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Tag: B. Todd Jones

ATF Director B. Todd Jones Calling it Quits; Tom Brandon Will Step Up

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

B. Todd Jones, the head of ATF, who first stepped in as acting director in 2011, and later became the first ATF directory in history to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, is stepping down, effective March 31.

The announcement from ATF came in a press release, which said he’s departing to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Jone’s number two person, Thomas Brandon, will step in as acting director.

“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” said Jones in a statement. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”

“I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF’s unique law enforcement and regulatory mission,” Jones added.

Jones initially held two jobs in 2011: He was named acting director of ATF while still serving as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota. President Obama nominated him for the permanent post on Jan. 24, 2013, and he ended his job as U.S. Attorney after being confirmed as ATF director.

Tom Brandon/atf photo

ATF Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon will serve as Acting Director. Brandon was appointed Deputy Director of ATF in October 2011.

 

 

Congress Slams ATF Director Over Blundered Undercover Storefront Operations

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF Director B. Todd Jones’ first appearance before Congress wasn’t a pleasant one.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that congressional members from both sides slammed Jones over the agency’s blunders in undercover storefront operations.

Some of the problems included using people with mental disabilities to promote undercover operations.

Jones defended the agency, saying it didn’t knowingly target people with mental disabilities.

“You don’t think that your agents, dealing with a man with an IQ in the 50s, knew he was mentally disabled?” asked U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who used to teach children with disabilities, said people with low IQs are easy to recognize.

“Anyone with any life experience can ask simple questions,” he said. “I was surrounded by these kids. They are some of the best, nicest people who try their best and just want to please. I am appalled you would use these individuals like this and arrest them later.”

Responded Jones: “Hindsight is 20/20.”

New ATF Director B. Todd Jones Has a Plate Full of Challenges

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Over the years, ATF, like other federal agencies, has had its scandals and controversies and challenges getting respect. It has battled the National Rifle Association, had to deal with morale issues and public criticism from within.

NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports that the agency’s new leader B. Todd Jones,the former U.S. Attorney from Minnesota, is now taking on the challenge of steering the ship to calm waters.

After years of having failing to get a permanent director, Todd is now the permanent guy.

“There’s a sort of collective sigh of relief that not another person’s going to show up here for a bit,” Jones tells. “You know, they had five acting directors in the seven-year span since they made it subject to Senate confirmation, which is difficult for any organization to build momentum or have continuity.”

He’s had to deal with the fallout of the failed “Fast and Furious” undercover operation.

Johnson writes:

By all accounts since then, Jones has cleaned house at the ATF. He replaced virtually all of the top managers at headquarters and put nearly two dozen new agents in charge of field offices around the country. Over the next five years, some of the ATF’s most experienced agents — about 40 percent of the workforce — will be retiring. So the time to focus on the future and groom young talent, Jones says, is now.

To read more click here.

 

It Took a While, But B. Todd Jones Is the New Permanent Director of ATF

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fair to say, it wasn’t easy getting there.

But after all the political wrangling, B. Todd Jones was sworn in as the new director ATF at a ceremony Thursday at the White House.

With his confirmation, Jones, who was the acting director, becomes the agency’s first permanent director in seven years.

“I congratulate Todd on being sworn in as the first-ever Senate-confirmed Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “I can think of no one better qualified to lead this critical agency, and to reinforce our shared commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in federal law enforcement. For decades, Todd’s career has been shaped by a remarkable dedication to public service, and a steadfast determination to do that which is just and right. I am confident that he will be a superb ATF Director, and look forward to continuing to work with him to protect the American people from violent crime.”

Jones also remarked:

“Today is a historic day for ATF. The agency is now in line with its sister components and has been given the respect it deserves as a federal law enforcement agency with a permanent director. I will lead with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I see daily from the team tasked with protecting our communities from the most violent criminals.”

 

Column: Time for ATF to Reorganize, Focus on Curtailing Gun Violence

 

Todd Jones

By Daily Journal

The gun lobby and its supporters, who have continuously demanded more enforcement against illegal firearms trafficking rather than new restrictions, have given an inch toward backing up their demands by permitting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to have a permanent director for the first time in seven years.

The Senate approved B. Todd Jones to lead the agency. It is now up to the ATF to pull itself together under the long-denied central command and come up with an overall policy for cutting down criminal gun violence.

That won’t be easy, considering roadblocks such as the lack of universal background checks for firearms purchasers of all stripes and in every venue and Congress’ failure to limit the sale of high-powered military weapons or the number of bullets in a clip. But it is a start.

To read more click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mazel Tov! ATF Gets a Permanent Director

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One of Washington’s long standing absurdities came to an end Wednesday.

For seven years, ATF had been unable to get a director confirmed by the Senate, a goal that was often blocked by such gun organizations as the National Rifle Association.

But Wednesday that logjam came to an end.

The Senate, by a vote of 53-42, confirmed acting director B. Todd Jones as the permanent director.

Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post writes:

The National Rifle Association has effectively blocked past nominees to head ATF. But NRA lobbyist Jim Baker said this week that the organization was not going to take a position on Jones and was not using the vote on his nomination to “score” senators, as the organization does with some other votes. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the group that represents firearms manufacturers, also threw its support behind Jones this week.

“While we have at times strongly disagreed with the policy and regulatory positions and interpretations ATF has taken during Mr. Jones’ tenure as acting director, we have never found Mr. Jones himself to be disagreeable,” the NSSF’s general counsel, Lawrence Keane, wrote in a letter Wednesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). “Under Mr. Jones’ leadership, ATF has always listened to our concerns and issues with an open mind.”

 

GOP Senator’s Changed Vote Puts ATF Nominee on Verge of Confirmation

Todd Jones

By Michael A. Memoli
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON – B. Todd Jones is on the cusp of becoming the first Senate-confirmed director of the ATF on Thursday, after a fierce lobbying effort successfully swayed a single Republican lawmaker to change her vote.

Democrats had expected a close result, but nonetheless were confident they had the votes to ultimately end a Republican filibuster of Jones’ nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when they decided to bring it to the Senate floor this week.

But a dramatic scene began to play out when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of the Republicans that Democrats had expected to break from the minority party, cast an initial no vote. After five other Republicans voted yes and it was clear Murkowski’s would be the decisive vote, the Alaska senator was surrounded in the well of the Senate chamber by senators from both parties, including members of the leadership and the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who could be seen pleading their cases.

To read more click here. 

GOP Resistance to Confirming Todd Jones as ATF Director is Stiffening

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anyone who follows politics inside the Beltway knows the confirmation process for ATF director, by it’s nature, is challenging.

That’s certainly the case with Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who has been the acting head of ATF.

Kevin Diaz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that GOP resistance to Jone’s confirmation is “stiffening.”

The paper reports that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday requested that top federal law enforcement officials in Washington turn over documents that might reveal “conflicts” with Jones.

The requests were made in a series of letters from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the paper reported.

The paper writes:

The letters, obtained by the Star Tribune, allude to three unnamed witnesses, presumably all law enforcement officials in Minnesota, who reportedly talked privately to Grassley’s staff. Sources close to the matter say they are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. Nevertheless, Grassley cited them to contradict Jones’ testimony before the Senate last month that he was unaware of any “deterioration” in relations between his office and law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.

The letters also refer indirectly to a whistleblower complaint brought against Jones by Jeffrey Paulsen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, who says he was unfairly disciplined by Jones for raising management concerns.

To read more click here.