U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen aced a review of his qualifications to become Roanoke’s next federal judge, according to a report by the State Bar of Virginia.
Reviewers rated the 42-year-old Cullen as “highly qualified” for a district judgeship by a 6-0 vote. He is under consideration for a vacancy in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
The panel found Cullen "humble, down to earth, relatable and grounded,” according to a six-page report made public Friday. Peer assessments collected by the panel described him “intelligent, bright, measured, polite and never belligerent to opposing counsel,” the report said.
Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who asked for the state bar’s assessment, had no immediate comment on their next step. The senators had recommended two other candidates to the White House, but neither was picked.
Cullen started as U.S. attorney in March 2018. Among his high-profile cases, he participated in the criminal prosecutions related to the August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. A pending criminal indictment he oversaw accuses alleged gang members in Roanoke of two murders.
The vacancy is the seat of U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad, who declared senior status in 2017. Senior status enables a judge to continue working while transitioning to retirement.