Dec. 6, 2012 06:03

His stellar reputation tarnished by two assistants who posted anonymous comments on the Times-Picayune's website about cases the office is handling, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District announces his resignation in an emotional speech.

The nation's longest-serving U.S. Attorney steps down in the midst of a massive scandal within his office and days before the expected indictment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

The Times-Picayune reports:

Amid a metastasizing scandal in his office, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced his resignation at a news conference Thursday morning, ending [an] 11-year run in the post. He was the nation's longest-serving U.S. Attorney, having been kept in the job by President Barack Obama, despite his Republican Party affiliation.
Letten said he would stay on briefly - but not as head of the office - to aid in the transition. He delivered an emotional, 10-minute speech in which he spoke of his pride in having served as the region's top federal law enforcement officer under two presidents.
"Make no mistake: I stand here before you... with enormous, unabashed pride in everything we've accomplished and in the tremendous successes we've forged over the years," Letten said.
Letten, who has been with the Department of Justice 28 years, said he planned to take some time off to spend with his family. Numerous lawyers told The Times-Picayune that he has been in discussions with the Kean Miller law firm, which has offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.

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