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Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis, former longtime GOP state senator, announces resignation
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Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis, former longtime GOP state senator, announces resignation

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Bart Davis

Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis, here announcing the indictment of 15 members of the West Side Loma gang on drug trafficking and firearms charges, served in the post for 3 1/2 years.

BOISE — After more than three years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, Bart M. Davis will step down at the end of the month, his office announced Thursday afternoon in a news release.

Davis, 65, of Idaho Falls, was nominated for the post in June 2017 by then-President Donald Trump. Prior to that, Davis was a 10-term Republican state senator who served eight terms as the Senate majority leader.

U.S. attorneys are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, with a state’s senators providing recommendations.

New President Joe Biden’s Justice Department asked this week for Trump-appointed attorneys to step down, something Trump did in 2017 with Barack Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys.

“It has been the honor of my professional legal career to serve the people of Idaho, alongside the incredibly hard-working team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Davis, whose resignation is effective Feb. 28, in the release. “In the last three-plus years, this team has overcome tremendous challenges, from the longest federal government shutdown in American history, to a global pandemic. Through it all, the lawyers and support staff of this office have faithfully enforced the law, supported our law enforcement partners and protected our fellow citizens.

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“I could not be prouder of the work that they have accomplished. I am extremely pleased to leave this office in their capable hands.”

The release said that Rafael M. Gonzalez Jr. will assume office as Acting U.S. Attorney for Idaho, a position he held in 2017 for seven months after Davis’ predecessor, Wendy Olson, stepped down. Gonzalez has served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 1995 and has been with the Department of Justice since 1991.

Idaho’s district covers all 44 counties and five tribal reservations across the state. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has locations in Boise, Pocatello and Coeur d’Alene, with more than 30 attorneys and over three dozen staff members.

While in office, Davis hired 26 employees, including 10 assistant U.S. attorneys and four special assistant attorneys. “We’ve been incredibly successful the last three years in hiring outstanding public servants. They are my legacy,” he said in the release.

Davis and his office were successful in filing over 1,000 criminal cases — a record for the time period he was in charge — and cracking down on predators who targeted children during his tenure. He also took aim at gang and drug problems.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted nearly 100 people who victimized children online while Davis was at the helm, with help from the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force, the release said.

In addition to his work in the Idaho Legislature, Davis represented Idaho as a commissioner to the Uniform Law Commission and was past chairman of The Council of State Governments. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Idaho College of Law.

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