Former Minneapolis FBI director slams ATF nominee Jones

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A former director of the FBI's Minneapolis office says the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, B. Todd Jones, has "an atrocious reputation among law enforcement" and is "an impediment to federal law enforcement." Donald Oswald sent a letter denouncing Jones to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, advising them to reject President Obama's nomination of Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Oswald maintains that Jones impeded federal investigations, was motivated by political gain, and reacted disrespectfully to those who complained.

Jones declined to comment to the Star Tribune about the letter. Others who have worked with Jones say their experience with him is contrary to what Oswald describes in his letter.

Oswald's predecessor at the FBI office, Ralph Boelter, tells MPR he's surprised by Oswald's characterization of Jones "...because that is not the opinion or the view that any of my colleagues held or partners in other law enforcement agencies or other government agencies held about Todd."

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, through a spokeswoman, and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said they've had positive working relationships with Jones.

The number of cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attonney's office in Minnesota fell 40 percent last year compared to 2011. A spokeswoman tells the Associated Press that's because the office is now focusing its efforts on the worst offenders, leaving others to be prosecuted at the state level.

Jones is currently the acting ATF director, in addition to serving as U.S. Attorney. In January President Obama nominated him to take over the ATF job exclusively. The bureau has been led by a string of acting directors for more than six years.

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