Political News

Senate confirms Walker as new US Attorney

Posted June 30, 2011 8:08 p.m. EDT
Updated June 30, 2011 10:07 p.m. EDT

— The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed a Charlotte federal prosecutor as the new U.S. attorney for the eastern district. 

Thomas Walker previously served as assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County, and as a special counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. He is currently a partner at Alston & Bird Trial Practice Group in Charlotte.

“Mr. Walker is incredibly qualified to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District," U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC, said in a statement.  "His extensive experience includes seven years in the U.S. Attorney’s office. I recommended Mr. Walker to the president because of his excellent credentials, and I am proud the Senate confirmed him unanimously.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, also supported his nomination. 

Walker takes over from U.S. Attorney George Holding who announced earlier this month that he would step down on July 8. He has headed criminal and civil cases in eastern North Carolina since 2006 and previously worked as an assistant federal prosecutor.

Holding oversaw investigations into former presidential candidate John Edwards and former Gov. Mike Easley is resigning.

Holding is a Republican nominated by former President George W. Bush. He stayed in his post as chief federal prosecutor in eastern North Carolina after Democrats took the White House to prevent any disruption in the Edwards and Easley cases.

In addition to Edwards and Easley, Holding's office also prosecuted high-profile Democrats like former House Speaker Jim Black, former Congressman Frank Ballance and former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps. Still, he said, politics never played a role in the cases.