U.S. attorney in Macon resigning

MACON, Ga. — U.S. Attorney Maxwell Wood of the Middle District of Georgia announced today that he is resigning after almost eight years in office.

Mr. Wood will step down July 31, paving the way for a new chief prosecutor in Macon to be appointed by President Obama.

The 49-year-old Mr. Wood was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate on Nov. 7, 2001.

The Middle District includes 70 Georgia counties and has headquarters in Macon, with offices in Athens, Albany, Columbus and Valdosta.

U.S. attorneys are the chief federal law enforcement officers in their districts. They serve at the discretion of the president and typically offer resignations when an administration changes.

Mr. Wood, a graduate of LaGrange College and the University of Georgia School of Law, said his goal since the Obama inauguration "has been a smooth transition period for our office, the law enforcement community and the court system."

He said the July 31 date and the advance notice are in line with that goal.

Mr. Wood, an Air Force veteran and a colonel in the Air National Guard, was the Department of Justice Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from May 2005 to August 2006, overseeing more than 400 employees and contractors in Iraq. He remained U.S. attorney during that time, regularly returning to Macon for office duties.

As U.S. attorney, he personally prosecuted five cases, including that of Dwight "Malachi" York, the leader of the Nuwabian cult headquartered in Putnam County. Mr. York was sentenced in 2005 to 135 years in federal prison for molesting 14 boys and girls whose parents were members of the quasi-religious group.

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