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home : news : state news free August 16, 2017

2/2/2017 2:08:00 PM
Acting US attorney general is Carlinville native

By Tom Emery
Breeze-Courier columnist

CARLINVILLE – Doris Boente is naturally elated to be the mother of the highest-ranking civilian law enforcement official in America.

I’m very, very proud,” she said of her son Dana, who was sworn in as Acting U.S. Attorney General on Monday.  “He’s a hard worker, and has been for all of his life. He works every day throughout the year, and only stops when he visits home.”

Boente was sworn around 9 p.m. on Monday, replacing Sally Yates, who was dismissed by President Trump for her refusal to defend the administration’s executive orders on immigration.

He is expected to remain in the role for only a few days, until the expected confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as permanent attorney general by the Senate.

It is the culmination of a distinguished thirty-three year career in the Justice Department for Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Among his highest-profile cases was the prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.  Boente’s office also investigated Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server. Boente, who turns 63 next Tuesday, was born in Carlinville and was an Eagle Scout in younger days. A 1972 graduate of Carlinville High School, Boente played four years of football. He earned an M.B.A. from Saint Louis University in 1977 and a law degree from SLU in 1982.

Prior to his permanent appointment in Virginia in December 2015, Boente was named U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana by former Attorney General Eric Holder in 2012.  He lives in northern Virginia.

A well-respected member of the Department of Justice, Boente was praised by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in February 2016 as a “consummate utility player” and “that reliable  middle child, the one you could always count on to be there for you.”

Despite the recent acclaim, his name is commonly mispronounced. In a White House briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave the name as “BOH-ehn-tay,” while some published reports list the pronunciation as “BEN-tay.”  

?Family and friends from Carlinville know the correct pronunciation is “BEN-tee.”  Boente’s family owns and operates a chain of eleven Shell service stations and convenience stores across the area.   

Boente’s mother says he visits home “quite often,” sometimes to drive her to out-of-town doctor appointments.

?n a statement, Boente said he was “humbled and incredibly honored to serve as acting attorney general” and pledged to “direct the men and women of the Department of Justice to do our sworn duty and to defend the lawful orders of our president.”

Described as “quiet” by family members, Boente was profiled by the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal earlier this week, as well as by multiple televised news sources.

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