United States

Connecticut's U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly Stepping Down

Eight months ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 U.S attorneys across the country to resign. Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly was one of them and this week, she will officially step down.

Daly's departure comes twenty years to the day since she first became a federal prosecutor.

"There's always so much more to be done," Daly told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters during her final interview before her exit. She said she is fortunate that she had these last eight months of transition.

"It's a tremendous opportunity and it's a meaningful responsibility and that's, at core, the best part of the job," said Daly.

Daly and 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama were asked in March by the Trump administration to resign, which is a common practice when a new president takes office.

Daly was appointed to lead Connecticut's U.S. Attorney's Office in 2014, becoming the first woman in state history to do so.

"Really focusing in on violent crime and the few people that are responsible for the vast amount of the violence," Daly said was among her accomplishments.

Daly highlights, in particular, the convictions of members of the Red Side Guerilla Brims gang, which lead to seven cold case homicides being solved. She also looked back proudly on how her office focused on vulnerable victims and created a task force on human and sex trafficking.

She said she is proud the office for going after public corruption, notably the Governor John Rowland case, and financial fraud cases that stretched from Wall Street into Connecticut.

Daly will leave her post in the midst of the growing opioid crisis, with the state's medical examiner projecting a staggering 1,078 deaths from drug overdoses in 2017.

"We're still trending in the wrong direction," said Daly.

Daly said her staff has prosecuted nearly one hundred dealers who sold substances, like fentanyl, that result in a person's death. Daly acknowledged that this epidemic will be gripping the state long after she leaves.

"It's not something that quiet and hidden," she said. "It's very public. It's also everywhere. No one is immune."

Daly said she will take some time before figuring out what she will do next. When her resignation is made official on Friday, Michael Gustafson will become acting U.S. Attorney until the Trump administration appoints a replacement.

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