ATF Director Reassigned; U.S. Attorney Out Amid 'Fast and Furious' Uproar
Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights.
Melson's step down from his role as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Programs is effective by close of business Tuesday, administration officials announced. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones will replace Melson.
The purge of those responsible for the firearms trafficking scandal continued as new documents reveal a deeper involvement of federal agencies beyond ATF.
US Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke resigns
Dennis Burke, the United States Attorney for Arizona since 2009, resigned Tuesday morning.
Burke's resignation, effective immediately, is one of several personnel moves made in the wake of a federal gun-trafficking investigation that put hundreds of rifles and handguns from Arizona into the hands of criminals in Mexico. Burke's office provided legal guidance to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the flawed initiative called Operation Fast and Furious.
The news comes on the same day as a new acting director is taking over at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives following congressional hearings into the operation, which was aimed at major gun-trafficking networks in the Southwest.
Burke is not alone in having his career altered by the fallout from the "Fast and Furious" investigation.
William Newell, former special agent in charge of the ATF, was headed to work in Mexico as a federal liaison before the controversy erupted and has since been reassigned to a position in Washington, D.C.
McMahon and Special Agent David Voth and were also laterally transferred from operational positions and moved into administrative roles, according to the ATF.
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