Two Justice officials forced out by Fast and Furious report

Kenneth Melson, the former acting director at ATF Kenneth Melson, the former acting director at ATF Eric Gay/AP File Photo

Two Justice Department officials have stepped down in the wake of a report issued Wednesday detailing the agency-wide failures involved in the Fast and Furious operation, according to a statement by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Kenneth Melson, the former acting director at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced his retirement, effective immediately. He had worked for the Justice Department for more than 30 years but stepped down from the position of acting ATF director last August. In the inspector general’s report, investigators called Melson’s oversight of Fast and Furious “deficient.”

Holder also announced he has accepted the resignation of Justice’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein. His career had spanned 15 years, including posts in Baltimore and New York. The IG’s report identified Weinstein as one of the highest-ranking officials with detailed knowledge of the operations and cited him for not bringing to light the “inappropriate tactics” used in them.

Holder praised his former deputy.

“Jason has dedicated much of his career to fighting violent crime and has led highly successful efforts around the country in this effort,” Holder said in a statement. “The American people are safer because of his work.”

Holder said the other individuals cited for wrongdoing have been “referred to the appropriate entities for review and consideration of potential personnel actions.” 

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