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September 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Longest Serving Fed Prosecutor Stepping Down After 59 Years

justice dept. logoBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — There’s longevity on the job, and then there’s John “Jack” C. Keeney.

On Friday, the Justice Department held a retirement ceremony to mark the end of his 59-year career as the longest serving federal prosecutor in U.S. history.

According to a Justice Department account of the event, as Keeney “walked on stage at 3:09 p.m., the sea of Justice Department employees past and present leapt to their feet and did not stop applauding for a full minute. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer set the tone for what he called a ‘remarkable’ day and an historic Justice Department ‘homecoming’.”

“It looks like we have a standing room only crowd today,” Breuer said, according to a press release. “And that is exactly as it should be, as we gather to celebrate a man who has spent his entire career standing up – standing up for justice, standing up for integrity, and standing up for his country.”

On March 19, 1951, started his first day the Justice Department at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. He was a young attorney and World War II veteran.

Authorities said that his retirement celebration was the largest known gathering of attorneys general and deputy attorneys general in the department’s history.

Others in attendance included Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

“It’s been a fascinating career,” Keeney said, according to the press release. “I really felt privileged to work in this great Department. I really felt privileged to work with great people. All I can say to you is, ‘Thank you for everything.’”

Attorney General Holder said: “As those of you who’ve worked closely with Mr. Keeney know, he is quick to share credit. And he has never sought the spotlight.

“Yet, he has stood out,” Holder said. ” For decades, his talents and achievements have been well known and highly regarded across the Department, and in legal circles throughout – and far beyond – the country.”

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