On a day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 remaining U.S. Attorneys, Pineville native Stephanie Finley announced her retirement from federal service after 25 years.
Though it is generally standard procedure for new presidential administrations to replace chief federal prosecutors, all of whom are political appointees, the fact that Sessions asked for all the resignations at one time raised some eyebrows Friday. Half of the 93 U.S. Attorneys had already left the Justice Department.
For Finley, her retirement caps an impressive career that saw her become an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1995 and then her most recent position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana following her appointment by President Obama in 2010.
Finley also rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, as she served from 1988 until her retirement in November of 2016.
“I have been truly blessed to serve my nation in the capacity of the United States Attorney, Assistant United States Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force," Finley said in a news release. "I am extremely proud of the District’s accomplishments over the last six and a half years; there are too many to mention. But, as I have said from day one, no one does this alone. Today, I would like to thank all of the unsung men and women of the Western District of Louisiana who are some of the finest public servants in our state and nation. They are the reasons why my service has been so gratifying and successful
"I want to also thank the men and women who serve in our partner federal agencies and our tribal, state and local partners. The public will never know the magnitude of our ongoing collaboration to keep the citizens of our communities safe and to represent the United States. I also thank my family and friends who have been supportive throughout my career."
Finley was sworn into office on June 2, 2010, and was the first woman in the State of Louisiana appointed to serve as a U.S. Attorney. She was the chief law enforcement officer for 42 of the 64 parishes in the state, charged with the prosecution of criminal cases brought by the Federal Government and the prosecution and defense of civil cases in which the United States is a party.
In her 20 plus years with the Department of Justice, Finley prosecuted cases involving white collar crimes, violent crimes, civil rights, environmental crimes, drug trafficking, public corruption and tax evasion. She previously served as a member of Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee from 2011-2013.
"The work of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office will continue," Finley said. "My service to our nation and state will also continue; it will now be in my private capacity. I am excited about what the future holds, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the United States Attorney.”
Finley is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Grambling State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Southern University Law Center where she received her Juris Doctorate in 1991 and was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review.