Tom Leonard

The Detroit News reports that President Donald Trump has nominated former Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan. The announcement was made August 14. The DeWitt Republican said Trump’s consideration was an “incredible honor.”

“Since becoming a prosecutor in Genesee County, my heart has been to work with law enforcement to keep our citizens safe,” Leonard said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the White House and the Senate as we work through the confirmation process.”

If confirmed, Leonard would oversee an office prosecuting one of his former caucus members for charges that stemmed from a controversial prevailing wage initiative vote during Leonard’s tenure as speaker. He also is the subject of a civil lawsuit in the Western District alleging the former House speaker used his influence to pressure an insurance association to fire its lobbyist.

Andrew Birge has served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan since the day Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, when Democratic U.S. Attorney Pat Miles resigned from the office. Birge first served as acting U.S. attorney and then in November 2017 was appointed interim U.S. attorney by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A former Genesee County assistant prosecutor and assistant attorney general, Leonard served in the state House from 2012 to 2018, with his last two years spent as speaker. Leonard served in the special crimes division while working in Genesee County and practiced civil defense for the Michigan Department of Corrections under Republican former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

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