ATF Head Likely to Quit Over Guns Scandal

Kenneth Melson has led agency since April 2009
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2011 5:42 PM CDT
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' acting director Kenneth Melson soeaks on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

(Newser) – The acting director of the ATF is likely to step down within a day or two, reports CNN, the potential casualty of a botched weapons program meant to halt the flow of firearms into Mexico. Kenneth Melson presided over the agency's "Fast and Furious" program, which inadvertently let arms smugglers buy large numbers of guns—then lost track of many.

An agency spokeswoman said the ATF is “not commenting on any speculation," and the White House remained mum, but attention is turning to the Obama administration's pick to head the agency permanently. Andrew Traver, whose nomination has been stalled since last year, is to meet with AG Eric Holder about taking the position temporarily. The agency has been left without a permanent head since 2006.

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