U.S. attorney McGregor W. Scott announced Wednesday that he would be stepping down after serving more than three years as attorney general for the Eastern District of California, the 34 counties with offices across the Central Valley and Sierras in Sacramento includes. Fresno and Bakersfield.
Scott, who serves as the district’s chief law enforcement officer and is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes, some of which originate in Solano County and who represents the United States in civil litigation, has notified President Biden and acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson and will End his service at the end of the month.
The news comes when Wilkinson, during a conference call Tuesday, asked the remaining Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys to step down by February 28 to make way for new leadership under the Biden administration. Such actions are considered routine for new administrations.
Phillip A. Talbert will replace Scott on March 1 and take over the office as acting US attorney. He is currently the first US assistant attorney and has served in the office for over 18 years. He previously served as a court-appointed U.S. attorney during the final transition between administrations, chief of appeals and training, and a prosecutor in the Narcotics and Violent Crime Division.
Talbert, who will oversee approximately 90 attorneys and 90 employees in his new temporary position, also served in the Department of Justice’s Professional Responsibility and Crime Bureau before moving to the Eastern District of California. He also worked in private practice. Talbert is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.
Scott was sworn in as a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California in December 2017 and returned to his position from 2003 to 2009.
“Working as the United States attorney for the Eastern District of California has been the most fulfilling experience of my career,” Scott said in a press release. “It has been an honor over the past three years to work with the women and men in this office and our law enforcement partners to protect our communities, protect the Treasury Department, and provide the United States with the best possible legal representation on the matters we deal with deal with us. “
Scott received his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University in 1985 and his law degree from Hastings College of Law, University of California in 1989. He was the Assistant District Attorney for Contra Costa County from 1989 to 1997 and the Shasta County’s elected District Attorney from 1997 to 2003.
After completing his first tenure as a US attorney, Scott was a partner at the San Francisco-based international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, specializing in white collar crime and corporate investigations. In addition, he retired in 2008 after 23 years of service as a lieutenant colonel from the US Army Reserve.