Obama to Nominate MN U.S. Atty. to Lead Fed Agency
President Barack Obama plans to nominate Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The president announced his intent during a speech at the White House on Wednesday, when he unveiled a set of gun control measures intended to prevent gun violence.
ATF is a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice that deals with crimes involving firearms and explosives, bombings, and alcohol and tobacco products.
Jones has served as acting ATF director since September 2011; in order to become permanent, the president’s nomination would have to be approved by the U.S. Senate.
Prior to being appointed Minnesota’s U.S. attorney by Obama in 2009, Jones was a partner at Minneapolis-based law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, where he worked since 2001. He also served as U.S. attorney for Minnesota from 1998 to 2001, during President Bill Clinton’s term.
According to a report in The Huffington Post, Jones was brought on as acting ATF director at a time when the agency was embroiled in a scandal involving gun smuggling; guns that were supposed to be under the supervision of ATF agents had reportedly gotten out to the public and turned up at crime scenes in Mexico. Jones got the agency back on track by replacing six of the top eight ATF assistant directors, placing restrictions on undercover ATF operations, and increasing oversight on larger ATF investigations, according to The Huffington Post.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said that Jones is an “excellent choice” for the ATF director position.
“He has a strong record of working productively with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” Klobuchar said. “He has brought incredible focus, results, and integrity to each leadership position he has held, including as acting director of the ATF.”