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Durbin, Kirk launch national search for U.S. Attorney to replace Fitzgerald

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WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Monday that he and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are creating a six-member committee to launch a national search to replace the Chicago-based U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is retiring at the end of the month.

"Senator Kirk and I are committed to conducting an open, transparent and nonpartisan search to nominate the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. We have agreed to create a bipartisan screening committee comprised of six distinguished Illinoisans drawn from the legal profession to help us find Patrick Fitzgerald's replacement," Durbin said in a statement.

"Our Illinois panelists will conduct a nationwide search to identify the top candidates for U.S. Attorney," Kirk said in a statement. "This non-partisan process ensures the nominee will maintain the continuity of fighting corruption that Patrick Fitzgerald has established. Senator Durbin and I are committed to this process and are eager to work together to find the right person for the job."

From Durbin/Kirk: "Each Senator will select three members of the committee, including one co-chair. Once established, the committee will conduct an open application process and will screen applicants with the goal of recommending candidates of top quality and integrity to Senators Durbin and Kirk. The Senators will then review the screening committee's recommendations, conduct interviews of finalists and - in consultation with one another - agree on a list of names to provide to the White House."

Once Durbin and Kirk submit names to President Barack Obama, the White House needs time to make a decision; once the Senate is sent a nominee, it is reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee--and needs agreement of both home state senators to advance.

below, from Durbin....

June 25, 2012

DURBIN OUTLINES PROCESS TO NOMINATE NEXT US ATTORNEY FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the search process that he and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) have agreed to follow for the selection of the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

"Earlier today, I met with outgoing U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. I thanked him for his service and the integrity he brought to the job and discussed with him the process Senator Kirk and I have established to select his replacement," Durbin said.

"Senator Kirk and I are committed to conducting an open, transparent and nonpartisan search to nominate the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. We have agreed to create a bipartisan screening committee comprised of six distinguished Illinoisans drawn from the legal profession to help us find Patrick Fitzgerald's replacement."

"Our Illinois panelists will conduct a nationwide search to identify the top candidates for U.S. Attorney," said Senator Kirk. "This non-partisan process ensures the nominee will maintain the continuity of fighting corruption that Patrick Fitzgerald has established. Senator Durbin and I are committed to this process and are eager to work together to find the right person for the job."

Each Senator will select three members of the committee, including one co-chair. Once established, the committee will conduct an open application process and will screen applicants with the goal of recommending candidates of top quality and integrity to Senators Durbin and Kirk. The Senators will then review the screening committee's recommendations, conduct interviews of finalists and - in consultation with one another - agree on a list of names to provide to the White House.

Once the President submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, the nominee will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member, and will receive a vote in the committee. The approval of both home state Senators is required for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up and consider any U.S. Attorney nominee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nominee will receive a vote by the full Senate.

On average, it takes between two to four months to confirm a U.S. Attorney once that nomination is sent to the Senate.

Until a new U.S. Attorney is confirmed by the Senate, the Department of Justice announced today that Gary Shapiro will serve as Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.



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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 25, 2012 12:11 PM.

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