U.S. Attorney McQuade officially resigns

The Detroit News

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade confirmed Monday that she officially resigned from her post, complying with a request three days earlier issued by President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Detroit native former President Barack Obama appointed in January 2010 had said she would comply following Sessions last week seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed during prior presidential administrations.

She confirmed her resignation to The Detroit News on Monday evening.

While many of the federal prosecutors nominated by Obama already left their positions by last week, nearly four dozen who stayed on in the first weeks of the Trump administration were asked to leave Friday “in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Friday.

McQuade was the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, which covers 34 counties and an estimated 6 million residents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has offices in Detroit, Flint and Bay City, 115 attorneys and conducts all criminal and civil litigation in the district involving the federal government.

During her career, McQuade and her team aggressively tackled public corruption, including conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on public corruption charges. Her office also won a conviction against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, an al-Qaida operative, for attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. He pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

McQuade also earned praise for her efforts to build bridges with Metro Detroit’s minority and immigrant communities who have fallen victim to civil rights violations. She notably joined members of area Arab-American and Muslim communities in 2014 and called for a congressional hearing into a report that ranked cities by their number of suspected terrorists.

Last month, McQuade praised the settlement of two lawsuits with Sterling Heights over a planned mosque in that community.

In an interview with WDIV-TV (Channel 4) on Monday, McQuade said she was “incredibly grateful to President Obama to serve here. It was a real honor to serve.”

The University of Michigan Law School graduate told the station she hoped her legacy would be reflected in colleagues who came on board in the last seven years.

“We’ve hired some really tremendous people,” she said during the interview. “Worked really hard to hire people who are talented from a diverse background.”

In a statement Friday, McQuade said she “loved serving in this job as much as anyone has ever loved any job.”

The former adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law has not yet publicly revealed what her next role will be. During her interview with Channel 4 on Monday, McQuade said she would be announcing her upcoming plans “in a few days.”

“I look forward to just continuing to serve the public,” she told the station.