United States Attorney Halsey Frank Announces Resignation and Highlights Accomplishments During Tenure
PORTLAND, ME (STL.News) United States Attorney Halsey Frank announced that he has submitted his resignation to the President, to be effective at 11:59 p.m. on February 28, 2021. The announcement follows a request by Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson for almost all politically appointed U.S. Attorneys to resign to make way for President Joe Biden to appoint new U.S. Attorneys.
“Serving the people of Maine as U.S. Attorney has been the honor and privilege of my professional life,” Frank said. “I hope that my leadership has been positive for Maine and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
U.S. Attorney Frank is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the District of Maine . He was proposed by Senator Susan Collins, nominated by President Donald Trump on July 27, 2017, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 4, 2017. He was sworn in as U.S. Attorney on October 10, 2017.
Prior to becoming U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the District of Maine where, from 1999 to 2017, he prosecuted federal crimes and defended the United States in civil actions in federal district court. From 1990 to 1999, he served as an AUSA in the District of Columbia, where he prosecuted crimes in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia and in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and defended the United States in civil actions in the district court.
As the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, Mr. Frank:
Led an office of 56 people through the longest federal government shutdown in American history, unprecedented civil unrest, and a global pandemic;
Led federal efforts to combat Maine’s opioid crisis, to combat violent crime, and to prevent elder fraud;
Supervised the revival of Project Safe Neighborhoods – a national initiative bringing together federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems and to develop comprehensive solutions;
Established a liaison program to improve collaboration between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District Attorneys’ Offices, and state law enforcement agencies;
Implemented the Disruption and Early Engagement Program – a national initiative designed to leverage relationships with law enforcement, community groups, and health professionals to identify threats of violence and mitigate them;
Implemented Project Guardian – a national initiative promoting collaborative approach to decreasing gun violence by those dealing with mental health issues and domestic abusers. As part of this effort, he organized the Project Guardian working group that included Acadia Hospital, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Maine Department of Education, Muskie School of Public Service, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Maine State Forensic Service;
Created and chaired a working group of law enforcement and educators to study school violence and authored a policy paper advocating adoption of a multi-disciplinary, threat assessment team approach;
Expanded the U.S. Attorney’s Office public information operation, hired the first full-time public information officer, produced public service announcements, and wrote op-eds on a variety of topics;
Created a program, Teaching Respect and Understanding Through Simulation Training, to improve high school students’ understanding of law enforcement; and
Developed a program to promote high school students’ understanding of the source and meaning of the national value of religious tolerance.
In addition, on a national level, Mr. Frank:
Served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a select group of federal prosecutors advising the Attorney General on policy and operational issues;
Chaired the AGAC’s Victim and Community Issues Workgroup; collaborated on revisions to the Attorney General’s Guidelines for the Victim Witness Program and drafted standards to increase the program’s systemization and professionalism;
Wrote a Guide to Crisis Management for U.S. Attorneys; and
Created an online resource of best practices for U.S. Attorneys, covering topics ranging from office management to case development to conduct of investigations.
Members of Maine’s Congressional delegation have empaneled a group of Maine citizens from the public and private sectors to recommend a new U.S. Attorney. The candidate who emerges as the nominee will require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark, who has served nearly 29 years with the Department of Justice, will serve as acting U.S. Attorney in the interim.