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Ivey Recalls His Former Boss: Eric Holder

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey today praised the man who could well be President-elect Barack Obama's leading candidate for U.S. attorney general

Long before Ivey was elected county prosecutor, he worked for Eric H. Holder Jr., who was U.S. Attorney for the District in the early 1990s.

Ivey said Holder has since been something of a mentor to him. The two last spoke about two weeks ago, Ivey said, and at the time Holder played down rumors that he would be considered for a top job.

"He has exactly the right background from my perspective. Having been a local prosecutor, he will be able to understand what we're facing and how the federal government can be helpful," said Ivey.

So does that mean Ivey would follow Holder into the Obama administration?

"I can help with the overall fight by continuing to work at the local level," Ivey said. "I think you can be on the team without being on the staff."

Ivey could vie for a U.S. attorney or Justice Department position. Ivey also may be considered for a job in health and human services. He was chief counsel to former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), who sources say is Obama's pick to lead the Health and Human Services Department.

As a prosecutor, Ivey said he has tried to emulate Holder's approach in Prince George's, including instituting "community prosecution." The offshoot of community policing, designed to keep police officers working the same neighborhoods, aims to keep prosecutors working cases in the same geographical area.

"Having a prosecutor focus on a particular high-crime area can lead to having information from previous cases that ends up being relevant current or former cases because you know all the players," Ivey said.

- Aaron C. Davis

By Phyllis Jordan  |  November 20, 2008; 6:41 AM ET
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