Local politicians are weighing in on the resignation of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
Attorney General Eric Holder:
“As the longest-serving U.S. Attorney in the country today, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the people of his district and the nation by working tirelessly to make their communities safer through reducing violent crime, fighting public corruption and protecting their civil rights.
“More recently, he and his office were instrumental in the department's efforts in ensuring that those who exploited the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina were held accountable. He has been a valued partner, dedicated public servant and a good friend, and I am grateful for his service to the department over these many years.”
Congressman Cedric Richmond:
"I would like to thank Jim Letten for his nearly twelve year tenure as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana,” said Congressman Cedric Richmond. “I hope Mr. Letten’s predecessor will continue to build on his legacy and accomplishments as the longest serving U.S. Attorney in the country. Moving forward, I am committed to working with the Department of Justice to address the recent allegations of misconduct.”
Congressman Steve Scalise:
“Jim Letten changed the culture of Louisiana by instituting a zero tolerance policy against political corruption,” Scalise said. “I am saddened by Jim’s departure as U.S. Attorney, and I thank him for his years of honest hard work and service to our state. He leaves behind the legacy of a courageous leader who changed the corrupt ‘Louisiana way’ and revitalized the public’s faith in our political and justice systems. Jim Letten leaves behind very large shoes to fill, and it is incumbent upon President Obama to choose a replacement who shares Jim’s steadfast intolerance toward political corruption.”
N.O. Mayor Mitch Landrieu:
“Jim Letten is a friend. He has been a great partner for the City of New Orleans as we fight public corruption and violent street crime.
“I look forward to working with President Obama and Senator Landrieu so that the next United States Attorney can be an effective prosecutor against public corruption and street crime.”
Senator Mary Landrieu:
“I want to thank U.S. Attorney Jim Letten for his long career of service to the Eastern District and our state. While the recent revelations of wrongdoing within his office are indeed troubling, his record of rooting out public corruption is to be commended. I thank him for his 12 years of service as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana and wish him well in his future endeavors. He will continue to be an asset for our community.
“Today’s personnel changes within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District are a necessary step toward maintaining public trust in an institution charged with fighting corruption and keeping the people of the Eastern District safe. I commend Attorney General Holder on naming Dana J. Boente – a well-respected 1st Assistant Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia – to the interim post, as well as his appointment of John A. Horn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, who will be charged with getting to the bottom of the recent controversy within the office.
“In the coming weeks, after consultation with local leaders and members of the legal community, I will forward a short list of qualified individuals to Attorney General Holder and the White House for their consideration for our next U.S. Attorney. The people of the Eastern District expect and deserve an open and efficient process for determining their next U.S. Attorney, and I look forward to working with Attorney General Holder and the entire community to find the most qualified individual for the post.”
Senator David Vitter:
"I'm really saddened by this news because Jim has done such a terrific job. His work has really turned the tide against public corruption in Louisiana. But this fight isn't over. We need a very qualified, seasoned prosecutor as our new US Attorney at this critical time, not a typical political appointee or someone with modest prosecutorial experience," Vitter said.