After decades of white men holding the position of U.S. Attorney in Chicago, the next top law enforcement official will be a Hispanic man or a woman. Both Sergio Acosta and April Perry have been praised as strong candidates for the pivotal criminal justice position.
More than five years ago, John Lausch was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Since then, some of his predecessors have moved on to higher office, such as governor, attorney general, and judge.
Illinois’ Democratic U.S. Senators nominated two attorneys on Monday. One of them will probably take over for Lausch, who has already left.
“Great choices, both of them, for a couple reasons. One, they both have extensive experience in this U.S. Attorney’s Office. They’ve also seen the world beyond the U.S. Attorney’s Office, one of them in private practice for many years, and other in house, they’re good choices,” ABC7 Legal Analyst and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Gil Soffer said.
After leading the Illinois Gaming Board, he moved into private practice, where he has been lauded as “a superb public servant attorney” like Acosta.
“There’ll be certain initiatives that may get greater play in a new administration or under new leadership in the office, but the day-to-day work in the office won’t change dramatically, and the overarching priorities: violent crime, certainly guns, public corruption, white collar crime, they’ll always be there,” Soffer told the I-Team.
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Having spent over twenty years as an assistant U.S. attorney, deputy state’s attorney, and hearing officer with the Chicago Police Board, April Perry is now practicing as a business attorney.
“It will be a marked change from the past no matter who is chosen, and it’s time that happened,” said Soffer.
John Lausch, the outgoing U.S. Attorney, spoke with the I-Team two years ago about the core responsibilities of the position.
“Each U.S. attorney really looks at what the crime in their particular district, and we figure out what we need to do to do, what we can for our community,” said Lausch.
Although both nominees have a slim possibility of being rejected and sent back, the United States Senate ultimately decides which will be the historic change. This is really unusual.
April Perry expressed to the I-Team that she is “tremendously honored to be considered.” Sergio Acosta expressed his gratitude for making the final round by saying, “I am pleased to have been selected as a finalist.”
No specific date is specified, and no assurance is offered. The first major appointment made by a new president is usually to the position of attorney general.
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