The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two U.S. Attorney nominees by voice vote Thursday morning.
– Wifredo Ferrer (Southern District of Florida): The assistant Dade County, Fla., attorney and deputy chief of staff to then-Attorney General Janet Reno would succeed R. Alexander Acosta, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney last summer. Ferrer was nominated on Feb. 24. Read more about the nominee here.
– William Nettles (South Carolina): The attorney at the Columbia, S.C., law firm of Sanders & Nettles LLC would succeed W. Walter Wilkins III, who resigned as U.S. Attorney earlier this month. Nettles was tapped on Dec. 22. Read more about him here.
The panel has now approved 38 U.S. Attorney nominees, 36 of whom have already won Senate confirmation. The committee has yet to schedule votes for another 18 would-be U.S. Attorneys.
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A former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno is expected to be nominated as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, The Miami Herald reports.
Wifredo Ferrer, who currently is an assistant Dade County, Fla., attorney, reportedly is undergoing a final FBI review before the nomination is made. If nominated and confirmed, Ferrer, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, would be the fourth lawyer of Cuban descent to be the U.S. Attorney in Miami, though only the first nominated by a Democratic president.
The last Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney in Miami, R. Alexander Acosta, became the dean of Miami’s Florida International University law school on July 1. Since then, veteran prosecutor Jeffrey Sloman has been running the office on an acting basis.
Reno praised her former aide in an interview with the Herald.
“First of all, he understood better than anybody I’ve worked with how the federal government works with local and state governments,” Reno said, adding, “If I wanted to write the book about how to be the U.S. attorney, Willy would be one of my models.”
John Hogan, Reno’s former chief of staff, told the newspaper: “When you look at the power of the U.S. attorney and that office, it’s essential that someone with a good moral compass heads it.” Hogan told The Miami Herald he encouraged Ferrer early on to pursue the position.
Ferrer was one of three finalists for the office. The others were former Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Buckner of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton in Miami; and Daryl E. Trawick, a Dade County, Fla. Circuit Court judge who stirred controversy by keeping a non-public secret docket at the request of state prosecutors to shield a drug informant.