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Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 02:40 pm

Bass fishing for U.S. attorney post?

Source says assistant wants top job

Tim Bass, head of the U.S. attorney’s public corruption unit based in Springfield, is angling for the top job, a source says.

Bass would neither confirm nor deny that he’s interested in taking over from current U.S. attorney Jim Lewis, who is retiring effective Dec. 24.

“I’ve been honored and privileged to serve the Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney for the past 21 years,” Bass said when asked whether he’s seeking the post of U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois. “Beyond that, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further about additional opportunities about how I could continue to serve the department at this time.”

Bass has led several high-profile prosecutions in Springfield, including the current prosecution of former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on corruption charges.

Sangamon County state’s attorney John Milhiser is also said to be interested in taking over from Lewis. Like Bass, Milhiser has not said whether he’s contacted anyone about the position or whether anyone has contacted him, but he has said that he would be honored to be considered (“Source: Milhiser could be next U.S. attorney,” Dec. 7, 2016).

If, in fact, Milhiser is a serious candidate for the post, he faces at least one potential issue. His wife, a lawyer, currently is employed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield, which would put her underneath him in the chain of command.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

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