Durbin: Senate Confirms Lewis to be U.S. Attorney in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate unanimously approved James Lewis to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois.

“With over twenty years of experience in the office of U.S. Attorney in Central Illinois, James Lewis brings a strong background in the law to this position,” said Durbin.  “I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama, and am confident that he will bring a strong work ethic, independence, and depth of knowledge to the position of U.S. Attorney.”

Lewis has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois since 1983, and he has served as the Chief of the Civil Division in that office for over 20 years.  Previously, he worked as a trial attorney in the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, as a law professor, and as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi.  Mr. Lewis has been a board member of several organizations and has received many awards for his work.

In April of last year, Durbin established three bipartisan screening committees to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals for Illinois. The screening committees are comprised of 22 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession and include former judges, prominent litigators, law professors, bar association leaders, former prosecutors and defenders.

Springfield attorney James Potter serves as chairman of the Central District screening panel.  Members of this screening committee reviewed applications, conducted interviews, and made recommendations for U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois.  Durbin reviewed the recommendations, conducted interviews of finalists and, in consultation with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, submitted the names of two individuals to the President, who made the final decision.