Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Attorney nominations’
Saturday, January 8th, 2011

This story has been corrected.

The White House is prepared to announce nominees for most of the remaining U.S. Attorney positions that haven’t yet been filled in the Barack Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday.

Speaking with Main Justice Editor-in-Chief Mary Jacoby in his 5th floor conference room, Holder said vetting is complete on most of the positions, including a replacement for controversial Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, a George W. Bush appointee who has held onto her job for two years under Obama.

Holder also said three U.S. Attorney nominees who were returned to the White House in December after the Senate failed to act on them before adjourning will be renominated. The returned U.S. Attorney nominees were S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon, M. Scott Bowen of the Western District of Michigan and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. John B. Stevens Jr. of the Eastern District of Texas, who was also returned, removed his name from consideration.

The U.S. Attorney positions where no nominee has been announced are in the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, Utah, Northern District of Oklahoma, and three other districts in Texas.

Down in Alabama, Canary drew the ire of many Democrats for what they perceived to be a politically motivated prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D).

The White House vetted and then dropped at least two other candidates for the Canary’s job – Michel Nicrosi, who went on to run unsuccessfully last year for Alabama attorney general; and defense attorney Joe Van Heest of Montgomery. Push-back from Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who backed another candidate, was a factor that slowed down the process.

“I expect we’ll have an announcement,” Holder said of Canary’s replacement.

The nomination process was similarly gummed up in Mississippi, where a slew of candidates in the Republican stronghold were considered and dropped; and in Utah, where career prosecutor David Schwendiman was recommended to Obama by Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson but was dropped from consideration without explanation.

The most difficult state to fill has been Texas, where Republican Sen. John Cornyn has been in a fight with Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett over control of the recommendation process. By tradition, a state’s senators recommend candidates to the White House. But when both senators in a state are from the opposite party of the president,  the state’s Democratic House members can hold sway.

Although Texas is one of the most populous states in the nation, Obama has been unable to break the partisan impasse there, and two years into his term, none of the four districts has a Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney.

Holder blamed the slow nominating process on a variety of factors. At first, some senators moved slowly in making recommendations to the White House, and then the Senate often failed to act on nominees for months once they were made.

Holder also acknowledged that the White House also wasn’t as swift in making nominations as it could have been, while some critics said the administration was showing too much deference to Republicans in making choices. “That’s been dealt with now,” Holder said.

The top federal prosecuting jobs in two territories also don’t have Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys. Ronald W. Sharpe, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was appointed by a court in 2009 to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Virgin Islands; and Rosa E. Rodriguez-Velez is the non-Senate confirmed U.S. Attorney in Puerto Rico.

This story has been corrected to reflect that three, not four of the U.S. Attorney nominees who were returned to the White House in December after the Senate failed to act on them before adjourning will be renominated. U.S. Attorney nominee John B. Stevens Jr. of the Eastern District of Texas, whom the Senate returned to the White House in December, removed his name from consideration.

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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.

Friday, December 10th, 2010
Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

The Senate on Friday confirmed three U.S. Attorney nominees by unanimous consent.

They are:

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): Of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Oberly was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

William Conner Eldridge Jr. (Western District of Arkansas): The special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark., and former chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas was nominated on Sept. 29 to succeed Robert Balfe, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in January 2009. Read more about Eldridge here.

The Senate has now confirmed 75 U.S. Attorneys. The chamber has yet to consider another four would-be U.S. Attorneys, who are still waiting for consideration by the full Senate. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts located throughout the nation.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Amanda Marshall (facebook)

Amanda Marshall (University  of Oregon, Willamette  University  College  of Law) is nominated to be the Oregon U.S. Attorney. She would replace Karin Immergut, who served as the district’s U.S. Attorney from October 2003 to July 2009, when she was appointed to be a a circuit court judge for Multnomah County, Ore. Dwight C. Holton currently heads the district.

Her vitals:

  • Born in Washington, D.C., in 1969.
  • Earned a certificate  in alternative dispute resolution from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., in May 1995.
  • Attended East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai for a month-long summer  program in July 2003.
  • Spent the spring of 1989 at Le Petite Adret  University in  Villard De Lans, France.
  • Attended Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore. during the 1988-1989 school year.
  • Attended the College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif.,during the 1987-1988 school year.
  • Has worked for the Oregon Department of Justice since 2001. Has been the attorney in charge of the child advocacy section since June 2010. Was the assistant attorney in charge of the child advocacy section from July 2008-June 2010. Was the assistant attorney general of the family law section from October 2001-July  2008.
  • Worked as an assistant instructor at Southwestern  Oregon  Community  College in Coos Bay, Ore., from 1998-1999.
  • Was the Coos County deputy district attorney from 1996-2001.
  • Worked for the Confederated  Tribes  of Grand Ronde from 1994-1996 as a tribal court clerk from 1994-1995 and assisting the gaming commission in 1996.
  • Has tried more than 100 cases to a jury verdict as sole counsel, another 20 to the court and served as co-counsel in at least five jury  trials  that went to verdict.

Click here for her full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On her Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Marshall reported $860,000 in assets, mostly from real estate, and liabilities of $358,000, for a net worth of $502,000. Her real estate holdings include a personal residence, vacation home and trailer house. On her Office of Government Ethics disclosure Marshall reported her income from her Oregon Justice Department job for 2009 and half of 2010 as $165,300.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

Christopher R. Thyer (Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas School of Law) is nominated to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He would replace Tim Griffin, who served as the district’s interim U.S. Attorney from December 2006 to June 2007. Jane Duke, who had been First Assistant U.S. Attorney, has led the office since December 2007.

