John Kroger

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John Richard Kroger
John Kroger.jpg
John Kroger in 2010
16th Oregon Attorney General
In office
January 5, 2009 – June 29, 2012
Preceded by Hardy Myers
Succeeded by Ellen Rosenblum
Personal details
Born 1966
Political party Democratic
Profession Assistant United States Attorney, Law Professor

John Richard Kroger (born 1966) is the president of Reed College. He served as Attorney General for the U.S. state of Oregon from 2009 to 2012. Prior to being elected in 2008, he had earlier served in the Marine Corps, was an Assistant United States Attorney in New York, and a law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland. He resigned as Attorney General effective June 29, 2012.[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Kroger was born in 1966 in Ohio, growing up in Indiana and then Texas.[3] He served in a FORECON unit in the United States Marine Corps after having joined in 1983 at the age of 17.[4] During that time Kroger spent about five months on an assault carrier in the Pacific. He also underwent jungle warfare training in Panama. While he was in boot camp the United States invaded Grenada. Shortly thereafter Kroger volunteered to go to Lebanon, but in the aftermath of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing attack, President Ronald Reagan withdrew U.S. forces before Kroger's unit was sent in.[3]

He left the Marines in 1986, entered Yale College and studied philosophy, graduating in 1990. Following graduation he moved to Washington, D.C., becoming a legislative assistant to then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tom Foley (DWA-5) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)[4]

In 1991 he became Deputy Policy Director of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, and after the campaign, as part of Clinton's transition team. He also served for a time as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department before returning to school, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1996.[4]

Kroger clerked for a year for a federal appellate judge before joining the United States Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New York as a federal prosecutor.[4]

During his years as a federal prosecutor, he won a high-profile conviction in a five-week Mafia multiple homicide trial against Gregory Scarpa Jr. He also handled numerous drug trafficking cases, including a conviction against drug kingpin Juan "La Puma" Rodriguez, for shipping 10 tons worth of cocaine across the United States each year for more than a decade.[5] Kroger also handled white collar crime cases such as government corruption cases, and tax evasion cases.

In 2000, Kroger had an eight-week period blocked out for an upcoming drug kingpin trial, but when the trial schedule was moved back, Kroger took a three-month vacation. He bought a $350 Trek bicycle and started cycling west across the country, from New York to Oregon.[3] After his return to New York, he was tapped to prosecute Alphonse Persico, boss of the Colombo organized crime family, on racketeering and money-laundering charges. While working that case, he became involved with the rescue and recovery effort after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In the day after the attacks, he reported to a round-the-clock command center in Manhattan, where he helped FBI agents run down leads by providing search warrants and subpoenas to investigate potential terrorist cells.[4]

Both during his trip to Oregon and after his experiences post-9/11, he had come to realize he wanted to take a break from his career as a prosecutor and pursue teaching the law, and had fallen in love with Oregon.[3] As a prosecutor, Kroger won the Director's Award from then-Attorney General Janet Reno, and by the time he left the office, had a 97% conviction rate of the criminals he charged.[6]

When law professor Bill Williamson resigned from Lewis and Clark's law school in 2002 due to health reasons, the college began looking for a new professor to teach criminal law.[3] Kroger was given the job and relocated to Portland, where he currently resides.[7]

Once at the college, Kroger taught only one semester of criminal procedure before he was asked to join the Justice Department's Enron Task Force and help investigate what at the time was the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. For a little over a year, he led the investigation into Enron's broadband business – whose reported earnings on a future video-on-demand service, famously dubbed "Project Braveheart," contributed to the company's inflated stock price.

Eventually, Kroger and his team won indictments against seven men, including Ken Rice and Kevin Hannon, Enron's top two broadband executives. They pleaded guilty in 2004 and became government witnesses, helping to secure fraud convictions against Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling.[4]

Following the conclusion of his involvement in the Enron investigation, he returned to teaching at Lewis & Clark.

Attorney general[edit]

On September 20, 2007, John Kroger announced his candidacy for Oregon Attorney General. Kroger was endorsed by former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber,[8] the Sierra Club,[9] Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership, and the Carpenters Union.[10] He defeated Greg Macpherson for the Democratic nomination in the May 20, 2008 primary election, and was also victorious in the Republican primary as a write-in.[11] Under state law he was compelled to choose one party's representation, selecting to run as a Democrat. No Republican candidate filed for the race,[12][13] and he won in the November general election. He was sworn into office on January 5, 2009, becoming the 16th Attorney General for the state.[14]

In October 2011, Kroger announced he would not seek another term, citing an unspecified illness.[15] In April 2012, he announced that he would be resigning from office to become president of Reed College,[1][2][16] and later set the effective date as June 29.

2008 Oregon Attorney General Election[17][18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Kroger 1,096,507 72.57%
Constitution (Oregon) James Leuenberger 168,866 11.18%
Pacific Green Walt Brown 76,856 5.09%
Working Families J. Ashlee Albies 161,655 10.70%
write-ins 7,047 0.47%
Totals 1,510,931 100%
Democratic hold

Works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Reed College Selects Oregon Attorney General John Kroger as New President". Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Cole, Michelle (June 6, 2012). "Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber names Ellen Rosenblum as interim attorney general". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bunster, Mark (February 11, 2008). "John Kroger Interview" (Blog). Candidate interview. Loaded Orygun. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Shadowsky, Dan (Winter 2007). "Kroger v. Crime" (Webpage). Lewis & Clark College Chronicle. Lewis & Clark College. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ Wright, Phil (September 9, 2007). "Kroger seeks state's highest law office" (Article). East Oregonian. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ "AG-Elect to Speak at WUCL" (Article). News. Willamette University College of Law. December 23, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ Meet John John Kroger for Attorney General from johnkroger.com
  8. ^ BlueOregon: Kitzhaber Endorses Kroger
  9. ^ Sierra Club Endorses John for Attorney General | John Kroger for Attorney General
  10. ^ Carpenters Union, Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership Endorse John | John Kroger for Attorney General
  11. ^ Kroger Wins Democratic, Republican Nominations.
  12. ^ Keisling, Phil (April 13, 2008). "Reviving Oregon elections". The Oregonian. 
  13. ^ Green, Ashbel (May 21, 2008). "Kroger defeats Macpherson for attorney general". The Oregonian. 
  14. ^ Walsh, Edward (November 5, 2008). "Democrats sweep to capture statewide jobs". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  15. ^ Gustafson, Alan (October 18, 2011). "Kroger won't run for re-election; cites medical condition". Statesman Journal. 
  16. ^ Graves, Bill (April 24, 2012). "Oregon Attorney General John Kroger will leave office early to be Reed College president". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ "November 4, 2008, General Election Abstracts of Votes: Attorney General". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Statistical Summary: 2008 General Election". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Hardy Myers
Oregon Attorney General
2009 – 2012
Succeeded by
Ellen Rosenblum