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Obama taps L.A.'s top federal prosecutor for district court bench

Obama taps L.A.'s top federal prosecutor for district court bench
President Barack Obama on Thursday tapped U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr., center, to serve on the federal bench in the central district of California. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

André Birotte Jr., the chief federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the White House announced Thursday.

Birotte, who has served as the U.S. attorney overseeing the nation’s second-largest office since 2010, is a former Los Angeles County deputy public defender who also acted as the Los Angeles Police Department’s inspector general for six years.

As L.A.'s top federal prosecutor, he reinstalled a public corruption and civil rights unit disbanded by his predecessor and oversaw high-profile probes into the L.A. County jails and into state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon.

"These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system," Obama said, according to a White House statement, announcing the nominations of Birotte and Randolph D. Moss to the federal bench in Washington, D.C. "I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity."

Birotte will replace Judge Gary Allen Feess, a Clinton appointee, who is retiring.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who recommended Birotte both for the U.S. attorney position and the federal bench, welcomed the White House announcement.

"I have been very impressed with his performance over the last four years. He has a record of excellence and fairness," she said in a statement. "I am confident he will serve the people of the Central District very well as a U.S. district judge."

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