Jim Letten, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced on Thursday that he would be resigning, effective December 18, 2012. Letten, the longest-serving U.S. Attorney in the nation, was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and reappointed by President Barack Obama. Letten has earned a reputation for a strong record in combatting public corruption, including the successful prosecution of former Gov. Edwin Edwards on bribery and racketeeing charges.
Letten’s office has unfortunately been the focus of a recent allegations of inappropriate comments about active criminal cases under aliases at nola.com, the web site of The Times-Picayune newspaper. These allegations have led to the resignation of one of Letten’s top assistants and the demotion of his first assistant. The Department of Justice named a federal prosecutor from Georgia to take over the investigation into the office’s internal problems.