- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance is retiring from the Department of Justice.

Media outlets report Vance, whose district includes the 31 northernmost counties of Alabama, announced Thursday that her last day will be Jan. 19.

Vance has spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor and was one of the first five U.S. Attorneys nominated by President Barack Obama. The Senate unanimously confirmed her nomination in 2009.

Before that, Vance spent 18 years in the federal prosecutor’s office, last serving as chief of its Appellate Division.

One of the cornerstones of Vance’s time as U.S. Attorney was protecting civil rights. Her office challenged Alabama’s controversial HB56 immigration law and worked on a statewide investigation of the conditions at state men’s prisons.

Vance’s office also focused on fighting the growing heroin epidemic.

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