U.S. Attorney Jim Vines has announced several management changes in the Middle District of Tennessee office here.
Deb Phillips, who headed the criminal division, has been named senior counsel to Vines. Her spot as criminal chief is being assumed by Paul O'Brien, who previously was deputy chief for narcotics.
Two titles are being abolished. One position to go is that of executive assistant U.S. attorney, held in recent years by Van Vincent.
The other title being abolished is deputy civil chief, currently held by Mike Roden. This past November, Roden drafted a memo to the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) in which he was highly critical of the management decisions and style of Vines and Vincent. In particular, he warned that they were putting the office at risk of charges of age discrimination. About the time the memo came public, a former assistant U.S. attorney filed an age discrimination lawsuit.
Vines told NashvillePost.com Monday that the management changes announced late Friday were his decisions but followed lengthy discussions with the EOUSA and the Deputy Attorney General's office, who he said were supportive. For the past several months, those groups have been conducting a review of the office that stemmed from Roden's memo. "We have received only very preliminary feedback from EOUSA after the review," Vines said Monday.
The creation of the two positions being abolished came about after a vacancy arose in the administrative officer post. That position had been vacant since 2003. Stephanie Burgoyne, who as deputy administrative officer for the Eastern District of Virginia briefly helped the Nashville office while the AO post was vacant, is the new administrative officer for the Middle Tennessee office.
In other management changes, Bill Cohen has been named senior litigation counsel and David Rivera has been named criminal division deputy chief.