By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
WASHINGTON – Felicia Adams’ nomination to be North Mississippi’s next U.S. attorney won U.S. Senate approval Thursday.
Also confirmed was former Oxford mayor Richard Howorth to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors.
“I’m honored to be asked, and I’m happy to serve,” Howorth, the owner of Square Books, had said when nominated.
Adams could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
She becomes the state’s first female in the post.
Still unclear is when the 51-year-old Holly Springs native physically will occupy the Oxford-based office vacated by Bush appointee James Greenlee early in 2010.
The U.S. attorney is the government’s top lawyer in a specific jurisdiction and oversees a staff of attorneys working on criminal and civil cases on behalf of the government.
Adams is the top assistant U.S. attorney in Jackson’s Southern District, where she’s worked since early 2000. Before that, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in Oxford.
President Barack Obama announced the nominations of Adams and Howorth this spring.
Their confirmations came without an actual floor vote but that is not an unusual procedure for the Senate. A list of nominee names went out to Republican and Democratic senators, and when none voiced an objection to their nominations by the end of the day, they were deemed as confirmed.
Both of Mississippi’s U.S. senators – Thad Cochran of Oxford and Roger Wicker of Tupelo – had voiced their pleasure at the nominations.
Mississippi is one of the last states to get a new U.S. attorney nomination.
Just this week Obama nominated Gregory K. Davis of Jackson as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, where career lawyer John Dowdy is its acting chief. Davis’ nomination must still go before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the Northern District office in Oxford, interim leadership has come from assistants Bill Martin and now John Marshall Alexander from appointments by the District Court.
Adams earned her bachelor of science degree in 1981 from Jackson State University and her law degree in 1984 from the University of Mississippi. Before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney in 1989, she was legal counsel to Gov. Ray Mabus and a special assistant attorney general.
“Mississippi should have representation on the TVA board of directors,” Cochran said when Howorth was nominated, “and Richard’s understanding of Mississippi and the TVA should make him a valued member of that body.”
Wicker noted that for more than 70 years TVA has played an important role in promoting infrastructure and economic development in north Mississippi and the surrounding Tennessee Valley area, with Tupelo holding the distinction as “the first TVA city.”
He also emphasized that the ties between Mississippi and TVA “have been realized through representation on the TVA Board of Directors.”
Tupeloan Glenn McCullough Jr. is a former chairman of the TVA board. In 2005 it expanded from three full-time members to nine part-time.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.