Story Highlights• Tim Griffin leaving U.S. attorney's office to pursue opportunities in private sector
• His predecessor, Bud Cummins, was one of the U.S. attorneys fired last year
• As controversy over attorney firings erupted, Griffin said he would not seek post
• Griffin has experience in Judge Advocate General's Corps and as Army prosecutor
From Kevin Bohn
Adjust font size:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The former White House aide whose appointment to a U.S. attorney's post helped fuel the furor over the forced resignations of eight federal prosecutors will resign Friday, according to a news release.
Tim Griffin, 38, said in a Thursday statement that he is leaving his position as interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
"I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve in the Department of Justice, especially as United States attorney," he said. "I have particularly enjoyed serving in my home state of Arkansas and look forward to remaining here."
Griffin's predecessor, Bud Cummins, was one of the eight attorneys fired last year, sparking a firestorm of criticism against the Justice Department and spurring a wave of hearings aimed at uncovering whether the ousters were politically motivated.
The Justice Department and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales originally said Cummins and other attorneys were fired because of performance, but they later acknowledged that Cummins was dismissed to make room for Griffin, a former aide to Karl Rove, President Bush's political adviser.
A congressional investigation into the firings is ongoing. E-mails released as part of the probe show that White House and Justice Department officials discussed for months how to get Griffin into the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock.
The e-mails also revealed discussions about whether the Justice Department should tap a controversial provision of the Patriot Act allowing Gonzales to appoint U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation.
In the end, Gonzales opted not to use the Patriot Act provision and instead used his existing powers to name Griffin as an interim U.S. attorney in December.
As the controversy over the attorney firings erupted, Griffin announced he would not seek the permanent post.
Griffin, who previously was a special assistant U.S. attorney in Arkansas in 2001-2002, is a major in the Army Reserve and serves in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, or JAG. He also has served a year on active duty as an Army prosecutor in Iraq.
Quick Job Search