A day after a D.C. Council panel rejected throwing its support to interim D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, the full council this afternoon confirmed him in a 7-5 vote, with two members abstaining. Nickles, a former litigation partner at Covington & Burling, was tapped for the spot earlier this year.
D.C. Council member David Catania (At-Large), a Nickles supporter, said: “Has he at times become his own worst enemy? Yes. But he has done what AG’s have been talking about doing for years.” Catania cited Nickles’ work in keeping the doors open at United Medical Center (formerly Greater Southeast Community Hospital).
Councilmember Phil Mendelson introduced a report yesterday in which he denounced Nickles and his close ties to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. Mendelson said Nickles would be unable to separate the interests of the District and those of Fenty. “The committee believes the rights, the safety, and the security of the citizens of the District of Columbia should not, on principle, be sacrificed to individual politics,” wrote Mendelson, who chairs the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.
Nickles is criticized in the report in a number of areas—including the firing of union attorneys reportedly without due process and the promotion of a e-mail deletion policy that would destroy e-mails after six months. Mendelson reiterated his concern this afternoon during more than 90 minutes of council discussion on naming Nickles the D.C. attorney general.