Ex-Judge Tapped for Justice Role Amid Power Vacuum

WASHINGTON (CN) – A former Colorado judge with already a year under her belt at the Justice Department was appointed Monday to a top agency position that normally goes to an assistant attorney general.

Justice Department portrait of Katharine Sullivan

As she heads to the Office of Justice Programs, Katharine Sullivan departs the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women where she has served as acting director since January 2018. Sullivan served previously as a state judge and prosecutor in Colorado.

The Office of Justice Programs administers programs like the Crime Victims Fund and awards grants for various criminal justice initiatives, while also overseeing the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice. It is typically led by an assistant attorney general, but President Donald Trump has not nominated anybody to that position, which requires Senate confirmation. Since October 2018, the OJP has been headed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt Dummermuth.

“Katie Sullivan has been an energetic and great leader of the Office on Violence Against Women and I am confident she will bring the same enthusiasm to the Office of Justice Programs,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement this afternoon. “Katie’s leadership will further enhance the department’s efforts to strengthen public safety and the criminal justice system through research programs and strategies and to provide critical services to victims of crime.”

As a state court judge, Sullivan heard 45,000 cases and founded an adult intensive supervision probation program, according to a Vail Daily story about her December 2017 move to the Trump administration.

Taking over for Sullivan at the Office on Violence Against Women will be Laura Rogers, who is director of the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. Rogers meanwhile preceded Dummermuth as head of the Office of Justice Programs.

A former Navy attorney, Rogers also worked on the Philadelphia Archdiocese Review Board on Sexual Abuse and Pastoral Conduct and on the National Review Board for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Laura Rogers has a distinguished history serving the cause of justice for victims of sexual abuse and preventing further abuse,” Barr said in a statement. “Among her many accomplishments, Laura was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the founder of the SMART office and has been a pioneer in developing the sex offender registration and notification systems that today deny known sex offenders anonymity and help keep children and adults safe across America.”

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