U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst announced on Thursday that he has submitted his resignation and will leave the Department of Justice on Jan. 19.
Hurst is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. U.S. Attorneys traditionally resign when a new presidential administration takes over. President-elect Joe Biden will chose Hurst’s replacement.
Hurst, a native of Hickory, said that serving in the post has been the highest honor of his career.
“During my time as U.S. Attorney, I have tried to do everything within my power to make our neighborhoods safer, support our law enforcement, engage and empower our communities and citizens, protect victims, prevent and reduce crime, and uphold our constitutional rights,” he said in the press release.
Hurst was instrumental in bringing Projet EJECT to Meridian and several other cities in the state. The project aimed to fight and reduce violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness, according to the Department of Justice. Over the past year, several Meridian residents were prosecuted and sentenced in federal court.
Hurst’s office prosecuted business owners, doctors and others involved in the largest health care fraud scheme in Mississippi history, according to the press release. The pain creme scheme started in Mississippi, but ended up involving several states. The scheme has defrauded TRICARE and other insurance companies of more than $1.5 billion nationally, according to the Department of Justice.
Hurst’s office has also prosecuted public officials, including a former Meridian police officer who pleaded guilty in December to extortion.
Gov. Tate Reeves called Hurst “the ultimate public servant.”
“He has routinely taken on tough fights in order to preserve the rule of law – because he believes in it,” Reeves said in the news release. “He has been a champion for the people of Mississippi, and we wish him well in his next adventure.”
Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal, who is president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police, also applauded Hurst’s work.
“Having worked with U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst for nearly 4 years, I have seen firsthand his passion to put swift, fair and just efforts into providing justice for victims,” Neal said in the press release. “Mike is a law enforcement-minded person and he has always been there to stand on the front lines with Mississippi law enforcement.”
Hurst plans to join a law firm in Jackson following his departure from the Department of Justice.