Embattled DEA Chief To Resign Amid Scandal
Washington (CNN): It didn’t happen on 4/20 — marijuana’s high holy day — but expect Michele Leonhart to step down soon as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. officials familiar with the matter say.
Obama administration officials long ago soured on Leonhart, a career DEA agent who broke ground at the agency when she rose into leadership as the first woman to head a field office. In recent years, she has angered the administration for appearing to resist federal rules relaxing enforcement on marijuana as states have moved to legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational use.
More recently, she came under fire for her poor performance in a congressional hearing on an inspector general report that found instances of DEA agents having sex parties in Colombia with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels. The report cited light punishments for the agents and Leonhart seemed at a loss about what she could do about it.
On Monday — 4/20 — word spread around Washington that Leonhart had met with Justice Department officials to discuss her departure and how to handle succession at the top of the agency. Officials had hoped to have her departure announced before Loretta Lynch, the attorney general nominee awaiting Senate confirmation, took office.