GOP sweepstakes for Trump’s U.S. attorney for Conn.
Updated 11:19 am, Monday, March 20, 2017
If Mitt Romney can get a second audition for secretary of state and a dinner invitation from Donald Trump — whom he once referred to as a “fraud” and a “phony” — there may still be hope for John Shaban.
The former GOP state representative from Redding, who gave up a safe seat in the Legislature last year to run unsuccessfully for Congress, is angling to fill the highly sought-after post of U.S. attorney for Connecticut.
This is one closing argument that could be untenable for Shaban, who distanced himself from Trump during last year’s campaign and referred to his party’s standard-bearer on multiple occasions as a “jerk.”
Shaban, who practices commercial law in Greenwich, said he does not think that’s a disqualifier.
“I actually give his team credit for saying, ‘We’re all on one team now. Let’s build out the administration,’ ” Shaban said. “Whatever comments are made or not made, whatever the spin was put on them, who knows. It is what is. If there was an opportunity to serve, that would be clearly one I would be interested in.”
If history is any indicator, those familiar with the process say, it could take Trump’s administration and the DOJ months before nominating Daly’s successor. George W. Bush and Barack Obama took a year to make their picks. Obama had the benefit of having two Democrats as sitting U.S. senators to consult him. Trump has no such guidance, with no Republicans holding statewide or federal office from Connecticut.
McMahon, the former CEO of Stamford-based WWE, was confirmed by the Senate last month to lead the Small Business Administration.
But those said to be interested in the job tried to avoid giving off the appearance they were campaigning for it.
“When the president asks you to serve your country, you say, ‘yes,’ ” Proto said.
Daly is somewhat of an anomaly.
Despite submitting her resignation to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who called for 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from Obama’s presidency to step down, Daly is being allowed to stay on until she reaches her 20 years of service with the Justice Department in October.
The first woman U.S. attorney in the state, Daly presides over a staff of 64 assistant U.S. attorneys assigned to offices in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford. All of them are career employees of the Justice Department. Daly worked for the Justice Department in the 1980s and ’90s, and then worked in private practice. She was confirmed as Connecticut U.S. attorney by the Senate in 2014.
Her tenure has been marked by the creation of a public corruption task force in 2015 and the successful prosecution of Rowland for violations of campaign finance reporting laws.
Under Daly and her predecessor, David Fein, the U.S. attorney’s office has taken the lead on Project Longevity, a program aimed at reducing gang violence in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford.
State GOP Chairman J.R. Romano said Trump’s family could play a role in the choosing Daly’s successor because of its ties to Connecticut. Trump once owned a home in Greenwich.
“I’m sure they’ll take a vested interest in the direction of that office,” Romano said.
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