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Senate Approves Laura Duffy As San Diego’s U.S. Attorney

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Aired 5/28/10

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Laura Duffy as United States Attorney for San Diego. She now needs President Barack Obama's approval.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Laura Duffy as United States Attorney for San Diego. She now needs President Barack Obama's approval.

President Obama nominated Duffy last February.

She's worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego for 13 years.

Duffy is best know for her prosecution of notorious Tijuana drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix and other cartel members.

David Bartick is the San Diego attorney who defended Arellano Felix.

He said when he first met Arellano Felix, he kept referring to La mujer del cielo, or the woman from the sky.

Bartick said he was baffled until he found out, weeks later, that Duffy had raced out to the boat where police held Arellano Felix, and had herself lowered from a helicopter to question him.

"So, to me, she'll always be "La mujer del cielo". I think it kind of just indicates she's a woman who's willing to roll up her sleeves, " said Bartick.

Upon hearing of her confirmation, many attorneys in San Diego praised Duffy's grit, smarts and honesty.

Duffy would replace Karen Hewitt, who took over after then US Attorney Carol Lam's controversial firing.

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