Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Deputy AG Is Another "Acting Capacity" Appointee

By Cernig

Bush has appointed a new Deputy AG:
The federal prosecutor who helped put a former Democratic lawmaker behind bars was named Wednesday as the Justice Department's No. 2 official.

Craig S. Morford, currently the U.S. attorney in Nashville, was tapped by President Bush to become acting Deputy Attorney General, the Justice Department said. He will replace Paul McNulty, who announced his resignation in June.

Morford is a career prosecutor who has pursued organized crime and public corruption in Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee for the past 20 years.

He is best known for his case against former Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat convicted in 2002 of accepting bribes and gifts from businessmen in exchange for intervening with government agencies. Traficant is serving an eight-year sentence in a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

...Senate Democrats have made clear they want a career prosecutor in the Justice Department's No. 2 job as a qualification for confirmation. Morford will hold the job in an acting capacity, which does not require confirmation. It was not clear whether Bush intends to nominate Morford for the job on a permanent basis.

Gonzales highlighted Morford's credibility as a career prosecutor. ``With 20 years of experience as a Justice Department prosecutor, I am pleased to have a person of Mr. Morford's exemplary character and integrity in this critical position at this time,'' Gonzales said in a statement.
Isn't it about time that the "acting capacity loophole was closed? I'd suggest 30 days - after that either submit the nominee to confirmation hearings or he's out.

Morford himself is no stranger to controversy, with a webpage dedicated to alleged improrieties and even possible 'criminal conduct" in his prosecution of convicted Ohio Dem, James A Trafficant Jr. who was sent to prison for eight years on corruption and bribery charges.

(Note - I make no judgement on the merits of either original prosecution or later allegations of impropriety. I don't know enough about either to do so. I'm simply noting the website exists.)

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