June 15, 2007, 4:47PM
Official close to attorney firings quits
By LARA JAKES JORDAN Associated Press Writer
© 2007 The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A senior Justice Department official who helped carry out the dismissals of federal prosecutors said Friday he is resigning.
Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice official to leave after being linked to the dismissals of the prosecutors.
As McNulty's top aide, Elston's duties included overseeing the government's 93 U.S. attorneys nationwide. He was closely involved in the firings of seven of the eight prosecutors who were dismissed in 2006. In addition to helping plan those firings, he called several of the U.S. attorneys afterward trying to quell the growing outcry.
At least four of the prosecutors Elston contacted said they felt threatened by his calls, which they interpreted as demands to stay quiet about why they were fired. Congress is investigating the firings, which Democrats believe were politically motivated.
I hope his new job is generous with their personal days.