US attorney for southern district resigns

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas announced he was resigning, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Monday, Ryan K. Patrick announced he was resigning from his position of the chief law enforcement officer for the district effective at the end of this week, Feb. 28.

Patrick, who was appointed to the position by former President Trump in January 2018, was responsible for prosecuting and defending the interests of the United States in one of the largest districts in the country, covering 44,000 square miles and representing nearly 9 million people.

He also oversaw more than 450 employees, including more than 200 assistant U.S. attorneys who cover the seven offices across the district in the state.

The longtime lawyer began his career as an assistant district attorney in Harris County, during which he prosecuted all types of criminal cases, including three years as an on-call prosecutor and investigator with the Vehicle Crimes Section focusing on drunk driving fatalities.

He finished his time at the office as a member of the Major Offenders Division.

In 2012, then-Gov. Rick Perry appointed Patrick as presiding judge of the 177th state district court. He was elected to a full four-year-term later in 2012, the release states.

Patrick was the head law enforcement officer in the Southern District during the “zero tolerance” era. As part of the enforcement of a 2017 memo from then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, known as the “zero tolerance,” memo, children were separated from their parents when their parents were sent to appear before a federal magistrate subsequently leading to thousands of kids getting lost in the immigration system.

Immediately prior to serving as U.S. attorney, Patrick was in private practice, the release states.