Posts Tagged ‘Eastern District of Wisconsin’
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Former U.S. Attorneys in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado won elections Tuesday night for state attorney general, while a fourth former Justice Department lawyer, Dan Gelber, lost the race for Florida Attorney General to his Republican opponent.

Martin Jackley

With all precincts reporting, Republican Marty Jackley, who was South Dakota U.S. Attorney from 2006 to 2009, stayed on as his state’s attorney general with 67 percent of the vote. His challenger, Democrat Ron Volesky, a former state senator, received 33 percent of the vote.

Jackley resigned as U.S. Attorney in September 2009, when South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) appointed him to serve out the remainder of former Attorney General Larry Long’s term. Rounds had tapped Long for a state judgeship.

J.B. Van Hollen

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Republican J.B. Van Hollen, who was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 2002 to 2006, was reelected as his state’s attorney general with 58 percent of the vote. His opponent, Democrat Scott Hassett, the former state Department of Natural Resources Secretary, received 42 percent of the vote.

Van Hollen won his first election for attorney general in 2006, after stepping down as U.S. Attorney.

Although the Associated Press and Denver Post have not yet called the race for Attorney General in Colorado, Republican John Suthers appears poised to win reelection.

John Suthers (gov)

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Suthers, who was Colorado U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2005, secured roughly 57 percent of the vote. His challenger, Democrat Stan Garnett, the district attorney in Boulder County, received 43 percent of ballots cast.

Suthers first became Colorado Attorney General after Gov. Bill Owens (R) appointed him to the post in 2005 to fill out the remainder of former Attorney General Ken Salazar’s term. Salazar was elected to the Senate in 2004. Suthers was first elected to a full term as the state’s Attorney General in 2006.

Dan Gelber (gov)

In the Florida race, Gelber, who was a Southern District of Florida Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1986 to 1994, received 41 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting. His opponent, Republican Pam Bondi, a former state prosecutor, won 55 percent of the vote.

Former U.S. Attorney Lenny Rapadas of Guam also won his territory’s Attorney General election. He led the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands from 2003 until earlier this year.

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

James Santelle (DOJ)

Attorney General Eric Holder is slated to be on hand Wednesday for the ceremonial investiture for the Eastern District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney.

Milwaukee-based U.S. Attorney James Santelle was officially sworn in January. But U.S. Attorneys usually have a ceremonial investiture later on, with local, state and federal leaders in attendance.

Holder has attended 11 U.S. Attorney swearing in ceremonies so far.

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Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has cleared a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in its investigation into the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings, according to a DOJ letter sent to members of Congress this week.

Steven M. Biskupic (Marquette University)

The DOJ’s internal watchdog concluded after two years that politics did not motivate former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic to order the prosecution of a career state official, who was accused of directing contracts to a firm with connections to Democratic Party officials.

Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin procurement official, was convicted but her case was dismissed by a federal appeals court. One appeals court judge said the prosecutors’ evidence in the case was “beyond thin.”

The prosecution came as the Bush administration fired nine U.S. Attorneys. The case got the attention of Democrats who questioned whether Biskupic was currying favor with the Bush administration.

“OPR found no evidence that Mr. Biskupic was ever told his job was in jeopardy and no evidence that department personnel involved in the decision to remove certain United States Attorneys knew anything about the Thompson investigation,” Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote in a letter (below) to members of the House Judiciary Committee. “Accordingly, OPR concluded that Mr. Biskupic did not breach any professional obligation in this matter, but rather, acted appropriately under the circumstances.”

Biskupic, a partner at the Michael Best & Friedrich LLP law firm in Milwaukee, told the Wall Street Journal that “the letter speak[s] for itself.”

“I spent almost 20 years in the department,” he said. “I remain proud of the work I did under multiple administrations.”

Conyers Reply Letter Re Biskupic

Monday, January 4th, 2010

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.
Mike Cotter
Thursday, December 24th, 2009

In a wrap-up session just before leaving town until next year,  the Senate today confirmed seven U.S. Attorneys by voice vote.

