Posts Tagged ‘Eastern District of North Carolina’
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

President Barack Obama has renominated two of his U.S. Attorney picks whom the Senate returned to him last year.

The nominees are S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Senate sent their nominations back to the president in December when the body failed to vote on the nominees before it adjourned, and Obama resubmitted their names Wednesday.

Here are more details on the nominees:

– Obama first tapped Marshall for Oregon U.S. Attorney on Nov. 17. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on her nomination.

S. Amanda Marshall (facebook)

She is the top lawyer in the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Marshall would replace Interim U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. President George W. Bush’s U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut resigned in July 2009 and later became a state judge.

Read more about Marshall here.

– Obama first nominated Walker on Nov. 30, 2009, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

He is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. Walker would replace U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, whom Bush appointed in 2006.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) held up Walker’s nomination over concerns about his connections to former Gov. Mike Easley (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D).

The U.S. Attorney’s office investigated Easley for allegedly filing a false campaign financial disclosure. The office terminated its investigation last month after he reached a plea deal.

Edwards is reportedly under investigation by the office for allegedly paying his mistress with campaign money.

Burr said he planned to lift his hold on Walker upon completion of both investigations. Read more about Walker here.

The nominations of Marshall and Walker, along with that of Felicia Adams for Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney, are Obama’s first U.S. Attorney nominations for the year. The Senate has confirmed 76 of his U.S. Attorneys thus far. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts across the nation.

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed by unanimous consent only one of five U.S. Attorney nominees waiting for consideration by the body in this Congress, returning the rest to the White House.

Christopher Thyer received the Senate’s approval to be the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Arkansas. But the Senate sent back to President Barack Obama U.S. Attorney nominees S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon, M. Scott Bowen of the Western District of Michigan, John B. Stevens Jr. of the Eastern District of Texas and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Obama must re-nominate the four if he wants the Senate to consider them in the next Congress, which convenes in January.

The Senate has now confirmed 76 U.S. Attorneys.

Here are more details on Thyer and the returned nominees:

– Obama nominated Thyer on Dec. 1 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The Senate Judiciary Committee never held a vote on his nomination.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

He is a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in Jonesboro and a former Arkansas state representative. Read more about him here.

The Eastern District has not had a presidential appointee at the helm since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of President George W. Bush’s adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since Griffin’s departure.

– Obama tapped Marshall for Oregon U.S. Attorney on Nov. 17. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on her nomination.

S. Amanda Marshall (facebook)

She is the top lawyer in the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Marshall was slated to replace Interim U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. Bush U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut resigned in July 2009 and later became a state judge.

Read more about Marshall here.

Scott Bowen (Gov)

– Obama nominated Bowen on July 28 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

He is the commissioner of the Michigan State Lottery Bureau. Bowen was slated to replace Donald A. Davis, who became Interim U.S. Attorney in 2008.

A Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney hasn’t led the office since Margaret Chiara resigned on March 16, 2007, after being fired in the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge by the Bush administration.Read more about Bowen here.

– Obama tapped Stevens on Feb. 24 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. But he withdrew from consideration a few months later, and the Senate Judiciary Committee never voted on his nomination.

Stevens told KFDM News in April that he withdrew because “what was in the best interests of me and my family 18 months ago has changed.”

John B. Stevens Jr. (Lamar University)

Stevens, a state judge in Texas, had the support of Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, in addition to the Texas House Democrats, who are led by Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

The members of Congress are engaged in a fierce battle over the state’s four U.S. Attorney nominations. Doggett and the Republican senators submitted separate lists of their picks to the White House.

Stevens and Michael McCrum were the only U.S. Attorney candidates who appeared on both lists. McCrum was recommended for the Western District of Texas U.S. Attorney nomination.

Obama never nominated him, and McCrum removed his name from consideration in October.

– Obama nominated Walker on Nov. 30, 2009, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

He is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. Walker was slated to replace U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, whom Bush appointed in 2006.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) held up his nomination over concerns about Walker’s connections to former Gov. Mike Easley (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D).

The U.S. Attorney’s office investigated Easley for allegedly filing a false campaign financial disclosure. The office terminated its investigation last month after he reached a plea deal.

Edwards is reportedly under investigation by the office for allegedly paying his mistress with campaign money.

Burr said he planned to lift his hold on Walker upon completion of both the probes. Read more about Walker here.

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) will hold up the U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of North Carolina, despite a previous report that he would not delay the confirmation process, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported today.

Richard Burr (Gov)

Richard Burr (Gov)

Senators can hold up a nominee from their state if they do not return a “blue slip” in favor of the nominee. The Republican senator will withhold a “blue slip” from the Senate Judiciary Committee for Eastern District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney nominee Thomas G. Walker — delaying action on the nomination.

Current U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, is overseeing federal probes into former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, who are both Democrats. Burr said he is worried about Walker’s ties to the two prominent Democrats.

