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Graves one step closer to being U.S. attorney
by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Another step in the process of Todd Graves becoming the next U.S. attorney for Missouri's Western District has taken place.

In a move that had been anticipated for months, President George W. Bush last week formally nominated Graves for the position. All that's left now is for the nomination of Graves to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

The Senate, which won't return to session in Washington, D.C. until Sept. 4, is expected to okay the nomination by the middle of September.
"I'm thrilled," said Graves, who has consistently low-keyed discussion of his pending appointment.

A source familiar with the process said it would be highly unusual for a U.S. attorney nomination not to be approved once the process has reached this point. Such nominations are often run through the Senate on a voice vote, the source said.

There are 400 positions to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and 93 of those spots are U.S. attorneys. Out of the 93 U.S. attorneys, Graves was in the first batch of eight the White House sent in for Senate approval.

"I guess they thought I was qualified," Graves said Monday.
It has been a whirlwind past several months for Graves, prosecutor in Platte County since 1994. After being defeated in a race for state treasurer by Democrat Nancy Farmer in November, on Jan. 16 Graves was informed U.S. Sen. Kit Bond had forwarded his name to the White House for consideration.

Then came background checks by the White House in the spring. Around July 1, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did its background check that involved 170 interviews and 15 FBI agents; then there were financial questionnaires, etc. Finally, word last week that Bush had sent his name on to the Senate.

"My concern now is that I want the next Platte County Prosecutor to succeed. My family and I are going to stay in Platte County, we're not going to move," said Graves, who resides in a rural area of northeastern Platte County.

Graves said he will strive to make the transition an easy one for the next county prosecutor.

The next prosecutor for Platte County will be appointed by Gov. Bob Holden, a Democrat. As previously reported in The Landmark, a top possibility to get the appointment is Tammy Glick, a Democrat. Glick is an attorney based in Platte City and a member of the Platte County R-3 School Board. She is an attorney for the Platte County Juvenile Office in addition to her private practice.

Other Democratic possibilities being mentioned are John Fairfield, a Kansas City-North attorney, and Dennis Eckold, an attorney who is a member of the Kansas City Police Board.

The replacement chosen by Holden will serve until an election for the county prosecutor's post in November 2002. Sources say Eric Zahnd of southern Platte County intends to run for prosecutor on the Republican ticket in 2002.