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Ousted in a purge of President Barack Obama appointees, US Attorney Deirdre Daly spent the weekend clearing out her office, receiving calls from well-wishers and making tearful farewells. Then, on Sunday night, she learned she would be staying.
Daly, the top federal law enforcement official for the district of Connecticut, is among a small number of career prosecutors who were given more time to reach service anniversaries that are important for retirement benefits.
They now enter lame-duck periods in which experts say they can be just as effective but may not have as much latitude. "It feels a bit like I've risen from the dead," Daly said in an interview. "I don't at all feel diminished by this. If anything, I feel I've received a lot of support for which I am tremendously grateful."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican, on Friday requested the resignations of 46 remaining U.S. Attorneys who had been nominated by Obama. It's fairly customary for the 93 US attorneys to leave their posts once a new president is in office, and many had already left or were making plans for their departures.
Daly, a registered Democrat who never has been active politically, submitted her resignation but was given a reprieve until the end of October, when she completes 20 years with the Justice Department. The US attorney for the Northern District of New York, Richard Hartunian, was allowed to stay through June, when he reaches the 20-year mark.
Fifteen-year Justice Department veteran John Huber, the US attorney for Utah, will stay on an interim basis for another four months.