Denise O’Donnell, director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, has been endorsed by New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to become a federal judge in the Western District of New York, reports Buffalo Business News. O'Donnell, 67, is expected to replace Western District Chief Judge William Skretny, who is taking senior status next year.
BJA oversees the awarding of federal anticrime funds to state and local governments and other entities. O'Donnell previously was deputy secretary for public safety in New York, overseeing 11 homeland security and criminal justice agencies, and was commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the state administrative agency for BJA funds. O'Donnell also was chair of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science from 2009 to 2011 and chair of the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform in 2010 and 2011.