published Friday, May 21st, 2010

Killian nominated as U.S. attorney

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Jasper, Tenn., attorney Bill Killian is President Barack Obama's nominee to serve as U.S. attorney in East Tennessee.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the president's nomination, and I look forward to the Senate confirmation process," Mr. Killian said in a telephone interview Thursday evening.

The president chose Mr. Killian, a lawyer in Marion County for the past 32 years, to lead federal prosecution programs in East Tennessee. The U.S. Senate must confirm the appointment.

Mr. Killian, who practices in South Pittsburg, Tenn., and Chattanooga and is the city attorney for Monteagle, Tenn., said he didn't know how long that might take.

"I just look forward to cooperating in the process and going through it," he said.

Mr. Killian was nominated to replace Russ Dedrick, who was appointed in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Other applicants included Chattanooga defense attorney Lee Davis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Harr in the Greeneville, Tenn., office and another private lawyer in Knoxville.

U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president and traditionally are replaced when a new administration of a different party takes over.

U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn., said in a statement that he is "proud to have such an accomplished individual ... nominated as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee." He said he hopes Mr. Killian "will have a speedy hearing and confirmation in the U.S. Senate."

Rep. Davis said that when Mr. Killian's appointment is confirmed, "I have no doubt he will serve the people of Tennessee with character and distinction."

Tennessee's senior U.S. senator, Republican Lamar Alexander, said in a news release that "I congratulate Bill Killian on his nomination by the president to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and I look forward to visiting with him."

Staff writer Monica Mercer contributed to this story.

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