Glenn A. Fine is stepping down as Inspector General at the Department of Justice after a decade in the post, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday.
“I believe it is time for me to pursue new professional challenges,” Fine, 54, said in a letter to President Barack Obama and to Holder in which he said he was proud of his service at DOJ.
Holder, in turn, praised Fine, who will depart in January. “In the Justice Department’s most critical operations and practices, especially our efforts to combat corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, the work done by the Office of the Inspector General is essential,” Holder said on the DOJ’s internal “watchdog.”
“Thanks to Glenn’s outstanding leadership, this Office has never been stronger,” Holder said in a statement.
During his tenure, Fine was involved in several high-profile investigations, including an inquiry into whether the FBI improperly used the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to obtain personal information about people in the United States.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement commending Fine. “I particularly applaud his work to shed light on improper political influence in hiring and prosecutions, which helped bring the Department through a particularly dark chapter in its history. All Americans should appreciate Inspector General Fine’s audits of the use of surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act.”
Fine’s departure will coincide with the beginning of the new Congress, which will have a Republican-controlled House. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is in line to become chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is expected to use the panel’s subpoena power to delve into administration activities.