Former Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley Being Promoted to Trump Administration for Second Appointment as U.S. Attorney


ND Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley shares a laugh with Steve Burian, CEO of AE2S, during Friday's dedication of the new CEC facility at UND. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Drew Wrigley served as North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009.

He stepped down from that appointment during the Obama administration – though many at the time, including the Fargo Forum in a glowing editorial, urged President Obama to keep him on the job – and served as Lt. Governor under the Dalrymple administration from 2010 through last year.

Now I’m told that Wrigley is being promoted to the Trump administration as a candidate for appointment as U.S. Attorney once again.

I contacted Wrigley about this and he would only say that he’s happy with his current work for Sanford Health and that he didn’t have a comment on any other employment matters.

I attempted to contact current U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers but he didn’t immediately return my call.

Myers was appointed as acting U.S. Attorney after Purdon left, and he saw that appointment continued last year by the federal judiciary, but word is the Trump administration wants to appoint their own person.

Court-appointed U.S. Attorneys typically only serve until there is someone appointed by the President. As I write this it doesn’t appear as though President Trump has made any U.S. Attorney appointments yet.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I contacted Wrigley about this and he would only say that he’s happy with his current work for Sanford Health and that he can’t comment on any possible appointment.[/mks_pullquote]

Wrigley got to be pretty well known in the region during his first stint at U.S. Attorney, in no small part because of his involvement in the high profile Dru Sjodin kidnapping/murder case.

Unlike some U.S. Attorney appointees (including Purdon), Wrigley also has extensive experience as a prosecutor. From 1992 to 1993 he served as a prosecuting attorney in the Office of the Fargo City Attorney. From 1993 to 1998 he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia.

Plus those roughly eight years of service as U.S. Attorney under President Bush.

I can’t imagine Wrigley’s resume being a problem for anyone considering him for this appointment, though I’m a little surprised that this has come up.

I had expected Wrigley to pursue elected office going forward. The Attorney General’s office, specifically, which is currently occupied by long-time incumbent Republican Wayne Stenehjem (who has not indicated if he’ll run for re-election or not in 2018).

But over the years I’ve heard Wrigley, on many occasions, speak passionately about his time serving as a prosecutor at various levels of government, so maybe the surprise isn’t warranted. Wrigley definitely seems interested.

He’s not talking about being in the running for the appointment, but he’s not denying it either.

I haven’t heard any other names floating around for this appointment yet.