President Trump has nominated a Portland lawyer and career prosecutor to serve as the next U.S. attorney for Maine.

Halsey B. Frank’s nomination, announced Thursday by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

If confirmed, Frank would replace former U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II, one of 46 Obama-era prosecutors fired by Trump on March 10. Delahanty, a Lewiston native and longtime Democrat, was nominated by President Barack Obama and had served since August 2010. Richard W. Murphy has been serving as acting U.S. attorney.

“Halsey is an intelligent, highly competent, experienced law enforcement professional and I am delighted that he has been nominated to be the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine,” Collins said in a statement. “With 30 years of experience working for the U.S. Department of Justice in both Washington, D.C., and Maine, he is very well qualified to assume this crucial position.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to approve Halsey’s nomination swiftly so that he can continue his distinguished public service as the head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine,” Collins added.

Collins said that Frank, who is chairman of the Portland Republican City Committee, has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for Maine for the past 17 years. Prior to that, Frank was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. He is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and Wesleyan University.

Frank has been involved with the prosecution of several high profile criminal cases in Maine, including a case involving 54-year-old Sidney Kilmartin of Windham, who was found guilty in October of mailing cyanide to Andrew Denton, an Englishman who used the cyanide to commit suicide. Kilmartin was found guilty of mailing injurious articles resulting in death and witness tampering.

Frank is also involved with the state’s case against 28-year-old Christopher Hutchinson of Cushing.

Hutchinson is charged with “seaman’s manslaughter” in connection with the Nov. 1, 2014 deaths of two crew members, Tom Hammond, 27, of Rockland and Tyler Sawyer, 15, of St. George. Investigators allege Hutchinson was under the influence of alcohol and opioids when he took his lobster boat into a storm and the boat sank. Hutchinson was arrested in December following a lengthy investigation.

In April, Hutchinson requested unsuccessfully that he be released into the custody of his parents. His request came after he violated bail conditions for using drugs and overdosing in March.

At the April hearing, Frank argued that Hutchinson could not abide by his bail conditions and told a judge he had concerns that Hutchinson, who was still operating a boat, could put other crew members at risk. Hutchinson’s case is scheduled for trial in November.

Frank, who was contacted Thursday evening, said he is under instructions from the White House not to comment until his nomination has been confirmed by the Senate. Frank will have to resign his seat as vice chairman of the Portland Republican City Committee if confirmed.

As the senior Republican member of Maine’s congressional delegation, Collins has been advising the Trump Administration as it evaluates candidates for open federal positions in Maine.

As part of that process, Collins established an eight-member Federal Appointments Advisory Committee comprising community leaders and attorneys from across the state.

Frank was one of dozens of applicants the committee assessed for Senate-confirmed vacancies in Maine.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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