Jason C. Johnson, President
(voting member—January 2019 - Present)
Jason C. Johnson joined the LELDF as President in January 2019 after over twenty years as a law enforcement officer and executive. Most recently, Mr. Johnson served as Deputy Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department from 2016-2018. In addition to leading the BPD Strategic Services Bureau, Mr. Johnson also served as Chair of the BPD Performance Review Board, which conducted detailed internal reviews of all uses of deadly force by police officers. During his BPD tenure, he oversaw improvements in recruiting, training, technology, and employee health and wellness practices.
Prior to joining the Baltimore Police Department, Mr. Johnson retired from the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department, at the rank of Major. During his career, he was assigned as a patrol officer, police academy instructor, hostage/barricade negotiator, and patrol shift commander. He also served as assistant commander of the Special Investigations Division; as well as commander of the Office of Legal Affairs and the Internal Affairs Division.
Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and the 251st Session of the FBI National Academy.
John J. Burke, Vice Chairman
(Independent/Voting member—october 2013 - present)
Former Deputy Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mr. Burke is an expert in crisis management, facility security, executive protection, background investigations and training and oversees the field operations for MDB International, an independent risk management, investigations and security consulting firm. He served for more than 25 years as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and was a member of the FBI’s Senior Executive Service. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Burke was the Associate Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Metropolitan Field Office where he coordinated FBI resources for national security, criminal, drug, terrorism, counterterrorism and white-collar crime investigations. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. He is also a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Attorney General Award. Mr. Burke is a certified fraud examiner and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Daniel J. DeSimone, Secretary-Treasurer
(independent/Voting member—January 2013 - Present)
Former Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Daniel J. DeSimone joined the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund Board of Directors in 2014. Dan is an honorably discharged and decorated veteran of the United States armed forces, having served both domestically and internationally in the military police ranks for nearly five years. Following his military service, Mr. DeSimone served faithfully for 23 years as an FBI Special Agent, holding various positions of increased responsibility in his six different field and headquarters assignments. He worked extensively with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies while assigned to several multi-agency task forces. As the FBI’s former Chief of Undercover & Sensitive Operations, he keenly understands the complexities and challenges of law enforcement operations. Prior to his retirement from the FBI, Dan served as the FBI’s lead to the private sector where he gained important knowledge, understanding and experience in the relationship between the public and private sectors. For his career in public service and his actions in his private life, Dan was awarded knighthood by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. Today, Mr. DeSimone is the Senior Director of Investigative Resources at Thomson Reuters, where he serves as the company’s chief interface with law enforcement agencies across the United States and members of the corporate security ranks. Dan is member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Directors Association, as well as other law enforcement related organizations.
Ron Hosko, Director
(Voting Member—April 2014 - Present)
Former Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Ronald T. Hosko joined LELDF in April 2014 after retiring from a thirty year career in the FBI. He served as the LELDF President from 2014 - 2018. After graduating from the Temple University School of Law, he began his work as a Special Agent in Jackson, Mississippi. In the late 1980s, he transferred to Chicago, working undercover and in assignments focused on complex financial crimes and violent crimes. He worked closely with other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in multiple joint task forces and served on both the Jackson and Chicago SWAT teams targeting the most dangerous subjects of FBI investigations. He went on to lead the FBI’s Crisis Management Unit in Quantico, Virginia before serving as an assistant special agent in charge in Philadelphia from 2003-2007. During that time, Mr. Hosko was awarded the FBI’s Shield of Bravery for his actions during a violent ransom kidnapping. He was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and served as an inspector where Mr. Hosko conducted multiple serious and fatal shooting investigations involving FBI and associated law enforcement personnel and led a seminal 20 year review of FBI shooting incidents. Ron was promoted to serve as special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, overseeing all criminal and cyber cases in the FBI’s second largest field office. In 2012, he was asked to serve as assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, responsible for oversight of the organization’s largest program, worldwide. He brings to the LELDF a broad range of private and law enforcement partnerships as well as tremendous experience in the response to and management of critical incidents, having served in important roles at the Salt Lake City and Torino, Italy Olympics, World Cup, national political conventions, and events including the Oakdale Prison siege, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and many others.
Edwin Meese III, Director
(independent/voting member—January 1993 - Present)
Former Attorney General of the United States
Mr. Meese served as the seventy-fifth attorney general of the United States after serving as counselor to President Ronald Reagan functioning as the president’s chief policy adviser and had management responsibility for the administration of the Cabinet, policy development, and planning and evaluation. Formerly he served as Governor Reagan’s executive assistant, chief of staff and legal affairs secretary. Before joining Governor Reagan’s staff, Mr. Meese served as deputy district attorney of Alameda County, California and was a professor of law at the University of San Diego, where he was also director of the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management. In addition, Mr. Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industry and is author or coauthor of two books, With Reagan: The Inside Story(Regnery Gateway, 1992) and Leadership, Ethics and Policing (Prentice Hall, 2004). Mr. Meese is also a distinguished fellow and holder of the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; a regent emeritus of the National College of District Attorneys; and a member of the board of trustees of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He received a Bradley Prize in 2012.
