Tom Diaz

Likely U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles Wins Wide Support

In Obama, politics on November 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm
AndreBirotte

LAPD Inspector general Andre Birotte Jr. Has Broad Support to be Next U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles

André Birotte, Jr.

LAPD Inspector General

Mr. Birotte joined the Office of the Inspector General in 2001. In 2003, he was appointed Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department by the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. Mr. Birotte and his staff of approximately 32 employees, which include lawyers, professional auditors and former law enforcement executives, are responsible for conducting and overseeing LAPD internal investigations and audits to ensure compliance with both LAPD policies and mandates from the Federal Consent Decree. Mr. Birotte holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. Following law school, Mr. Birotte worked as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles where he represented indigent clients charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses in several phases of criminal proceedings including preliminary hearings, pretrial conferences, arraignments and over 30 trials. He then joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he investigated and prosecuted numerous violent crime, fraud and narcotics trafficking cases. Thereafter, he joined the Quinn Emanuel law firm, where he represented clients in white-collar crime and commercial litigation matters.

LAPD Inspector General’s Internet Website

Los Angeles is buzzing this week, awaiting a new police chief.  But another nomination, perhaps  just as important, is in the wind.

Last week the Los Angeles Times floated a trial balloon for the likely nomination of Andre Birotte, Jr., the Los Angeles Police Department’s Inspector General, to become the next United States Attorney for the Central District of California (Los Angeles and much of Southern California).

LAPD’s inspector general likely choice for U.S. attorney in L.A.  Andre Birotte Jr. emerges after months of speculation as the presumptive nominee to be appointed to the vacant post by Obama.

The news of Birotte’s pending appointment prompted praise from diverse quarters.  Smart, moderate, and soft spoken, Birotte has successfully navigated the shark-filled waters of L.A. politics and come out strong with his integrity intact.

Social justice maven Celeste Fremon headlined her WitnessLA social justic blog:  “Andre Birotte Jr. 4 US Attorney? Please, Let it Be So!”

Here are her thoughts on Birotte:

I’ve got my fingers firmly crossed that Andre is indeed the nominee.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better choice for LA’s U.S. Attorney. He’s respected by a broad spectrum of people in and around law enforcement.

Plus, with basically no real power in his position as  inspector general for the Los Angeles Police Department, he has still managed to have a real influence in helping the LAPD transform itself into a department that the city can once again be proud of.

The LAPD command staff holds him in high regard.  At the same time,  Andre made a point of reaching out liberal-leaning law enforcement watchers like me—not to garner press attention or advance any agenda—but simply to talk about issues.

Andre is one of those rare people with a truly nuanced intelligence who seeks to understand any problem before him at a deeper and more complex level than what the surface presents.

And, hey, the guy also has a good sense of humor—mandatory in this business, in my humble opinion.

Let’s hope he’s our new U.S.  Attorney.

Bruce Riordan, one of Birotte’s former colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office and now Chief, Gang Division, Los Angeles City Attorney, likewise knows Birotte well and offered this assessment:

I have known and worked with Andre for more than a decade.  First as an Assistant United States Attorney,  then as a Deputy Inspector General, and finally as the Inspector General for the LAPD.  In every capacity in which he has worked he has served with real distinction.  He has an innate sense of fairness, a strong moral compass and he is also decisive.  If he is indeed nominated and confirmed for the position of United States Attorney, then it is my firm opinion that the District will see not only a very good man, but also a very good leader.  The District will be in good hands.

If Birotte lands the job, he’ll have his hands full from the first minute.  In addition to pending cases handed off from former U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien, he’ll have to lead the way in one of the nation’s most prestigious — and hottest — law enforcement environs.

With the generally positive reviews of all the finalists for chief, and that spectrum of opinion supporting Birotte’s likely nomination, things should be looking up for the City of Angels on the law enforcement front.

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