President Obama Nominates George Beck to Replace Laure Canary as US Attorney

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President Barack Obama nominated George L. Beck to Replace Laura Canary as U.S. Attorney in Montgomery today, according to an announcement from the White House.

“For his diligence and relentless pursuit of justice, I have named George L. Beck to serve as a U.S. Attorney,” President Obama said in a statement. “I am confident he will serve the people of Alabama with distinction.”

According to the backgrounder put out by the White House, Beck has been a shareholder of Capell and Howard, P.C. since 2004. He was a sole practitioner from 1986 to 2003 and from 1979 to 1982, and was a partner at Baxley, Beck, Dillard & Dauphin from 1982 to 1986. From 1971 to 1979, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama.

Prior to that, Mr. Beck worked as an associate at St. John and St. John from 1966 to 1971.

“Mr. Beck has served our country honorably, enlisting in the Alabama Army National Guard in 1966 and rising through the ranks to be honorably discharged as a Colonel in 2001,” the president said.

Mr. Beck is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama School of Law.

In a separate press release, the Alabama Democratic Party applauded the nomination of Beck as for Alabama’s Middle District. If he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Beck will replace sitting U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, who has served in the office since her appointment by President George W. Bush in 2001.

Beck now works in Montgomery with the law firm of Capell and Howard and is widely respected in the legal community, according to the party. He has previously served the state as a deputy Attorney General and is a retired Alabama Army National Guard Judge Advocate Corps Colonel.

“I have known George for more than 20 years, and I have a deep respect for his ability to carry out the duties of the office with honor and incredible skill,” said state party chair Mark Kennedy. “President Obama’s decision is the right thing to do, and it is a privilege to know that an attorney of George’s caliber will be serving the people of the Middle District in the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

The nomination follows weeks of intense vetting and significant coordination between the Department of Justice and local Alabama officials, including the newly-elected chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. Since taking office as Chairman in January of this year, Judge Mark Kennedy has worked to help expedite the naming of a new Middle District U.S. Attorney, according to the release.

“During my two-month tenure as the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, I have made the resolution of this nomination one of my highest priorities,” Kennedy said. “We have long needed new representation in the Middle District and we thank the White House for working so closely with us in recent weeks to resolve this long-standing issue. We are grateful to the White House for choosing an experienced and knowledgeable nominee for this critical position in whom the people of Alabama can have the utmost confidence.”

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell of Alabama’s Seventh District issued a statement saying she too was pleased with the appointment.

“George Beck will bring the right combination of legal experience, commitment, and service to the job of U.S. Attorney,” Rep. Sewell said. “There is great respect for him among the members of the Montgomery County and Alabama State Bar Associations. George Beck has an exceptional record of service to the State of Alabama and the country,”

U.S. Attorneys are nominated by the President of the United States and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. They are responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases brought by the federal government, the prosecution and defense of civil cases in which the country is a party, and the collection of debts owed to the federal government.

© 2011, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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