Justice from Lewiston nominee for US attorney

Posted March 10, 2010, at 9:55 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Justice Thomas Delahanty II of Lewiston to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Delahanty will replace Paula Silsby, who has served as Maine’s interim U.S. Attorney since September 2001.

Delahanty has been a justice for the Maine Superior Court since 1983 and served as chief justice from 1990 until 1995. From 1981 until 1983, he was a partner with former Gov. James Longley, in the law firm of Delahanty & Longley. Before that, Delahanty served as the U.S. Attorney for Maine in 1980 and 1981, recommended by U.S. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie and nominated by President Jimmy Carter to take the place of George Mitchell, who was named to a federal judgeship.

From 1975 until 1980, Delahanty worked as a district attorney for the District Attorney’s Prosecutorial District 3 for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties. Delahanty served as county attorney with the Androscoggin County Attorney’s Office from 1973 until 1975, and as assistant county attorney from 1971 until 1973. From 1970 until 1974, he was an associate at the Lewiston law firm of Marshall, Raymond & Beliveau. Delahanty graduated from St. Michael’s College in Vermont in 1967 and from the University of Maine School of Law in 1970.

Delahanty was one of four candidates for the position of U.S. Attorney for Maine submitted last April to the White House by Maine’s two U.S. House members, Rep. Michael Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree. The other nominees were District Attorney Evert Fowle Jr., former U.S. Attorney Jay McCloskey and attorney Thimi Mina.

Obama on Wednesday also nominated attorney Wendy Olsen to be the U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho.

“I am honored to nominate Justice Thomas Delahanty and Wendy Olson today to serve as United States Attorneys,” Obama said. “They will be resolute in their pursuit of justice and I am confident they will serve the people of Maine and Idaho with distinction.”

Michaud praised the nomination. Delahanty, he said in a prepared statement, “Is highly qualified for this position and has a vast amount of on-the-job experience. He is a dedicated public servant, and I have no doubt that he will capably lead the office of U.S. Attorney with the utmost integrity.”

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