Federal Prosecutor Knows Tough Jobs, Gets Another - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Federal Prosecutor Knows Tough Jobs, Gets Another

Craig S. Morford Craig S. Morford
From Phil Williams:

Middle Tennessee's top federal prosecutor is moving on up -- and no man may be more accustomed to being thrown into a hornet's nest than Craig Morford.

President Bush announced Wednesday that he is appointing Morford to the number two position at the U.S. Department of Justice -- deputy attorney general -- under the much-beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.

Morford, who has been acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee for the past 10 months and received generally high marks from those who've dealt with him, hinted in a prepared statement that he's well aware that he's got his job cut out for him.

"As a career prosecutor, I view this opportunity to serve as a special honor and a great challenge," Morford said.

"I accept the challenge out of my deep sense of duty to our country, my admiration for the work of the career professionals who are the heart and soul of the Department, and my unwavering commitment to the institution of justice."

He added that he will "earnestly seek the patience and grace I will need to succeed in the important and challenging work ahead."

The AG noted that "this is not the first time that the Department has called upon Craig for his proven leadership skills and experience."

"With 20 years of experience as a Justice Department prosecutor, I am pleased to have a person of Mr. Morford's exemplary character and integrity in this critical position at this time," Gonzalez added in his statement.

DOJ shipped Morford into Nashville last September to take over a U.S. Attorney's Office that was deeply divided by the management style of former U.S. Attorney Jim Vines.

In 2002, Morford led the prosecution of the unconventional Democratic Congressman James Traficant of Ohio for bribery and racketeering.  That effort earned Morford the distinction of having an Internet attack site, craig-morford.com, named after him.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer credited him for helping to "destroy the Youngstown mob."

A year later, DOJ picked Morford to lead an internal investigation into the botched prosecution of an alleged terrorist "sleeper cell" in the Detroit area.

So was Morford picked for his integrity and character -- or because he's a big contributor to the President's campaigns and other Republican causes?

Well, a search of federal campaign contributions going back over a decade shows Morford contributed a measly $250 to the Bush re-election campaign in 2004.

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