NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Attorney David Fein announced Tuesday he will resign after three years as Connecticut's top federal prosecutor, a period marked by crackdowns on sexual abuse of children, financial fraud prosecutions and the arrest of four police officers in East Haven on civil rights charges.
The 52-year-old Fein, whose resignation is effective May 13, said he intends to return to the private sector but hasn't decided on his next job.
"It's a very mixed blessing in that I've loved the three years serving as U.S. attorney but at the same time it's the right move for me and my family at this time," Fein said. "It's with a heavy heart that I leave the office. It's been a tremendous experience serving as U.S. attorney here in the district."
Fein cited more than 60 child exploitation matters, including cases involving a former Peace Corps volunteer convicted of sexually abusing young girls in South Africa and a Colorado man convicted of sexually abusing children at a school he founded in Haiti. Fein said the cases showed a commitment to pursue evidence abroad and to go after people in positions of trust, such as doctors, police officers and teachers.
Fein created a task force to crack down on Ponzi schemes, insider trading and financial crimes. A hedge fund manager was prosecuted for defrauding investors and creditors of hundreds of millions of dollars in what authorities called the largest financial fraud case prosecuted in the district, while other cases focused on mortgage fraud schemes that preceded the real estate market crisis.
Four East Haven police officers were arrested on civil rights charges and the town reached a settlement last year mandating wide-ranging reforms of the police department to resolve claims that officers engaged in a pattern of discrimination and abuse toward Latinos. One of the officers has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and another pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force during an arrest, while the two others have pleaded not guilty.
Fein last year announced Project Longevity, an initiative aimed at reducing gun and gang violence in Connecticut's major cities by directly engaging violent groups with warnings and offers of assistance to change. Fein said an operation in New Haven targeting drug trafficking and gang violence which resulted in charges against more than 100 people was the largest of its kind in the district.