Reaction to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's Resignation Continues

Dec 7, 2012

Reaction continues into the resignation of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. While officials are taking steps to find a replacement, some members of the public are stunned.

Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond of New Orleans thanked Letten for his nearly 12 years of service as the region’s top federal law enforcement officer. But he also noted earlier that the revelation of two of his top prosecutors posting anonymous online comments was troubling. He wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder that he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are concerned an internal review could be impaired. And he suggested more “dire actions may be needed.”

Letten took that step himself.

“Next Tuesday, December 11th, that’s next week, my resignation as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana will take place,” Letten said.  

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu  and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu both praised Letten’s record. The senator says she will be forwarding names of possible replacements to Holder and the White House.

After Letten’s announcement, some people in New Orleans were taken off guard. Mary Reidy had been shopping when Letten made his announcement.

“Oh I’m shocked. I’m surprised. I don’t think he should. I mean, he didn’t do anything wrong,” Reidy said. 

Douglas Hammel says he expected that Letten, a Republican, wouldn’t serve much longer at the discretion of a Democratic president.

“It’s unfortunate for the citizens that we’re going to lose such a great leader, but what happened is the requirement that he did what he did and put his resignation in. It would have been difficult for him to keep his job with President Obama being relected.”   

Charles Custer says he thought Letten has done a good job.

“It’s disappointing, you know. If he’s been aware of what was going on and didn’t stop then it that’s unfortunate on his part. But, you know, bad people drag good people down with them.”   

There’s no timetable set for selecting Letten’s replacement.