Dec 6 (Reuters) - The longest-serving U.S. Attorney resigned
in Louisiana on Thursday after a scandal involving prosecutors
who posted derogatory comments online.
Jim Letten, the top federal prosecutor for Louisiana's
Eastern District, which includes New Orleans, said in a
statement the decision to step down was his. The resignation
takes effect on Tuesday.
Letten's office has been rocked by a scandal involving two
prosecutors who work under him, including his former top deputy.
They used aliases to post defamatory comments about targets and
defendants in criminal cases on a news website.
Letten was involved in the successful prosecution of former
Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards on racketeering charges. He
also oversaw such cases as the deadly police shootings on a New
Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Letten was appointed by President George W. Bush in April
2001 and was the longest-serving current U.S. Attorney.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that
Dana Boente, the first assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Virginia, would be Letten's interim replacement.
Holder and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised Letten
as a longtime crime fighter.
"He has been a great partner for the City of New Orleans as
we fight public corruption and violent street crime," Landrieu
said in a statement.
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