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U.S. Attorney in Mississippi to Retire Amid Controversies
By Stephanie Woodrow | January 17, 2022 7:34 pm

U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee soon will be leaving his post as the top federal prosecutor in the Northern District of Mississippi, The Daily Journal of Mississippi reports. The Bush holdover has been the district’s U.S. Attorney since 2001.

Greenlee’s departure has been rumored for months, amid various reports that made his Oxford-based office seem something of a soap opera.

The latest: Mississippi journalist Patsy Brumfield reports that an FBI agent who was indicted last week for failing to disclose a personal financial interest in the FBI building in Oxford had sought whistle blower status a couple of years ago after reporting concerns that Greenlee’s office had improperly targeted area Muslims for investigation after the 9/11 attacks.

The so-called Convenience Store Initiative didn’t find any terrorist links, but prosecutors did end up charging some 60 people with selling excessive amounts of pseudoephedrine, used to make methamphetamine, an illegal drug.

The agent, Hal Neilson, also reportedly raised ethics concerns about a book that a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district, Tom Dawson, wrote about his prosecution of billionaire Mississippi trial lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs in a judicial bribery scandal, Brumfield wrote. Read our previous report on Dawson’s book here.

Greenlee and the office’s spokesman have declined to comment about his rumored departure.

On Friday, Gina Phillips Kilgore, chief deputy for operations at the U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., on Friday sent out an email titled “Jim Greenlee Retirement Reception.” A copy of the email was forwarded to The Daily Journal.

The email indicated the retirement party will take place on Jan. 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oxford-University United Methodist All-Purpose Center, The Daily Journal reported.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Martin reportedly will serve as the office’s interim U.S. Attorney, according to The Daily Journal.

President Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for Greenlee. Oxford-based defense lawyer Christi McCoy has been under consideration for the job. We reported last month that her candidacy stalled over questions about her affiliation with a private investigator under investigation for allegedly padding his bills.

Mississippi lawyers have told us Greenlee wrote a letter to the DOJ about McCoy’s ties to the private investigator, but Greenlee’s office has declined to say whether such a letter exists. Main Justice submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in November asking for a copy of any letter, if it exists.

McCoy was recommended for the U.S. Attorney post by Mississippi Reps. Bennie Thompson and Travis Childers, both Democrats.

McCoy once worked at the law firm of Joey Langston — who pleaded guilty to conspiring with Scruggs to bribe a judge. She also represented former state auditor Steve Patterson, who pleaded guilty in another Scruggs-related judicial bribery case.

For more on McCoy’s candidacy, click here.

Joe Palazzolo contributed to this report.

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  1. NMissCommentor » ND Miss US Attorney Jim Greenlee retiring end of the month says:

    [...] Miss US Attorney Jim Greenlee retiring end of the month The MainJustice website has the best sum-up of Jim Greenlee’s retirement and recent reports involving the ND Miss US Attorney’s [...]