an member station
Michel Marizco, Reporter, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk
BY MICHEL MARIZCO — The former federal prosecutor for Arizona who resigned after a gunwalking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious may now face ethical violations.
The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice said former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke leaked a memo to Fox News in 2011. The OIG said it believes Burke was trying to discredit a key whistleblower to the gunwalking operation.
The memo in question was one written by John Dodson, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. In the memo, Dodson had recommended letting guns walk so they would be used in crimes, opening up the possibility of charging the gun buyers with federal crimes.
That practice was the same one being employed by agents in Fast and Furious. Dodson was a critic of that operation and later said he only wrote the memo to highlight what he saw as the erroneous thinking behind Fast and Furious. Burke was already under investigation when he leaked the memo.
He had told OIG investigators that he had earlier leaked information to The New York Times. Burke resigned as Arizona’s U.S. Attorney in August 2011. The OIG is pushing for the former prosecutor to be investigated by ethics boards in the states where he is licensed to practice law.