“I believe Thomas Walker, who was nominated by the president to be Mr. Holding’s successor, is well-qualified to serve as U.S. attorney, and I support his nomination,” Burr said in a statement reported by The News & Observer. “It is clear, though, that political contributions made by Mr. Walker to the former North Carolina elected officials currently under investigation represent a conflict of interest, and would potentially require his recusal from those very investigations.”

The senator’s decision will take pressure off of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who has worked hard to avoid appearing as if she supports removing a Republican U.S. Attorney from his position overseeing investigations into prominent Democrats.

Hagan recommended Walker for the U.S. Attorney post in July. But she asked the White House to allow Holding to continue his oversight of the two federal investigations.

Since Walker was tapped last week, Hagan has had conversations about Holding’s tenure with Obama administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder. The Attorney General gave assurances to Hagan, but the White House has remained mum.

Burr said he will lift his hold on Walker when the probes are finished, according to the Raleigh-based newspaper.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) told Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday that she wants a U.S. Attorney who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration to continue his oversight of federal investigations into two high-profile Democrats, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported today. She had earlier said the same thing to the White House.

Kay Hagan (Kayhagan.com)

Kay Hagan (Kayhagan.com)

The Democratic senator recommended  Thomas G. Walker as the nominee for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in July. But she urged the White House to allow current U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding to continue his oversight of federal probes into former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, who are both Democrats, even after Walker is confirmed. The White House has remained quiet on Holding’s tenure since President Obama nominated Walker last week.

Hagan, who won a close election last year in her conservative state, has worked hard to not seem as though she backs removing Holding from his position overseeing the Easley and Edwards investigations.

Holder gave assurances to the North Carolina senator in a brief telephone conversation on Monday, according to the newspaper.

“The attorney general assured the senator that the Justice Department handles investigations based solely on their merit and without regard to the political affiliation of the U.S. attorney,” Justice Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz told The News & Observer.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas Walker (Baylor University, Campbell University School of Law) is nominated to replace George E. B. Holding as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

His vitals:

  • Born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1964.
  • Completed one year of a Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Has been a partner in the litigation and trial practice group at Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C., since August 2003.
  • Was special counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) in Raleigh, N.C., from July 2001 to July 2003.
  • Served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of North Carolina from August 1994 to June 2001.
  • Worked as a part-time instructor at the American Institute of Paralegal Studies in the spring and fall of 1992 and the spring of 1993.
  • Was the assistant district attorney in Charlotte, N.C.,-based Mecklenburg County DA’s office from September 1990 to July 1994.
  • Clerked for Van Winkle, Buck, Wall, Starnes & Davis, P.A. in Asheville, N.C., during the summer of 1989.
  • Worked as a part time law clerk for Whitney E. Fanning in Waco, Texas, during the summer of 1988.
  • Was an office assistant/runner at Tracy, Crumley & Holland in Fort Worth, Texas, from September 1986 to June 1987.
  • Worked as a camp counselor at Kanakuk/Kanakomo Kamps, Inc. in Branson, Mo., during the summer of 1986.
  • Has tried approximately 40 jury trials to verdict as assistant district attorney. Has tried approximately 15 cases to trial as Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Walker reported assets of $1.5 million. The majority of his assets are in his four properties including a personal residence valued at $425,000, a second residence valued at $250,000, a vacation residence valued at $310,000 and an undeveloped lot valued at $5,300. However, Walker still owes $658,300 on the properties and $6,100 in accounts and bills due. In total, Walker has liabilities of $664,400, resulting in a net worth of $873,800.

On his Office of Government Ethics disclosure he reported earning from Alston & Bird, LLP for 2008 and most of 2009 was $590,833. This includes his salary and bonuses.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Less than two weeks after their Nov. 30 nominations, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released questionnaires completed by the four would-be U.S. Attorneys.

Here they are:

  • Christopher A. Crofts, District of Wyoming. Click here.
  • Thomas Walker, Eastern District of North Carolina. Click here.
  • James L. Santelle, Eastern District of Wisconsin. Click here.
  • Barbara L. McQuade, Eastern District of Michigan. Click here.

The nominees’ questionnaires from the Office of Government Ethics have yet to be posted. We will update with the nominees’ financial information when it becomes available.

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) doesn’t plan to delay the confirmation of the U.S. Attorney nominee for his state’s Eastern district, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported Friday.

Richard Burr (Gov)

Richard Burr (Gov)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) recommended  Thomas G. Walker as the nominee for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in July. But she asked the White House to allow current U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, to continue his oversight of federal probes into former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, who are both Democrats.

President Obama nominated Walker last week, but the White House hasn’t spoken about whether Holding would be asked to remain to work on those cases after Walker is confirmed.

Hagan, who won a close election last year in her conservative state, has bent over backwards to avoid appearing as if she supports removing Holding from his position overseeing the Easley and Edwards investigations.

She can withhold a “blue slip” from the Senate Judiciary Committee for Walker — delaying action on the nomination — if the White House doesn’t want Holding to continue his work on the probes once Walker is confirmed. Senators can hold up a nominee from their state if they do not return a “blue slip” in favor of the nominee.

