Energy & Environment

Trump to fill West Coast EPA post with lawyer who coined 'lock her up' chant

Michael Stoker, a former Republican Santa Barbara County supervisor and agriculture attorney, will soon head the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regional office that oversees the entire Pacific Southwest, E&E News reported Monday.

Stoker is perhaps best known for coining the "lock her up" chant about Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton when at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The phrase was then routinely used by President Trump to attack Clinton on the campaign trail.

Stoker was also a reported contender for a spot on the National Labor Relations Board.

He was nominated in January to serve as director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service but never came before the Senate for confirmation.

Stoker's appointment will fill a long-open vacancy in San Francisco's Region 9 office - the only regional office yet to receive a political appointee from the Trump administration.

The administration has reportedly struggled to find people interested in taking the appointment. In January it was widely expected that Ryan Flynn, an oil and gas lobbyist from New Mexico, would take on the role but he later told the Los Angeles Times that he was staying put.

Stoker's new position was first announced over the weekend at a fundraiser in Santa Barbara County, E&E News reported. The emcee told the crowd that Stoker would be appointed to the Region 9 post this week but that the information was not to be made public until Monday.

Under the position, Stoker would lead an office that oversees more than 700 EPA staffers throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

The EPA did not respond to requests for comment. 

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