John Pacenti is reporting in today's late afternoon Daily Business Review online update that Miami-Dade Assistant County Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and Federal Public Defender Kathleen Williams are front-runners to be President Obama’s picks for two open federal justice system positions in South Florida. Very encouraging.
According to those mysterious 'sources,'Ferrer, a county attorney with extensive federal experience, is the lead candidate to become the new U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, according to Daily Business Review sources.
Williams, who has led the Federal Defender’s Office for 14 years, is the front-runner for a U.S. district court opening in Fort Lauderdale. Calls to references and colleagues of both Ferrer and Williams have been made on the presidential nominations in the last few weeks, while there appears to be little inquiry into the other candidates. They are being 'vetted'. God, I hope that means they don't have tax problems.
Other candidates for the U.S. attorney position are two former federal prosecutors, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton shareholder David Buckner and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Daryl Trawick. Williams was picked as a finalist by Florida’s federal Judicial Nominating Commission along with Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Jerald Bagley and Robert Scola Jr.
I have no clue if these 'inimitable sources' are correct, but I do know this first and foremost: federal public defenders in the Bush administration did not find lots of federal judicial appointments come there way. The Obama Administration has opened the door to White House posts for those outside the loop for too long; competent and respectable agents of law and justice who served as criminal defense attorneys or public defenders. Soto Sotomayor proved it. I am grateful for the sea change. The tide has turned.