Cody Hiland, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock, has announced his coming resignation from the office, a tacit acknowledgment that Donald Trump will no longer be president after Jan. 20.
His news release:
United States Attorney Cody Hiland, 48, of Conway, has announced his resignation as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, effective 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2020. After his resignation, he plans to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
Hiland, a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, had previously served as the elected Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District of Arkansas.
Hiland makes the following statement about his departure:
The opportunity afforded me to represent the exceptional people of this great nation as a United States Attorney has been the highest honor and most fulfilling duty of my public career. I can think of no higher calling nor any greater responsibility in the legal community than the privilege of bearing the burden of seeking justice. It is a sobering responsibility that requires discipline of emotion, sharpness of mind, and a love for both the people you serve and the Constitution that protects us all. The pursuit of that purpose is, in itself, a great reward. But doing so alongside the committed public servants that work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and possess those rare qualities is a gift that I will always cherish. That the Assistant U.S. Attorneys in this small district have the sixth largest caseload out of 94 districts is nothing short of remarkable and is a testament to their commitment and work ethic. Any success attributable to this office over the last three years belongs to each and every member of our staff. I am simply proud to be associated with their tireless efforts.
U.S. attorney jobs are political appointments. It is rare, though not unheard of, for a U.S. attorney to hold over in a partisan change of administrations. One exception includes George Proctor, U.S. attorney in Little Rock under both Democratic and Republican administrations, but that was in a different time in terms of partisanship in Congress and elsewhere.
The Western District of Arkansas currently has an interim U.S. attorney. There was no formal appointment after Dak Kees moved to the private secretary.
ALSO: This is utter, rank, unsupported speculation. But I hope Hiland’s decision to leave 20 days before the end of Trump’s term isn’t a sign that some pardons may be coming for people his office prosecuted. This would be irresponsible to even mention, but for the record established by Trump the past two days.