Federal prosecutor for western Missouri to resign

Thursday, February 19, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The top federal prosecutor in western Missouri is stepping down at the end of the month.

Federal prosecutor John F. Wood issued a statement Wednesday saying he submitted his resignation to President Obama, effective Feb. 28.

Wood said serving in the position "has been the highest honor of my professional career."

"I believe deeply in the office's mission of pursuing justice, and I have been incredibly fortunate to serve with many of the most dedicated public servants in the country," he said. "I know that their outstanding work will continue."

Wood, a Missouri native whose wife is from the Kansas City area, was appointed federal prosecutor for the western district of Missouri by then-president George W. Bush. He was sworn into office in April 2007.

He had previously served as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Spokesman Don Ledford said Wood has accepted a position as a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed. An interim federal prosecutor will be appointed by the U.S. attorney general to serve until Obama names Wood's successor, which could take several weeks, Ledford said.

As federal prosecutor, Wood reorganized the office to create new units in such areas as terrorism and national security, violent crime, and fraud and corruption.

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