Ex-ATF Deputy Director Resigns After Being Blamed in GOP ‘Fast and Furious’ Report

(Center) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Director for Field Operation William Hoover(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(TheBlaze/AP) — The former deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has left the agency following the uproar over a flawed gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious.

William Hoover was the agency’s No. 2 official from 2009 to 2011. He was reassigned last October during an ATF staff shake-up prompted by questions about Fast and Furious.

ATF spokesman Drew Wade said Hoover’s last day was Tuesday. The same day that a Republican draft report on Operation Fast and Furious by Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was released.

The report says Hoover and four other ATF officials, all of who were reassigned within the ATF and the Justice Department, share much of the blame for problems in the Arizona gun-smuggling probe. It employed a risky tactic called gun-walking. Some 1,400 illicitly purchased weapons identified by the operation have not been recovered.

(RELATED: Read Part One of Scathing GOP ‘Fast and Furious’ Report)

The other four ATF officials singled out in Issa and Grassley’s Fast and Furious report are:

  • William Newell, the special agent in charge of the phoenix field division
  • William McMahon, Newell’s boss who was ATF’s deputy assistant director for field operations
  • Mark Chait, McMahon’s boss who was ATF’s assistant director for field operations
  • Kenneth Melson, former acting ATF director

The report that came out on Tuesday is the first of three reports from Issa and Grassely on Fast and Furious. The second report, which will be released “soon,” will deal with the roles of the deputy attorney general‘s office and the Justice Department’s criminal division. A third report will deal with the roles of the U.S. attorney general himself and other top officials at the Justice Department in responding to the national scandal after it erupted publicly in early 2011.

Congressional investigators say that the third report can only be completed “after the Justice Department fulfills its obligations to cooperate with the Congress and produce documents.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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