The Senate this morning confirmed the nomination of Laura Duffy for U.S. attorney of San Diego and Imperial counties, filling a void in an office that has been without a permanent leader for more than two years.
Duffy, 47, was approved by unanimous consent three months after her nomination, and after a year of competition for the job. She now needs President Barack Obama’s approval, considered a formality since she is his choice. She’s expected to be sworn in next week.
The previous U.S. attorney, Carol Lam, left the office in February 2007 after she was fired by the Bush Administration as part of a number of controversial dismissals in late 2006. Karen Hewitt was appointed by the U.S. District Court to step in as temporary U.S. attorney.
Duffy, best known for her prosecution of members of the feared Arellano-Felix drug cartel, is widely respected by colleagues in the legal community. As news spread that she was confirmed, so did excitement that she would soon take the helm.
“It’s good to see they have a career prosecutor to take over one of the busiest U.S. attorneys offices in the United States,” said Sheriff Bill Gore, who worked with Duffy when he was head of the San Diego FBI. “I’ve known Laura for probably 13 years and have complete confidence in her ability to do a great job in that position.”
Lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s office were celebrating. “Everybody’s thrilled,” said one assistant U.S. attorney.