Attorney General Eric Holder today said he has appointed Gary Grindler, one of the Criminal Division’s top officials, to serve as acting Deputy Attorney General, effective Feb. 5.
Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced on Dec. 3 that he would step aside on Feb. 5, after less than a year as the department’s No. 2 official. The move surprised many in Washington and laid bare a disagreement between Holder and Ogden over the DAG’s role. Holder, officials said, wanted to be more involved in management decisions and at an earlier stage.
Ogden is planning to return to his practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington.
Grindler, who joined the department in March as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, will fill the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General slot until he takes over the department’s managerial duties in February. That PADAG position had been filled by Kathryn Ruemmler, who is moving to the White House counsel’s office as a deputy.
Grindler (who received both his undergraduate and law degrees at Northwestern University) previously served as in a number of roles in the department, including Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division. He was also an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Georgia.
Grindler left the Justice Department at the end of the Clinton administration and spent nine years at King & Spalding, working on government and corporate investigations, white-collar defense and complex civil litigation.
As a deputy in the Criminal Division under Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer he’d been tasked with oversight of division’s Fraud Section, Appellate Section, Capital Case Unit, and Gang Unit.
In a statement, Holder called Grindler a “great asset” to the department.
“He will be instrumental in our work to keep the American people safe, ensure the fairness and integrity of our financial markets, and restore the traditional missions of the department,” Holder said.
Grindler said he was honored to serve in in his new capacity.
“I look forward to assisting the Attorney General in moving the department forward,” he said.
For a look at some of the names floated to us for a Senate-confirmed successor to Ogden click here.