Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Four to interview for U.S. attorney post

TAMPA — A federal Judicial Nominating Commission released names Wednesday of four applicants to be interviewed for the position of U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

Acting U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III is one of them, along with Roger B. Handberg, an assistant U.S. attorney in Orlando; Curry Gary Pajcic, a Jacksonville attorney; and William Charles Vose, a chief assistant state attorney from the Orlando area.

The top federal prosecutor's position was vacated by Robert "Bobby" O'Neill, who left in July to join a risk management company led by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh.

Interviews will take place Sept. 9 in Orlando, a central locale in a district that stretches from the Georgia border to south of Naples. It's the start of a nominating process that ultimately leads to the White House and the Senate. The nominating commission is chaired by Tampa attorney John Fitzgibbons.

Next, on Sept. 10, the panel will hear from 14 people who hope to become federal district judges.

The applicants for two Middle District judgeships include sitting magistrate judges, state court judges, attorneys, at least one law professor and a former U.S. attorney, A. Brian Albritton.

The others are Virginia Baker Norton, Gary R. Jones, Carlos E. Mendoza, Waddell A. Wallace III, Michael L. Seigel, Bryan S. Gowdy, Christopher C. Sabella, Emily A. Peacock, Stephen R. Senn, Monte C. Richardson, Paul Byron, William F. Jung and James R. Klindt, who is a former acting U.S. attorney.

One reason for the help-wanted ad? U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr., a mainstay of the Tampa federal courthouse, is expected to attain senior status on March 14. Senior judges, partially retired, typically carry a reduced case load.

News researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

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