Mikulski staff chief, Battaglia, proposed for Md. U.S. attorney

April 22, 1993|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

Ending months of speculation, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, D-Md., has asked the Clinton administration to nominate Lynne A. Battaglia as the U.S. Attorney for Maryland.

Ms. Battaglia, 46, chief of staff for Maryland's other senator, Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski, had been rumored since November to be the clear choice to succeed Richard D. Bennett.

Nominations for U.S. attorney are made by the president, who typically follows the recommendation of each state's top-ranking elected federal official belonging to the president's political party. Mr. Sarbanes is Maryland's senior senator.

Mr. Bennett was appointed in 1991 by former President Bush. After the election, it was clear that he would have to resign to make way for a Democratic appointee. He has said he will leave tomorrow.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary P. Jordan is expected to head the Maryland office while Ms. Battaglia is being considered for the job.

Senator Sarbanes sent letters Tuesday to the president and the Justice Department to request the nomination.

The Justice Department will interview Ms. Battaglia and have the FBI conduct a background check before sending her name to the White House. If nominated, she will face Senate confirmation.

She declined comment yesterday.

Ms. Battaglia has been chief aide and counsel to Senator Mikulski since November 1991. Earlier, she headed the Maryland attorney general's criminal investigation division.

She has been a trial attorney for the Justice Department, an assistant U.S. attorney, a visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and an associate at the law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes.

Ms. Battaglia, of Columbia, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1974.

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