Attorney General John Kroger today named a new chief of the Department of Justice's Criminal Justice Division. The new hire, Sean J. Riddell, is a prosecutor in the Multnomah County District Attorney's office.
As WW reported earlier, Kroger shifted Steve Briggs
, the former chief of the criminal justice division, during the five-month investigation of Portland Mayor Sam Adams.
Riddell looks to be cut from the same cloth as Kroger: both are former Marines and gang prosecutors.
Here are excerpts from the AG's press release announcing Riddell's hiring:
John Kroger today announced the appointment of Deputy Multnomah County District Attorney Sean J. Riddell to lead the Oregon Department of Justice's Criminal Justice Division.
"Fighting crime is one of my top priorities. Sean is the right person to make our Criminal Justice Division the top law enforcement division in the state,” said Attorney General Kroger. “Sean is a great prosecutor who has handled tough cases. He will be a leader in the fight against gang violence and international drug traffickers.”
“Sean brings an impressive level of trial experience and a remarkable life story to the Justice Department,” said Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis.
“Sean Riddell is an experienced prosecutor and leader who will be a wonderful asset to Oregon's district attorneys,” said Linn County District Attorney Jason Carlile. “I look forward to working with him and the Criminal Justice Division as we continue to work together to keep our fellow citizens safe.”
Riddell, a highly decorated Marine Corps officer, has been a Deputy Multnomah County District Attorney since 2002. During that time, he has built an impressive resume fighting gang violence and white collar crime.
In 2006, Riddell shut down the Portland branch of the San Diego-based Lincoln Park Bloods, prosecuting 6 members for a string of armed robberies. The same year, he secured the murder conviction of Michael Lavern Jasper for shooting Richard A. Minnifield Jr. to death over a romantic dispute.
In 2003, Riddell successfully prosecuted Paul Michael Moore, a con man who bilked clients of his credit repair business for more than $65,000.
Last month, Riddell successfully prosecuted Byron “Crash” Willenberg, a member of the European Kindred white supremecist prison gang, for rape and sodomy.
Riddell graduated from Lemoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., with a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1994. After graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. He left active duty as a captain in 1998 to enter Lewis & Clark Law School. After earning his law degree in 2001, Riddell volunteered for the Marine Corps Reserves and served as an Engineer Officer with Engineer Company A , 6th Engineer Support Battalion, based in Eugene. He was twice deployed to Iraq, in 2003 and 2005. He is currently a major, second in command of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion. Riddell has been selected to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel within the next year.
The Oregon Department of Justice's Criminal Justice Division handles high-level cases dealing with homicide, complex drug investigations, organized crime and online predators. In June, Attorney General Kroger announced Operation Corridor Express, a racketeering case that targeted major Drug Trafficking Organizations in Clackamas and Washington Counties. Since 2005, online investigations by the Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC) have resulted in the conviction of more than 100 internet predators.