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U.S. Attorney Not Betting on Permanent Gig

By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 17, 2005; Page AA03

Allen F. Loucks, Maryland's interim U.S. attorney, says he doesn't golf with the governor or ride the political circuit and therefore thinks there's little chance President Bush, with input from Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), will appoint him to the post permanently.

Doth he protest too much?

Allen F. Loucks, Maryland's interim U.S. attorney, says that his phone has been "terribly silent." (Matt Houston -- AP)

"No," Loucks said. "I'm not going to get this job. It's not gonna happen."

He said that he hasn't been sent the requisite forms to fill out and that his phone has been "terribly silent."

"I'm telling you, you are a political appointee in this job. You've got to know somebody," Loucks said. "It's not my goal in life. I've been a civil defense lawyer for 20 years. My goal in life is to keep out of the press."

After his appointment last month, that goal, he said, "went up in smoke."

Loucks, 47, succeeds Thomas M. DiBiagio, the high-profile and sometimes controversial chief prosecutor who resigned at the end of last year to work at a Washington law firm.

Loucks supervises 70 lawyers and 70 support staff members in the Baltimore office's civil and criminal divisions. The U.S. Attorney's Office, part of the Department of Justice, prosecutes violations of federal law and represents the U.S. government in litigation.

A 10-year veteran of the department, Loucks had served as chief of the office's civil division since 2001. He got to work immediately after he was sworn in as interim U.S. attorney, announcing grand jury indictments of five men on arson charges in the fires that destroyed 10 houses and damaged 16 others in a Charles County subdivision.

"This job is really more of a people job. The lawyers are already incredibly motivated, and it's an incredibly strong office, so we're not talking about anything that needs huge amounts of work," Loucks said. "My goal is to keep people working on the kinds of cases where they can be as productive as possible by asking them what they like to do and give them that kind of work."

To supplement his management tasks, "I've asked them to assign me a couple of cases to keep my tools sharp," he said.

"If there's an employment discrimination or medical malpractice case [or a] simple gun case, I've asked them to consider me," Loucks said.

The Maryland office is helping work through a backlog of immigration cases filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York, most involving asylum and visa matters.

Loucks holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester, a master's in history from Columbia University and a law degree from George Washington University.

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