Griffin Out as State's U.S. Attorney

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The federal prosecutor for eastern Arkansas, put in the job after his predecessor was fired as part of a Justice Department move under investigation by Congress, says he's leaving to pursue other possibilities.  But U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin stresses that he was not forced out of the job.

Griffin annokunced yesterday he was leaving the position today.

Griffin was among the replacements for eight federal prosecutors who were fired by the Bush administration.  The Justice Department inserted replacements, including Griffin, without going through the Senate confirmation process.

Griffin says he is leaving to pursue "opportunities in the private sector."

The firings drew persistent criticism from Democratic Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who called for both Griffin and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign.

The 38-year-old Griffin says he plans to remain in  Arkansas after stepping down.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)