Posts Tagged ‘North Dakota’
Friday, January 21st, 2011

Two federal prosecutors are among a long list of names being mentioned as possible candidates to replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

One of the names being circulated is current North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon. Purdon took over the U.S. Attorney’s office Aug. 5, 2010, after working in the private sector at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D. He also has worked at the Bismarck firm of Dickson & Purdon (now Dickson Law Office). The federal prosecutor came under fire during the confirmation process.

Republican critics said President Barack Obama chose Purdon 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 — had no prosecutorial experience. Read about his full background here.

Drew Wrigley (DOJ)

Another possible candidate is ex-U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley. Wright was nominated by President George W. Bush and headed the North Dakota office until Sept. 13, 2009. He resigned to become the vice president of Fargo-based Noridian Administrative Services, which helps businesses with information management and customer service.

Last year, Wrigley was mentioned as a possible candidate to replace retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.). However, there is speculation he might rather run for governor in 2012.

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010

A former North Dakota U.S. Attorney will hold a key position in the administration of the state’s next governor, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported Thursday.

Drew Wrigley (DOJ)

Drew Wrigley, who served as U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2009, will be the next North Dakota lieutenant governor. Governor-designate Jack Dalrymple (R) said he named Wrigley to the post because of his knowledge of the state government and legislative process.

“I think he’s very strong on policy and, of course, he brings a very important strength in having the experience working with the federal government and federal policy,” Dalrymple told the newspaper. “He really pretty much rings all the bells [and], as far as I’m concerned, is exactly what you’re looking for in a lieutenant governor.”

Wrigley served as the executive director of the state’s Republican Party and as an attorney for the North Dakota Workers Compensation Bureau, before his tenure as U.S. Attorney. He was a vice president at Noridian Administrative Services LLC, a medical services company in Fargo, after he left the Justice Department.

The former U.S. Attorney will begin his new job in December.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The Senate confirmed six U.S. Attorneys by voice vote Thursday night.

They are:

Stephen Wigginton (Weilmuenster & Wigginton PC)

- Stephen R. Wigginton (Southern District of Illinois): President Barack Obama tapped the partner and co-owner of the Weilmuenster & Wigginton PC law firm in Belleville, Ill., on April 14 to replace George W. Bush holdover A. Courtney Cox, who headed the Fairview Heights, Ill.-based office since November 2007. Read more about Wigginton here.

- Edward L. Stanton III (Western District of Tennessee): The president nominated the Federal Express senior counsel on April 14 to succeed David Kustoff, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in 2008. Read more about Stanton here.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

- Tim Purdon (North Dakota): The partner at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D., would succeed Drew Wrigley, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Sept. 2009. Obama nominated him on Feb. 4. The president has been criticized for tapping Purdon, who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and has no prosecutorial experience. Read more about Purdon here.

John Walsh (Hill & Robbins)

- John F. Walsh (Colorado): The partner at Hill & Robbins PC will succeed Troy Eid, who resigned as U.S. Attorney last year. President Barack Obama nominated Walsh on April 14. Read more about him here.

Stephanie Villafuerte, the deputy chief of staff to Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) for community outreach, was Obama’s first nominee for the Colorado post. But she withdrew her nomination after Republicans alleged she asked employees of the Denver district attorney’s office to access a restricted government database in connection with the 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

- John Vaudreuil (Western District of Wisconsin): Assistant U.S. Attorney in the office since 1980 will succeed Erik C. Peterson, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in June 2009. Obama tapped Vaudreuil on May 27. Read more about him here.

- William Ihlenfeld II (Northern District of West Virginia): The partner at Ihlenfeld Law Office, PLLC, in Wheeling, W.Va., will replace acting U.S. Attorney Betsy Jividen. She has led the office since former U.S. Attorney Sharon L. Potter stepped down in September 2009. The president nominated Ihlenfeld on May 27. Read more about Ihlenfeld here.

UPDATE:

The Senate also confirmed three other U.S. Attorneys by voice vote Thursday night.

