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D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office #2 Prosecutor Channing Phillips Off to the Justice Dept. to Help With Diversity Management

Channing Phillips/doj photo

Channing Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Channing Phillips, the number two person in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, is heading off to the Justice Department several blocks away to become Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity Management.

A Justice Department memo announcing the move said Phillips will be responsible for the implementation  of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Diversity Management Plan, which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals.

Phillips will also serve as Executive Director for the Attorney General’s Diversity Management Advisory Council.

Phillips first joined the Justice Department in 1990 and was hired by then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder Jr. in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. office. He held a variety of posts over the year, including chief of staff,  but was best known to reporters as the affable and very able person who dealt with the media.

Last May, he was appointed interim U.S. Attorney and tossed his hat into the ring to be considered for the permanent post, which is a presidential appointment.  But he lost out to a private attorney and former federal prosecutor Ronald Machen, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February.  Phillips subsequently became the second in command of the office.

Many believed that Phillips was clearly capable of handling the U.S. Attorney job, but because he had been a career prosecutor, he wasn’t able to build up the political capital necessary to close the deal.

President Nominates Deputy FBI Dir. John Pistole to Head Transportation Security Administration

John Pistole/fbi photo

John Pistole/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
tickletehwire.com

WASHINGTON – President Obama on Monday announced plans to nominate FBI deputy director John Pistole — the number two man in the agency — to head up the Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for the safety of the nation’s airport passengers.

He becomes the third Presidential  nominee for that position. The two others withdrew after questions were raised about their background.

“The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the F.B.I. will make him a valuable asset to our administration’s efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports,” President Obama said in a statement.”I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead.”

Pistole, who has a fair amount of fans over at FBI headquarters, has been the second in command since 2004.

The nomination comes at time the TSA is under increasing scrutiny and pressure to provide safe travels for the millions who pass through the nation’s airports. Pistole, who is regarded as a straight shooter,  is unlikely to face many problems in the confirmation process.  He’s expected to stay in his current post until the confirmation process is complete.

Previously, his name surfaced as one of four candidates being considered to head up the Drug Enforcement Administration. But in the end the nod went to the acting head of DEA,  Michele Leonhart. After that, his name had surfaced as a possible head for ATF, but that idea never went any where.

Read more »

Senate Confirms Nashville U.S. Atty. Jerry E. Martin

Jerry Martin

Jerry Martin

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Jerry E. Martin was confirmed as the U.S. Attorney of Nashville on Wednesday night, the website Main Justice reported.

Martin will replace U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough, a Bush appointee, who announced that he has accepted a position with the law firm Walker Tipps and Malone in Nashville.

Main Justice, which closely tracks appointments of U.S. Attorneys, said the Senate has now confirmed 48 U.S. Attorney appointments under the new administration.

Yarbrough told he Nashville Post:

“There is no greater job in the American system of justice than United States Attorney, with its myriad responsibilities and potential for public service. I have been proud to lead the office in Nashville for two and a half years and see firsthand the amazing capabilities of the dedicated lawyers and staff here. The people of Middle Tennessee can be secure in the knowledge that federal prosecutors are looking out for them and doing everything in their power to make our city and state a safer place to live and work.”

Sen. Judiciary Gives Nod to Jerry Martin for Nashville U.S. Atty

Jerry Martin

Jerry Martin/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary on Thursday gave the nod to private attorney Jerry E. Martin for the U.S. Attorney post in Nashville, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote on the matter.

Martin will replace U.S. Attorney Edward Yarbrough, who was appointed by President Bush in 2007.

Active in the Democratic politics, Martin has been working for the law firm of Barrett, Johnson & Parsely in Nashville, focusing on complex litigation, including class and collective actions.

Agent Robert Anderson Named SAC of Intelligence Division in Washington Field Office

Anderson-Robert-Jr-07-08-officalBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI agent Robert Anderson, Jr. is leaving headquarters to take on the job as special agent in charge of Intelligence Division for the Washington field office, the agency announced Thursday.

Anderson has been the chief of the Counterespionage Section in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters.

Anderson started his career 1995 and was first posted to the Washington field office, where he investigated narcotics and violent crimes, the FBI said.

Read more »

Senate Gives Nod to New Philly U.S. Atty. Zane Memeger and Conn. U.S. Atty. David Fein

Zane Memeger/law firm photo

Zane Memeger/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday gave the final nod to Zane D. Memeger to become U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia and David Fein to become the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut.

Memeger replaces interim U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy, who had been in that position since 2009. Levy will work for Memeger as an assistant U.S. attorney. The confirmations were reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Hartford Courant.

“I am honored and excited to be returning to the office that I proudly served as an assistant, engaging again with respected colleagues, and helping the Eastern District build even further on its reputation of excellence,” he said in a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

David Fein/law firm photo

David Fein/law firm photo

Memeger has been a partner in Philly firm Morgan Lewis and has worked in the Litigation Practice section. He has also been a member of the firm’s Corporate Investigations and White Collar Practice.

Fein is a former assistant U.S. Attorney and White House lawyer under the Clinton administration.

U.S. Attorney For Western District of Pa. Could Be Nominated Soon (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Former Idaho U.S. Atty Sidney Smith Dies at Age 95

idaho map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire

Sidney Smith, a World War II vet and Nixon-appointed U.S. Attorney in Idaho, died on April 23 at the age of 95, The Associated Press reported.

Born in the Midwest, he graduated from the University of Colorado law school, AP reported. In 1970, President Nixon appointed him deputy general counsel for the General Services Administration before appointing him U.S. Attorney in Idaho.

He served in that post from 1971 to 1975.

James Lemelle Named Interim U.S. Atty. in Baton Rouge

baton rouge mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James Stanley “Stan” Lemelle announced Monday that Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. has named him interim U.S. Attorney in Baton Rouge. He replaces David Dugas, a Bush appointee,who stepped down last week.

“I have been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District for 31 years,” Lemelle said in a statement. “For the past 16 years, I’ve served as Criminal Chief and supervised the office’s Criminal Division.”

Dugas was appointed U.S. Attorney on Oct. 17, 2001, five weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.