House Sergeant at Arms William “Bill” Livingood has announced he will retire in January after serving 17 years as the chamber’s chief law enforcement and protocol officer.
“Bill Livingood has served the House during the most challenging times faced by anyone who has ever held this demanding position,” House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Thursday.
Mr. Livingood’s tenure as Sergeant at Arms has included the 1998 shootings of two Capitol Police officers, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the deadly anthrax release on Capitol Hill, and the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona earlier this year.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Mr. Livingood’s retirement “marks the end of an era defined by Bill’s dedicated leadership, sound judgment and laser-like focus on what is best for the institution, its Members, staff, and visitors.”
An announcement regarding Mr. Livingood’s successor is expected soon. A House vote to elect the speaker’s nominee is scheduled for Jan. 17, the opening day of the Second Session of the 112th Congress.
The sergeant at arms is elected the first day of each new Congress. Mr. Livingood, a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, was first elected to the position Jan. 4, 1995, for the 104th Congress. He is the 36th person to hold thepost since the House first met in New York City in 1789.