ATF announces major reshuffling of top staff

The acting chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced a series of reassignments of top officials Wednesday, in a move the agency said was "aimed at refocusing the bureau's direction on its core mission."

B. Todd Jones, ATF's acting director, said he had "assembled a team to move ATF forward in its mission to fight violent crime and protect the American people." Jones was recently elevated to his position following the departure of former Acting Director Kenneth Melson. The leadership changes at the agency come amidst a congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, an ATF sting operation in which guns were allowed to be trafficked to Mexico in the hopes of building cases against criminal organizations in the country. As a result, thousands of guns made their way onto the streets.

This week, GOP members of Congress said they are seeking an investigation into whether Attorney General Eric Holder told the truth to lawmakers earlier this year about the extent of his knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.

According to an ATF statement, the staff changes announced Wednesday are as follows:

  • Thomas Brandon will become Deputy Director. He most recently served as Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division. Prior to that assignment he was the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Detroit Field Division from January 2008 to August 2011.
  • W. Larry Ford will become Assistant Director of the Office of Field Operations. He most recently served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information. Prior to that assignment he was the Assistant Director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs from December 2004 to August 2010.
  • Gregory Gant will become the Assistant Director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs. Most recently he was assigned to the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Director. Prior to that he was the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Atlanta Field Division from August 2008 to August 2011.
  • James McDermond will return to Assistant Director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, the position he held before most recently serving as Assistant Director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs. He was the prior Assistant Director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence from 2004 to August 2010.
  • Julie Torres will become the Assistant Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. She most recently served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Field Operations - East Region. Prior to that she was the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Miami Field Division April 2004 to June 2008.
  • Theresa Stoop will become the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Professional Development. She most recently served at Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division from November 2008 to September 2011. She had also served as Chief of Staff for a prior ATF director.
  • Mark Potter will become the Assistant Director of the Office of Management. He most recently served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Field Operations - West Region. Prior to that he was the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Philadelphia Field Division March 2003 to July 2011.
  • William Hoover will become Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Washington Field Division. He had served as Deputy Director from May 2009 to September 2011. Prior to that he was the Assistant Director of the Office of Field Operations.
  • Mark Chait will become special agent in charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division. He had served as assistant director of the Office of Field Operations from May 2009 to September 2011. Prior to that he was deputy assistant director of the Office of Field Operations - Central Region.
  • Vivian Michalic will become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Management and will remain the Chief Financial Officer for ATF. She was the Assistant Director of the Office of Management from September 2010 to September 2011, and had served previously as the Chief of Staff for a prior ATF director.
  • Melanie Stinnett will become Deputy Chief Counsel of ATF. Most recently she served as Assistant Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. Prior to that she was Assistant Director of the Office of Management and chief financial officer from January 2006 to May 2010.
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