- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2001

U.S. Attorney Wilma Lewis announced yesterday she will resign effective April 20.
Miss Lewis' resignation as the District of Columbia's top prosecutor comes after the Department of Justice announced on Monday plans to replace most of the 93 U.S. attorneys from the Clinton administration by June. President Bush is expected to submit to the Senate his nomination to replace Miss Lewis before she leaves office.
Miss Lewis said she would like to continue to work in the community by representing local clients but also wanted to explore some national issues. She said she has experience in both civil and criminal law.
"I would like it to be a combination. As U.S. attorney, I have developed a local presence, and I would certainly like to continue to work here in the District," Miss Lewis said. "In terms of cases, I would not want to limit my practice."
She said she knew one day that she would have to resign since presidential appointees are normally replaced at the beginning of a new administration.
"I was fully expecting this day to come. You serve at the pleasure of the president, and that person needs the opportunity to build his own team," Miss Lewis said. "I will always treasure my time here, and I look forward to the future as well."
Miss Lewis said she has not completed negotiations with any law firms and could not say where she would be working.
She began as interim U.S. attorney on Jan. 12, 1998, after her nomination by President Clinton. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 12, 1998. She replaced Eric Holder after he was named deputy attorney general.
Miss Lewis, a former inspector general for the Department of Interior, was relatively unknown in local political circles when she was nominated.
During her term, she worked closely with the D.C. inspector general, investigating corruption of city employees and officials. Her office prosecuted several D.C. Public Works inspectors and Department of Motor Vehicles employees for kickback schemes.
She also expanded the community prosecution units to all of the seven police districts. The program, which puts prosecutors within a police district headquarters to work with officers, was created as a pilot program at the 5th District in Northeast by Mr. Holder.
She also created a gang prosecution and intelligence section to investigate gang violence within the District.


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