Glen E. Pommerening, a Justice Department lawyer who retired as a deputy assistant director with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, died Sept. 10 at his home in Alexandria. He was 85.

The cause was lung cancer, said his son Philip Pommerening.

After serving six terms in the Wisconsin legislature starting in 1954, Mr. Pommerening was appointed deputy secretary of administration for Gov. Warren Knowles (R) in 1966. Four years later, he moved his family to McLean to work in the Justice Department as deputy assistant attorney general.

Mr. Pommerening’s early years in the Justice Department coincided with the tumultuous Watergate era. After the 1973 Saturday Night Massacre, when President Richard M. Nixon’s firing of independent prosecutor Archibald Cox prompted the resignation of key Justice Department officials, Mr. Pommerening was promoted to assistant attorney general for administration.

In 1981, Mr. Pommerening was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons as deputy assistant director overseeing Federal Prison Industries, a government corporation that organizes prison labor to produce goods and services. He stayed in that position until his retirement in 1998.

Glen Edwin Pommerening, a Milwaukee native, was a 1950 graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a 1953 graduate of its law school.

His marriage to Nancy Johnson Pommerening ended in divorce. Survivors include four children, William Pommerening and Philip Pommerening, both of Arlington County, David Pommerening of McLean and Jean Pommerening of Johnstown, Pa.; and two sisters.

— Samantha Raphelson