By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Oxford attorney Christi McCoy’s candidacy for Northern Mississippi U.S. attorney may be getting the end-around on behalf of a current Southern District assistant, Felicia Colette Adams, a Capitol Hill publication says.
Adams’ name emerged last week from a conversation by Main Justice with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton.
Adams is being considered by the Obama administration, even though Thompson formally recommended Booneville native McCoy for the post last summer.
McCoy’s candidacy, supported by Rep. Travis Childers of Booneville, ran into trouble several months ago when then-U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee, a Republican, reportedly objected because of her affiliation with a local private investigator who was under investigation for his billing practices. The Northern District U.S. Attorney’s office, which was handling the case, dropped its probe earlier this year, clearing McCoy.
A U.S. attorney, also known as a federal prosecutor, represents the federal government in U.S. district court and the court of appeals. There are 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country.
Thompson, who is taking the lead on selecting U.S. attorney candidates for Mississippi’s congressional Democrats, said the White House is reviewing both Adams and McCoy for the post. He said he supports both of them.
U.S. attorney nominations must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
When asked who put Adams’ name forward, Thompson said she was “already in the system” since she previously worked in the Northern District. It’s also widely known in Democratic political circles that Adams was under consideration for a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seat until momentum picked up there for James A. Graves, the only black justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
“I was asked if I know her and I said, ‘Yes, she’s a good person’,” Main Justice quoted Thompson.
Adams earned her law degree in 1984 from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Northern District of Mississippi Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis Ivy also was mentioned as a candidate for the job. Thompson met with Ivy in Washington last July, but the House member said at the time they didn’t discuss the U.S. attorney post.
Thompson said Friday he “didn’t know that (Ivy) was in the running.”
He said he hopes the Obama administration will make a nomination soon.
“It’s taking an awfully long time,” Thompson said. “One of the situations you run into is: How long can a person put their career on hold?”
Obama’s pick to lead the Oxford-based U.S. Attorney’s office will succeed Greenlee, who stepped down Jan. 31.