A mainstay of the Little Rock U.S. Attorney’s office in Arkansas has departed, prompting three promotions in her wake.
Jane Duke served as acting U.S. Attorney after the departure of Tim Griffin in 2007. Griffin, a former Bush White House aide to Karl Rove, resigned after a congressional investigation implicated him in a White House-driven plot to force out the then-U.S. Attorney, Bud Cummins, in 2006.
The controversy over the firings of Cummins and other U.S. Attorneys in late 2006 resulted in congressional investigations and national headlines.
Duke joined the Eastern District of Arkansas office in 2002 and was elevated by Cummins in 2006 to First Assistant U.S. Attorney.
She departed on Jan. 11 for the law firm of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC in Little Rock.
A three-decade veteran of the office, Patrick Harris, is the new First Assistant to U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer, a Barack Obama appointee, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Replacing Harris as chief of the criminal division is Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray White. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Gardner is the new deputy criminal chief.
Harris, 60, has served for 20 years as a team leader for other evaluators who conduct assessments for the Department of Justice of other U.S. attorneys offices across the country. He also has taught new federal prosecutors at the Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C.
White, 48, began his career as a tax lawyer at Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP in Little Rock. He later served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Pulaski and Perry counties.
Gardner, 46, clerked for the Office of Justice Programs and Office of General Counsel for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board while in law school at Catholic University in Washington. She is a former attorney adviser in the Office of Justice Programs.
The Eastern District did not have a Senate-approved head between Cummins’s departure in 2006 and Thyer’s confirmation in December 2010. Griffin served under an interim appointment.
Griffin is now a member of the House of Representatives from Arkansas.