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Originally published Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 6:59 PM

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Jenny Durkan confirmed as US attorney for W. Wash.

The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Jenny Durkan, a longtime friend and counselor of Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, to be U.S. attorney in Seattle.

The Associated Press

SEATTLE —

The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Jenny Durkan, a longtime friend and counselor of Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, to be U.S. attorney in Seattle.

That word came late Tuesday from the U.S. attorney's office, where spokeswoman Emily Langlie said Durkan will be sworn in by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert Lasnik at a date to be scheduled.

President Barack Obama nominated Durkan in May and the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed her last Thursday, sending her nomination to the full Senate, which confirmed her unanimously.

Durkan will lead the Justice Department's efforts in Western Washington, including prosecuting criminal and civil cases and defending federal agencies in court.

"I am honored and humbled by this challenge and responsibility, and will spend each day working to honor the rule of law, protect our citizens from crime and to defend the U.S. in civil cases," Durkan said in a statement.

She replaces Jeff Sullivan, a Republican named to the position by the district's federal judges after John McKay was fired by the Bush administration. Sullivan will remain with the U.S. attorney's office.

A graduate of Notre Dame and the University of Washington Law School, and the daughter of the late Democratic state Sen. Martin Durkan, Jenny Durkan first represented Gregoire in her campaign for attorney general in 1992. She continued to provide counsel off and on through Gregoire's election in the razor-thin 2004 governor's race, which Gregoire won after two recounts and a court case. Durkan also was counsel to Gregoire's re-election campaign last year.

Durkan has done a wide variety of civil litigation and criminal defense work, and former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice made her the first citizen observer of the Seattle Police Department's firearms review board, which reviews police shootings. She has served on a bipartisan panel that helped select nominees for federal judgeships in Western Washington.

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