The House subcommittee looking into the possible impeachment of PRC member Jerome Block, Jr. has hired a former federal prosecutor as its legal counsel.
According to a news release that just came in the email, former First Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Gorence has agreed to work for the committee.
"We are fortunate to have someone of Mr. Gorence's caliber serve as our special counsel. This is an important undertaking and the subcommittee will be well-served by Mr. Gorence's assistance," Reps Joe Cervantes and Zach Cook, co-chairs of the panel, said in a joint statement.
Gorence worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office from 1986 to 2000. He was the first assistant United States attorney from 1994 to 2000. "In that capacity, he was involved in hundreds of major investigations and prosecutions, personally tried 93 jury trials and argued 47 cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals," the news release said.
Gorence was the lead prosecutor in the espionage case against Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, who pleaded guilty to one felony after the most serious charges against him were dropped.
Since then, he's been in private practice, concentrating in the areas of criminal defense and plaintiff's civil rights. He's had his share of controversial and colorful clients.
Gorence represents former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, who has been indicted on charges of fraud over unaccounted-for federal money for a voter-education project her office administered.
He was one of the lawyers representing political figure Carlos Fierro in his vehicular homicide case. He represented former state Insurance Superintendent Eric Serna (who never was charged with any crime) as well as Raul Parra, a co-defendant of Manny Aragon's in the Bernalillo County Courthouse scandal -- not to mention and Albuquerque race car driver Bobby Unser.
The subcommittee meets again next week.
UPDATE 7:45 am 9-16-2011: The original version of this post did not include Rebecca Vigil Giron among Gorence's clients.