PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams, who was appointed by former President Trump, was among the U.S. attorneys nationwide directed Tuesday to step down as the Biden administration seeks to replace them.
Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Kevin Sonoff said most presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorneys were asked to submit resignations effective Feb. 28, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Asphaug is expected to fill the role in an acting capacity before a new appointment is made.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is working with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley to appoint a selection committee to interview and recommend candidates and will then recommend finalists to forward to the Biden administration, according to the two Democratic senators.
Williams, 64, served as acting and interim U.S. attorney after replacing Amanda Marshall in April 2015 before he was appointed by Trump on Nov. 17, 2017, and confirmed by the Senate in March 2018. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October 2000 after serving as a Multnomah County deputy district attorney.
It’s common for new presidents to replace U.S. attorneys.
Williams in recent years has clashed with Portland city officials.
His decision last year to maintain the federal deputization of 50 Portland police officers, despite the city’s objection and request to drop the federal authority granted to local officers, has led to a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice.