US Attorney Walt Green submits resignation, leaving questions about ongoing investigations

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With Walt Green out of the US Attorney's Office, what does this mean for the future of ongoing investigations, including the Alton Sterling case?

United States Attorney Walt Green announced that he has submitted his resignation.

"I wish to thank my incredible staff and law enforcement family for all their support over the years as I respectfully submit my resignation as United States Attorney," Green stated in the letter. "With over twenty-seven years as a United States Marine and twenty years as a member of the Department of Justice, I will treasure all my memories of public service to this great nation."

Green is one of 46 US attorneys that Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked to resign because they were appointed by President Barack Obama. It's standard practice after a new president takes office for most US Attorneys across the country to be replaced.

"It's the president's prerogative to have his own quote team of top prosecutors on the job," said Don Cazayoux, a former US Attorney for the Middle District, who served during the early part of the Obama White House.

On March 13, 2014, President Obama nominated Mr. Green for the position of United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. The US Senate unanimously confirmed Mr. Green's nomination on May 1, 2014, and he was sworn-in on June 2, 2014.

He oversaw a district comprised of nine parishes and approximately one million residents, managing a staff of 60 attorneys and support personnel. In stepping down, Green leaves behind several high-profile investigations, including the Alton Sterling case. However, former US Attorneys said the office is built to withstand these sorts of changes.

"The career prosecutors in the office stay over from one administration to another, so what they'll do is they'll appoint a very senior attorney in the office. He'll become the Acting US Attorney and they'll make sure the cases proceed just as if Walt was still there," said former US Attorney David Dugas.

In this case, the stand-in will be Corey Amundson, Green's former first assistant. He will serve as acting U.S. Attorney until a replacement is confirmed.

"He's very well situated to lead that office - he's got more knowledge probably than anybody who can do that job," Cazayoux said.

"The public should not be concerned about criminal justice" in the Middle District after his resignation, Green said in a phone interview Monday.

Over the weekend, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III submitted a letter to the White House in support of Green. The letter, cosigned by law enforcement leaders from across the region, called on President Donald Trump to reconsider replacing Green.

"This is someone that you really want to make sure that you're making this right decision on, this particular person," Moore said. "I'd put him against all other 46 that are asking to be dismissed."

Cazayoux called the letter unprecedented, but was cautious to say whether he believes it will have any impact.

"I think it carries a great deal of weight, the problem is the cow may have already left the barn," Cazayoux.

Green's resignation is effective as of March 10, 2017. Green said he does not believe he will be asked to stay on, but he added that he would consider it if he was offered the spot.

The president will now have to nominate someone to replace Green. That process could take several months.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.