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Ex-judge Leonardo nominated for Az U.S. Attorney post

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Ex-judge Leonardo nominated for Az U.S. Attorney post

John S. Leonardo, who just stepped down from the Pima Superior Court bench, was nominated Wednesday to be Arizona's U.S. Attorney. President Barack Obama noted Leonardo's "distinguished and impressive" career in sending his name to the Senate.

"I am confident that, as a U.S. Attorney, he will be relentless in his pursuit of justice and serve the people of Arizona with distinction," Obama said.

If confirmed, Leonardo would succeed Dennis Burke, who resigned last August in the wake of the Fast and Furious gun-running investigation.

Ann Birmingham Scheel, an assistant U.S. attorney, has been the acting U.S. attorney for Arizona since Burke resigned.

Leonardo was appointed to the Pima County Superior Court in 1993 by Gov. Fife Symington. The presiding judge from 2002 to 2007, Leonardo stepped down last month.

Before taking to the bench, Leonardo served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona from 1982 to 1993 and for the Northern District of Indiana from 1973 to 1982, where he also served as the first assistant U.S. attorney from 1978 to 1982.  From 1972 to 1973, Leonardo was an assistant state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, Maryland.

A 1969 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, the Des Moines, Iowa, native received a law degree from the George Washington University School of Law in 1972.

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