Todd Graves

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This article is about the U.S. Attorney. For the entrepreneur/restaurateur, see Todd Graves (entrepreneur).

U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, announcing his resignation on March 10, 2006

Todd Graves was a Republican lawyer and politician [1] recommended to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri by Michael A. Battle. He took his oath of office on September 17, 2001, as an interim United States attorney appointed by the U.S. District Court. His appointment was approved by President George W. Bush. On September 17, 2001 his presidential appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 11, 2001.

He resigned effective March 24, 2006 as part of the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy.[2][3]

Graves initially appeared on a list of 12 U.S. attorneys slated to be dismissed. Seven on that list were dismissed on December 7, 2006. In April 2007 Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse declined to discuss redacted names on the list. He said the Justice Department withheld the names of prosecutors who had been considered for possible dismissal to protect their reputations and "their ability to function effectively as U.S. attorneys or professionals in other roles."[4] On May 9, 2007, Graves disclosed and confirmed for the first time that he had been forced out by the Department of Justice, and had not departed on his own initiative.[5] His successor in office was interim attorney Bradley Schlozman.

After resigning from his position as U.S. attorney, he formed the law firm of Graves Bartle & Marcus, LLC, based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Graves was born and raised in Tarkio, Missouri. He is the brother of U.S. Representative Sam Graves of Missouri's 6th congressional district.

Before the dismissal, Graves was best known as the prosecutor of the Miracle Cars scam.

Years prior to U.S. Attorney service[edit]

Graves received an undergraduate degree in agricultural economics, with a minor in political science, from the University of Missouri, and a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Virginia in 1991.[6]

Right out of law school, Graves was employed as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri, and served that year as a staff assistant on the Governor’s Commission on Crime. From 1992 to 1994, Graves was in private practice with the law firm of Bryan Cave.[6]

In 1994 he was elected as Platte County Prosecuting Attorney (at the time, he was the youngest full-time prosecuting attorney in Missouri), and re-elected in 1998, an office that he held until his US Attorney appointment.[6]

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy[edit]

In January, 2006, Graves was asked to step down from his job by Michael A. Battle, then director of the Justice department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.[7]

Sen. Christopher S. Bond, on Graves' request, asked the White House for an extension of Graves's tenure so that he could finish an important case; the request was not granted.[7]

Graves had clashed with Justice's civil rights division over a federal lawsuit involving Missouri's voter rolls. DOJ was pushing for a lawsuit against Missouri accusing the state of failing to eliminate ineligible people from voter rolls. Graves refused to sign off on the lawsuit, which was subsequently authorized by Bradley Schlozman.[7][8]

In April 2007, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit.[7]

After Graves' resignation, Schlozman succeeded him, remaining for a year until the Senate, in April 2007, confirmed John Wood for the job. Wood was a counselor to the deputy attorney general and is a son of Bond's first cousin.[7]

In October 2008, Senator Kit Bond apologized to Todd Graves, after a U.S. Justice Department report cited Bond forcing Graves out over a disagreement with Representative Sam Graves.[9] Following the report, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials involved in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys broke the law.[10] Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an Ethics Committee complaint against Bond over his role in the ouster of Graves.[11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Tod Graves steps down as U.S. Attorney Press Release. Department of Justice. March 10, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
    Note that Senate confirmation date differs with presidential citation by one day.
  3. ^ Todd P. Graves Presidential Nomination The White House Retrieved May 8, 2007.
    Announcement: July 30, 2001, Nomination Sent to the Senate: September 4, 2001. Confirmed by the United States Senate: October 12, 2001
  4. ^ Talev, Margaret; Ron Hutcheson and Marisa Taylor (2007-04-27). "Administration considered firing 12 U.S. attorneys but cut list down". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  5. ^ David Stout (May 10, 2007). "House Democrats Raise New Criticism of Gonzales". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  6. ^ a b c Western District of Missouri: A Record of the United States Attorneys Office, 2001-2006
  7. ^ a b c d e Amy Goldstein; Dan Eggen (May 10, 2007). "Number of Fired Prosecutors Grows: Dismissals Began Earlier Than Justice Dept. Has Said". Washington Post. p. A01. 
  8. ^ Greg Gordon (May 4, 2007). "GOP sought to suppress votes in Missouri, critics say: Missouri is among states where alleged efforts to dampen Democratic turnout were focused". McClatchy Newspapers. 
  9. ^ "Kit Bond apologizes for staff's role in firing of federal prosecutor". The News Leader. September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Prosecutor will investigate firings of nine U.S. Attorneys". The Miami Herald. September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Group files ethics complaint against Bond". Kansas City Star. September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17.