Skip to comments.Wilkes-Barre native and Casey associate is lead candidate for federal prosecutor post
Posted on 09/17/2009 4:38:36 PM PDT by Born Conservative
A former federal prosecutor with deep ties to Sen. Bob Casey has surfaced as the lead candidate to become U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, sources said.
Attorney Peter J. Smith, a Wilkes-Barre native who lives near Harrisburg, said Tuesday he had been interviewed for the position but was reluctant to elaborate and chose his words carefully when asked whether he would get the job.
"I have not heard anything officially," Mr. Smith said in a telephone interview from his Camp Hill home. "Sometimes, it's a long process."
The U.S. attorney's office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which comprises 33 counties, had been overseen by Martin Carlson until last month. A career prosecutor, Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, was appointed as temporary replacement after Mr. Carlson was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge in Harrisburg.
The office is in the midst of prosecuting a slew of public corruption cases in Luzerne County as well as conducting ongoing investigations in Lackawanna County.
The White House will make the official announcement nominating someone for the top federal prosecutor's post, but Mr. Casey is expected to be the driving force behind it.
Mr. Casey said in an interview Wednesday that he and Sen. Arlen Specter hope to make a recommendation soon to President Barack Obama.
He declined to comment on whether Mr. Smith is the leading candidate. "I can't talk about this," he said.
Several sources familiar with the process told The Times-Tribune that Mr. Smith is widely considered to be Mr. Casey's top choice for the job.
Mr. Smith, 68, who retired from the state Treasury in the spring, has had a working relationship not only with Mr. Casey but with his father, former Gov. Bob Casey. Mr. Smith was inspector general in Gov. Casey's administration. He worked as a top auditor for the younger Mr. Casey when he was state auditor general and state treasurer.
Before working in Harrisburg, Mr. Smith spent 1976 to 1987 in Philadelphia as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After earning a law degree at Georgetown in 1971, Mr. Smith worked as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and later as an enforcement attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia before moving to Harrisburg in 1987 to become state inspector general.
Check it out. Casey isn’t as clean cut as he wants everyone to believe....
Another Little Bobby Casey PING