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Obama to tap ex-Bush official and former Richmonder to lead FBI

President Barack Obama plans to nominate James Comey to replace Robert Mueller as FBI director, officials familiar with the nomination process said.

Comey is a former prosecutor who served as a deputy attorney general in President George W. Bush’s administration. He also has ties to Richmond.

From 1996 through 2001, Comey served as Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of the Richmond Division of the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

He helped develop Project Exile, a program to aggressively prosecute gun-toting felons arrested by police. It began here in Richmond, and that program, along with others, is credited to contributing to the relatively low current crime rate in Richmond, and particularly to the decline in the number of homicides.

David Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor to Mayor Jones worked closely with Comey. Hicks was Richmond’s top prosecutor when Comey was implementing Project Exile. Hicks told CBS 6’s Lorenzo Hall, that he appreciated Comey’s bipartisanship. He says the two always found a solution.

“If he can’t sail through federal confirmation, who can? I mean, literally, he transcends partisanship,” says Hicks.

Comey also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. According to his official biography, Mr. Comey was a partner at the Richmond firm McGuireWoods, where he specialized in criminal defense and commercial litigation.

In addition, the profile states that as United States Attorney, Mr. Comey oversaw numerous terrorism cases and supervised prosecutions of executives of WorldCom, Adelphia, and Imclone on fraud and securities-related charges.

He also created a specialized unit devoted to prosecuting international drug cartels.

Mueller’s term is set to expire in September. He served 10 years, then was given a two-year extension at Obama’s request.

(the CNN wire contributed to this report)

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