Obama asks Nevada U.S. attorney to stay on for now

Greg Brower

Nevada U.S. Attorney Greg Brower has been asked by President-elect Barack Obama's transition team to stay on the job for an undetermined length of time, Brower said today.

Brower is one of 93 U.S. attorneys across the country who are political appointees under a Republican administration and could be replaced in a Democratic administration.

In an odd coincidence, I was asking Brower for an update on his job and Brower was telling me he has not been asked to resign when the call came from the transition team asking him to stay on the job, at least for now.

The administration is likely to rely heavily on U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in deciding who should replace Brower ultimately, or if he should be one of the exceptions who is not replaced.

For instance, Obama has said he plans to keep Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney in Chicago and in New Orleans, the senior Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu has recommended that the U.S. attorney under the Bush administration remain.

Brower, a former Reno assemblyman and general counsel for the Government Printing Office, has been on the job just one year. He replaced Dan Bogden, one of the nine U.S. attorneys fired without apparent cause in a controversial move by President Bush.

Across the country, some U.S. attorneys have been resigning in expectation that they would be not retained by the incoming administration. But unlike the Clinton administration, when all 93 were asked to resign at once, apparently this is not the route Obama will take.

When the appointee leaves, usually the highest-ranking professional prosecutor is asked to become acting U.S. attorney until an appointment is made.