Durbin forms panel to review Central District applicants

Durbin forms panel to review Central District applicants

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced Monday the formation of a panel to review applications for the U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal positions for the Central District of Illinois, which includes all of East Central Illinois.

But there has been no word that either U.S. Attorney Rodger Heaton or U.S. Marshal Steven Deatherage will be replaced, said Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Durbin.

"The president hasn't announced any decision yet," Shoemaker said. "We don't know what the time frame is for the president to make a decision. But we announced the formation of the screening committee just to get ahead of the game."

Heaton was appointed to the position in 2005 by former President George W. Bush. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he taught courses on white-collar crime. He is a McLean County native who received an undergraduate degree from the UI in 1981 and a law degree from Indiana University in 1985.

"Making recommendations to the White House on U.S. attorneys, federal marshals and judicial nominees is one of the most important jobs I have as a U.S. senator," Durbin said in prepared remarks, "and I am particularly pleased that these outstanding Illinoisans have agreed to advise me in selecting the best possible candidates to recommend to President Obama."

Durbin said the panel advising him on Central District appointments will be chaired by James Potter, past president of the Springfield chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a partner in a Springfield law firm.

Also on the panel are Clarence Darrow, a former Democratic state legislator from the Quad Cities and a former judge who now has his own practice; Robert Eggers, a former assistant U.S. attorney who is now head of the Sangamon County Bar Association; Donald Jackson, president of the Peoria branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Stacey Lynch, an attorney with the Dorris law firm in Bloomington; and Lucinda Awerkamp McClain, a Quincy attorney and active community member whose husband, Michael, is a former Democratic state representative.

Applications for the U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal positions are available on Durbin's Web site. The deadline for submission of completed applications is May 11.

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