Attorney General Eric Holder picked a longtime prosecutor to oversee internal ethics investigations as part of a larger reshuffling of the Justice Department staff, says McClatchy Newspapers. Prosecutor Mary Patrice Brown of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., will serve as acting head of the Office of Professional Responsibility. The announcement came after the judge who dismissed charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) said he would name a special prosecutor to investigate whether Justice Department attorneys had broken the law by failing to ensure that Stevens got a fair trial.
Brown succeeds H. Marshall Jarrett, who headed the office for more than 10 years. Jarrett was named to oversee the 93 U.S. attorneys, another key position in the Justice Department. Kenneth Melson, who now holds that post, was named the acting chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The professional responsibility office oversees mostly secret investigations of the conduct of Justice Department lawyers.