Report: Mass. gov. possible replacement for U.S. AG Holder

Jessica M. Karmasek Jul. 5, 2012, 8:00am



BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has been mentioned as a possible replacement for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, according to reports.

Last week, U.S. House Republicans voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding certain documents related to a gun-walking operation.

More than 100 Democrats skipped the vote. However, the measure passed 255-67 June 28.

On top of that, some U.S. senators are now calling for Holder's resignation.

According to the Boston Herald, Patrick, a Democrat who was elected Massachusetts governor in 2006, could make a good replacement.

Peter Ubertaccio, a political science professor at Stonehill College, told the Herald that as long as Patrick isn't "harboring presidential aspirations," he'd be a "natural fit."

Phil Johnston, former state Democratic chairman, told the newspaper he, too, believes the governor could be headed to Washington.

But only after serving out his second term.

"I think he'd be a great attorney general, but it's so important that we have a governor in Massachusetts who serves out his full two terms," Johnston told the Herald. "Retirement as governor is another matter.

"Obama would still have a couple years left on his second term. I'm sure he would be anxious to recruit Deval in his administration."

Patrick has some DOJ experience.

Former President Bill Clinton appointed him assistant attorney general for the department's Civil Rights Division in 1994.

There, he worked on issues including racial profiling and police misconduct.

He returned to Boston in 1997 to work in private law and, later, general counsel for Texaco and Coca-Cola before making a run for the Governor's Office in 2006.

According to the Herald, Patrick has said he is going to serve out a full second term.

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