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Kenneth Polite moves closer to becoming U.S. Attorney

16th September 2013   ·   0 Comments

On the morning of September 12, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of New Orleans attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. for the post of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The full senate was expected to vote late last week on Polite’s nomination. He expected to be confirmed by the senate and could be sworn in the next few days.

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., recommended Polite for the appointment in February and he was nominated by President Barack Obama in June.

Polite, 37, is a graduate of De La Salle High School in New Orleans and grew up in the Lower 9th Ward.

“I am honored to receive the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “Once again, I wish to express my gratitude for President Obama’s nomination and Sen. Landrieu’s recommendation for this important position. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate I will serve without reservation,” Polite said in a statement.

Landrieu urged the senate to swiftly confirm Polite as the next U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

“We need a strong, experienced and determined leader who will strive to protect the people of the Eastern District from crime and root out corruption — Kenneth Polite is that leader,” Landrieu said in a statement. “With the backing of our local community, the President and now the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Polite’s qualifications are without question. I call on my colleagues to confirm Mr. Polite without delay so he can get to work for the people of the Eastern District.”

Although he allowed Polite’s nominate to move forward, Sen. David Vitter gave Polite a lukewarm endorsement in a statement about the nominee.

“Ken is a bright young guy, and I wish him all the best in this very challenging time for that office,” Vitter, R-La., said. “I remain concerned that that office really needs a more seasoned leader and supervisor to immediately stabilize it after its scandals, and that Ken’s focus on street crime will unintentionally take focus away from battling political corruption. I hope his service proves otherwise.”

When confirmed, Polite will fill a vacancy that came with the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who left in the wake of an online posting scandal that also cost two of Letten’s top prosecutors their jobs. Letten, the longest-serving U.S. attorney in U.S. history, now teaches at Tulane University.

This article originally published in the September 16, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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