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U.S. Attorney Nick Brown announces resignation ahead of Washington AG race

SEATTLE (AP) — Nick Brown, the U.S. attorney for Western Washington, announced on Tuesday he is stepping down — a resignation that arrives amid expectations that he plans to run for state attorney general.

“I hope to return to public service in the future, but I know that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue its excellent work under the career attorneys and professional staff who assisted me during my time in office,” Brown said in a news release announcing his resignation, effective June 21.

Barred from addressing politics while serving as U.S. attorney, Brown has not announced intentions to launch a bid to replace Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who kicked off an exploratory campaign for governor in May, one day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced he won’t seek a fourth term.

Brown, 46, plans to return part time as a litigation partner at Pacifica Law Group in Seattle, where he handled complex civil, regulatory, public policy and other matters for public and private clients before becoming a U.S. attorney.

He served as Inslee’s counsel from 2013 to 2017, helping the governor navigate a thicket of issues that included Inslee’s 2014 moratorium on the death penalty and tension with the federal government after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize the sale of marijuana for adults.

In 2021, the U.S. Senate confirmed Brown as the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, making him the first Black U.S. attorney to serve in the state.

Brown’s work as a U.S. attorney put an emphasis on civil rights, the fentanyl crisis, gun crime and human trafficking. He helped create a cybercrime unit that lead to prosecutions — including the indictment of six people accused of filing fraudulent COVID-19 aid applications and receiving more than $3.3 million.

An Army veteran and Washington native, Brown served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 2003 to 2007 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Baghdad, Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2005. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School.

“It’s been a longtime professional dream of mine to be U.S. attorney, and I was super honored and particularly humbled to have the job when I got it” Brown said in an interview. “I’m really proud of the work we’ve been able to do the last couple years.”

The Associated Press

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