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High-ranking Justice Dept. official leaving post

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News,Nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The third-ranking official at the Justice Department is leaving his job this month.

Associate Attorney General Tony West, who has been the Justice Department's chief negotiator in its lawsuits against major banks, plans to leave the department Sept. 15.

He was appointed in 2012 and had been the department's civil division chief before that.

Attorney General Eric Holder praised West for his work to fight financial fraud, his advocacy for the rights of American Indians and his role in the Obama administration's decision to stop defending the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage.

He said West's efforts have made a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

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