D.C. one step closer to AG elections

John O'Brien Feb. 2, 2010, 2:38pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The District of Columbia City Council has again voted to end the process that allows D.C.'s mayor to nominate its attorney general.

In a 12-1 vote Tuesday, the Council approved legislation that would allow a popular election process to select the attorney general, the Washington Post reported. That election likely wouldn't take place for four years, the report added.

Current Attorney General Peter Nickles took over on an interim basis in 2007 and was nominated to the permanent job by Mayor Adrian Fenty. He formerly served as Fenty's general counsel.

Seven states do not have a popular election process for their attorney general position. Governors nominate attorneys general in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Alaska and Hawaii, while the Governor in Wyoming appoints the attorney general.

In Tennessee, the justices of the state Supreme Court appoint the attorney general. In Maine, the state Legislature elects the attorney general.

For the change to take place, Congress would have to amend the city's Home Rule charter.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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