By Julia Edwards
HONOLULU (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Monday that he intends to nominate Sally Yates, a federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia, to fill the second-highest ranking position at the Justice Department.
Yates, 54, has a record of fighting public corruption and has handled several high-profile cases, including the prosecution of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber.
The U.S. Senate must vote to confirm Yates as deputy attorney general, but she will assume the job on an acting basis Jan. 10 while her nomination is pending.
Yates is a close ally of outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder as well as the nominee to replace Holder, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
Holder congratulated Yates in a statement released Monday and said she would continue making progress on issues such as sentencing reform, which they have worked on together.
Yates will fill the vacancy left by outgoing Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who has not yet announced his future plans.
(Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Eric Beech)