Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s chief legal counsel has been confirmed to serve as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan.
Mark A. Totten, who has served as Whitmer’s top lawyer since 2019, was nominated by President Joe Biden in November, although his U.S. Senate confirmation on Wednesday had been delayed since February by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) in a dispute over the U.S Marshals Service.
“Mark has been on my team since day one,” Whitmer said in a statement. “His legal advice and leadership helped us put Michiganders first. As a former prosecutor, I cannot imagine a more qualified leader to serve as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan—the place that Mark calls home. He is a passionate public servant who will do a phenomenal job as a U.S. Attorney. We will miss Mark. I wish him the best of luck.”
Totten, who lost the 2014 Michigan attorney general’s race to Republican Bill Schuette, is returning to helm the office in which he previously worked as a special assistant U.S. attorney from 2011 to 2013. From 2008 to 2018 Totten taught criminal law at Michigan State University College of Law, where his research focused on consumer protection and public enforcement.
He also served as a special assistant prosecuting attorney under Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton in 2016 and 2017 where he helped to investigate the Flint water crisis for possible criminal liability.
Totten was a law clerk for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2007 to 2008. He began his legal career in 2006 as an attorney on the civil appellate staff for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.
Totten holds a juris doctorate from Yale Law School; a Ph.D. in ethics from Yale University; and a bachelor’s degree from Cedarville College.
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