Thomas E. Delahanty II was appointed by President Barack Obama on June 23, 2010 to be the 36th United States Attorney for the District of Maine. He was sworn in on July 1, 2010. This is his second appointment as U.S. Attorney. He served in the same position from May 1980 to August 1981 on appointment by President Jimmy Carter to succeed Senator George Mitchell, who was appointed a judge for the United States District Court.
Prior to his first term as U.S. Attorney for Maine, Mr. Delahanty was an associate in private practice for four years with the law firm of Marshall, Raymond and Believeau in Lewiston. During this time, he also served for four years as a part-time state prosecutor. In 1974, Delahanty was elected to serve as one of the state’s first full-time district attorneys for a large three-county district in western Maine. As District Attorney, he became a strong advocate for victims’ rights and established one of the first Victim-Witness Assistance Programs in New England. After his re-election as district attorney, he was appointed to his first term as U.S. Attorney.
Upon leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he opened a new law firm, Delahanty & Longley, in his native Lewiston. His practice concentrated on criminal defense and civil litigation.
In November 1983, Delahanty was appointed to a seven-year term as a justice of the Maine Superior Court where he served for more than 26 years, including a five-year term as the court’s Chief Justice. He was reappointed to three successive terms by different governors. At the time of his second appointment as U.S. Attorney, he had served as a Superior Court Justice and as the Senior Justice of the court longer than any other person on the state-wide Superior Court. He was a third-generation judge as his father, Thomas E. Delahanty, served on the Maine Superior Court and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (1959-1985) and his grandfather, John D. Clifford, Jr., served as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine (1947-1956).
During his time as a prosecuting attorney and Superior Court Justice, he had the opportunity to participate in over 1,000 jury trials involving all types of crimes and civil claims. He was responsible for the implementation and oversight of a number of new procedural programs and court policies.
In his current term as U.S. Attorney, Delahanty is working to strengthen the ties of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with state prosecutors and law enforcement agencies.
Delahanty has frequently participated in legal education programs sponsored by the courts and local and state-wide bar associations. He has served as an officer and a board member of county, state and national associations and has received a number of awards and recognitions.
Delahanty is currently serving as the chairperson of the AGAC Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture Working Group and is a member of the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Working Group and the Northern Border Initiative Subcommittee.
Mr. Delahanty is the fifth person to serve two terms as U.S. Attorney for Maine. His grandfather, John D. Clifford, Jr. was the longest serving U.S. Attorney in Maine, serving from 1933 to 1947.
Delahanty is a graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont and the University of Maine School of Law. In 1997, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from St. Michael’s in recognition of his work for victims and witnesses and implementing innovative court programs and procedures.
Mr. Delahanty says that “[b]eing United States Attorney thirty years ago was a wonderful experience. After leaving the office, I knew that if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would like to return.” He says that “[t]he mission of the office to prosecute criminals and represent the interests of the people of the United States in a fair and just manner has not changed, but everything else has, mostly due to computers and other technology.”
According to Mr. Delahanty, the office is six times larger than it was thirty years ago. “Back then, if we wanted to have a staff meeting, we just went out to lunch together. The whole process of managing the office and prosecuting cases is far more complex, but I am blessed with an outstanding staff. To the extent that we enjoy success, it is due to their expertise and hard work.”
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