Former Obama aide running for Congress touts prosecutor background, but he only served for 25 days

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A North Carolina Democratic candidate for Congress is touting his experience as a “former prosecutor” on his campaign website and other professional websites, but he only served in the role for 25 days in 2006, according to records obtained by Fox News.

Wiley Nickel, a North Carolina state senator and former Obama White House aide, announced last month that he was running for the open seat of retiring Democrat Rep. David Price. Near the top of the biography page of his campaign website, it read, “Wiley understands the value of public service. As a former prosecutor, he has helped pursue justice for those in need.”

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan Democratic candidates in Detroit on Oct. 26, 2018. 
(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Nickel’s law firm website also included references to his 25-day stint as a prosecutor in his biography section, saying his “first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office, where he worked as a deputy district attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders.” 

“As a former prosecutor I know how the other side thinks and I will fight to ensure you’re not a victim of the law,” a quote from Nickel on the website read. “You have a right to the best representation in Raleigh.”

Those references were quietly deleted from Nickel’s law firm website and campaign website after this article was published. 

The Facebook page of Nickel’s law firm also makes a couple references to his “unique experience” as a former prosecutor. In the “About” section, the Facebook page says, “As a former deputy district attorney, founder and lead attorney Wiley Nickel possesses unique experience and a comprehensive understanding of how the government pursues convictions.”

Rep. David Price during a town hall on March 13, 2017, in Raleigh, North Carolina. 
(Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

“By using his knowledge of the prosecution’s strategies, he is able to anticipate the government’s tactics and build a strong defense on behalf of his clients,” the page continues.

Despite the repeated references to Nickel’s experience as a “former prosecutor,” Fox News obtained a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response from the Merced County District Attorney’s Office saying that Nickel only served as the “Deputy District Attorney” from  Jan. 23 until Feb. 17, 2006.

In addition to those pages, Wiley called himself a “former DWI prosecutor” twice on his personal Twitter account in 2017 and 2018.

Wiley opened his North Carolina law office in 2011 after serving almost three years in the first term of the Obama administration as an advance associate, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also worked as a “political consultant” for the Democratic National Committee, among other political positions dating back to the Clinton administration. 

Nickel thanked Obama on Twitter in 2018 for endorsing his candidacy for state Senate. 

Former President Bill Clinton attends a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network in Puerto Rico, on Feb. 18, 2020.
(REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo/File Photo)

“Wiley is a Progressive Democrat and believes it’s time to focus on strengthening our public schools, creating high paying jobs, expanding access to affordable healthcare and protecting our environment,” Nickel’s campaign platform reads. “Senator Nickel is leading the fight to protect a woman’s right to choose and pushing for stronger gun control laws. He supports an end to gerrymandering with independent redistricting reform that takes the power to draw new legislative districts out of the hands of politicians.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) blasted Nickel in a quote to Fox News, calling him “another lying politician.”

“Wiley Nickel is already showing he is just another lying politician who has no business representing North Carolinians in Congress,” NRCC spokeswoman Camille Gallo said.

Nickel’s campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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