Over the holiday week, five U.S. Attorneys were sworn in. They are:
- James L. Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin): The former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin was sworn in this morning. He was confirmed Dec. 24. Santelle replaces Bush appointee Steven Biskupic. Biskupic was appointed U.S. Attorney in May 2002. In 2007, Biskupic and his office came under review by congressional investigators looking into the dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. He resigned in January 2009 to join the Milwaukee law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich as a litigator.
- Beth Phillips (Western District of Missouri): The former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri was sworn in Dec. 31. She was confirmed Dec. 24. Phillips replaces Bush appointee John Wood. Wood headed the office from 2007 to 2009 before resigning in February to join the D.C. office of a leading Wall Street law firm as a partner.
- Mike Cotter (District of Montana): The private practice attorney was sworn in Dec. 30. He was confirmed Dec. 24. Cotter replaces controversial Bush appointee William Mercer, who had held the post since 2001. Mercer wore two hats at DOJ, serving as U.S. Attorney and as Acting Associate Attorney General from September 2006 to June 2007. At DOJ headquarters, he assisted in the politicized firings of other U.S. Attorneys, congressional investigators found. A federal judge and leading Democrats in Montana had called for his resignation.
- Sanford Coats (Western District of Oklahoma): The former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Oklahoma was sworn in Dec. 30. He was confirmed Dec. 24. Coats replaces John C. Richter, who was named to head the office on an interim basis in 2005 and confirmed by the Senate in 2006. Richter resigned in August to teach law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
- Barbara McQuade (Eastern District of Michigan): The former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan was sworn in today. She was confirmed Dec. 24. McQuade replaces Stephen J. Murphy who became U.S. Attorney in 2006. In 2008 he became a federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan.