WASHINGTON – A senior Justice Department official who helped carry out the firings of eight U.S. attorneys said Friday he is resigning.
Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice official to leave after being linked to the dismissals of the prosecutors.
The firings have led to congressional investigations, an internal Justice Department inquiry and calls on Capitol Hill for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Elston's resignation is effective at the end of next week. Reached Friday afternoon, he confirmed his plans to leave but would not say why.
His departure — and that of other senior Justice aides — has been anticipated since McNulty announced his own resignation last month.
Other aides who have resigned in the wake of the firings include former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson and White House liaison Monica M. Goodling. A fifth official, Mike Battle, who ran the Justice office that oversees the U.S. attorneys, left in March.