BOISE — The United State Attorney for the District of Idaho resigned Saturday and her top assistant has taken over as acting U.S. Attorney.
Wendy J. Olson had been the top federal law enforcement officer since June 2010 following her appointment by President Barack Obama.
Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., who was Olson’s first assistant since September 2010, has taken over as acting U.S. Attorney. He started with the Department of Justice in 1991, has been with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Idaho since 1995 and was previously the office’s criminal chief.
“As United States Attorney for the District of Idaho since 2010, Wendy Olson has been an indispensable and collaborative law enforcement partner in Idaho,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “Her efforts reflected the highest traditions of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney community. We thank Wendy for her tireless work on behalf of the District of Idaho and the American people over the last 20 years, and we wish her the very best as she begins the next chapter of her distinguished career.”
Olson told the Idaho Statesman last month she planned to go into private practice in Boise. She tendered her resignation at the request of Obama, who asked all of his political appointees to resign. This has become standard practice since the 1980s.
President Donald J. Trump must now appoint a new U.S. Attorney for the state. Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are expected to make recommendations on who should be appointed.
Gonzalez typically would not be allowed to serve as acting U.S. Attorney for more than 210 days. He could serve longer, however, while awaiting Senate confirmation of Trump’s nominee.