Senator Landrieu Names U.S. Attorney Nominee

Feb 11, 2013

Senator Mary Landrieu has recommended New Orleans native Kenneth Polite to replace retired U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. One legal expert says there’s a strong chance he’ll get the job.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias says it’s telling that Landrieu gave President Obama only one name.

“Usually senators submit three people or multiple people to the president so he has flexibility. But it sounds like the senator is very confident in the person she has recommended.”

The 37-year-old Polite is a graduate of De La Salle High School, Harvard University and Georgetown law school. He also worked as a federal prosecutor in New York. Tobias says that experience is critical to his qualifications.

“That district has a reputation as being one of the finest in the country. So he certainly has been involved in the kind of issues and matters of questions and seen the kind of professionalism that would be valuable to being a U.S. attorney — especially in New Orleans.”  

Letten retired after two of his top staffers admitted posting anonymous comments online that involved ongoing federal cases. Landrieu says she expects Polite would vigorously prosecute white collar crimes and political corruption.