Ousted U.S. Attorney John McKay will become the top lawyer at Seattle digital-image company Getty Images, ending speculation he would run...

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Ousted U.S. Attorney John McKay will become the top lawyer at Seattle digital-image company Getty Images, ending speculation he would run for office anytime soon.

McKay, 50, said Monday he had no plans for a political run but might return to government work one day.

After fielding job offers from law firms and other organizations this year, he chose Getty, he said, because it’s an intriguing company with exciting prospects for the future.

He’ll start June 1 as Getty’s senior vice president and general counsel and will oversee a legal staff of about 20.

One of his chief duties will be shepherding Getty’s acquisitions. The company has grown mainly through buying smaller image shops every year.

Getty would not disclose McKay’s salary.

Chief Executive Jonathan Klein said McKay probably won’t use many of his political or government contacts on the job, but that wasn’t the reason Getty hired him.

“I wanted somebody who operated at a very senior level,” Klein said. “Somebody who had broader experience than working as a lawyer in a law firm or working as a general counsel at another company.”

McKay was fired last year as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, a post he had held since his appointment by President Bush in 2001. He was one of nine U.S. attorneys ousted in a controversy that continues to dog Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Getty approached McKay with a job offer, mainly because Klein thought it would be interesting to meet him and see what he wanted to do next. The two had a three-hour dinner at Seattle’s Lark restaurant to discuss the position.

McKay will remain an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law, and said he will continue to teach courses when he can.

And a return to public life could be in McKay’s future.

He said he was a fan of an idea touted by former President George H.W. Bush about serving the government, then working in the private sector and later returning to government work.

“I hope that I will have an opportunity to do that,” he said.

Kim Peterson: 206-464-2360 or kpeterson@seattletimes.com