Assistant United States Attorney John Gaupp announced his retirement after more than 36 years of service with the Department of Justice. In 1994, Mr. Gaupp was named as the first Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Louisiana, and currently serves in that capacity. In addition to serving as the division chief for more than thirteen years, he has also served as the office’s Senior Litigation Counsel and Ethics Advisor.
Mr. Gaupp has participated in a variety of notable litigation, substantially impacting Baton Rouge and the surrounding area. Early in his career, Mr. Gaupp helped plan and obtained warrants for the contemporaneous seizure by the IRS of property from Adler “Barry” Seal, a major drug smuggler for the notorious Medellin Cartel. He also worked with Government officials in bringing suit under the Sherman Act to break the alleged monopoly on OB/GYN services then held by the Woman’s Hospital Foundation.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. Gaupp actively participated in settlement negotiations in civil rights litigation challenging the formation and continued existence of the Metropolitan Council, which led to the adoption of a redistricting plan. Mr. Gaupp also served as local counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in all school desegregation cases in this federal district, including the cases in East Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Livingston Parishes.
Mr. Gaupp worked on numerous environmental cases brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA. Significantly, he played a major part in negotiations with the City of Baton Rouge that led to the Consent Decree addressing the city’s then crumbling sewer system, which ultimately led to the overhauling and redesigning of its sewer system. He also worked in brokering a deal between the U.S. Department of Justice, the City of Baton Rouge, and residents living in close proximity to the north Baton Rouge sewerage treatment plant to relocate residents whose living conditions were drastically effected by the treatment plant. Mr. Gaupp served on the litigation team in the case against Louisiana Generating, LLC (“La Gen”) for asserted Clean Air Act violations at its Big Cajun II plant, resulting in La Gen reducing its emission and funding other environmental mitigation projects. Using the Government’s authority to take property through eminent domain proceedings, Mr. Gaupp acquired the property needed by the Corps of Engineers to build the Lilly Bayou Control Structure, thereby clearing the way to begin construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal.
Beyond litigating cases, Mr. Gaupp is co-drafter of the legislation enacted as the Federal Debt Collections Procedures Act, which provides the legal procedures for the enforced collection of federal debts throughout the country. He has also served as a nationwide mentor for Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the area of bankruptcy law.
Mr. Gaupp said, “I don’t have any definite plans as to how I will spend my retirement. I am sure that I will find multiple causes to throw myself into; but for now – after almost more years on the front lines of federal litigation than I can remember – I’m looking forward to a little ‘rocking chair therapy’ on my back patio with my wife who I adore.”
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “As noted by John’s impressive career as a public servant, he has been an incredible asset not only to this office, but to the Department of Justice, and the many communities we serve in the Middle District. John is an outstanding attorney who would have enjoyed great success in any endeavor he pursued, but he chose to devote his professional life to public service seeking justice and protecting the rights of the United States and its citizens. John’s absence will surely be felt, and I wish him all of the best in retirement.”