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Did Trump Just Fire Drug Czar Nominee Tom Marino?

Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino (pictured above), who was widely considered to be President Trump’s choice to lead the White House Office on Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), may no longer be the president’s choice. That’s what US News staff writer Steven Nelson is reporting this morning:

President Donald Trump will not appoint Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation’s “drug czar,” a White House official tells U.S. News.

The Pennsylvania Republican was widely expected to be named to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

CBS News reported on April 11 that, according to multiple sources, Marino would be nominated to lead the office, a move that requires Senate confirmation.

Marino was undergoing the final stages of completing his paperwork ahead of an official nomination, one source told CBS.

The White House official could not say why Marino is no longer under consideration, or if he failed a background check.

Issues from Marino’s past, Nelson reports, may have caught up to him, in much the same way that background issues sunk former Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder.

Trump Taps Tom Marino as Drug Czar. That’s Good (and Bad) for Legalization

As Nelson revealed in an April 13 report, Marino was accused of “judge-shopping” to get a friend’s cocaine conviction expunged nearly 20 years ago. Marino had also served as a personal reference on a local businessman’s casino license application while Marino was serving as a U.S. Attorney. Shortly after the reference was revealed, Marino resigned and later went to work for the casino owner as his in-house counsel. That whole incident got him into hot water during a fall 2010 Congressional campaign.

The ONDCP has been managed by acting director Richard Baum since the departure of President Obama’s ONDCP director, Michael Botticelli, in January.