ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s two senators recommended Tuesday that litigator Andrew Luger become the next U.S. attorney for the state if the current chief prosecutor is confirmed by the Senate for a different post.
Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken said they would ask President Barack Obama to nominate Luger as Minnesota’s lead federal prosecutor. That could happen if U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones is confirmed to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Jones’ confirmation remains in limbo and a vote by the full Senate is no sure thing. The full Senate has never confirmed an ATF chief since it was given the power to do so in 2006; Jones has been serving as the agency’s acting director since 2011 while also keeping his post in Minnesota.
Luger is an attorney in private practice but has been an assistant federal prosecutor previously, serving seven years between offices in Minnesota and New York.
He has been tapped to lead several independent investigations, including a review of law enforcement’s treatment of protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention. He presently serves as chairman of Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
The senators had formed an advisory committee to recommend possible replacements for Jones. U.S. attorneys are also subject to Senate confirmation votes.
The Luger nod was praised by Thomas Heffelfinger, who held the U.S. attorney job under former President George W. Bush.
“He is a team player who will work with law enforcement leaders at all levels to get things done for our state, and that’s what Minnesota needs,” Heffelfinger said.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)