LAFAYETTE, LA (KPLC) - Taking the oath of office, Stephanie Finley becomes the 38th U.S. Attorney for Louisiana's Western District. She takes her place in Louisiana history along side the likes former Governor Kathleen Blanco and U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu as the first woman to break the barrier and hold the distinguished post in the state.
"Former Governor Blanco and I are so proud to be here and celebrate this day with you," said Sen. Landrieu.
Serving in the U.S. military and as an assistant U.S. attorney, Sen. Landrieu didn't hesitate in recommending Finley, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in June 2010.
"This resume stood out. Not only the length of her experience - though given here very young age - but her passion to want to be part of making this office the very best it can be," said Landrieu, "And I'm just proud to be able to recommend you and I know you will do a fabulous job. God bless you."
Also on hand, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who looks forward to working with Finley.
"What I have heard most often about Stephanie and what I have seen for myself is her unwavering principles of justice and to fairness," said Attorney General Holder. "In this work I will be counting on you. I will be supporting you, and look forward to seeing all that you and your team will accomplish together. Congratulations Stephanie."
Humbled by the process, Finley looks at the opportunity as a way to pay it forward for all of her mentors and supporters over the years.
"It is a once in a lifetime moment, not simply to read about justice or speak about it, but to live and guide it to implement and to grow that sense of justice so they too can have passion to serve without regard to agenda or advancement but simply to serve in some capacity that will make the world and mankind better," said Finley.
Finley takes over for Donald Washington, who left the post to return to private practice in January 2010. Her appointment is a four year term and covers 42 of Louisiana's 64 parishes.