CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Senate has confirmed Christopher A. "Kip" Crofts to serve as U.S. Attorney for Wyoming.
The Senate confirmed Crofts on Christmas Eve. He had been nominated by President Barack Obama after Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal submitted Crofts' name to the White House earlier this year.
Crofts, 67, currently serves as counsel to Freudenthal in the governor's office. Crofts formerly served in the U.S. attorney's office and as director of the state's Division of Criminal Investigation.
Crofts said Monday he will take office once Obama takes formal action on his appointment, which Crofts said he expects in the next week or two.
Crofts said he enjoys working with Freudenthal, himself a former U.S. attorney, and the rest of the governor's staff and has mixed feelings about leaving.
"But on the other hand, I'm looking forward to new challenges and going back into an office where I used to work, and there are some great people there, too," Crofts said. "So it's kind of a bittersweet thing, I guess. New challenges, new direction, that's always stimulating."
The U.S. Attorney's Office for Wyoming represents the federal government in criminal and civil court action in the state. Crofts said he doesn't anticipate making policy or personnel changes in the office.
"I think there is sometimes a little bit of prosecutorial discretion here and there, but I don't plan on making any big policy changes or things like that," Crofts said. "I don't have either the inclination or the authority to do that. Just enforce the law."
Speaking of the existing staff, Crofts said, "There's a cadre of professional lawyers and I know most of them and they're all good people. They used to kind of change everybody and nothing would happen in the office for six months until they got everybody staffed up again. That obviously wouldn't work in today's world."
Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both Republicans, have supported Crofts' nomination.
"I'm sure he will do an excellent job in this new role," Enzi said. "His accomplishments while practicing law in Wyoming and while serving in the military showcase the qualifications we need in a U.S. attorney."
"His confirmation is good news for the people of Wyoming," Barrasso said. "Kip is a solid choice and will do an excellent job as U.S. Attorney.
According to Freudenthal's Web site, Crofts was born and raised in Lander and graduated from UW in 1965. He served four years as an officer in the U.S. Army and saw service in Vietnam and the Dominican Republic before his discharge as a captain in 1969.
Crofts taught English and social studies at Laramie Jr. High School for two years, and then attended law school at UW, graduating in 1974.
Crofts served as a justice of the peace in Fremont County for four years. He then started working with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, becoming director in 1981, a position he held until 1990. He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Casper and Lander until 2005. He then worked for the U.S. Justice Department as a legal adviser on a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Iraq, serving in both Baghdad, and Basra before joining Freudenthal's staff.