B. Todd Jones is leaving the position as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, effective March 31, the agency announced Friday.
Sources tell the Star Tribune that Jones, who was previously Minnesota's U.S. Attorney, is "expected to go to work for the National Football League, but it is unclear in what capacity." The newspaper report said that in a text message, Jones told the Star Tribune, “I cannot confirm anything until I am gone on 3/31.”
The Associated Press reported that Jones, 57, resigned after serving as head of the 5,000-member agency for less than two years. President Obama nominated Jones in January 2013, and he was approved by the Senate about six months later. Jones served was the agency's interim director starting in 2011.
"I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF's unique law enforcement and regulatory mission," Jones said in a statement Friday.
The ATF is the federal government's chief gun enforcement agency, whose authority extends to investigations involving explosives and criminal gangs.
USA Today's story noted that Jones took over the agency on an interim basis in 2011 after confidence in it had been shaken over a controversial botched gun trafficking investigation, that allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers.
Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder praised Jones' tenure Thursday, saying he "cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant."
According to his executive profile on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website, Jones twice held the position of U. S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota. President Clinton first appointed him in 1998, and he served until January 2001, when he returned to private practice. Jones was appointed again in 2009.
Jones graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and earned his B.A. from Macalester College. Following admission to the Minnesota bar, he went on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, where he was an infantry officer and then both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in court martial proceedings.