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Gee nomination for U.S. Attorney awaits...

Gee nomination for U.S. Attorney awaits full U.S. Senate vote

By: Jeremy Pittari - September 8, 2023

U.S. Capitol (Photo by Frank Corder 2023)

The last action taken on the nominee to fill the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi position was in April.

The nomination of a new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi is in the hands of the full Senate, with no set timeline for the process to move forward. 

Todd Gee, a native of Vicksburg, has served as the Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section of the United States since 2018.  In September 2022, he was chosen by President Joe Biden to assume the responsibility as the chief federal law enforcement officer in Southern Mississippi. Notably, the Delta native’s grandfather, Nathaniel Bullard, was the Mayor of Vicksburg from 1973 until 1977.

The Southern District consists of 45 counties in the lower half of the state.

According to a White House release, Gee was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington D.C. from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that, Gee was the Chief Counsel from 2006 to 2007 and the Senior Policy Advisor for the Committee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2006. From 2003 to 2005, Gee was a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart in Oregon. He holds a law degree from Tulane Law School and a bachelor’s from George Washington University. 

If appointed, Gee would replace former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst, who stepped down from the position in 2021. Hurst was appointed to the position by former President Donald Trump.

Gee’s nomination was referred to the Judiciary Committee where, through a voice vote, it was approved in April. Two votes were recorded against the nomination by proxy, one from Senator Ted Cruz (R) of Texas and the other from Senator Josh Hawley (R) of Missouri. 

Communications personnel from the offices of Mississippi’s U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith said each senator approved Gee’s nomination by returning “blue slips,” signifying their agreement to move the nomination forward for consideration by the chamber. Both offices said the next step in the process is for his nomination to go before the full Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) controls when such matters are brought to the floor. Attempts to contact his office on Thursday to see when the appointment would be considered were unsuccessful before press time Friday.

If the nomination is approved, Gee would likely serve through at least January 2025 when the next President is sworn into office.

For now, Darren LaMarca is serving as Acting U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Mississippi. He has been in that role since Hurst resigned in 2021 following the swearing in of President Biden.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District is responsible for handling the federal case related to Mississippi’s $77 million in misspent welfare funds that were part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. As previously reported, five defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty to their part of the scandal.

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics.