North Dakota U.S. Attorney Nominee Under Fire
By Stephanie Woodrow | February 28, 2010 11:06 pm

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

President Barack Obama has come under fire for his nomination of Tim Purdon for North Dakota U.S. Attorney, with some critics saying the prominent Democrat received the nomination for his party allegiance rather than his experience, Fox News reported Saturday.

Critics say that Purdon was chosen over more-qualified candidates due to his political connections. Purdon — who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party from February 2006 until his resignation earlier this month — has no prosecutorial experience. Read about his full background here.

Bill Brudvik, who had been a candidate for the job, initially criticized Obama for the nomination of Purdon in an interview with the Fargo Forum, but on Saturday he declined comment to Fox News. “I’ve said way too much,” Brudvik told Fox.

Others who were under consideration for the job were Jasper Schneider, a state representative and Fargo attorney; Janice Morley, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Fargo; and Rebecca Thiem, an attorney with Zuger Kirmis & Smith in Bismarck.

Scott Hennen, a conservative commentator in North Dakota, blasted Purdon’s political connections and his background as a criminal defense attorney, Fox News reported.

“Talk about the fox guarding the hen house,” he wrote on his Web site. “Looks like Purdon’s lifetime service to the Democrats — raising mega bucks for big government-loving tax-hiking liberals — is getting rewarded.”

Purdon has the support of his state’s delegation.

Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, in a statement, called Purdon an “outstanding choice.”

“He is well respected and an example of how dedication, education and hard work pay off. He has a distinguished record and has proven his ability to enforce the law with conviction and courage,” Pomeroy added. “We are confident he will make a fine U.S. attorney, upholding the Constitution and protecting all North Dakotans.”

In a written statement to Fox News, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) also defended Purdon.

“Tim Purdon is a talented attorney with a distinguished legal record. As has been stated previously, Senator Conrad has complete confidence in Mr. Purdon’s ability to enforce the law and serve the people of North Dakota,” Conrad wrote.

If confirmed, Purdon would replace Drew Wrigley, who was the district’s U.S. Attorney from 2001 until Sept. 11, 2009. The district’s current acting U.S. Attorney is Lynn C. Jordheim.

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One Comment

  1. LetsBeFair says:

    In fairness, it should be noted that Purdon’s predecessor as U.S. Attorney was Drew Wrigley. Wrigley, who covers for “conservative commentator Scott Hennen” on Hennen’s hyper-right-wing talk radio show sometimes, had an even more partisan background and even less experience when appointed. Sure, Wrigley had a few months of prosecuting traffic violators, but he had never handled a federal trial or a federal appeal. After departing the traffic prosecutors’ office, he worked, briefly, for a fraternity buddy of his who ran a state workers comp agency. He left that job under curious circumstances. His next jobs were as his state’s Republican Party executive director and general counsel working in a Republican Governor’s office. His biggest claim to fame, though, was that he was among the herd of young lawyers who went to Florida to stop the ballot counting during the Bush vs. Gore debacle.

    Watching Hennen and Faux News criticizing Purdon is like watching a freight-train full of pots call a kettle “black.”

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