His vitals:

  • Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1969.
  • Has been a partner/owner of Stanley  & Thyer,  P.A. in  Jonesboro,  Ark., since January 2007.
  • Has been a member/owner of Stanley- Thyer  Real Estate  Investments,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., since May 2008.
  • Was a partner/member of Halsey  & Thyer,  PLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., from October  2005 to January  2007.
  • Has been a member of Precision Partners,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., since September 2005.
  • Was a member of Precision Title  Services,  LLC in Paragould,  Ark., from December  2004 to July 2006.
  • Served in the Arkansas House  of Representatives from January 2003 to January  2009.
  • Owned Solon, Inc. in Jonesboro,  Ark., from January  2003 to May 2004.
  • Was a member/owner of Halsey- Thyer  Real Estate  Investments,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., from October  2002 to May 2008.
  • Was a partner/owner of Mooney Law Firm,  P.A. in Jonesboro,  Ark., from June  1997 to October  2005.
  • Was an adjunct teacher at the Arkansas  State University in Jonesboro,  Ark. during the fall of 1996.
  • Owned Christopher  R. Thyer,  P.A. in Jonesboro,  Ark. from August 1995 to June  1997.
  • Clerked for Ball & Mourton,  PLLC in Fayetteville,  Ark., during the summer and fall of 1994.
  • Clerked for Womack,  Landis,  Phelps,  McNeill  & McDaniel (now Womack, Landis, Phelps & McNeill) in Jonesboro,  Ark., during the summer of 1993.
  • Has handled an estimated 300 non-settled  trials to conclusion.

Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Thyer reported $1.4 million in assets, mostly from real estate, and liabilities of $782,800, for a net worth of $613,800. His $1.14 million in real estate holdings include his personal residence, a condo, a strip mall and his law office. He has mortgages for all of the properties. Oh his Office of Government Ethics disclosure he reported his income distribution from his law firm for 2009 and most of 2010 was $272,804. He also earned $6,631 during that time period from his ownership of a strip mall.

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced his nomination of a former Arkansas state representative to be the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, two weeks after the White House apparently inadvertently released his name.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

A White House news release on Nov. 17 listed Christopher R. Thyer as a U.S. Attorney nominee, but the White House quickly withdrew it, indicating it had been issued in error.

The first announcement didn’t have the standard biographical information on him. The news release from Wednesday does.

Thyer, a Democrat, who represented Jonesboro, Ark., in the state legislature, is a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in the city.

He’s been waiting a long time for this moment.

In May 2009, Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Democrats, recommended Thyer and two others be considered to lead the Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office.

The senators also recommended Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward O. Walker and Michael Barnes, a partner at the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP for the post. But with no action from the White House for more than a year, Barnes removed himself from consideration in August.

The Eastern District has not had a presidential appointee in charge since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of George W. Bush 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.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved three U.S. Attorney nominees by voice vote at its meeting Thursday.

They are:

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): The of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

William Conner Eldridge Jr. (Western District of Arkansas): The special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark., and former chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas was nominated on Sept. 29 to succeed Robert Balfe, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in January 2009. Read more about Eldridge here.

The committee has now endorsed 75 of Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, 72 of whom have won Senate confirmation. The panel has yet to consider another two would-be U.S. Attorneys. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

A former Arkansas state representative was the U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of Arkansas for about 40 minutes Wednesday night.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

A White House news release at 6:39 p.m. listed Christopher R. Thyer as one of President Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, but didn’t include the standard biographical information on him. Then, at 7:17 p.m., the White House issued a correction, saying S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon was the only U.S. Attorney nominee Wednesday night.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Main Justice.

Thyer, a Democrat, who represented Jonesboro in the state legislature, is currently a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in the city.

In May 2009, Democratic Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor recommended Thyer for the Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney nomination. The senators also recommended Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward O. Walker and Michael Barnes, a partner at the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP for the post. Barnes took himself out of the running for the Little Rock-based job in August.

The Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s Office 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 George W. Bush 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.

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a pair of U.S. Attorney nominees at its meeting Thursday.

They are:

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

Charles M. Oberly III (Drinker Biddle)

-- Charles Oberly (Delaware): The of counsel to Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP was nominated on Sept. 16 to succeed Colm Connolly, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Oberly here.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

Ripley Rand (Middle District of North Carolina): The North Carolina Superior Court judge was tapped on July 28 to succeed Anna Mills S. Wagoner, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August. Read more about him here and here.

The panel will also consider Western District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney nominee William Conner Eldridge Jr. at its meeting.

The committee has yet to schedule votes for another two would-be U.S. Attorneys. The committee has approved 72 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, all of whom have won Senate confirmation.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to consider the nominee to lead the Western District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s Office at its Nov. 18 meeting.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

President Barack Obama nominated William Conner Eldridge Jr. on Sept. 29 to replace Deborah J. Groom, who has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Robert Balfe in January 2009.

Eldridge was the chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas before he stepped down this year. He is currently a special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark. Read more about him here.

The panel has yet to schedule votes for another four would-be U.S. Attorneys. The committee has approved 72 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, all of whom have won Senate confirmation.