George E. B. Holding, the federal prosecutor for eastern North Carolina, has resigned today, the News and Observer reports. Since his appointment by President George W. Bush in 2006, Holding has brought some of the biggest names in North Carolina politics to trial for corruption and pay-to-play scandals. The list includes former Democratic Governor Mike Easley, former NC House Speaker Jim Black (D-Mecklenburg), former Democratic Congressman and state Senator Frank Ballance, and former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps.
While President Obama has selected a replacement for Holding, his nomination had been delayed by Senators Burr and Hagan while Holding was involved in the indictment of former Democratic Senator John Edwards.
Holding is expected to be replaced by the Obama administration appointee Thomas Walker, a Charlotte attorney, pending his confirmation by the Senate.
In a press release announcing his stepping down, Holding mentioned his office’s success in bringing down some of the state’s biggest power brokers.
Holding said,“Our prosecutions have disrupted the culture of self-dealing and corruption that has existed in some circles among those who wield political power in Raleigh.”
The release also noted his office’s success in targeting gun crimes, terrorism, and drug crimes.
Holding also told the News and Observer that he may consider running for office, possibly Attorney General against current Attorney General Roy Cooper in the 2012 election.
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