Biden chooses former Albany federal prosecutor as Pentagon watchdog


As a longtime federal prosecutor in Albany, Robert P. Storch has tackled fraud, Ponzi schemes and terrorism.

Then he took on a different role in the federal government – his watchdog.

And now Storch – already the president’s very first Inspector General for the National Security Agency – is President Joe Biden’s candidate for another top post: Inspector General of the Department of Defense.

If confirmed by the Senate, the former Glenmont resident will be the government’s primary watchdog for the Pentagon. It would be the final step in a star-studded legal career for Storch, whose 29-year-old wife Sara Lord is also a former federal prosecutor in the 32-county Northern District of New York based in Albany. She is now a Washington DC-based partner in the Atlanta law firm of Arnall Golden Gregory.

Storch, 60, has been backed by presidents of both parties as he was appointed to his NSA post by President Barack Obama in 2016, reappointed the following year by President Donald Trump, and was nominated for the new role by Biden on Nov. 11. 15.

“He is well qualified for this important position,” former US attorney Richard Hartunian told Law Beat.

“Rob was an exceptional colleague at the (US Attorney’s Office) – diligent, hardworking, brilliant and highly ethical,” Hartunian said, noting that Storch’s last post was his lawyer. “And he has always provided me with wise, measured advice. Since then he has served at the highest levels of the IG community.”

George Carpinello, business lawyer in the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, who has been appointed four times to the Court of Appeal, hailed the choice of Storch, whom Carpinello has known for two decades, as a rigorous professional who would not be swayed by political pressure.

“He’s a great lawyer and, I think just as important, he has the utmost integrity,” said Carpinello, of Delmar, whose corporate clients include the New York Yankees. “He’s the perfect guy for an Inspector General position because he has both a strong sense of what’s right and what isn’t, but also a sense of understanding … I know he sued a lot of cases. I don’t think he took pleasure in the fact that people had to go to jail because of his prosecution. I think he would go to work with a sense of l fairness and understanding. He’s just a perfect guy for the job. “

In a video taken the same year that Storch became the NSA Inspector General, Storch said the mission remains the same wherever an Inspector General may work in government.

“It’s about exercising effective and independent oversight that ensures the integrity and efficiency of the agency’s operations – and GIs play a really critical role in that,” Storch said in a speech on the Board of Inspectors General website on integrity and efficiency. (CIGIE), an independent government entity.

“We’re meant to be tough but fair,” Storch continued. “We have to make the tough decisions as we see it.”

Storch, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1982 and Columbia University School of Law in 1985. Storch then worked for US District Judge William D. Keller in the United States. Central District of California in Los Angeles. After a year of private practice, Storch worked as a federal prosecutor in Jacksonville from 1987 to 1990. He then spent four years as an attorney general in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Justice in Washington DC.

In 1994, Storch moved to Albany, where his wife’s family had roots, to work for a year at Bond, Schoeneck and King. Storch spent the next 17 years as a federal prosecutor in Albany (excluding a period from December 2007 to December 2009, where he and his wife both worked for the US Department of Justice in Kiev, in Ukraine).

In Albany, Storch successfully pursued the case of fraudster Aaron R. Dare, the former president of the former Northeast New York State Urban League, for wire fraud, mail fraud and misrepresentation. Storch sued, among others, Christopher W. Bass, a Ponzi scheme based in Menands, who duped more than 300 victims of more than $ 5.3 million. And Storch led the NDNY’s counterterrorism efforts in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He served as the office’s call manager. He then served as deputy head of criminal services and adviser to the US prosecutor.

In June 2012, Storch left Albany to become Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Justice, a position he held until he was appointed IG for the NSA in 2016.

In his videotaped speech, Storch called it critical that IGs conduct their work without the slightest hint of partisanship. He said if the public believed the office was shaded in any way, it would undermine the credibility of the IG’s work. He noted that he had been appointed by the Obama and Trump administrations.

“You know what? It doesn’t matter to me,” Storch said, “because my job is not partisan work. My job is to call it as we see it.

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