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Defender Picks


Polite Cleared for U.S. Attorney

On the same day that New Orleans' last U.S. Attorney was back in the spotlight, the DOJ's next go-to guy in the Crescent City was waved home by the U.S. Senate. Kenneth Polite was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate, clearing the way for the New Orleans native to take his seat at Camp and Poydras.


Polite, a former federal prosecutor and corproate litigator who was raised in the 9th Ward, was confirmed by voice vote in the U.S. Senate, according to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who recommended his name to the president.


With the confirmation in hand, Polite will leave his job at the law firm Liskow and Lewis, where he practices in the areas of business litigation, government investigations and white-collar criminal defense. There was no immediate word on when he will take the reigns from Interim U.S. Attorney Dana Boente.


Polite's confirmation comes on the same day that the transgressions that made his nomination necessary had perhaps their most dire consequences yet. A federal judge tossed out the conviction of five former NOPD officers involved in the killing of two unarmed men and resulting cover-up. Judge Kurt Engelhardt ordered a new trial because of prosecutorial misconduct that stemmed from comments fired off by top lieutenants of former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Out of office since January, the commenting scandal continues to plague the work carried out during the latter part of Letten's term.


Polite's office will immediately take on the new Danziger trial, as well as the upcoming corruption trial of former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.



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