Wednesday, February 18, 2015

USAs Brendan Johnson, Tim Purdon resigning, opening law offices

Update, 1315 MST:


Update, 1055 MST: Associated Press. Video of press conference linked here.


Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to discuss it confirmed to The Associated Press that Brendan Johnson will announce his resignation Wednesday at a news conference. He plans to open an office for Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan, which also hired North Dakota's U.S. attorney, Tim Purdon, to practice in Bismarck, according to the sources. [KSFY]
One source said the press conference will be at 1100 CST.

Last week this blogger tweeted news that Purdon was resigning. A source confirmed he will also be working for Robins Kaplan.

In another nod to tribes as the 51st State, Attorney General Eric Holder signaled to American Indian nations that they could begin building cannabis industries.
The new guidance, released in a memorandum (pdf), will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues. "The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations," Purdon said. The policy is likely to be criticized in states opposed to marijuana sales, particularly those with Native American reservations. [Timothy M. Phelps, LA Times,] links mine.
Johnson and Purdon attended a law enforcement summit in Rapid City seeking solutions to entrenched racism there.

As a replacement for Johnson President Barack Obama could appoint JR LaPlante, the inaugural Secretary of Tribal Relations, who left that post under the current South Dakota governor to take a job as a prosecutor for the US Attorney.

Johnson and Purdon, both Obama appointees, are considered strong contenders for future careers in politics. Last year Purdon accompanied Obama on a visit to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

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