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Senators send White House names of 3 U.S. attorney finalists; Hummel not among them

KTVZ file

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., sent to the White House Wednesday the names of three finalists to be the next U.S. Attorney for Oregon.

The three finalists were chosen after review by a selection committee assembled by Wyden and Merkley. Following interviews with seven applicants for the job -- including Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, who does not plan to seek re-election -- and soliciting public input, each committee member ranked the candidates.

The three highest-ranked candidates from the cumulative rankings for the U.S. Attorney for Oregon post, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

  • Craig Gabriel -- Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon
  • Vivek Kothari -- Associate at Markowitz Herbold and former Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia
  • Natalie Wight -- Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Organized and Violent Crime Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon

Hummel told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday, "I’m honored to have been considered and will support whomever President Biden nominates." 

Wyden and Merkley thanked both the committee for its service and the members of the public who offered input on the applicants.

“We’re gratified that the selection committee has identified these three very qualified candidates for the White House’s consideration to this important post,” Wyden and Merkley said. “We’re confident that Oregonians would be well-served by having any one of these three candidates as our state’s U.S. Attorney, and we stand ready to advance President Biden’s ultimate choice through the confirmation process.”

In their communication with the White House forwarding the three finalists, Wyden and Merkley noted they are neither endorsing or implying support for any particular nomination. 

The previous U.S. Attorney for Oregon was Billy Williams, who announced his departure from the post as the state’s chief federal law enforcement official in February 2021. Scott Erik Asphaug has been serving as Acting U.S. Attorney.

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  1. What a wonderful bit of news the day before Thanksgiving!

    It appears the grandstanding, pandering, show-boating, and overall unprofessional behavior of the outgoing DA didn’t pay off.

    No worries, however. As Mr. Hummel is “woke” he will no doubt receive a participation award from his crew over at the Central Oregon “peacekeepers”.

    And then again, maybe not.

  2. Peter principle being played out before our eyes. I’m not one to relish others failures, but Bummel was in over his head with this job. Going up a level would be a terrible mistake. He should take a step or two down the ladder.

  3. If there is any one reason Mr. Hummel didn’t fare well…

    It is likely this wholly reckless and unprofessional diatribe he unleashed from the sidewalk, at night, behind a podium regarding the Cranston case.

    A diatribe that included praising the Central Oregon “peacekeepers” for providing “evidence” that the police hadn’t yet found.

    And less than 48 hours later the same “peacekeepers” overran the offices of Central Oregon Daily News with no enforcement action taken as Mr. Hummel simply throws citations and allegations against this group out…

    And less than 24 hours after that nonsense the same “peacekeepers” led by their founder, Mr. Luke Richter, was filmed intimidating a CODN film crew on the public sidewalk outside the courthouse in Bend.

    That act of violence captured on film and aired on the evening news.

    Not real good optics when you’re vying for the position of Oregon U.S. Attorney.

    Just say’in.

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