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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Magna native John Huber as the new U.S. attorney for Utah, elevating a veteran prosecutor heralded for his career in combating domestic violence and gun crimes to be the state's top federal law-enforcement official.
Huber, 47, now an assistant U.S. attorney for Utah, was confirmed unanimously by a voice vote and will take over soon from acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen.
Nominated by President Barack Obama in February, Huber was already known in legal circles for his aggressive prosecution of four men who illegally provided guns used to kill five and wound four in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square shooting in 2007.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Huber's nomination less than a week ago and his confirmation Wednesday was swift, given the backlog of nominees still awaiting action. Huber had the backing of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah.
"John is among Utah's most respected prosecutors, with extensive state and federal experience, and has spent years building robust relationships across our state's law-enforcement communities," Hatch said in a statement after the vote. "I am confident John will provide strong and effective leadership as Utah's permanent, Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney, and that he will serve in this critical position with the honor and distinction that has characterized his entire career."
The Justice Department in 2010 honored Huber for his work on behalf of Project Safe Neighborhoods in seeking to prosecute gun crimes to the fullest extent of the law.
He will be the first permanent U.S. attorney in the state since last summer when David Barlow, a former general counsel to Lee, stepped down.
Huber earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Utah before joining the Weber County Attorney's Office. He also worked as a prosecutor for West Valley City before jumping to the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2002.