Witch Hunter in Rob Black Case Calling it Quits; Running for Congress? She’s Perfect [Snicker]

PITTSBURGH — from www.thepittsburghchannel.com – U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan will leave her job on Nov. 16.

The announcement was made late Thursday afternoon in a news release from Buchanan’s office.

The move had been expected for some time after President Barack Obama’s election.

Buchanan was appointed by President George W. Bush in September 2001 and has served as western Pennsylvania’s top federal prosecutor for the past eight years.

During that time, she was known for high-profile cases including the prosecution of comedian Tommy Chong for drug paraphernalia and a company that made so-called “horror porn” movies. [Rob Black.]

Channel 4 Action News’ Bob Mayo reported Buchanan tripled federal prosecutions in her jurisdiction and there’s speculation that her work against drugs, guns and violence against women and children could launch a run for office.

But Buchanan’s tenure has not been without controversy. She was behind the lengthy but failed prosecution of Dr. Cyril Wecht, the former medical examiner for Allegheny County.

Mayo spoke with Wecht who said he feels public corruption cases like the one brought against him were politically motivated. Wecht said he’s still hurting financially from the attempts to convict him.

“This is a track record of an abominable, professionally despicable nature, one that she should be ashamed of,” said Wecht. “Ask yourself, ‘Aren’t there 92 other U.S. attorneys in America?’ Nobody else was excited about Tommy Chong? Only Mary Beth Buchanan?”

Former assistant U.S. attorney Steve Stallings prosecuted Wecht under Buchanan.

“I think Mary Beth Buchanan was tough and formidable,” said Stallings. I think what should be remembered from her service was her efforts to fight corruption. My beef is with anyone who says she was motivated by politics. That’s simply untrue.”

Allegheny County Republican chairman Jim Roddey said he views Buchanan as a solid political candidate.

“I know she’s given it consideration. We’ve talked to her several times in the past about whether or not she’d be interested in running for either attorney general, whether or not she’d like to run for county executive, whether or not she’d like to run for congress,” said Roddey.

Wecht had a different view of Buchanan’s future.

“I predict she will not run against Congressman Jason Altmire. I don’t think the Republican Party wants her to run. She would get clobbered. I think she just wanted her name out there,” said Wecht.

Buchanan did not say what her future plans are, and there’s no word on a replacement.

It’s common for new federal prosecutors to be chosen when a new president is elected.

Buchanan is out of town and is not available to talk yet about her future.

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