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Sharon Eubanks, the Justice Department lawyer who led the government’s charge against the tobacco industry, retired last week after clashing with senior department officials over their decision earlier this year to drastically slash the amount of damages sought from cigarette companies, according to several published reports. “If her decision to resign is the result of continued pressure from political appointees, it’s very disturbing,” says Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Meanwhile, Eubanks’ former deputy, Stephen Brody, will serve as acting director of the tobacco litigation team, the department says. The complex case is still pending in federal court in D.C., where it is awaiting a verdict by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. In June, DOJ officials ordered Eubanks to lower the penalties sought from $130 billion to $10 billion.
Sarah Kelley can be contacted at [email protected].

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