Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ken Gonzales is New U.S. Attorney

A Pojoaque High School graduate has been nominated to become New Mexico's next U.S. attorney, Senators Bingaman and Udall have announced.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kenneth J. Gonzales , who has worked in the U.S. Attorney's Las Cruces office in recent years, will replace U.S. Attorney Gregory Fouratt.

Fouratt has been interim U.S. Attorney since David Iglesias was forced out during the controversial 2006 U.S. Attorney firings by the Bush Administration.

Gonzales has worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office since 1999.

He received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of New Mexico.

Gonzales also served as a judicial law clerk to a chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court, and was a legislative assistant to Sen. Bingaman on criminal justice, Indian affairs and other issues. He has also been a judge advocate in the U.S. Army.

“President Obama could not have selected a more qualified, capable candidate for this important position. Ken has the experience required of a U.S. attorney, having served for the past 11 years as a career prosecutor working on cases involving organized crime, narcotics, anti-terrorism, and other violent crimes,” Bingaman said in a news release.

“Ken worked as an aide to me more than a decade ago, so I have witnessed first-hand his keen legal judgment, fair-mindedness and strong work ethic," Bingaman said. "I applaud the president for choosing someone of Ken’s caliber and experience.”

“I applaud the President’s decision to nominate Kenneth Gonzales as the next U.S. Attorney for New Mexico,” Sen. Tom Udall said. “Ken Gonzales’ legal expertise and long record of statewide public service – including more than a decade as Assistant U.S. Attorney – make him extremely qualified for the job. He will make an excellent U.S. Attorney, and I look forward to working with President Obama and Senator Bingaman to ensure his swift confirmation by the Senate.”

The two New Mexico senators interviewed all candidates who expressed interest in the U.S. Attorney position and sent a short list to the White House for consideration.

Gonzales’s nomination will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee before the full Senate votes on his confirmation.