Hagan said in a conference call with reporters last week that she hasn’t thought about that option, according to the Raleigh newspaper. But, as for her Republican colleague Burr, he said he would not delay Senate action on the Democratic nominee.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said yesterday that the White House hasn’t told her whether it will allow a U.S. Attorney who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration to continue his work on two high profile investigations of North Carolina Democrats after a replacement chosen by President Barack Obama is confirmed by the Senate, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported last night.

Kay Hagan (Kayhagan.com)

Kay Hagan (Kayhagan.com)

The Democratic senator recommended  Thomas G. Walker as the nominee for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in July. But she urged the White House to allow current U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, to continue his oversight of federal probes into former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, who are both Democrats. The White House has remained mum on Holding’s tenure since Obama nominated Walker on Monday.

“I will continue to have those discussions,” Hagan told the newspaper in a weekly conference call with reporters. “I think Holding should complete his investigation.”

We reported yesterday that legal experts said Holding will likely continue his work on the probes until they are complete.

Hagan, who won a close election last year in her conservative state, has worked hard to avoid appearing as if she supports removing Holding from his position overseeing the Easley and Edwards investigations.

She can withhold a “blue slip” from the Senate Judiciary Committee for Walker — delaying action on the nomination — if the White House doesn’t want Holding to continue his oversight of the probes once Walker is confirmed. Senators can hold up a nominee from their state if they do not return a “blue slip” in favor of the nominee.

According to the Raleigh newspaper, Hagan said in the conference call that she hasn’t thought about that option.

“Right now, I’d have to go and see how that process is done,” Hagan told reporters. “But I do not think I will, uh, I’m not going to comment on that right now. Let’s leave that one for another day.”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

The White House is keeping quiet on whether it will allow a U.S. Attorney who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration to continue his work on two high profile investigations of North Carolina Democrats after a replacement chosen by Barack Obama is confirmed by the Senate, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported today.

George E.B. Holding (DOJ)

George E.B. Holding (DOJ)

President Obama on Monday tapped lawyer Thomas G. Walker to succeed George E.B. Holding, as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Holding is overseeing federal probes of former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, who are both Democrats.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) recommended Walker for the post, but asked the White House to keep Holding at the Raleigh-based U.S. Attorney’s office to complete work on the investigations even after his replacement is confirmed by the Senate. The White House declined to comment to the newspaper on the matter.

Legal experts told The News & Observer that Holding will likely continue his work on the probes until they are complete.

“If there’s resistance, [Hagan] could put a hold on [the Walker nomination.] But that’s just awkward,” Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who studies the Justice Department, told the newspaper. From Hagan’s point of view, he said, “It’s your president, and your suggestion for the nominee. But I think maybe the White House and the Justice Department would be flexible about that, if that’s what she wants.”

Holding, who has been U.S. Attorney since 2006, refused to acknowledge the existence of the probes in an interview with The News & Observer. The newspaper said he didn’t seem concerned about leaving office.

“It is the president’s choice,” Holding told The News & Observer.

We reported last month that Holding didn’t seem eager to step down from his post. He attended a meeting of the conservative Federalist Society in November and expressed concern about the direction President Obama is taking the judiciary.

Monday, November 30th, 2009

President Obama nominated U.S. Attorneys for Wyoming, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Eastern District of Michigan today. They are:

  • Christopher A. Crofts (Wyoming): Gov. David Freudenthal’s legal counsel since 2006 previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 16 years. He would replace Bush holdover Kelly Rankin, who has headed the office since 2008.
  • James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal).

    James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal).

    James L. Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin):  The Assistant U.S. Attorney has served in his current role since 1985. While working in the office he simultaneously has had stints as  principal deputy director for the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, civil division chief for the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Michigan and a Justice Department attaché. He would replace Steven Biskupic who was appointed U.S. Attorney by Bush 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 to join the Milwaukee law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich as a litigator.

  • Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

    Thomas G. Walker (Alston & Bird)

    Thomas G. Walker (Eastern District of North Carolina): The partner at Alston & Bird, LLP has been with the firm since 2003. He previously served as special counsel to North Carolina attorney general Roy A. Cooper, III,  an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina and an assistant district attorney for Mecklenburg County, N.C. Walker would replace Bush holdover George E. B. Holding. Holding is overseeing federal probes of two prominent Democrats: Former Gov. Mike Easley and two-time presidential candidate, ex-Sen. John Edwards.

  • Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE).

    Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE).

    Barbara L. McQuade (Eastern District of Michigan): The Assistant U.S. Attorney has served in her role for 11 years. Simultaneously she has served as deputy chief of the national security unit since 2005. McQuade previously was an associate at Butzel Long, P.C. She would replace Stephen J. Murphy who became U.S. Attorney in 2006. In 2008 he became a federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan.

Obama has now made a total of 34 U.S. Attorney nominations. The full Senate has considered 24 of those nominees and they were all confirmed by unanimous consent.

Ryan Reilly contributed to this report.