Pueblo DA might become pick for U.S. attorney



Many of Colorado's leading Democrats are chafing today after the withdrawal Monday by Stephanie Villafuerte of Denver as President Barack Obama's nominee to become U.S. attorney for Colorado.

Villafuerte's nomination was delayed and finally snagged by questions relating to her role and actions in Gov. Bill Ritter's 2006 campaign for governor.

But with Villafuerte exiting, that now means Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut probably will resurface as a candidate for the presidential appointment to serve as the Justice Department's top attorney for Colorado. Before Obama selected Villafuerte in January, Sen. Mark Udall and then-Sen. Ken Salazar had submitted three names for consideration: Villafuerte, Thiebaut and ex-federal prosecutor John Walsh of Denver.

Thiebaut and Walsh are expected to remain as possible appointees, and Thiebaut tells the Pueblo Chieftain he would accept the position if offered. Thiebaut says one of his main reasons for wanting the U.S.. attorney post, other than its obvious prominence, would be to ensure that all of Colorado would be represented in the office, not just the Denver area.

Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet, who replaced Salazar early this year, will be submitting names for Obama's consideration. It is not known if others might be added to that list.

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