SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman's term ended Thursday, but his first assistant will handle his post until a new attorney is appointed by the president.

Carlie Christensen, who has been with the U.S. Attorney's Office for 19 years, will become the acting U.S. attorney for Utah.

"Carlie is very experienced and is an exceptional leader," said spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch. "The office will be in good hands during this transition."

Christensen was the first assistant to Tolman the past 3 1/2 years and headed up the civil division for the eight years prior to that.

Christensen received her undergraduate degree from Westminster College and her law degree from the University of Utah. She will act as the U.S. attorney for Utah until President Barack Obama nominates a candidate for the position, who will then have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

— Emiley Morgan