They are:

- Melinda Haag (Northern District of California): The partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe will replace George W. Bush U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello. President Barack Obama nominated her on March 25. Read more about her here.

Barry R. Grissom (Law Office of Barry R. Grissom)

- Barry R. Grissom (Kansas): The Overland Park, Kan., lawyer will succeed Eric Melgren, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in 2008. Obama tapped him on April 28. Read more about him here.

David Hickton (Burns, White and Hickton)

– David J. Hickton (Western District of Pennsylvania): The founding member of Burns, White & Hickton LLC will succeed Mary Beth Buchanan, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in November 2009 to run for the House. But she didn’t win the Republican nomination in the race for the Western Pennsylvania seat held by Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. Obama nominated Hickton on May 20. Read more about him here.

The Senate has now confirmed 66 U.S. Attorneys.  The body has yet to consider another 8 would-be U.S. Attorneys nominated by Obama. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote the nomination of the North Dakota U.S. Attorney at its meeting Tuesday.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

The panel initially scheduled a vote on U.S. Attorney nominee Tim Purdon on June 24. But his nomination was held over at the request of committee Republicans. Panel members can request to hold over a nominee one time.

Purdon is a partner at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D. President Barack Obama nominated him on Feb. 4 to succeed Drew Wrigley, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Sept. 2009. Obama has been criticized for tapping Purdon, who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and has no prosecutorial experience.

Read more about Purdon here.

The panel has now approved 60 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, 57 of whom have won Senate confirmation. The committee has yet to schedule votes for another 14 would-be U.S. Attorneys. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the nomination of the North Dakota U.S. Attorney again at its meeting Tuesday.

The panel did not vote on U.S. Attorney nominee Tim Purdon on June 24 at the request of committee Republicans. Panel members can request to hold over a nominee one time.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

Purdon is a partner at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D. President Barack Obama nominated him on Feb. 4 to succeed Drew Wrigley, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Sept. 2009. Obama has been criticized for tapping Purdon, who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and has no prosecutorial experience.

Read more about Purdon here.

The committee has yet to schedule votes for another 14 would-be U.S. Attorneys.  The panel has approved 59 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, 57 of whom have won Senate confirmation. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

The committee is also scheduled to vote on the nominations of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court and James Cole for Deputy Attorney General Tuesday. The nominees were held over from the committee’s meeting this week at the request of panel Republicans.

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote two more of President Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees at its meeting Thursday.

They are:

Stephen Wigginton (Weilmuenster & Wigginton PC)

- Stephen R. Wigginton (Southern District of Illinois): Obama tapped the partner and co-owner of the Weilmuenster & Wigginton PC law firm in Belleville, Ill., on April 14 to replace George W. Bush holdover A. Courtney Cox, who has headed the Fairview Heights, Ill.-based office since November 2007. Read more about Wigginton here.

- Edward L. Stanton III (Western District of Tennessee): The president nominated the Federal Express senior counsel on April 14 to succeed David Kustoff, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in 2008. Read more about Stanton here.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

The panel delayed consideration of North Dakota U.S. Attorney nominee Tim Purdon until its next meeting. Committee Republicans can request to hold over a nominee one time.

President Barack Obama nominated the partner at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D., on Feb. 4 to succeed Drew Wrigley, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Sept. 2009. Obama has been criticized for tapping Purdon, who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and has no prosecutorial experience. Read more about Purdon here.

The panel has now approved 59 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, 57 of whom have won Senate confirmation. The committee has yet to schedule votes for another 12 would-be U.S. Attorneys. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider another one of President Barack Obama’s nominees at its meeting Thursday.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

The panel is slated to vote on North Dakota U.S. Attorney nominee Tim Purdon, a partner at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D. President Barack Obama nominated him on Feb. 4 to succeed Drew Wrigley, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Sept. 2009. Obama has been criticized for tapping Purdon, who was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and has no prosecutorial experience.

Read more about Purdon here.

The committee is also scheduled to consider Southern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney nominee Stephen R. Wigginton and Western District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney nominee Edward L. Stanton III at its meeting Thursday.

