U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions named Orange County attorney Nicola Hanna on Wednesday as the interim U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, a vast area that includes Los Angeles and six other counties.
Hanna, a partner at the international law firm Gibson Dunn, was one of 17 people tapped by Sessions to fill U.S. attorney slots around the country on an interim basis.
The attorneys who served in the roles under Barack Obama resigned or were fired by President Trump after he took office last year, but he has yet to formally select the people he wants in the jobs. With the assistant U.S. attorneys who have been filling in permitted by law to serve only a limited time, Sessions was forced to make the temporary appointments.
White House spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As the U.S. attorney based in Los Angeles, Hanna will oversee hundreds of prosecutors in one of the country's largest districts. While it is unknown whether Trump plans to nominate Hanna to fill the job permanently, he was being considered for the job, according to multiple people with knowledge of the selection process.
Hanna did not respond to a call for comment and a Gibson Dunn spokeswoman said he was not available.
Hanna served for several years in the 1990s as a federal prosecutor in the office he will now run as well as in the Southern District of California.
At the high-powered firm, Hanna represented clients accused of white collar crimes and handled large class-action cases. He focused on "alleged health care fraud, securities fraud … insider trading, and environmental crimes," according to a profile on the firm's website.