Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director B. Todd Jones today announced that he is resigning.
Jones was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of ATF director on Jan. 24, 2013. On July 31, 2013, Jones became the first ATF director in history to receive Senate confirmation. Prior to becoming ATF’s permanent Director, Jones served as the acting ATF Director starting Aug. 31, 2011. While serving as the acting director of ATF, Jones was also the U. S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, a post he held from Aug. 7, 2009, until his confirmation as ATF Director.
ATF Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon will serve as Acting Director after Jones departs. Brandon was appointed Deputy Director of ATF in October 2011. Brandon has more than 26 years of experience with ATF. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director, Brandon served as the special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division beginning in March 2011, and special agent in charge of the Detroit field division from January 2008 until his assignment to Phoenix.
And Attorney General Holder’s statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Throughout his tenure as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant. Since 2011, when I asked Todd to serve as Acting Director of ATF, he has made bold changes, advanced forward-looking policies, and taken innovative steps to strengthen ATF’s investigative capabilities—including ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers. With his guidance, ATF has implemented its Frontline business model—a data-driven approach designed to ensure the agency can focus its resources to achieve maximum impact. The agency has developed groundbreaking law enforcement initiatives across the country to combat violent crime and bring dangerous criminals to justice. And as a result of Todd’s leadership, ATF has built a proactive, creative, and effective team that is well-prepared to drive the agency into the future.
“As a former officer in the United States Marine Corps, a highly talented prosecutor, and a proven leader who has been named a U.S. Attorney by two different presidents, Todd Jones has never hesitated to answer the call to serve his community and his country with exceptional integrity and uncommon distinction. As the first ever Senate-confirmed Director of ATF, his indelible legacy will serve as an inspiring example for all those who follow him. On behalf of the Department of Justice, I thank him for his extraordinary service and wish him all the best as he takes the next steps in his already remarkable career.”
This is a sudden and unusual development, as Director Jones had been the first confirmed director of the ATF in some time. This raises a couple of questions, to which we will likely never have answers. Was Jones “asked” to resign as punishment from President Obama’s administration for failing to back-door ammo bans through? Or did he see the direction the ship is going and decide to get while the getting is good?