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Senate committee approves Burke for US attorney post

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Dennis Burke as the next U.S. attorney for Arizona.

Burke, who served as chief of staff for former Gov. Janet Napolitano, was one of four U.S. attorney nominees to be approved by the committee on Sept. 10, according to media reports. His nomination still must be approved by the full Senate before he takes his post.

If confirmed as expected, Burke will take over a post once held by Napolitano. Since January, Burke has served as a special advisor to Napolitano, who now heads up the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also served as Napolitano’s chief deputy while she was Arizona attorney general.

Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times in July that he plans to focus heavily on border issues at U.S. attorney, including drug trafficking and human smuggling.

Prior to his time with Napolitano, Burke served as an assistant U.S. attorney for Arizona and as acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini.

Burke replaces Diane Humetewa, Arizona’s first Native American U.S. attorney. Humetewa resigned in July.

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