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NEW: Rapid City lawyer nominated as U.S. Attorney
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., nominated Rapid City lawyer Marty Jackley, 35, to serve as the state's next U.S. Attorney on Thursday. The post had been vacant for more than a year and had sparked some criticism for Thune, the state's only Republican senator, who is charged with lining up such nominations for the White House. (Journal file)

WASHINGTON - The White House on Thursday nominated Rapid City lawyer Marty Jackley as U.S. attorney for South Dakota, filling a post that has been open for more than a year.

The state has been without a permanent U.S. attorney since James McMahon left the office early last year to return to private practice. As the state's only Republican senator, U.S. Sen. John Thune has been responsible for sending the candidate's name to President Bush, who then nominates the person for confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Steven Mullins, formerly an assistant U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, was temporarily appointed to the position earlier this year as Thune worked with the Department of Justice to find a permanent candidate.

Contacted by phone at his Rapid City office late Thursday, Jackley, 35, said he could not comment on the nomination.

Thune praised Jackley.

"He has extensive experience in civil and criminal law, and is well known and respected in the South Dakota legal community," Thune said. "I am confident that he has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the U.S. attorney's office in its critically important work."

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The U.S. attorney has regional offices in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre. It prosecutes federal crimes in South Dakota, including on American Indian reservations, and represents the United States in federal civil lawsuits.

Jackley, a partner at the firm of Gunderson, Palmer, Goodsell and Nelson, specializes in construction and engineering law, criminal law, real property law, water law and general litigation, according to the firm's Web site.

He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1992 and received his law degree from the University of South Dakota in 1995. He has also served as a special assistant attorney general for South Dakota.

For the Rapid City Journal story on this topic, see Friday's newspaper.

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