hands." Merrick Garland added his own
praise and thanked "the prosecutors in Oklahoma City who have
been toiling around the clock under the most stressful of
conditions to see that justice is done."
U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan expressed his gratitude to fellow
U.S. Attorneys across the country, particularly those in the
Eastern District of Michigan, Arizona and Kansas. "These
offices," he noted, "have contributed substantially to the
investigation and prosecutive efforts in this case. It is
gratifying to see how the Department of Justice pulls together
nationwide when a tragedy like this befalls one of our
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