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Wed February 5, 2003
Gorham Nominated for U.S. Attorney
By Martha Bebinger
wrni – The leader of the Republican Party in Rhode Island is in line to become the next U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island. Senator Lincoln Chafee is recommending long time GOP activist Brad Gorham for the job.
Gorahm is a former state senator and state representative. He also ran unsucessfully for attorney general in 1990. He lives in Foster and operates a small law firm.
Goraham said his top priority would be fighting public corruption.
"I'm continually dismayed by the aura of corruption in our state. Its something I intend to pursue. Its very, very important to the people of our state to have good clean government," said Gorham, who dismissed suggestions Democrats might have more to fear than Republicans.
Gorham was recently at odds with the top state prosecutors, after he asked Attorney General Patrick Lynch to investigate spending by the General Assembly. Lynch though praised the selection of Gorham for the federal post.
"He has proved through his entire career steadfast in his respect for the law and has been a first rate attorney. I have no question, am entirely confident that he will fulfill the demands put on there and will put politics aside," said Lynch.
Several attorneys in private practice interviewed yesterday noted that Gorham does not have much experience in criminal law, but that has been true of other U.S. Attorneys.
Gorham has taken strong stands on law enforcement issues. As a state representative, he introduced legislation that would allow the death penalty for some crimes. While running for attorney general in 1990, he pledged to abolish parole and plea bargains. He says he would talk to federal prosecutors in Rhode Island, before changing any policies here.
Gorham's more conservative views helped him win Chafee's backing. Chafee said Gorham will mesh well with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush administration.
"You can't leave out that my record to the white house, they have to accept it and I have a relationship with them that is a little different, because of my positions on some issues. So its important that someone that isn't going to cause them any more stress than I do through the course of our relationship," said Chafee.
Current U.S. Attorney Margarett Curran appeared with Gorham at the announcement. Curran, the only remaining U.S. Attorney from the Clinton administration, will remain in control of the office until Gorham wins confirmation, which could take several months. She says as soon as Gorham completes the federal security screening process, he will be welcomed into the office to begin a transition process.