D.C. AG will retire

Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 17, 2010, 11:23am


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - District of Columbia Attorney General Peter Nickles said Thursday he plans to resign following his boss' loss in Tuesday's Democratic primary election for mayor.

Nickles told The Associated Press he plans to resign and is considering his next move.

He said he would not work for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, who defeated Mayor Adrian Fenty in the primary earlier this week.

Gray, in June, called for the removal of Nickles, saying he betrayed the public's trust.

In a statement released then, Gray said, "Two years ago, I voted to confirm Peter Nickles as attorney general, with a belief and trust that he would put the interests of the people first, as required by D.C. law. There is no question about the fact that the attorney general's client is the District of Columbia, not the Mayor. That's what the Office of the General Counsel to the Mayor is for. The attorney general is supposed to be the people's lawyer."

Fenty nominated Nickles to the attorney general post in 2008 after Linda Singer resigned.

Gray claimed Nickles "inappropriately politicized his role and facilitated the Mayor's cronyism."

Nickles told the AP he would stick around to make sure the transition to Gray's administration was smooth and benefits the city. Then, he said, he would announce his resignation effective at the end of the year.

Nickles said he's giving himself 30 days to think about what he wants to do next.

He said he's already been approached by businesses, law firms, nonprofits and universities seeking his expertise.

Nickles told the Washington Business Journal he will probably not return to his former law firm, Covington & Burling LLP -- or any firm -- after he leaves his current position.

"I don't think the pure practice of law is something that attracts me. I did that for 40-some years," Nickles told the publication.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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