Two more names have surfaced as candidates for federal judgeships in Chicago: Thomas Durkin and Joshua Berman.
Sen. Mark Kirk announced Tuesday that his top choice for the bench was attorney John Tharp, a former federal prosecutor and partner at the Mayer Brown law firm.
Durkin, like Tharp, is a partner at Mayer Brown. Durkin, also a former federal prosecutor, counts among his cases the conviction of former Illinois Gov. Dan Walker for bank fraud, perjury and misapplication of bank funds.
Berman is a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman who earlier was a senior trial attorney with the Justice Department and a federal prosecutor in New York.
Kirk released his letter naming all three men, written Tuesday to President Barack Obama. Obama nominates federal judges, who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
A Kirk spokesman, Lance Trover, said Thursday that Tharp was the top choice of an advisory board Kirk established and “as is tradition we provide the executive branch with more than one name.”
With three vacancies in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the new names mean seven attorneys are in the running. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has put up four names.
Tharp was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1992-1997. His credentials include leading the investigation of Edward Rosewell, a Cook County treasurer who pleaded guilty to a ghost payroll scheme, and prosecuting former Illinois Senate Majority Leader John D’Arco on extortion charges.
Tharp was nominated for a federal judgeship by President George W. Bush in 2008, but the nomination failed to advance.