LAPD Inspector General Andre Birotte Jr. likely new US Attorney for Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that LAPD Inspector General Andre Birotte Jr. is the likely choice to replace Thomas O'Brien as the US Attorney for Los Angeles.
After months of speculation about whom President Obama will appoint as the new U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, there is growing consensus as to the most likely nominee: Andre Birotte Jr., the Los Angeles Police Department's inspector general.
Neither the White House nor U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who nominates candidates to the president, would comment.
But people who have worked closely with Birotte have been interviewed by FBI agents conducting background checks on the 43-year-old attorney, sources said.
One of those interviewed was outgoing LAPD Chief William J. Bratton, who said he has met with the FBI about Birotte on multiple occasions and presumes that he is the nominee.
"The inference I drew is that they're doing the final vetting for him," said another person, who confirmed being interviewed by the FBI but requested anonymity because of the confidentiality surrounding the selection process.
According to sources familiar with the selection process, Birotte was one of three candidates interviewed by Feinstein in August. The other two were Brian J. Hennigan, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at Irell and Manella; and Michael Raphael, chief of the criminal appeals section in the U.S. attorney's office.
Both Hennigan and Raphael have been notified that they were not the nominee, the sources said. Birotte declined comment for this article.
The person who appointed Birotte to his position as inspector general, former Police Commission President Rick Caruso had this to say.
"He didn't unnecessarily [tick] a lot of people off, but he's not a pushover either," said Caruso, who served as president of the commission from 2001 to 2005. "He's got the right balance."
Caruso said he lobbied Feinstein on Birotte's behalf and thinks he would make an excellent U.S. attorney."He's not some guy that's up there in an ivory tower opining on the law," Caruso said.
"He's a very smart and talented lawyer, but he's also a regular guy and people respond to that."
If Birotte is confirm as the new US Attorney for Los Angeles, it will be interesting to see how he works with the duo of District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.