Shakeup at ATF

Sources: ATF Director to Be Reassigned Amid Fast and Furious Uproar

Published August 30, 2011 |

The acting director of the Justice Department division caught up in a firearms trafficking scandal is being removed from his post, sources told Fox News on Tuesday.

Kenneth Melson, who heads the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will be reassigned elsewhere in the Justice Department. An announcement is expected late Tuesday morning.

The decision comes in the wake of the embarrassing scandal connected with Operation Fast and Furious. The program tracked illegal gun sales, but has come under federal and congressional investigation after weapons linked to Fast and Furious were found at the scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s murder last year.

Other supervisors connected with the program have been reassigned, though one senator complained earlier this month that the moves amounted to a promotion.

In another change, the assistant U.S. attorney responsible for the day-to-day operations of Fast and Furious — Emory Hurley — has been removed from his post and reassigned to the department’s Civil Division.

With Melson’s reassignment, Attorney General Eric Holder will have to fill the top job at ATF.

The likely replacement, ATF Chicago Office head Andrew Traver, was nominated last November by Holder. His nomination is opposed by the National Rifle Association.

Fox News’ William LaJeunesse contributed to this report.


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