Two of three Louisiana Obama appointed U.S. Attorneys step-down

Stephanie Finley and Kenneth Polite out; no word on Walt Green

KTAL - LAFAYETTE, La. - (NBC and Staff Reports) The United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana announced her retirement Friday. 

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley notified the media late Friday of her retirement, after 29 years in government service, 22 of which were in the Western District U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the last seven as U.S. Attorney for the Western District.

Finley had served in that capacity since June 2010, having joined the justice department in 1995 as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District.

Prior to joining the DOJ, Finley had an illustrious career in the United States Air Force that began in 1988 when she was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and after spending four years on active duty, continued as a JAG officer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in November 2016.

Finley was one of Louisiana's three U.S. attorneys on Friday who said she was stepping down from her post; the Eastern District's Kenneth A. Polite also announced he had submitted his resignation, Both were appointed by President Barack Obama.

It is unknown whether whether Middle District U.S. Attorney Walt Green, also an Obama appointee, will resign; if he has, it has not been made public.

Out of 93 U.S. Attorneys appointed by the Obama Administration, 47 had already stepped down by Friday. It is unclear whether Finley and Polite were part of the remaining U.S. attorneys the Trump administration acted Friday to force out.  

Those 46 were told by mid-day Friday to submit their letters of resignation immediately. The move was announced by the Justice Department, and many of the prosecutors first learned of it when they received calls from reporters.

A Justice Department statement said the action was taken "as was the case in prior transitions."

"Until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. attorney's offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders," the statement said.

Although Friday’s firings were considered to be abrupt by some, in 1993, President Bill Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno demanded the resignations of all 93 U.S. attorneys in the early days of the Clinton administration. A department official says current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a U.S. Attorney in Alabama at the time, still has the letter Reno sent him. 

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