Thomas B. Heffelfinger

Thomas B. Heffelfinger

Thomas B. Heffelfinger was a U.S. Attorney for Minnesota from 1991–1993 and from 2001–2006. He served as assistant U.S. Attorney from 1982 to 1988 and assistant Hennepin County Attorney from 1976 to 1982. [cite news
first= John
last= Vomhof Jr.
coauthors=
title= Best & Flanagan hires former U.S. Attorney
date=June 5, 2006
publisher= Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
url = http://twincities.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2006/06/05/daily7.html
work =
pages =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
language =
]

Early life

Heffelfinger received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1970, and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1975.

Legal career

U.S. Attorney

Indian Affairs

Investigation of the shooting deaths of ten people at a school at the Red Lake Indian Reservation on March 21, 2005 absorbed much of his time in the subsequent 11 months. [cite web| title =U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger resigns| publisher =Minnesota Public Radio| date =2006-02-14| url =http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/02/14/heffelfinger/| accessdate = 2007-06-04]

Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys Controversy

Heffelfinger resigned in February 28 2006 for personal reasons, and he was replaced by Rachel Paulose. [ cite news
first = Ruben
last = Rosario
date = 2007-04-07
title = Prosecutor's office loses its way
work = Pioneer Press
publisher = Media News Group Inc.
url = http://www.twincities.com/searchresults/ci_5616132
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that it was unusual that "the former U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Thomas Heffelfinger, was not invited" to the swearing in ceremony for Paulose. Paulose's spokesperson, Jeanne Cooney,said "It was a public event. Anybody who wanted to go could have gone." [cite news
first = Nick
last = Coleman
date = 2007-03-31
title = Nick Coleman: If Heffelfinger hadn't quit, would he have been purged?
publisher = Star Tribune Company
work = Star Tribune (Minneapolis - Saint Paul)
url = http://www.startribune.com/357/story/1092041.html
accessdate = 2007-06-04
] The article speculates that Heffelfinger, a moderate Republican, could have been a candidate for dismissal had he not stepped aside to make way for a more conservative candidate.

Heffelfinger was angry at the Department of Justice for putting him on a list for dismissal, [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/transcripts/goodling_testimony_052307.html] Monica Goodling Testimony to Congress] for, as Monica Goodling testified, his preoccupation with Indian affairs issues. [cite news
first= Eric
last= Black
coauthors=
title= Heffelfinger slams Justice Department
date=June 1, 2007
publisher= Star Tribune Company
url = http://www.startribune.com/587/story/1204940.html
work = Star Tribune (Minneapolis - Saint Paul)
pages =
accessdate = 2007-06-02
language =
] Heffelfinger strongly defended his work on Indian affairs issues: "The fact that some allegedly responsible official or officials in Washington at main Justice now believe that I should have been removed for spending too much time focused on the public safety of Native Americans is outrageous, and it's shameful." [cite news
first= Emily
last= Gurnon
coauthors=
title= Minnesota U.S. Attorney Firings / Heffelfinger defends work
date= May 24, 2007
publisher= Media News Group Inc.
url = http://www.twincities.com/searchresults/ci_5980877
work = Pioneer Press
pages =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
language =
]

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Heffelfinger was targeted for dismissal by the Department of Justice as a consequence of his positions on tribal voting in Minnesota. [cite news
title=Justice undone? Some say U.S. attorney targeted for protecting American Indian votes
author=Tom Hamburger
publisher=Los Angeles Times
date=May 31, 2007
url=http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070531/REPOSITORY/705310377/1013/NEWS03
] Heffelfinger's appearance on potential dismissal lists at the Department of Justice apparently fits a pattern associating the dismissed attorneys and voting issues. [cite news
first= Tom
last= Hamburger
coauthors=
title= Minnesota case fits the pattern in flap over firing of U.S. attorneys: A prosecutor apparently targeted for firing had supported Native American voters' rights
date=May 31, 2007
publisher=
url = http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/31/1583/
work = Los Angeles Times
pages =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
language =
] Bradley Schlozman's name appears in this case, as a result of the political sensitivity of the tribal voting issue. Schlozman is a central figure to a voting and elections controversy in Missouri.

Private practice

Following his resignation as U.S. Attorney, Heffelfinger was hired by the law firm Best and Flanagan wherehe will focus on white-collar criminal defense and American Indian law. [cite news
first= John
last= Vomhof Jr.
coauthors=
title= Best & Flanagan hires former U.S. Attorney
date=June 5, 2006
publisher= Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
url = http://twincities.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2006/06/05/daily7.html
work =
pages =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
language =
]

ee also

*Red Lake High School massacre

External links

* [http://www.bestlaw.com/attorneys/heffelfinger.htm Heffelfinger's biography at Best and Flanagan.]

Notes


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