ATF chief leaving government

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Bradley A. Buckles, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will retire from his post effective Jan. 3 after 30 years of service, the agency announced yesterday.

Mr. Buckles, who joined ATF in 1974 as a lawyer and rose to the director’s post in 1999, is leaving to head efforts by the Recording Industry Association of America to stop music piracy.

“As a dedicated professional at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for nearly 30 years, Bradley A. Buckles served with integrity and skill. His steadfast leadership of the bureau’s 4,800 employees helped ensure a seamless transfer of the ATF from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department this year,” Attorney General John Ashcroft said.

“I am grateful for his service and wish him every success in his future endeavors,” Mr. Ashcroft said.

Last January, Mr. Buckles was tasked with providing guidance and oversight of ATF’s transfer from the Treasury to Justice as part of a government reorganization in response to the September 11 attacks and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

“I am extremely proud to have served many years in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and now as a result of the Homeland Security Act, the Justice Department,” Mr. Buckles said in a statement. “Now that ATF is successfully integrated into the Justice family, my job is complete.

“I have decided that it is the best time for me to move on,” said Mr. Buckles, whose agency is responsible for law enforcement, regulatory and tax-collection missions relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson.

Before his appointment as director, Mr. Buckles served four years as the deputy director, where he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the bureau as chief operating officer. He also served in various areas of responsibility, including assistant chief counsel for litigation, deputy chief counsel and chief counsel.

A native of Wyoming, Mr. Buckles received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and his law degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., in 1974. He is a member of the Kansas State Bar.

Mr. Buckles has been the recipient of numerous commendations, including Presidential Rank Award as meritorious executive in 1992 and 2000 and the Presidential Rank Award as distinguished executive in 1997. He also serves on the executive boards of the Treasury Executive Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

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