CHARLESTON, S.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated the first woman to be the full-time U.S. Attorney in South Carolina, picking a former prosecutor who took on the state’s largest securities fraud case.

Sherri Lydon, who now awaits Senate confirmation for the state’s chief federal prosecutor slot, previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney. As one of the lead prosecutors in Operation Lost Trust, she oversaw a corruption probe that resulted in numerous convictions against South Carolina lawmakers and lobbyists.

As an assistant attorney general on the state level, Lydon served as chief of the State Grand Jury, leading the prosecution of executives from Carolina Investors and Home Gold, South Carolina’s largest securities fraud case.

Now an attorney in private practice, Lydon founded the Lydon Law Firm, which has specialized in defending people in white-collar and public corruption cases.

If confirmed, Lydon would take over for Beth Drake, a career prosecutor who oversaw the death penalty trial of Dylann Roof, sentenced to death last year for killing nine people in a racist attack on a Charleston church. Drake was appointed to be the state’s acting U.S. Attorney after Bill Nettles left the job in the summer of 2016.

Lydon didn’t immediately return a message from The Associated Press. Interviewed last year about the possibility of being tapped for the job, she told AP that she was honored to be considered.

Scarlett Wilson, the Charleston area’s top prosecutor who once worked as a law clerk for Lydon in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said her former boss was one of the toughest prosecutors with unparalleled courtroom skills.

But Wilson, the first woman elected to serve in her role as solicitor for South Carolina’s 9th Judicial Circuit, said in a statement to AP that, while qualifications are the most important factor in picking someone for the top prosecutor role, South Carolina is “long overdue to have a woman as the United States Attorney.”

“Sherri has paid her dues,” Wilson said. “She earned this.”


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