Finley sworn in for Western Louisiana

Finley sworn in for Western LouisianaFlanked by family members, lawyers, judges, law enforcement officials and members of the federal judicial system, Stephanie Finley was officially sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana on Monday, Nov. 22.

A former assistant U.S. Attorney and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Finley is the first woman to serve as the head attorney for the Western District, as well as the first woman to hold the position in the state of Louisiana.

“Another barrier has been broken. Another ceiling has been shattered,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, who traveled to Louisiana for Monday’s ceremony.

In addition to a track record of successfully prosecuting cases, including financial fraud, public corruption, drug trafficking, violent crimes and identity theft, Finley also brings to the position a strong sense of leadership, public integrity and justice for all, Holder said.

“These commitments are precisely what Stephanie’s new job demands,” Holder said, adding that he was impressed by her efforts to increase investigations of financial fraud and forge partnerships in the community to enhance knowledge of the Justice Department’s activities.

“I’m confident these efforts will move the Western District of Louisiana forward,” Holder said.

Finley said the judicial process includes not just her, but law enforcement officials, judges and staff members all working for the same cause. Many of those people, as well as her family, friends and fellow military officers, have helped mold her into a person who is ready and willing to take on such a demanding position, she said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward to all of you,” Finley said, adding that she hopes to “breathe life” into the justice system.

“I am committed to joining you in your neighborhoods and listening to your needs,” she said of her vow to reach out to citizens. “I will work tirelessly to pursue justice for all of you each and every day.”

The Western District of Louisiana includes 42 parishes, making it the largest such district in the state. The U.S. Attorney is appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Senate confirmed Finley in June.

EDITOR’s NOTE: Reprint from www.theadvertiser.com

Stephanie Finley was a 1988 honors graduate of Grambling State University. Finley was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. from the AFROTC and commissioned to the US Air Force and now serves as Lt. Col in the Air Force reserves.

She was nominated by Senator Mary Landrieu and appointed by President Barack Obama as the US attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. She is the first woman to be appointed as US Attorney for the Western District.

In attendance at the Investiture were Eric Holden, Attorney General for the United States of America, Senator Mary Landrieu(first woman senator from Louisiana) and Catherine Babineaux Blanco,(first woman Governor of Louisiana. Other Gramblinites in attendance were retired Lt.Col. Ewing Collier (commander of the former 311 Fighting Tigers squadron on the campus of GSU, where Lt. Col. Finley served in the AFROTC), Dr. Mildred Gallot and family including State Representative Richard Gallot, also Clifton Lemell, National President of the Grambling University Alumni Association.

Finley has a long list of family and friends who attended GSU including a nephew, Izel who is currently a student.