The panel has yet to schedule votes for another 12 would-be U.S. Attorneys. The committee has approved 57 of Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, all of whom have won Senate confirmation. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

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Sunday, February 28th, 2010

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.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Timothy Q. Purdon

Tim Purdon (Moorhead State University, Hamline University School of Law) is nominated to be U.S. Attorney for North Dakota. He 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.

His vitals:

  • Born in Oakes, N.D., in 1968.
  • Earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from North Dakota State College of Science.
  • Has worked at Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D., since May 2005. He joined as an associate as was made a partner on Jan. 1,2006.
  • Was on the executive committee of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party from February 2006 until earlier this month.
  • Worked at Dickson & Purdon in Bismarck, N.D., from June 1996 to May 2005. He joined as an associate as was made a partner in 2001. At that time the name of the firm was changed to Dickson & Purdon.
  • Was an associate at Olson & Cichy in Bismarck, N.D., from September 1995 to June 1996.
  • Clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. VanSickle, a senior judge in the U.S. District Court in in Bismarck, N.D., from September 1994 to September 1995.
  • Worked as a summer associate at Briggs & Morgan in St. Paul, Minn., in 1993.
  • Was a summer associate at Jeffries Olson & Flom in Fargo, N.D., in 1992.
  • Worked on the grounds crew at Moorhead Country Club in Moorhead, Minn., during the summer of 1991.
  • Has tried more than 40 jury trials. In at least 95 percent of these cases, he served as sole or chief counsel.

Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On his Office of Government Ethics financial disclosure Purdon reported that his salary and bonuses for 2008 and most of 2009 was $182,000. He also reported $22,000 in LLP income for 2008 and most of 2009 from the law office’s building.

On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure he reported assets of $1,738,800, mostly in securities, and liabilities of $243,000 for a net worth of $1,495,800.

Monday, February 8th, 2010

North Dakota’s Democratic National Committeeman stepped down from his post on Feb. 4 — the same day he was nominated to be his state’s U.S. Attorney, Northdecoder.com, a North Dakota political blog, reported last week.

Tim Purdon (Vogel Law Firm)

U.S. Attorney nominee Tim Purdon has received criticism for his strong political ties and his lack of prosecutorial experience. Purdon, a lawyer at Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D., has donated almost $12,400 to North Dakota Democrats and national politicians and committees since 2000, including $2,300 to President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, we reported last week. Read his full bio here.

“When President Obama said he wanted to restore the independence and dignity of the U.S. attorney’s office, in light of the Alberto Gonzales fiasco, and then appoints a political activist and party fundraiser, it seems a little to me more like ‘politics as usual’ than ‘change we can believe in’,” Bill Brudvik, who had been a candidate for the job, told the Fargo Forum.

Purdon declined to comment to Main Justice. Spokespersons for the DNC as well as North Dakota’s two Democratic senators -  Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan - didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

But the North Dakota congressional delegation — which includes Conrad, Dorgan and at large Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) — said in a joint statement last week that Purdon was 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,” the congressional delegation said in the statement. “We are confident he will make a fine U.S. Attorney, upholding the Constitution and protecting all North Dakotans.”

It isn’t unusual for U.S. Attorney nominees to be closely involved with party politics before they are tapped and some have had little — if any — prosecutorial experience. Many Obama U.S. Attorney nominees donated to Democrats in 2008 and some played roles on Democratic campaigns. A few were never prosecutors before they became U.S. Attorneys.

Purdon would replace Lynn C. Jordheim, who has been North Dakota’s acting U.S. Attorney since the Sept. 13 resignation of Drew Wrigley. Wrigley, who had been the district’s head prosecutor since November 2001, is now the vice president of  the Fargo, N.D.,-based Noridian Administrative Services, which helps businesses with information management and customer service.

Some of the reported candidates for the U.S. Attorney post included:

  • Brudvik, a partner at Ohnstad Twichell Law Firm in Mayville, N.D., and candidate for state attorney general.
  • Janice Morley, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Fargo.
  • Jasper Schneider, a state representative and Fargo.
  • Rebecca Thiem, an attorney with Zuger Kirmis & Smith in Bismarck.