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Obama renominates ousted federal prosecutor

/ Source: The Associated Press

A former U.S. attorney for Nevada who was forced to resign during the Bush administration could soon be getting his old job back.

President Barack Obama nominated Daniel G. Bogden on Friday to serve as the United States attorney for Nevada. Bogden was one of nine federal prosecutors told to resign by senior Justice Department officials during the Bush administration. The move led to resignations at the department and investigations into whether politics prompted the dismissals.

Bogden is a partner in the Nevada law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson. He served as the U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada from 2001 to 2007. U.S. attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the president, but they cannot be fired for improper reasons.

In testimony before Congress, Justice Department officials cited no particular deficiency in Bogden's performance, but said there was an interest "in seeing renewed energy and renewed vigor in that office." The department's inspector general said none of the senior officials they interviewed had recommended that Bodgen be removed.

Bogden's nomination was not unexpected. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had recommended he replace Gregory A. Brower. Reid said he has not heard any negative comments about Brower's work either, but he was pushing for Bogden out of a sense of fairness. Brower is a former GOP assemblyman.

"Dan is a highly qualified and skilled lawyer who served Nevada well before being wrongly removed from office," Reid said in response to the nomination. "I look forward to a speedy confirmation."

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., had also recommended Bogden for U.S. attorney back in 2001, and he commended Obama for the nomination.

"I knew that he had a distinguished career of public service ahead of him and I was glad to see Senator Reid felt the same way when he recommended him this year," Ensign said on Friday.

Obama also made three other U.S. attorney nominations: Deborah K. Gilg, District of Nebraska; Timothy J. Heaphy, Western District of Virginia; and Peter F. Neronha, District of Rhode Island.