Heaton gets interim U.S. attorney appointment

This just in:

"SPRINGFIELD -- The Justice Department today announced the appointment of Rodger A. Heaton to serve as the interim U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Heaton will serve under an Attorney General Appointment for 120 days. He will succeed Jan Paul Miller, who will resign from the position on Wednesay, Nov. 30, 2005."

It's not clear if this will help Heaton (who is one of at least four applicants for the job) but it won't hurt.
He was a logical choice for the appointment, since he is working in the office, knows the other assistant U.S. attorneys and is chief of the civil division.
Now the clock starts running on the permanent replacement for Jan Paul Miller. The choice is up to President Bush, although the real call will be made by House Speaker Dennis Hastert. He's got a difference of opinion among his downstate GOP caucus, with some backing state Sen. Rick Winkel but Rep. Ray LaHood of Peoria presumably backing his son, a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas.
Among the what-if possibilities, if Hastert can't make up his mind in 120 days -- that's not likely to occur -- the appointment is made by the federal judges in the Central District.

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