By EMERY P. DALESIO
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The federal prosecutor who oversaw investigations into former presidential candidate John Edwards and former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley is resigning.
Spokeswoman Robin Zier said Friday that US Attorney George Holding is announcing his resignation, effective July 8.
"It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina," Holding said in a statement. "I came to the United States Attorney’s Office in March of 2002 with the mission of making this office into one of the best law firms in North Carolina. We have succeeded. The people of eastern North Carolina should be confident that they have an excellent team of prosecutors and civil attorneys working tirelessly to enforce the laws and pursue justice. I am proud that during the past nine plus years, we have successfully addressed our national and district priorities, such as aggressive prosecution of violent criminals, child predators, drug traffickers, white collar criminals, would-be terrorists, and corrupt public officials."
Edwards was indicted a week ago. He says he is innocent. Easley earlier pleaded guilty to a felony in state court.
Holding is a Republican nominated by former President George W. Bush. He stayed in his post as chief federal prosecutor in eastern North Carolina after Democrats took the White House to prevent any disruption in the Edwards and Easley cases.
The president has nominated Thomas Walker of Charlotte to succeed Holding. Walker is backed by both of North Carolina's senators.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)