- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated a U.S. attorney from Southern California to become a federal District Court judge.

If confirmed by the Senate, Andre Birotte Jr. would take a seat in the court’s Central District of California, which covers seven counties, including Los Angeles.

In a statement also announcing the nomination of Randolph D. Moss for the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Obama said “these individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who recommended Birotte for the bench, said in a statement that “he has a record of excellence and fairness, and I am confident he will serve the people of the central district very well.”

The nomination comes at a time when the Senate has been deadlocked on some Obama nominees. Last month, Republicans in the chamber blocked dozens of Obama’s picks for lower-level positions from immediate approval.

As U.S. attorney, Birotte was recently in the headlines when Democratic state Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello was hit with federal corruption charges, including allegations that he accepted $100,000 in bribes. He’s also been at the center of a probe of the Los Angeles County jail system, which has led to federal charges against 18 current and former sheriff’s officials accused of beating inmates and jail visitors, falsifying reports, and trying to obstruct an FBI probe.

Birotte has been the Justice Department’s top prosecutor in the Central District since 2010. Earlier, he served as a public defender and the Los Angeles Police Department’s inspector general.

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