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King’s New Throne

After 23 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as a senior policy adviser to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Kay King is leaving that office to become director of the Office of Interparliamentary Affairs for the House.

Appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), King will head up the office that is tasked with coordinating official visits from foreign dignitaries and elected officials to the House. [IMGCAP(1)]

King also previously served as chief of staff to Lantos’ son-in-law, former Rep. Dick Swett (D-N.H.), during his tenure.

A D.A. for the District. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced legislation last week that would amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to establish an independent district attorney’s office.

The new district attorney, who would be elected by Washington, D.C., residents, would oversee local criminal prosecutions that currently are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

A local district attorney would create more accountability in the local criminal justice system, Norton said.

“No U.S. attorney has any business in the local criminal affairs of local jurisdictions,” Norton said. “No other citizens of the United States are treated so cavalierly on an issue of such major importance. My bill would make the D.A. accountable to the people who elect him or her as elsewhere in the country.”

Norton has introduced a series of bills this Congress designed to provide more autonomy for D.C. residents, including a measure to give the city more control over its budget.

Bringing in the Big Guns. Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R), who is under investigation by the FBI for his relationship as a Congressman with a campaign donor who received lucrative federal contracts, has hired superstar Washington, D.C., lawyer Abbe Lowell — a Democrat — to aid his case.

Gibbons also is working with Donald Campbell, a top-ranking criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas, who helped Gibbons when a cocktail waitress last fall accused him of assault.

The FBI is investigating Gibbons for allegedly failing to report gifts or payments he received from Warren Trepp, a donor and software developer in Reno, Nev., who received contracts from the Defense Department.

Late last week, Lowell and Campbell issued a statement saying that Gibbons, who was sworn in as governor on Jan. 1, would cooperate fully with the authorities.

“The governor has asked that people remember that he has been an honest and hardworking public official for 20 years, would not and never has sold the public’s trust, and that any thorough investigation will come to that conclusion,” the lawyers wrote.

— Susan Davis, Elizabeth Brotherton and Josh Kurtz

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