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Director
(independent/voting member—February 2015 - Present)
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and Former Mayor of Cincinnati
The Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell join the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund in early 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Blackwell has enjoyed a vast and successful career, ranging from politics, education, and journalism. Mr. Blackwell began his political career as the mayor of Cincinnati (1979-80) and moved his way up through higher offices as the Ohio State Treasurer (1994-99) and Secretary of State (1999-2007), and eventually the federal level as the undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. As an author and writer, Mr. Blackwell is a best-selling author and editor for Townhall.com. His op-eds have been featured in newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. At various points in his career, Mr. Blackwell has been a fellow at Harvard University, the Heritage Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Salzburg Seminar, and Johns Hopkins University. He has also received honorary doctoral degrees from ten institutions.
Ken Cuccinelli, Director
(independent/voting member—February 2015 - Present
Former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Ken Cuccinelli earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, a J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law, and a M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. He later co-founded a general practice law firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Cuccinelli served in the Virginia State Senate from 2002 until 2009 when he was elected as Virginia’s Attorney General. As Attorney General, Cuccinelli actively defended the Commonwealth against federal government overreach. Such actions included filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, as well as seeking judicial review on the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health. Ken served on state commissions including the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Project, the Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking, and the Virginia Supreme Court Commission on Mental Health in the Justice System. Cuccinelli has been a strong conservative advocate for property rights, lower taxes, less government spending, the Second Amendment, and the pro-life movement. In 2013, Cuccinelli presented 23 local law agencies with a total of $4.2 million in grant funds from the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud settlement with Abbott Labs. The funds helped provide training for officers responding to crisis situations involving individuals suffering from mental illnesses. Supplementary monies were requested to be allotted to two underfunded retirement plans for law enforcement officers. As the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia in 2013, Cuccinelli received the endorsement of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, and over eighty additional law enforcement leaders. Ken Cuccinelli currently serves as president of the Senate Conservatives Fund. He and his wife, Teiro, live in Virginia with their seven children.
WM. Bradford Reynolds, Director
(Independent/voting member—January 1993 - Present)
Former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Bradford Reynolds is a Senior Counsel for the Antitrust and Competition practice at Baker Botts LLP, a full-service, leading international law firm. Prior to joining the firm, he severed as Counselor to the Attorney General, Assistant Solicitor General, in which he represented the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, and Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Rights Division, where he fought against reverse discrimination, quotas and similar policies, during the Reagan administration. Mr. Reynolds is also an accomplished appellate lawyer appearing in all 12 Circuit Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has argued 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Reynolds also served as an arbitrator for the International Court of Arbitration. He has extensive experience counseling clients on criminal and civil matters under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
David H. Martin (1939 - 2014)
LELDF Founder and Chairman
David H. Martin was the founder of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, an organization that provides assistance to police officers unfairly charged with a crime or a civil offense while acting in the line of duty, serving as its Chairman for more than 18 years. David passed away on March 28, 2014 after a three-year battle with cancer. Despite his struggles with this debilitating disease, he remained active in LELDF until almost the last day of his life.
David Martin founded LELDF in 1993 and built the organization into the most successful legal defense group for police officersin the country. Readers of the LELDF newsletter, With Justice for All, became familiar with Dave through his “From the Chairman” column. Few but the beleaguered officers themselves knew that Dave not only researched and recommended all the cases, but he got actively involved in nearly every one. He attended their trials, provided legal counsel and expert witnesses, advised the officers, consoled family members, and raised money for the defense teams.
The mission of LELDF is to provide legal assistance in court challenges to legitimate law enforcement activity. Over the past 20 years, LELDF has taken on dozens of cases of police officers who have been charged or sued for doing their job. The Board of Directors is committed to continue in this important objective despite the large void that has been created by the loss of our beloved chairman, Dave Martin.
Prior to founding LELDF, Dave Martin was President of the Legal Services Corporation, the government-funded entity that provides legal support to the poor; and the first Director of the Office of Government Ethics under President Ronald Reagan, a position he held for five years (1983-1988). From 1978-1983, he worked in a private law firm, where he handled many cases for the National Rifle Association. Dave was also Chief Counsel for the Secret Service, serving under President Richard Nixon during the Watergate era, and Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
Dave leaves behind his wife of 49 years, Carol Dianne (Briggs) Martin; two children, Jennifer Ruth, wife of Peter Minnelli; and Charles David Martin; and two grandchildren, Ruby and Marion Minnelli.
Dave’s final wish was that LELDF would carry forth its mission to serve our brave police officers. Dave was very grateful for all of LELDF’s donors, large and small, who have sustained our organization for the past 20 years, making it possible to come to the aid of so many officers in need. We are confident that we will be able to persevere if you continue to support our efforts. Thanks for being a loyal supporter LELDF—and for your thoughts and prayers for Dave and his family.
Alfred S. Regnery, Chairman
(voting member—January 1993 - Present)
Former Department of Justice Administrator
Mr. Regnery was named Chairman of LELDF after David Martin passed away in April 2014. He and Mr. Martin founded the organization in 1995 after organizing and managing the Stacey Koon Defense Fund, which paid for the defense of the principal arresting officer in the Los Angeles Rodney King case, and has served as a member of the board of directors of the organization since its inception. Mr. Regnery, a lawyer, practiced law in the Midwest and in Washington, D.C., and was Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1970s. During the Reagan Administration he served under Ed Meese at the United States Department of Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and was later named by President Reagan as Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He was president of Regnery Publishing, Inc., his family’s book publishing business, from 1986 until 2003, and president and publisher of the American Spectator magazine from 2003 until 2012. His military service was in the U.S. Coast Guard. He now serves on several non-profit and corporate boards.