Tony West.
Tony West. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ)

Associate Attorney General Tony West will leave the U.S. Department of Justice later this month, the department announced on Wednesday.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said West, who joined the department from Morrison & Foerster in 2009, would step down as of Sept. 15.

“Over the years, Tony’s efforts have made a tremendous and lasting difference in the lives of millions of people across the country. I have been honored to count him as a colleague—and privileged to work alongside him. I thank him for his service, and his friendship, over the past five years. And although I wish him the best as he opens an exciting new chapter in his career, I will miss his leadership, his many contributions, and his steadfast commitment to the cause of justice.”

The statement didn’t say where West would be going. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on West’s future plans.

West has played a lead role in the Justice Department’s top priorities, including the fight against financial fraud. He helped negotiate the department’s $16.6 billion settlement with Bank of America over the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. West said in a statement last month that the “agreement is notable because it achieves real accountability for the American people and helps to rectify the harm caused by Bank of America’s conduct.”

West was confirmed in 2013 as third-in-command at the Justice Department after serving as the acting associate attorney general for the previous year. He was a partner at Morrison & Foerster, in San Francisco, before leaving the firm to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Division. Before joining Morrison & Foerster, he was a federal prosecutor in California and served as a special assistant to top Justice Department officials in the Clinton administration.

Updated at 5:00 p.m.