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Andre Birotte, U.S. Attorney, Designate
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Birotte Confirmed as U.S. Attorney
Selected by Senator Dianne Feinstein and nominated by President Barack Obama, Andre Birotte, Jr., has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate making him the first African-American of the Central District.
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Managing Editor
When attorney Andre Birotte Jr., the inspector general of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officially takes over as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, he will be the top federal prosecutor for an area that includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. And he will be the first African American to be so appointed.
Having been the one who recommended Birotte for the U.S. attorney's position, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), California's senior U.S. Senator, on learning of his confirmation said, "Mr. Birotte has earned the overwhelming respect and support of both law enforcement officers and the civil rights community. He's tough, independent and has both management and prosecution experience. I believe he will make an excellent U.S. Attorney."
Birotte holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. He began his career as a lawyer dealing with felonies, misdemeanors, preliminary hearings, pretrial conferences, arraignments and has been involved in over 30 trials. The U.S. attorney's office is not new to Birotte; he told the Los Angeles Sentinel, "I was fortunate to get a job as an assistant United States Attorney and there I enhanced my trial skills because I was dealing from the prosecution's side." Having also worked as a defense lawyer, Birotte said, "I had the opportunity to view the criminal justice system from both sides--as a defense lawyer and a prosecutor." He will be an excellent U.S. attorney having worked on both sides of the aisle.
As Inspector General, Birotte explained, "I work for the Board of Commissioners and I report to the Board of Commissioners; they are the head of the police department." The Sentinel spoke with Commissioner John Mack who was very congratulatory in his remarks about Birotte's appointment. He said, "Andre Birotte is an outstanding choice. Personally, I'm extremely happy for him and I'm confident that he will do an outstanding job as the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. First and foremost, Andre is extremely well qualified to assume this position and secondly I'm very proud of the fact that he is the first African American to be selected as the U.S. attorney of the largest district in the country."
Those are exemplary remarks coming from one of the commissioners for whom Birotte worked and it aptly describes the man who will oversee a federal law office of about 275 prosecutors. And at 43, Birotte is probably one of the youngest, if not the youngest U.S. attorney in the nation. Commissioner Mack continued, "Andre is extremely talented. He understands the law; he has a deep commitment to justice and possesses great integrity. In his role as inspector general for the Los Angeles Police Commission, he performed extremely well with tremendous credibility in the African American community, and communities of color, and he's just a great choice."
Another commissioner described Birotte thus: "He's a very smart and talented lawyer, but he's also a regular guy, and people respond to that."
Finally, one of the attorneys with whom Birotte worked said, "I spent 2 1/2 years working for Andre' and it was one of the best professional experiences I've had. I learned to be patient, look at each and every aspect of the matter and make conclusions based solely on the law and Department policies - not on emotion or the whirlwind the situation generated."