Brett Tolman, a former aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was appointed to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah by fomer president George W. Bush, will resign effective Dec. 31. ---
U.S. Attorneys office spokesperson Melodie Rydalch confirms that Tolman will announce his resignation at a 10:30 a.m. press conference, wherein he will speak about his accomplishments.
Chris Vanocur at ABC 4 really, really had the scoop on this one. Way back in June he reported that Tolman would be pushed out of the office in favor of David Schwendiman, an Assistant U.S. Attorney who had been a key aide to former U.S. Attorney Scott Matheson.
No word yet on whether Schwendiman is Obama's appointee to the position. I asked Rydalch if Tolman would also announce at his press conference that Schwendiman will be his replacement. Rydlach laughed, and said, "That would be the White House." But that's not confirmation that Schwendiman is the guy, Rydlach said, just that when a replacement is announced, it will come directly from the White House.
Like Vanocur, I have been hearing this summer that Schwendiman is the guy. I just never felt I had enough confirmation to report it. Wish I had.
So, readers, why do you care? What does this change in your life? I'm really struggling to explain this in a way that conveys how important this is. It's most difficult because I'm not even sure how important it will be, and I've been covering the U.S. Attorney's office for more than three years.
Maybe nothing will change in ways noticeable to the public. For example, will the case against Tim DeChristopher, just as an example, all of the sudden evaporate because there's a Democrat-appointed boss in that office? Not on your life. But if it ever comes time to make a plea deal, DeChristopher may be treated more forgivingly. I dunno, just speculating there.
Of course, justice is supposed to be blind to politics, but yeah right! You all know better than that. At best, we can hope that justice is mostly removed from politics, but "blind" is as hilarious and fictitious as the claim that journalists can be "objective."
Maybe big things will happen. I've reported that the U.S. Attorneys office may be be investigating the 2008 Utah Treasurer's Republican primary scandal. The more cynical among us might believe that an investigation like that will be done with more gusto if a guy appointed by Obama is in there. After all, for better or worse, politics has entered U.S. Attorneys offices in the recent past, and really close to home.
Hat tip to reporter Ben Winslow at FOX13 whose Twitter feed alerted me to this news.