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News Link • Drug War

DEA chief to retire from agency, facing pressure


The embattled head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, will retire from the agency next month, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.  

She faced mounting pressure to resign from members of Congress who questioned her competence in the wake of a scathing report by the department's Office of the Inspector General that detailed allegations that DEA agents attended sex parties with prostitutes in Colombia.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Leonhart, a career drug agent who has led the agency since 2007 and is the second woman to hold the job, would leave the agency in mid-May.

"Michele has led this distinguished agency with honor, and I have been proud to call her my partner in the work of safeguarding our national security and protecting our citizens from crime, exploitation and abuse," he said in a statement. "I have no doubt that the women and men of the DEA will continue to perform their duties with the utmost integrity, professionalism and skill."

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