Local Politics

Rand named new U.S. attorney for central N.C.

Posted December 11, 2010 1:31 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2010 1:52 p.m. EST

— The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed North Carolina Judge Ripley Rand, the son of veteran state Senator Tony Rand, to the post of U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Rand will serve as the top federal prosecutor in a district that is headquartered in Greensboro and encompasses 24 counties including Durham, Orange, Chatham, Hoke, Lee and Alamance.

He replaces U.S. Attorney Anna Mills Wagoner, an appointee of President George W. Bush. Presidents have the prerogative to nominate replacements for U.S. attorneys appointed by their predecessors.

Rand was nominated by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., who convened a panel in March 2009 to search for nominees for federal judicial positions.

"Judge Rand has a distinguished record as both a Superior Court judge and as an assistant district attorney," Sen. Kay Hagan said in a statement Saturday. "I know he will serve our state well in his new role as a U.S. Attorney."

Rand has served as a superior court judge in Wake County since 2002.

In December, he ruled that convicted murderers Alford Jones and Faye Brown, both sentenced to life in the 1970s, had effectively served their time and should be released. That ruling was overturned by a 5-2 ruling by the N.C. Supreme Court that the inmates can't use credits for good behavior to shorten their life sentences.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Rand served as an assistant district attorney in Raleigh.