Biden nominates new US Attorney for NM - Albuquerque Journal

Biden nominates new US Attorney for NM

An exterior sign is photographed outside the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building in Washington on May 4, 2021. (Patrick Semansky/AP photo)

President Joe Biden has nominated a diverse group of six lawyers to run U.S. attorney’s offices across the country, including the one in New Mexico, his latest picks for the top law enforcement positions.

Alexander M.M. Uballez, a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico, is nominated to run that office. Uballez has worked in the office since 2016 and was previously an assistant district attorney in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

“Mr. Uballez’s entire career has been in service to New Mexico,” Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján said in a joint statement. “Having prosecuted federal and state crimes, he is intimately familiar with the very real impacts of crime in the lives of New Mexicans. He’s also pursued innovative ways to address our public safety challenges, recognizing that the answers rarely start and stop in the courtroom. We are confident that Mr. Uballez is the lead federal prosecutor we need to uphold the law and take on our public safety challenges.”

The other nominees, announced by the White House on Wednesday, would also run the federal prosecutors’ offices in Alaska, Connecticut, Montana, New Hampshire, and Utah. They would include the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney in Utah and the first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney in Connecticut.

The Justice Department’s 93 U.S. attorneys, who are responsible for federal criminal prosecutions in their respective districts, are likely to be central to efforts to combat violent crime. Biden has now nominated 43 people to serve as U.S. attorneys, positions that have been filled for months by acting U.S. attorneys.

The candidates were “chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said.

The nominees include Vanessa Avery, a former federal prosecutor who is now a top lawyer in the Connecticut attorney general’s office, to be the U.S. attorney there. If confirmed, Avery would be the first African American woman to serve as U.S. attorney in Connecticut.

Biden also nominated Trina Higgins, a longtime federal prosecutor, to serve as U.S. attorney in Utah. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney for Utah.

The Democratic president tapped Jesse Laslovich, a health care executive and former state legislator, to be the U.S. attorney in Montana. Since 2017, Laslovich has worked as a regional vice president for SCL Health Montana-Wyoming region.

The Biden administration also nominated Jane E. Young, the deputy attorney general for the New Hampshire Department of Justice, to be the U.S. attorney in that state.

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