Boyd M. Johnson III, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s number 2 person, whose name had surfaced in 2009 as a contender to fill DEA’s top spot, is leaving government to join a private law firm, Globe Newswire reported.
Johnson plans to join the firm of WilmerHale in New York as a partner.
The New York Times reports that he will be replaced by Richard B. Zabel, who has run the office’s criminal division over the past two years.
Johnson, who had served in the number two spot since U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was appointed in 2009. He has overseen a number of major criminal prosecutions including the Bernie Madoff and Eliot Spitzer cases.
In 2009, his name was among of handful of candidates being mentioned for the director spot at DEA. The White House eventually went with Michele Leonhart, who had been the acting director for years.