Ladon Reynolds a commander at the Oak Park Police Department poses for a portrait outside Village Hall.

Almost nine months have passed since it was first announced that Oak Park Police Chief LaDon Reynolds had been recommended for a U.S marshal post and almost four months since President Joe Biden nominated him for the position. However, little progress has been made, thanks to the efforts of one Arkansas Republican senator.

Sen. Tom Cotton has stalled full U.S. Senate consideration of Justice Department nominees — six for U.S. attorney and two for U.S. marshal, including Reynolds, who has stayed consistently mum on the subject. Wednesday Journal has reached out to Reynolds for comment.

The blockade is due to Cotton’s belief that the department should pay the legal bills of the Deputy U.S. Marshals who are being sued by the Portland, Oregon demonstrators who participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.

“Why won’t the Department of Justice defend four deputy U.S. Marshals attacked by a left-wing street militia in Portland?” Cotton wrote in a letter dated to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The letter was included in a press release issued Feb. 10, which refers to the protests as “BLM riots.” Cotton’s efforts to delay have continued since then, drawing reproach from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL), who also serves as majority whip.

“He’s put a hold on six U.S. attorneys and two U.S. marshals, and, as a consequence, their posts remain vacant during this period of time. He is actually in the process of defunding law enforcement at the federal level,” Durbin said during a March 8 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Durbin, along with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), recommended Reynolds to Biden for U.S. marshal last June. The Illinois senator further criticized Cotton on March 8 for delaying the proceedings on grounds unrelated to the nominees.

“And it isn’t because of anything that these individuals have done wrong or anything in their background that suggests they’re not qualified. He is concerned about a case in Oregon and believes all U.S. attorneys should be held from performing their duties as a result of it,” Durbin said March 8.

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