Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, June 1, 2001


Page 3


Bush to Nominate Robert Bonner as Head of Customs Service


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Bush will nominate Robert C. Bonner as commissioner of customs, the White House said.

The administration announced the prospective nomination, which must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in a release issued late Wednesday. Bonner was reportedly in trial yesterday and unavailable for comment

Bonner, currently a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, was U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1984 to 1989, then served briefly as a U.S. district judge before then-President George Bush named him administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

After Bush left office in 1993, he returned to Los Angeles to join Gibson, Dunn. He was appointed to the Commission on Judicial Performance in 1995 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson and served as chairman of the stateís judicial watchdog agency from 1997 to 1999, the first time anyone other than a judge had held the position.

He also explored possible candidacies for elective office, looking at the district attorney race in 1996 and at a run for the Republican nomination for attorney general in 1998. He ultimately eschewed both possibilities but continued to speak out publicly on issues, vigorously defending Independent Counsel Kenneth Starrís investigation into then-President Clintonís conduct and criticizing what he said was the Democratic administrationís lack of support for anti-drug and anti-crime efforts.

Bonner was named earlier this week as a member of the bipartisan panel that will recommend candidates for the federal bench in the Central District. That appointment was made by Gerald Parsky, the attorney and investment banker who will oversee judicial selection in the state for President Bush.

Bonner received his law degree from Georgetown University and holds a masterís degree in public policy from Harvard University.