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12 Lawyers Apply For U.S. Attorney’s Job


By ELAINE SILVESTRINI
The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA – A total of 12 lawyers, including at least four assistant U.S. attorneys, have applied to become the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

Assistant U.S. attorneys Dennis Ian Moore and Adelaide Gonzalez-Few, who work in the Tampa office of the U.S. Attorney, have submitted applications, according to Marcus Marchena, an Orlando attorney who is chairman of the judicial nominating commission for the district. Also applying were Cynthia A. Hawkins, an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Orlando office, and John J. Sciortino, a federal prosecutor in Jacksonville.

Other attorneys whose applications were received by the nominating committee of this afternoon were:  Jeffrey D. Deen, James J. Feder, Michael J. Foley, David Leibowitz and Michael J. Peacock..

“I’m quite excited about the number of applications at this point,” Marchena said, noting the number was 50 percent higher than six who applied when the position became open for the Southern District of Florida a couple of years ago.

Friday was the deadline to have applications postmarked, so it’s possible even more applications could be received.

Two Tampa attorneys, Latour “L.T.” lafferty and A. Brian Albritton, said they mailed their applications on Friday. And Lafferty said he also mailed an application for a friend, Kenneth Lawson, a former federal prosecutor who is working as a consultant to the Indonesian government on issues of anti-terrorism and white collar crime.

The job became open when Paul Perez stepped down in March to go to the private sector. When only one lawyer had applied by an earlier deadline, officials extended the time for lawyers to seek the job.

The Middle District of Florida is one of the largest federal districts in the country and covers a large swath of the state, covering more than half the population and stretching from the Georgia border to south of Naples. It encompasses more than half the population of Florida.

Some lawyers have said the top federal prosecutor’s job is unattractive at the moment, largely because the term is likely to be limited and conclude when President Bush leaves office in 18 months. Anyone who leaves a private law practice and takes the job will face severe restrictions on his or her practice when he or she leaves the post. Lawyers also worried about the ramifications of the controversies in Washington about the dismissal of U.S. attorneys in other parts of the country.



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