Eastern District names Nacogdoches man U.S. attorney

John Malcolm Bales will assume the duties of United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas at 12:01 am on Friday, May 1, 2009.  Bales, 54 of Nacogdoches, has previously served as both First Assistant U.S. Attorney and most recently as Chief of the Criminal Division for the District. As United States Attorney, Bales will direct thousands of federal prosecutions and civil cases in a 43 county area stretching from the Oklahoma border to the Gulf of Mexico. He will oversee a budget of more than $8 million and actively manage a staff of more than 100, including 50 lawyers in six fully staffed offices located in Beaumont, Plano, Tyler, Sherman, Texarkana and Lufkin.

Bales was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to follow Rebecca Gregory, who announced her departure from the Department of Justice on April 1.  Gregory leaves the office today to join the Texas Attorney General's Office.

As United States Attorney, Bales will focus on national security, immigration, and financial fraud, as well as the Department of Justice's other priority areas of violent crime, including gun and gang prosecutions, drug trafficking, crimes against children, corporate fraud and public corruption.

Bales received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.  Prior to becoming an Assistant United States Attorney in February 1989, Bales served as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Bales and his wife, Betsy, have been married for 30 years and are the proud parents of 6 children and 3 grandchildren.