Nick Brown and Vanessa Waldref confirmed as American lawyers
SEATTLE (AP) – The United States Senate has confirmed two top attorneys for the Department of Justice in Washington state.
Nick Brown, former general counsel to Governor Jay Inslee, will be the first high-ranking black federal prosecutor in western Washington, while Vanessa Waldref, environmental lawyer for the Department of Justice, will be the first woman to lead. the US attorney’s office in eastern Washington.
The Senate confirmed them both by voice vote on Thursday. They should be sworn in soon.
President Joe Biden appointed the two on the recommendation of Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.
Brown, 44, is a litigation partner at Pacifica Law Group in Seattle, where he manages civil, regulatory, public policy and other complex matters for public and private clients. He was Inslee’s attorney from 2013 to 2017, helping the governor overcome a slew of issues that included Inslee’s moratorium on the death penalty in 2014 and tensions with the federal government after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize the sale of adult marijuana.
Prior to that, Brown, a graduate of Morehouse College and Harvard Law, served as an assistant lawyer in the United States in Seattle for six years and served as judge advocate general in the military. In a less common qualification for a potential senior federal prosecutor, he appeared on the second season of the “Survivor” reality show, which aired in 2001.
Waldref, 41, is a litigator in the Environmental Defense Section of the Department of Justice, where she defends rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and handles issues related to the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Previously, she had spent seven years dealing with civil and criminal matters as an assistant U.S. lawyer in Spokane, including successfully championing an ecosystem restoration project in the Colville National Forest that involved rebuilding roads, improving fish habitat and thinning trees.
In 2018, Waldref helped win a $ 3.2 million fraud settlement from a major contractor over the cleanup of Hanford nuclear restoration, following a whistleblower complaint that alleged the contractor did not was not directing subcontracts to women-owned businesses or other disadvantaged businesses, as required by the Department of Energy.
A graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown Law, she also practiced in private practice in Spokane and Washington, DC, and taught administrative and environmental law at Gonzaga University Law School. His sister Amber served for eight years on Spokane City Council.