|From left to right are: LIBC Founder Ned Fawaz, Publisher of The Arab American News Osama Siblani, LAHC Founder Ali Jawad, Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Asst. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Abed Hammoud, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, LAHC President attorney Sam Salamey and ADC-MI Regional Director Imad Hamad.
DETROIT – A standing-room only crowd filled Judge Gerald
Rosen’s courtroom in the Theodore Levin Federal Courthouse on Monday, May 16,
which was the site of Abed Hammoud’s official swearing-in ceremony as an
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Rosen conducted the ceremony as community leaders and officials from the
U.S. Attorney’s office and prosecutors from Wayne County attended. Hammoud was
surrounded by his mother, his wife, his two sons and several other members of
his family. Hammoud formerly served as Lead Attorney in the Wayne County
Prosecutor’s Office, most recently leading their mortgage fraud prosecutions
department, where he had worked with the office since 1996. He is regarded as
an expert in the mortgage fraud prosecutions area. McQuade introduced Hammoud,
calling him an outstanding lead prosecuting attorney who acquired significant
experience handling hundreds of cases in Wayne County.
“We are very pleased that Abed Hammoud has joined our
office as an Assistant U.S. Attorney,” McQuade said in a separate interview.
“He brings a wealth of trial experience, outstanding legal skills and an
important perspective to help us better serve the residents of our
community.” Hammoud said he was honored and eager to serve in his new
“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue my
public service as an Assistant United States Attorney,” he said. Hammoud also received
a certificate of appreciation issued in Washington D.C. by the United States
Secret Service in special recognition of his efforts and superior contributions
to the law enforcement responsibilities of the Secret Service.
|Chief Judge Gerald Rosen (in robe) and new U.S. Assistant Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan Abed Hammoud (to his right) pose with Hammoud’s family and a colleague in the Theodore Levin Federal Courthouse in Detroit’s chief judge’s courtroom.
Rosen said the hiring of Hammoud was an important one
considering his qualifications and because of the importance of having an Arab
American at the U.S. Attorney’s office. He said that there is a need for more
members of this community to serve in similar positions. U.S. Attorney Barbara
McQuade agreed with Judge Rosen and said that her office plans on hiring more
qualified individuals as openings become available.
Judge Rosen took time to mingle with the crowd and explained
the history of the courthouse that goes back to the 1890s. The building
occupies an entire block in downtown Detroit. One of the building’s most
notable features is the chief judge’s courtroom on the seventh floor where the
ceremony for Mr. Hammoud was conducted. It is also the same room that Judge
Rosen himself was married in.
Rosen explained that at the request of Chief Judge Arthur
Tuttle, the courtroom from the previous courthouse (built in 1896) was
disassembled and stored during construction, then reassembled in the new
building that was constructed in 1932. The “million dollar
courtroom,” as newspapers dubbed it at the time, contains more than 30
types of marble.
The bench is carved from East Indian mahogany, and is
flanked by two 12-foot-tall columns of Italian marble, each topped by four
lions holding up a globe. Behind the bench is a frieze of 10 female figures
depicting the purity of justice. A frieze of more than 100 unique lions’ heads
surrounds the room just below the ceiling. Only the floor and ceiling were
modernized when the room was reassembled. Chief Justice of the United States
John Roberts has reportedly described it as one of the finest and most
beautiful courtrooms he has visited.
The Congress of Arab American Organizations in Michigan will
also hold a private, invitation-only reception in honor of Hammoud next month
|Community leaders and officials listen intently as Hammoud is sworn in by Chief Judge Rosen at Theodore Levin Courthouse in downtown Detroit on Monday, May 16.