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U.S. Attorney to Join Ashcroft in Practice

ST. LOUIS (CN) - U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway is stepping down to start a law firm with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Hanaway said the Kansas City-firm will focus on complex litigation; potential clients could range from hospitals with Medicare and Medicaid issues to companies facing environmental problems.

Hanaway, 45, was nominated as top federal prosecutor for eastern Missouri by then-President George W. Bush in 2005. The position usually changes hands when the presidential party changes.

Hanaway, a Republican, was former speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives. Her new partner, Ashcroft, also was governor of Missouri.

President Barack Obama has not named a replacement and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Reap will assume Hanaway's duties today.

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