They are:

Richard Callahan (Gov)

Richard Callahan (Gov)

- Richard Callahan (Eastern District of Missouri): The state circuit judge in Missouri succeeds Catherine L. Hanaway, who resigned earlier this year. He was nominated for the post in October. Read more about Callahan here.

- Sanford Coats (Western District of Oklahoma): Coats, who been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the western Oklahoma office, succeeds John Richter, who stepped down in August. Coats was nominated on Sept. 30. Read more about Coats here.

- Michael Cotter (Montana): The Helena, Mont., lawyer replaces Bill Mercer, who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration. Obama nominated Cotter for U.S. Attorney on Sept. 25, after the live-in girlfriend of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) withdrew from consideration. As the state’s senior Democratic senator, Baucus had recommended three candidates to the White House. Read more about Cotter here.

- Christopher Crofts (Wyoming): The counsel to Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) replaces Bush holdover Kelly Rankin. He was nominated on Nov. 30. Read more about Crofts here.

Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE)

Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE)

- Barbara McQuade (Eastern District of Michigan): The Eastern District of Michigan Assistant U.S. Attorney succeeds Stephen J. Murphy, who resigned in 2008. She was nominated on Nov. 30. Read more about her here.

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

- James Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin): Santelle, who has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District office, succeeds Steven Biskupic, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in January. Obama tapped Santelle for the post on Nov. 30. Read more about Santelle here.

- Mary Elizabeth Phillips (Western District of Missouri): Phillips, who was nominated Sept. 30, succeeds John Wood, who resigned in February. Read more about Phillips here.

The Senate has now confirmed 31 U.S. Attorneys. The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to schedule votes votes for another 10 would-be U.S. Attorneys, including the nominees Obama tapped today and last Tuesday. One of Obama’s nominees, Stephanie Villafuerte of Colorado, withdrew from consideration two weeks ago.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed four U.S. Attorney nominees this morning by voice vote.

They are:

Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE)

Barbara L. McQuade (ICLE)

-Barbara McQuade (Eastern District of Michigan): The Eastern District of Michigan Assistant U.S. Attorney would succeed Stephen J. Murphy, who resigned in 2008. She was nominated on Nov. 30. Read more about her here.

-Christopher Crofts (Wyoming): The counsel to Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) would replace Bush holdover Kelly Rankin. He was nominated on Nov. 30. Read more about Crofts here.

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

-James Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin): The Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney would succeed Steven Biskupic, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in January. President Barack Obama tapped Santelle for the post on Nov. 30. Read more about Santelle here.

-Michael Cotter (Montana): The Helena, Mont., lawyer would replace Bill Mercer, who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration. Obama nominated Cotter for U.S. Attorney on Sept. 25, after the live-in girlfriend of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) withdrew from consideration. As the state’s senior Democratic senator, Baucus had recommended candidates to the White House. Read more about the nominee here.

The panel has now approved 31 U.S. Attorney nominees, including the 24 U.S. Attorneys who have won Senate confirmation thus far. The committee has yet to schedule votes for another two would-be U.S. Attorneys.

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote Thursday on two more U.S. Attorney nominees, according to the panel’s Web site.

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

James L. Santelle (Wisconsin Law Journal)

They are:

-James Santelle (Eastern District of Wisconsin): The Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney would succeed Steven Biskupic, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in January. President Barack Obama tapped Santelle for the post on Nov. 30. Read more about Santelle here.

-Michael Cotter (Montana): The Helena, Mont., lawyer would replace Bill Mercer, who is a holdover from the George W. Bush administration. Obama nominated Cotter for U.S. Attorney on Sept. 25, after the live-in girlfriend of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) withdrew from consideration. As the state’s senior Democratic senator, Baucus had recommended candidates to the White House. Read  more about the nominee here.

The committee will also consider U.S. Attorney nominees Barbara McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan and Christopher Crofts for Wyoming at its Thursday meeting.

The panel has approved 27 U.S. Attorney nominees, including the 24 U.S. Attorneys who have won Senate confirmation thus far. The committee has yet to schedule votes for another three would-be U.S. Attorneys.