Thursday, March 05, 2009

Heard any good rumors about US Attorney appointments?

I've been wondering lately when the Barack Obama Administration might select its new U.S. Attorney candidates and who they might be. Any readers who've heard rumors in that regard are strongly requested to reveal them in the comments.

Out of Texas' four federal judicial districts, only in the Northern District has the media published names of potential candidates. According to Gromer Jeffers at the Dallas News: "former U.S. assistant attorneys Larry Jarrett, Terri Moore and Mike Snipes, and federal prosecutor Sarah Saldana," along with a relative unknown, Dallas lawyer Roger Williams (not the former GOP Texas Secretary of State) are all presently in the running.

In the Western District, I've heard Travis County Attorney David Escamilla mentioned for the US Attorney slot, an appointment I would personally support. (I've known David since the late '80s when he was the assistant county attorney assigned to respond to a slew of open records requests related to tracking S&L-era related real estate scandals - he was always forthright, forthcoming, professional, and as far as I can tell, just a nice guy.)

On the other hand, I've not heard a peep about possible candidates in the Eastern or Southern Districts, nor of any possible competitors for Escamilla.

According to Jeffers, because Texas' two senators are Republican, Obama bypassed them in picking new US Attorneys and instead handed the task to Democrats in the Texas delegation to the US House of Representatives. Jeffers wrote on Sunday that:

Democratic congressional leaders have begun the process of selecting the next U.S. attorney for Texas' Northern District and could notify the White House of their choice to replace Richard Roper in coming days.

"We'll have a meeting [this week], and we might make a decision on what name to send in then," said U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.

Johnson and U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, are the only two Democratic representatives in the Northern District, which stretches from Dallas southwest to San Angelo and north to Amarillo.

Austin's Lloyd Doggett, chairman of the Democratic congressional delegation in Texas and Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, are also part of the committee that will recommend a nominee to the president.

That's an interesting twist - probably the first time in years that group has been in a position to collectively flex any political muscle! I'd mentioned earlier that Obama's first Texas judicial pick will be an "emergency" slot in San Antonio - I wonder if Texas Congressional Democrats will also be picking judicial nominees?

Who is on the short list for these much-coveted US Attorney slots (or for that matter the open federal district judge's post)? If you've heard of other candidates in the running - particularly in the Eastern and Southern Districts - by all means, please let us know in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Western District US Attorney rumors include Mike McCrum (former AUSA Chief of Major Crimes and Drug Unit for over 10 years) and Michael Bernard (current SAT City Attorney)

Anonymous said...

Actually Scott Hendler who has a very solid national reputation is a strong contender for the Western District.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Scott Hendler would be a VERY progressive pick, especially vis a vis going after white collar crime. That would be a very interesting choice.

In terms of a position that's supposed to go after public corruption, I would NOT think the San Antonio city attorney would be a good choice. I don't know anything about McCrum.

Are there really NO rumors about the Eastern or Southern Districts? C'mon people, dish!!

Anonymous said...

The rumor from Bexar is will/or not J. Sutton tag Susan Reed on his way out for the airline tickets and two judges also. Judge M. Guerro and K. Crouch both dems. Judge Guerro was recently on tv for being under ethics investigation by the state for accepting gifts from defense counsel that practice before her. (then add in the airline tickets)

Reed's driver was just indicted on the airline ticket scandal. Want a good follow up many DA's in Texas have drivers???

We, here in South San Antonio, hear Bernard is getting the job. Which means Reed skates unless Sutton moves fast??? Bernard is a dem that grew up politically close to Reed. Most feel Reed needs to go down for the tickets and it will cause her to fight hard to ever win another office. The DA is now polarized from her tickets and has many items of public corruption on her plate. Will this or will this not stop Reed from doing her job??? Who Knows??

San Antonio has lots of white collar and ethics vote would be for Hendler. If and only if he is honest and can set a standard. The FBI in SA never move on anything and we think they are brain dead and in need of guts!!!!

Rumors for Royal Ferguson's Federal Bench are ....Judge Gabriel (ok),Judge Carmen Kelsey (many feel she has way to many control issues), Judge Mary Roman ( to old and to mean and nasty in her behavior towards humans), Judge Cathy Stahl (not enough time in big boy court to move up)

Anonymous said...

Heh Grits for Breakfast, why not just google McCrum's name (after all this is an internet site isn't it)-that would tell you plenty about him and his background.

Anonymous said...

For the Eastern District, what we have been hearing around Beaumont is that Jefferson County Criminal District Court Judge John Stevens, former AUSA, is a likely choice.